Dan O'Day » Australian Wedding Photographer

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2010 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize

These last few days have been surreal to say the least.  A couple of months ago I entered one image into the 2010 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, not only the richest contemporary art prize in Australia but the world, receiving 238,000 entry’s this year across both the photography and painting category’s (so obviously I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best). About one month ago I received an email saying I had been selected as one of the 40 finalists in the Photography category. At 7:30pm on Friday night I received a call from Renee Ward of Moran Prizes asking me if I could be available to attend the media launch to be held in Sydney on the following Tuesday (just gone). The only information I received from Renee was that I had been one of the five photographers short-listed for the $80,000 first prize.

I can’t really find the words to explain how big a deal this was to me, but in short this was to me as big as anything that has happened to me in my career to date – if not biggest. Prize money aside, to put it in perspective it is the equivalent in terms of an achievement for contemporary photography, as being shortlisted in Australia’s renowned painting award – the Archibald Prize. The judge for this year was world-renowned documentary photographer Stephen Dupont – a photographer that I have looked up to and held in extremely high regard for many years. To have Mr Dupont not only select my work as a finalist image in this years prize, but to award it a Highly Commended is a huge honour.

At the media announcement he explained what it was that drew him to my work. Listening to him articulate to the press his reasoning for his selection was the most rewarding thing I’ve heard since the theme song to the Never Ending Story. I would also like to throw a shout out to my home girl and right hand wing-woman Christine who was selected as one of the 40 a finalists, also to another local legend Vikky who also received a Highly Commended! (Go Canberra!)

In 2009 I was also fortunate enough to have judge Andrew Quilty select my image, ‘Perfect’, to be one of the finalists in this same Moran Prize category.

The talent from the finalists on show is unbelievable and well worth a look. The exhibition of the finalists selected for both the Photographic and Painting category’s will be on exhibition at the NSW State Library, Sydney until 5 September 2010 before commencing its 12 month tour of Australia. More on the Moran Prizes winers here and here. The image that was awarded a Highly Commended in this years Moran Prize entitled ‘This Way’ is directly below (silhouettes). My 2009 finalist image, ‘Perfect’ (pink ribbon) is beneath.

Both shot with film.

This is a high that I am going to ride for as long as I possibly can

Dan ODan O

KIp - Kudos Dan. Huge.

Tim - That is some very BIG wow! Excellent and congrats.

Michelle Moore - Congrats Dan! What an AMAZING honor!!! I LOVE that first image – the story is beautiful. Well deserved :)

Samm - your awesome :)

Mark - Congrats on your great success, Dan!

Katie - So happy for you Dan! x

Kristen Cook - You deserve every bit of it and more Dan. Enjoy the high x

J Shoda - Congrats! Those are some beautiful images.

julie harmsen - Congrats Dan. I keep getting lost in that first one especially. :)

Alicia Kennison - Fantastic achievement for your stunning work. Congratulations, very well done. :)

Kelly Tunney - You already know my words Daniel…. I have the highest praise & respect for you. I always have xx

Stewart Leishman - Well done! It’s my favourite of all the entries. It reminds me of the show “Six Feet Under”

Jenny J - Crazy proud of you, little fukker!!

Jenny J - oh, and thanks for my new soundtrack for the evening (Neverending Story)

Caspix@mac.com - Oh my goodness that is HUGE! What an incredible journey… I love dupont, saw him talk once and have been an avid follower of his work since. Congrats dan

Gemma Carr - Ride the wave Dan, such a wonderful achievement. The image is stunning.

kylie - Congrats Dan. So well deserved !

michelle - Congratulations Dan!!! So totally deserved xx

John Benavente - killin’ them dude!

Chris Morrison - Congrats mate! That is awesome news – keeping kicking ass and putting yourself, and Canberra, on the world photography map :)

Alan Woo - Awesome stuff mate, totally deserved!

Tina Wagga Wagga - Congratulations Dan, beautiful and well deserved

Kristen - Look at you! Big guy on campus! I am so proud.

Christine Pobke - dizzle face. i’m so proud that i got to watch you accept your award that night. i can haz so many photoz from that blurry nite! hehehe. so happy that the industry recognizes talent when they see it. xoxox love you mucho.

