May 27, 2022

Meet the Glass Team — Daniel

Get to know a little more about Daniel, our head of community and marketing.

Glimpse into Glass

Describe your journey with photography.

I started taking photos because my dad and my grandpa took photos and I wanted to be just like them. As I got older, that feeling changed but my love for photography didn’t. I grew up queer in a state that wasn't a great place to be different in. I threw myself into solo outlets, mainly long distance running and photography. Anytime I wasn't running or making photos, I was online learning as much as I could from half a dozen photography communities. It was wonderful. It was weird. For a few years there, it felt like it was all I had.

I dropped out of high school to get my GED, take photos, and go to college. I dropped out of college to run a photography studio. I shot everything — weddings, senior portraits, events, concerts, photojournalism. After a few years, I got burned out and set my camera down for a few weeks. I needed a break. Those weeks turned to months which became years. I just couldn't see the photos anymore. The break lasted so much longer than I expected.

For the last five years, I’ve been finding my way back to photography as something for myself. It’s been wonderful, if not a little exhausting. I'll pick it back up, take thousands of photos over a couple of weeks or months, and then back down. Finding that consistency has been a struggle.

What have you learned along the way that you wish you knew earlier?

So much but two main things: one about the profession and one about the craft.

Photography is so much more than just taking photos. It's okay that it's not just taking photos. I could've used the heads up though. It’s sales, it’s marketing, it’s editing, it’s lawyers, it’s usage rights agreements, it's laying out 900 photo books. If I could just take photos for a living — just photos — I absolutely would still be doing it.

Through treating it like a business, I realized that you gotta take the photo you want to see. Make it personal.

I’m able to just enjoy photography for what it is instead of what I need it to be. Let the moments come to you, notice them, take a picture, and get back to living.

What's been the best part of returning to photography?

That little calm after nailing a photo? I live for that. How I feel about my photos is so often a reflection of my mood when I take the photos and vice versa. I can turn a bad day around just by taking an extra 15 minutes walking home from lunch to stop and see something.

Everything is so overwhelming right now. Being able to calm myself, slow down, and breathe a little has been such a relief. Even if that 15 minutes is the only thing that feels good that day, it can feel like enough.

What has surprised you the most working on Glass?

When we started building Glass, I knew I'd enjoy the platform. But I didn't think the community would actually be for me too. I had too much baggage around photography communities on the web. I thought enjoying it would be a thing of the past. I always loved sharing my work with folks. Learning from them, sharing what I know. Art is better when shared, critiqued, improved, enjoyed. And that was something I had lost for a long time.

Being able to connect again over shared adoration of a thing? It's helped me find the consistency and the regular cadence of creating. Having those positive vibes start to return to how I feel about my photography? Incredible and unexpected.

Find other great photographers by joining Glass. ↗
Post photograph by
Daniel Agee

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