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“Picture Perfect’” is where Kaboom! Magazine.com sits down with some of our favorite photographers and get to know how they come up with ideas for their photoshoots, thoughts on photography, and ask them some of their favorite moments of their career. Today, we get the chance to sit down with the very talented Dan Levy. The highly popular newcomer from the California tells us about his very favorite locations to shoot, how he comes up with amazing ideas for photoshoots, working with famous fashion models and celebrities, perfecting his craft, photography in social media, and many more. Get to know and strike a pose with literally one of the best young photographers in the world Mr. Dan Levy.
Dan Levy Info:
Photographer Name: D Levy Studios
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Years in Cinema: 6 years
Personal Website: www.dlevystudios.com
Camera Equipment: Canon and DJI 3axis gimble
Notable models/celebrities you’ve worked with: CJ Sparxx, Aaliyah Love, Courtney Taylor, Priya Rai, & Ivy Ferguson
Notable brands/magazines/websites you’ve worked with: Vanquish Magazine & Dream Vixens
Some of your favorite locations for videoshoots/photoshoots: Love working with Cheri Wilson Chagollan at Wonderland Studios OC, it is a great location to work with and there is a great wardrobe selection that is provided on a rental program at this studio location.
If you could have one videoshoots/photoshoots with one person (past or present) who it would have to be with…..: This is a tough choice as I would love to work with everyone, but ultimately I would love to work with Gal Gadot.
Tell us a little bit about where you come from?
Well I am originally from Israel, but was raised in sunny San Diego, CA from a young age. I am fluent in English and Spanish, and can read and write Hebrew. I love to travel and have been to several countries with hopes to keep adding more stamps to my passport.
Growing up did you always want to be in the cinematic industry or did you have other dreams?
Growing up I never thought of being part of any cinematic industry. Although I did grow up on the artistic side with sketching out my favorite cartoon/comic heroes, but my ultimate goal was to become an accomplished architect or Computer Professional.
What was the first camera that you received?
Growing up I always had disposable cameras (you gotta start somewhere right) but once out of college my first camera, which I still have and use, is a Canon T3i.
What type of cinematic education have you’ve had?
Did not receive any formal education, all I have done has been self-taught along the way, I definitely had many failed attempts but you learn from your failures and grow as an individual to become the photographer/filmmaker you want to be.
Describe your style videography/photography?
Not sure if I can fit within a specific style, the art that I create jumps from one style to another so it’s really whatever speaks to me at the moment and how both myself and the model feel.
How did you get into videography/photography?
I have always loved being behind the camera taking candid’s of family and friends, but I didn’t purchase my first camera until a couple years after participating in my first theater production that I took the leap of faith in photography.
Are there any cinematic artists who have inspired your work?
With still photos I can’t say that I have any inspiration, but as far as film goes I do find inspiration from Mel Brooks, Robbin Williams and Kevin Smith.
When you work with individual subjects, how much time do you spend researching and getting to know them first?
It all depends on the individual model/subject, some will open right away via email or text messaging, but others will wait until we first meet in person to talk. But ultimately I talk with the individual during the application of makeup to open up communication. Usually by the end of the project we each tend to know enough about each other that we end up feeling like family at the end.
Do you still remember your first videoshoot/photoshoot?
Yes I do, as if it was just yesterday. I didn’t really know what I was doing but I had a vision in mind as to what I wanted to complete and I did. I still keep in contact with that same model to see how her family is doing.
Do you remember the moment when you realized that you were actually a talented videographer/photographer?
That moment was a surprise as I was still fairly new to studio photography, but my Awe inspiring moment was on one of my final edits from my zombie photoshoot. It was a tinkerbell zombie and the final edit just blew me away with how perfect it came out.
What is the wildest moment you’ve ever had during a videoshoot/photoshoot?
The wildest moment from a photo shoot to date so far would have to be at an event out in the Bahamas during hurricane season and having to cut the photo shoot short as the resort we were at was being evacuated due to Hurricane Mathew.
Sexiest videoshoot/photoshoot you’ve ever been apart of?
All my photo shoots have a bit of sexiness to them but the sexiest one to date so far, has been working with Priya Rai, she definitely brought the heat during our photo set.
Over the years, did you ever encounter famous people who were very difficult to shoot?
I have been lucky so far that all high profile models that I have worked with have been pleasant, I hope this string of luck continues.
How has social media influence your career?
At the moment social media has been a back burner to influencing my career.
Where is the most fascinating place you’ve been to do a videoshoot/photoshoot?
To date the most fascinating place that I have been at has to be the boiler room of the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach, CA.
Explain how you come up with ideas for projects such as videoshoots/photoshoots?
My inspiration for ideas is usually pretty random, no real sense can be taken from them, but so far they are usually ideas that come from my childhood cartoon favorites.
How much planning do you do for each shoot, and how much happens naturally?
Once I have an idea its usually pretty quick with the planning. I think the longest part of the planning is finding the right model and picking a day and time.
Do you coach or talk to your subjects about the expressions they will be making, or do you capture the spontaneous expressions from your conversation with them?
It’s all usually pretty spontaneous, but I do also provide some direction as to what I would like to capture.
What’s your single favorite video/photo that you’ve captured, and what’s the story behind it?
It’s hard to choose as favorite, but so far it still remains being the zombie tinkerbell photo I took.
What do you think about working on big budget films at some point in your career?
I would love to work on big budget films, the candid’s and the intensity of that kind of project can bring a lot of great moments to capture.
When you’re not working with models or capturing some of peoples greatest moments, what do you do in your spare time?
If I am not taking photos or at the editing table, I am usually fixing peoples computer issues.
How often do travel?
I try to travel when I can, I try to atleast take 1-2 big trips a year and one of those is usually international. But I try to get away even if it’s just for the weekend or 1-2 weeks.
Besides your equipment, what is one thing that you must have when you travel?
I am a huge marvel fan so I always carry with me an Incredible Hulk figurine or plush doll and take pictures of it everywhere I go.
Let’s put you on the spot! Who is your favorite model/celebrity you’ve ever worked with?
Now this will definitely get me in trouble, but my all time favorite model to work with is Miss Ela Pasion.
Have you ever been starstruck by one of your subjects?
I have been fortunate enough that I have already met one of my all favorite stars before evening beginning my photography career, so since then I have mellowed out and treat each model (famous or not) as equals.
What are some of your ultimate goals that you would like to achieve being a videographer/photographer?
The future is still young so my goals are always in flux but at the moment my ultimate goal is to be able to finish a project of mine that will raise money to benefit those who have been affected by Domestic Violence. I am always looking for Models and MUA/H who want to take part in this.
What would be your dream videoshoots/photoshoots?
My dream photo shoot would be a series of photo shoots depicting my childhood favorite cartoons and create a photo book to share with people. One of them being a Popye photo shoot.
How can people book you for their next project?
I can be reached several different ways but people can primarily contact me via my website www.dlevystudios.com, or at my email firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s next for you?
The night is still young, but next big project of mine is a series of photoshoots over labor day weekend in las vegas so keep an eye out for some major updates.
Follow Dan Levy on these following social media websites:
Personal Website: www.dlevystudios.com