Susan Stayer - Congratulations to you, Dan! I’m a huge fan of your photography. You kick ass!

mary scurrah - Congrats Dan, well done and most of all well deserved!!

scotty - whoa. congrats dude.

Bek - WOW wow wow!!!! Truly awesome stuff Dano :)

Hannalee Photography - Both such stunning images. Congratulations, well deserved!

[Mo]hammed Khaled - I went to the State Library the other day, and I have to say, this photo was my favorite. The theme, framing, and mood just clicked!
Keep us updated on any future exhibitions you have.

Mark - Dan, You’re on fire man. Congratulations well deserved. Thanks for the info you sent back to me last month. I just received a small time award and I was happy as Larry I can’t image how you would be feeling with all your accolades of late. Well done. Thanks for inspiring me and many others.

CHRIS & SARAH

Not sure where to begin with this one really…  While in Seattle recently I got to spend some time with many amazing people, many of which were photographers and two of the many of which that were photographers, were Chris and Sarah (brain ouch)… Long story short, one afternoon my amazingly wonderful (almost) best friend Christine and I had the pleasure of photographing a session for Chris and Sarah. Photographers often spend very little time on the other side of the lens and we felt it was about time to give back to these lovebirds an experience they have been giving to their clients for years.

You can see some of the beautiful frames that Christine captured from the same session on her blog here. What I love, is that even though myself and Christine were shooting the same lovebirds, at the same time with the same equipment the visions we had were so different and unique to us as individuals… there is no better or worse, just different and this is what I love so much about being a “professional observer”. I love having the ability to see how I want, being limited only by my imagination (and in some cases weather:)

Chris and Sarah, you guys rock… thank you for allowing myself and Christine in to your lives for a moment to share something so special.. See you down under in November! Enjoy… (I miss you Seattle)

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Kip - Their love and your work are both radiating to the Nth degree. SO good.

Kristen Cook - Is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious really a word? Because if it is… these important, brilliant and loving images deserve it x

Christine Pobke - um. what do you mean “almost” best friend? hmmmm? i demand explanation.

until said explanation, all i can say is wow, my friend. you are my inspiration and i loved shooting this with you. i just felt like energy was bouncing off every which way, even though we were shooting in a vast open field where things had no place to bounce off of. thanks for letting me experience such an amazing shoot with you. and chris + sarah: the session would have not been this magical had it not been for the two of you and the love you share.

Zandra - Wow Dan — love these!

Zandra - p.s. Christine — maybe you’re not (almost) Dizzle’s best friend, but rather, (almost) wonderful? Like, she’s amazingly wonderful — almost. hehehe. juuust kidding. everybody knows you’re all-the-way wonderful.

caspix - Dan – inspiring work, love every single one

todd hunter mcgaw - dude… your kungfu is strong..

Marina - just understatedly lovely.

alyda - triple rainbow!……what does this mean??????

Tonhya Kae - Wow. These are absolutely beautiful. Sarah and Chris are seriously the cutest. The up close shots on their faces are my favorites. Great job. :)

Mark - Beautiful stuff, Dan! Next we’ll have to get you over to Victoria for a wedding (i.e mine in June!).

Michelle Moore - I love seeing your perspective on this shoot. I’ve been to this park many many times, and to see the depth and magic you found there is breathtaking.

Jeremy Beasley - You’re going to have to slow down on the awesome, my keyboard can’t handle all this drool. Beautiful moments and those colours!?! They are off the hook!

Tyler Branch - wow….

michelle - OMG Dan – I love every single image! Absolutely magical. Don’t suppose you’re heading down to Tassie any time soon?? :-)

Andreas Holm - Magical!!

John Benavente - on fire again!

kylie - speechless. I LOVE these images so much !

bobbi - you are the definition of talent. absolutely blown away.

Tara Whitney - Dan – I linked over from Sarah’s twitter feed and feel totally overcome – these are AMAZING. Your line “professional observer” totally clicked with me. That is what I am too – I can never stop observing people – it is my favorite past time. Thank you for these. Amazing vision and just oh goodness. Love them.

AmyPunky Photography - Stunning photos!!!! I can feel the love between these 2 beautiful persons!

