The following is a quote from a book that I’ve always tried to let direct my approach on wedding days:
'When you painted on earth—at least in your earlier days—it was because you caught glimpses of Heaven in the earthly landscape. The success of your painting was that it enabled others to see the glimpses too. But here you are having the thing itself. It is from here that the messages came. There is no good telling us about this country, for we see it already.' .... 'Light itself was your first love: you loved paint only as a means of telling about light.'"
I’ve always loved this excerpt from The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis and have used it to guide me as a photographer. Here a man has the opportunity to visit heaven and experience it firsthand but he is too caught up in wanting to paint the land rather than having it for himself. Photography is only a means of telling about the real moments. In reality, the real moments are the only moments. A photo gives glimpses of love but the love itself is the real treasure. So as a photographer, I am first and foremost a witness of authentic love, hoping to give glimpses. I try to never let the photo be more important than the moment. This directs my approach and lends my work to be authentic, timeless, and truthful.
My name is Dan and I am the sole-owner and operator of Dan Zeller Photography. I currently live in St. Paul, MN (but am always plotting a return to my true love, Minneapolis) and I love capturing and sharing beauty. I began my journey in photography like anyone else, taking photos on my smartphone and ruining them with too much editing (yikes, but still on my insta if you scroll back far enough). I quickly fell in love with the mystery and creativity of making pictures. One thing led to another and soon enough I found myself taking pictures (and later videos) at weddings. My favorite part of any wedding day is seeing the genuine love couples have for each other when we go out for sunset pictures. I love those still moments when I give the couple a few minutes alone to watch the sun set but as I’m walking away I look back and see them peacefully embracing, entirely content in the moment. That’s what makes my job special. The real, authentic relationship I get to witness. 3 fun facts about me: I am a member of Hope Community Church in downtown Minneapolis, I tried to quick photography after shooting my first summer of weddings but God had other plans, and I think arguing for the Oxford comma is a hill to die on.
It’s a great joy of mine knowing that due to the nature of wedding photography, photos last for generations. The photos I’m taking today will be printed and put in frames and hung on walls and be enjoyed for years to come. My client’s children and grandchildren will be looking back at these pictures long after my career is over. With this in mind, I carry a great responsibility for my clients — to give them beautiful, timeless photos that will last for years to come.
Photography, like other art mediums, goes through stylistic fads and trends. A picture might look cool today but will we feel the same way in thirty years? I want to be conscious of this as I go about serving my clients. For this reason, I do my best to edit photos to be true to life. I use natural colors, tones, lighting, and contrast.