Could you start by telling me about yourself, for example where you live, whether or not photography is your main profession and generally who you are?
Well when I was very small … the adults taught me to say “my name is Danny Lane and I drive the girls insane“ whenever someone asked who I was … so there is that. Then for real, I’m an actor and photographer living in LA. I’m from New York–born and raised. I live with my girlfriend and my dog. I’m a cancer. I drive a Subaru and listen to records. I’m tall and thin and I love movies.
Could you tell us about Laid magazine? I’ve noticed you have had your Instagram page removed a few times, I can imagine it is really frustrating.
Yea man … frustrating to say the least! Clare and I worked on Laid magazine for a long time before we even made our first post. We spent months talking over dinner like “what do we want this little magazine to be.“ Then we started curating and we built our following pretty quickly only to have our Instagram removed for its content. Then we built it up again even stronger and more precise only to be removed again … probably some little hairy troll with its balls in its hand with nothing better to do. It really hurt our feelings. Now, we are just being way slower about everything.
What do you look for when people submit their work to Laid?
Laid is a fully artistic and semi erotic magazine. We want to celebrate body positivism and self expression with photos and art. We seek natural beauty and we want people to be sincere with their work. We are open to every type of body and gender.
I really love the way you and your girlfriend shoot together, there is clearly a trust and strong bond shining through in the photographs. Do you find it easy to shoot with her? Do you come up with concepts together?
Aw thanks! Yea we shoot easily together :). It’s how we met. Of course, now we have been dating and living together for a couple of years … so we bicker when we shoot, but it’s mostly funny. We are characters for sure. And then hmmm …I don’t really think conceptually about my photos. The person I am shooting is my concept … with me and Clare, we just dig through our closet and put outfits together … we actually just shot about an hour ago and the looks are really fresh. Can’t wait to show you!
How much of your shoots are planned?
Almost zero percent. I simply show up and shoot with someone. VERY rarely I show up and I’m like FUCK I can’t shoot here … and then I’ll just use harsh flash against a wall or something. You know. I don’t plan ever. We always just figure it out. The people I shoot with are pretty awesome …
What advice would you give to somebody starting out with photography, in regards to shoot ideas and being published?
I mean my hippy advice would be that you have to be cool to people. Clare shot with someone recently who didn’t even bother to learn her name the entire fucking 8 hours they shot. That’s insane. Honestly, being nice and cool and trustworthy will get you further than your talent. For being published, usually you can find contacts on magazine websites. A lot of times I meet publications on Instagram. At some point, publications will reach out to you. That’s even better.
Do you shoot on film or digital or both?
Could you talk me through an average shoot from start to finish?
Yea! After we have discussed our shoot via text or DM or email, I show up at a person’s apartment and we chat a little bit about this and that. Then if we are shooting nude, I leave the model alone while changing … Once the model is ready, we start finding cool moods and shapes and lightings until my roll of film runs out. I generally shoot one roll of film. It’s a very natural and respectful process. My shoot usually takes about an hour. If we are shooting outfits, it takes a little longer because I love to put clothes out on a bed and pick pairings. Then I leave and I get my film developed that evening. It takes an hour. Then I go home and I scan the film myself … then after the model has seen and approved the photos, I will submit them to publications.
In the UK, I can find there are a lot of reservations about going nude, there is a fear of being judged and big issues with body confidence. Do you find that in LA this is not so much of a problem?
Well here are a couple of thoughts on this. Not everyone I shoot is a ‘model.‘ I shoot with a lot of musicians, actors, artists, etc. I consider the people I photograph to be like-minded people who enjoy similar things about nudity and photography. Just having moved to LA one month ago, I’ll speak generally and say that a good subject is sacred, special and hard to find. When I do come across these special people, the nudity is a breeze. It’s not really a weird or fearful thing.
How do you find models? Is it all through IG or do you use agencies/friends/scouting?
All of the above. I would say mostly Instagram … but I do shoot with agencies and I do shoot my friends. Every once in a VERY blue moon, I will feel confident enough to give a stranger my business card.
Do you find that there are any reservations with you being a male photographer? There have been many horror stories with male photographers and I’m wondering if that has impacted gaining trust with people?
Every once in a while, a woman won’t shoot with me because I am a male. I’m sure the reasons are extremely deep, personal and valid. I’ve also heard the horror stories and I wish there weren’t male photographers out there giving this a bad name … but I will say I have also heard horror stories about female photographers. I know a lot of models who will ask to meet a photographer for coffee before they agree to work with them … and I think this is a cool, safe, friendly move.
One girl once said to me she found it difficult being photographed by me because I’m female, and that she wasn’t able to flirt with me, do you think that it helps to have that sort of chemistry during shoots?
I’m not a single guy, so I don’t know, but I would imagine two single people flirting and shooting would be at least fun … I don’t know how much it would help though.