Tenielle - It’s one thing to see Sarah and Chris as inspiring photographer’s…..in their professional state…..but it’s quite another thing to see them as…..people, a beautiful married couple who are very very much in love. What a beautiful beautiful way you have of telling a story….. these are blissful indeed.

URSULA - AMAZING COUPLE – AMAZING PICTURES! GREAT WORK!!!

Beth Jennings - These have turned out amazing dan you must be uber happy with them. I really like the sense of place you have as well, it’s not even just about the couple but also what’s going on around them. bewdiful!! xx

Martha Moring - Dan- I got here from Sarah’s blog post and I am just blown away! Your work is fabulous. I love the “professional observer” line, as I am also a professional observer. What a great way to put it.
Sincerely blown away by your work and your vision. Thanks for sharing it.

Naomi Epstein - You gave us-the viewers a tangible feeling from these radiant photos of not only two amazing human beings but of three, yes three… very talented individuals. Thank you Dan!

Justin - Beautiful series Dan! Your work is just incredible, and so inspiring mate! Congrats on the Moran, and thanks for sharing you creative vision :-)

heather - the first image was a wise choice for the first image… love.

Elisse - These pictures are absolutely beautiful!! They depict what love between two people is truly about. Next to ‘relationships’, ‘love’, ‘soulmates’ and ‘respect’ in the dictionary they should put these pictures as that is what they convey to me. Thank you!

Nani Härkönen - I’m in love. You are a true talent.

Michael & Stephanie

Welcome to the wedding of Michael and Stephanie.. This amazing wedding was shot back in April this year (blog is a little behind) More words to follow at a  later date, but for now.. enjoy

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Michelle Moore - OMG gorgeous :) Worth the wait! In love with the second image – so arresting.

Christine Pobke - OMG this is absolutely beautimous. it’s so beautimous that i’m calling you to tell you over the phone. and then i shall drive to your house so i can tell you in person too.

Tim - Not hard to see why you’re winning so much adulation at the moment. Great stuff. Q: The pic with the bride getting ready and the groom hung on the wall..Is that a shot you did earlier or did you PS the image in? Either way, very effective – love it – tells a great tale.

Tyler Branch - 2legit.

michelle - really beautiful.

michelle - such a beautiful wedding – and your photos are amazing!!!

Kristen Cook - You rock…. ’nuff said x

alyda - I got chills, they’re multiplyin’, and I’m losin’ control
Cause the power you’re supplyin’, it’s electrifyin’

These images = WIN

alyda - ps. I might drive over too…..see you in 15 hours ;)

Charles David - Love it Dan! The colors are so rich and vibrant. You captured MICHAEL & STEPHANIE and their guests, beautifully and intimately! We want more….

Gemma Carr - Mr O’Day you have magical photo powers. Kapow!
:)

todd hunter mcgaw - the force is strong with this one..

Jeremy Beasley - Nice one man! The last shot is superbbbbb

I’M BACK FROM THE USA

Ok, so I have just returned from the most amazing trip overseas. I spent some time in San Francisco and Seattle. I met so many amazing people and I can say without a doubt that many of them will remain good friends of mine (hopefully) for many years to come. Obviously I took lots of photographs including a few couple sessions… Below is a really quick glimpses of what is to come.

Enjoy!

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Sarah Rhoads - Dan O’DAY!!!!!! Get out of town! these are beautiful my friend. We cannot begin to thank you and Christine enough for capturing us during this sweet season of our lives. we will cherish these for forever. thank you thank you!!

Lauren Hewitt - Hey Dan, these are great! I love the 4th one, in the grass with the purple flowers. Beautiful! was it a play trip or work trip? How beautiful is San Fran?!

Thommo - Bro, These are stunning. I love the first and third shots.

Michelle Moore - Magnificent! I love the film shots in here. So lovely seeing Seattle through your eyes. Can’t wait to see more from your time on the West Coast!

Dan Glindemann - Beautiful photography Dan #3 and #4 are amazing!

Katie Kolenberg - Beautiful work my friend. Can’t wait to see more!!!

Christine Pobke - WAHOOLES! :) you know me likey. me likey a lotz. :) (PS miss you.. sad face. see you in a jiffy!)

