Universe Of: Dana Waldon

Santafe.com | THE magazine - April 30, 2013

"Waldon is a working photographer who travels extensively around the U.S. on assignments that include photographing children, landscapes and architecture"

Photo: Peter Ogilvie

Dana Waldon’s first camera was a Polaroid, given to her by her father when she was just seven years old. Her first photograph was of her bare feet on the Beatles’ "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" album. Waldon is a working photographer who travels extensively around the U.S. on assignments that include photographing children, landscapes and architecture. As well, Waldon has been a staff photographer for THE magazine for the past decade.

Balancing Commercial and Fine Art Photography

I love the “balancing act”—it forces me to create outside the box and challenges me to deliver what the client wants. I try to bring a little bit of each to both. As for “fine art” photography, I don’t take myself too seriously; otherwise it takes the joy and spontaneity out of making photographs. I do the best work I can and offer the finest print I can for my clients.

Photographic Influences

Patrick Demarchelier, Avedon and Scavullo were the fashion photographers in New York and Europe—they drove me wild with their creative imagery when I was modeling during the '80s. As for my portraiture influences, my son, Dylan, has inspired me the most, along with Jock Sturges, my very favorite.

Photographing Iconic New Mexico  

I love it out here for all the obvious reasons—the light and vistas are like no other place I’ve experienced. The New Mexico landscape is magical and to have daily opportunities to capture it through the lens is a tremendous honor. And being a southern Georgia redneck girl at heart, you just can’t beat a photograph of an old pick-up truck—they are treasures that I respect and cherish. I love the antique patinas, lines, and details—every truck has a story to tell. 

Photographing Children

Knowing how fleeting childhood is—and not to sound like a Hallmark card—but I love to document and archive those precious moments. I love making images that are in motion and have a slight out-of-focus touch. I know a lot of photographers who refuse to photograph children. What they dislike about it most is what I love the most—their refusal to sit still, as well they should, and that they have absolutely no idea what to do in front of the camera—such innocence. They don’t dilute themselves in any way, that is, if you can photograph them without their parents being in the room. Parents ruin the moment.
Future Projects

I am working on a book of photographs of the three hundred plus artists I have photographed for THE magazine over the past decade. I’m selling large-scale photographs (wall-size) on a site called IkonicARTPhotos on Amazon.com. I travel all over the country for various editorial work as well as doing private portraiture commissions.

The Attraction of Digital Imagery

I’m not sure yet if I am attracted to it. I miss my Nikkormat. I pull it out when I take my roadtrips and the ‘kerplunk’ of that shutter still sends me.