His work has caused oohs and ahhs across the internet and has been published far and wide, most recently cropping up on the BBC. Beautiful, arresting photographs of interesting characters and every day life scenes which speak volumes and capture the beauty of moments which we often miss for rushing by, are what the photographer Danny Santos has become known for. Not bad for a likely lad who started photography just a few years ago as a hobby!
Many of you will be familiar with the breathtaking shots of his, taken on Orchard Road, but do you know the man behind the lens who spends every weekend shooting strangers in the streets of Singapore? The man that has made street photography enthusiasts around the world sit up and pay attention? Well it’s time you did.
1. Tell us about what you do…
I’m a freelance photographer specialising in portraiture, editorial, and commercial photography. I started out as a weekend photographer, shooting strangers in the streets, trying to capture a piece of interesting scene or character from the day-to-day. After a couple of years, I slowly started to get commissioned shoots and other interesting projects. Now I juggle between personal photography projects and commercial work.
2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
It’s the opportunity and the challenge in creating a good photograph. And in the process, I get to go to places I haven’t been to, or witness events, or meet new and interesting people. It can be an adventure. And the icing on the cake… when I get that ‘keeper’ shot.
3. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Never stop shooting, be relentless in looking for inspiration, and always try to get better photos. Keep moving…keep getting better…once you stop doing that, be concerned.
4. You in five words:
One lucky persistent fat bastard
5. What motivates you?
This might sound cliche, but I really just want to create something beautiful, you know? I want to do this for the rest of my life. And one of the very first things I learned about this is…it’s not easy. So this drives me to learn more, shoot more, and in the process make more mistakes…all in the hope of getting better and creating something more beautiful.
6. What makes you angry?
Not a lot, to be honest. I guess you can say I’m pretty laid back in a way that I don’t easily get angry. I do have some pet peeves like loud sniffers haha.
7. What’s your life theme song?
I don’t think I have one. I’m not the life theme song kinda guy, I guess.
8. Who would you most like to photograph and why?
You know I spent the next 30 minutes thinking about the answer to this? I just want to take a good portrait… whoever it is. I used to walk around the streets on weekends, looking for a face that stands out of the crowd…and I’d approach them and take their portrait right there and then.
9. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?
I guess a Dane Dehaan or Ben Whishaw type…the awkward looking relatively unknown dude. They’d have to gain weight though haha.
10. If you could have one extraordinary talent, what would it be?
The Jedi mind trick.. so I can convince all the strangers that I want to take a portrait of to say ‘yes.’ Or the ability to see the future, so I can anticipate interesting events and be there to take photos when it happens.