Tired of working in the telecommunications industry, in the spring of 2009 Danny Campbell took his first photography class. Looking to pursue a new career that offered more creativity and a personal reward, Danny picked up a camera and started shooting events, weddings and parties. Renting a studio from a designer in exchange for shots of his work, Danny continued to learn and grow; teaching himself studio lighting and beginning to work increasingly with stylists and makeup artists. “It was definitely a challenge to begin earning a steady income, it took me a year and a half to stop having to rely on my savings,” Danny says. “I would definitely advise against quitting your day job until you’re ready.”
Whilst I was able to rent a studio, it had always been my dream to have my own space and staff, like a personal makeup artist who could share my creative vision,” Danny continues. This is when he met Sophia Lee at a Nha Kahn fashion show who ended up being his first model on a paid advertising campaign. A naturally talented makeup artist, Sophia and Danny began to regularly work together in 2010 and have been business partners ever since.
Based in Texas, Danny is the main photographer for Fashion Stars For A Cause, who each year produce a campaign in support of the Suicide Crisis Centre of North Texas. Armed with two Rotolight AEOS LEDs and a NEO, Danny was brought on to shoot this year’s campaign.
Shot over a period of four months, the campaign was inspired by the idea of faith, hope and love. “The whole idea came about as I was photographing a men’s breast cancer event at the Chijmes Hotel where he met the owner, Andra Maldovan,” Danny explains. “She was telling the story of her son, Keaton, who was a competitive skateboarder. While he suffered from bouts of depression, Andra said he still had a real zest for life. My hear sank when she explained that Keaton had taken his own life.” Moved by Andra’s story, Danny asked her to collaborate on the campaign to help him develop a concept and a vision that would also allow them to honour Keaton. “I’m extremely thankful to have met Andra,” Danny says. “We worked together and combined our ideas to create this wonderful campaign for a good cause.”
Shooting in the rain, in an elevator and on the roof, Danny took his ultra-portable AEOS and compact NEO with him on all of his shoots. Weighing just 1.4kg and providing unparalleled battery performance (up to two hours on a single 95 w/h v-lock), the AEOS is the perfect companion on location. Fully adjustable colour temperature meant that no matter the time of day or the weather, Danny could match the AEOS’ output to the ambient light no matter the time of day.
The zero recycle time of the AEOS’ HSS flash allowed him to clearly freeze moving smoke when they shot with bold and vivid smoke bombs; never missing a shot. “No matter what, I knew I could trust the design, quality and portability of the AEOS to help me get my shot; even when I had to use it in direct rainfall,” Danny days. “Invest in quality gear and it will pay you back.”
“No matter the challenges you face when turning pro,” Danny concludes, You’ll look back in 10 years’ time and see that it’s the best decision you’ve ever made.”