Jenny J - Seattle misses you!

alyda - that black&white one of S&C is gangbusters!

Zandra - oh, I love that one of ocean beach!! That deserves to be framed and on a wall. My wall, preferably. ;)

John Benavente - cant wait to see the rest!

Marion Jones - Hey Dan! Great to see you’re back. These are beautiful!! I love them. I especially like the first and the last one, you got style. Hope to catch up soon…

Angie Baxter - Fantastic Dan – LOVE them!

Leah Kua - TOO MUCH gorgeousness for one blog post to hold.

Kristen - These are lovely. However if you come back, you will put us all out of our jobs. You can still come back though.

Jeremy Beasley - Dan! These are great, looks like you had a ball. The walking through the street couple is my fav :)

Lauren Carroll - AMAZING as always. I love looking at your work!

johnna brynn - Dan! fabulous to see your work! i had the incredible pleasure of hanging and shooting with your buddy, christine, in connecticut this past wkend. She is fabulous! So.. i think i’ll meet u in november?! as i’ll join the Voice workshop as well. :) Great work, thanks for inspiring…

Julian Beattie - Dogfather grooming shot… Hands down, the best minimalistic funk on film, ever.

Ian - Every morning when i wake up for the past week my regime has been in order as this. Check up on little baby Emma, make a cup of coffee( beans first with a touch of milk then stirred till it becomes paste like then add water, my wife Karla thinks im a lunatic ), then hit the hyperlink to you and read and watch.

I love it and find myself getting more and more absorbed into your fabulous works ;~)

I’M ON HOLIDAY!

So it is holiday time for me.. I am in San Francisco  for a few days and then I am off to Seattle for a little bit. There are many plans in the bag for the next couple of weeks so I am really excited… Today was my first full day in San Francisco.. I started the day by asking an employee at the Hotel I am staying for directions to somewhere that isn’t a huge tourist trap.. somewhere local, quiet and somewhere that has good coffee… He past the test on all the criteria! I saw some pretty amazing sights today, “hilly” streets, beautiful houses and stunning views of the river and the amazing Golden Gate Bridge .. well, the bottom half of it anyway (the top was covered with low cloud).

I was going to get a taxi to drive me the 13 blocks down to Filmore St. , but then I had a little journey over destination moment and decided to walk the distance, camera in hand. The pictures below are a small collection of images I took on my walk along a very “normal” San Fran st.. These were all taken in a window of about an hour and I would have missed them all had I grabbed that cab. Nothing special, just little moments captured but I really enjoyed this part of today and felt it was worth documenting…

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Christine Pobke - AMAZING. so glad i get to do the seattle journey with you! these are beauuuutiful. not like any photos i’ve ever taken in san francisco! :) ps give ziggles a hugsie for me! xoxo

alyda - awesome awesome (that’s double awesome). Love the one with the pigeons and the last one big time yeah!

Scott - Cool shots. Let’s see thet golden gate bridge covered in cloud that you talk about!

Katie - Woot! Loving these!

Angie Baxter - Yee haa Dan – see how we love to hear of your travels. Glad you got techie for us :) Pics are amazing. xx

Ben Blood - The background behind this photo story really adds to the photos. Thanks for sharing these.

Justin Hill - Awesome series of images Dan! The best way to see any part of the world is by walking through it, eyes wide open. Great work man!

Tim - Some great shots – love ‘em.

GARETH & MARCELLA

There was an amazing energy surrounding us the afternoon I shot Gareth and Marcella’s wedding. I really think it is visible in these pictures. I also got to shoot lots of film on this one! (thanks guys).. I hope you enjoy xx

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Eva - Beeeeeautiful!!! Especially loving the dress in the window and all the laterns….so atmospheric!!!

alyda - this is 62 kinds of awesome :D. the last shot and 012 are so so so good!

Thommo - Amazing work as always brother. That dress shot is one of the best i have ever seen!

I love the feel of the shots from the reception as well.

Christine Pobke - dizzle. you KNOW how i feel about this. right? right.

Stewart Leishman - Love it! Simply gorgeous, from the begining to the end. Film is not dead!

Amanda Thorson - that last shot is amazing!

Julian Beattie - Whoop! The rolls of film you shot, rock. Nice stuff, Dan.