Dan Folger of Dan Folger Photography is a professional photographer with an extraordinary portfolio. Folger has an abundance of travel experience, and currently working with Taylor Gang’s Wiz Khalifa, as well as other artists within the music industry.
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Mike O’Keefe: What inspired you to get involved with photography?
Dan Folger: I would always take photos on my iPhone — I would have it on me 24/7. I was the first one to get it in my area. I just remember thinking this thing is so sick. At the time, that was the best camera out for a phone. I would just have this urge to always take pictures. I would always take pictures hanging out with my friends, just because I could go back the next day and be like, “dude, that was so funny or so cool.”
When I was young and on vacation, I didn’t have money to buy a nice camera, so I would just take pictures [with my phone]. That led into me saying, “hey, I should just get a digital camera.” I was in ninth-grade maybe, bought the digital camera and started taking pictures of my friends and I, hanging out, doing random stuff.
We would bike around [Pittsburg] together. We would bike from our hometown into the city and just explore. We would literally adventure everywhere. I would always have this point-and-shoot camera, and just take pictures of ourselves.
Then probably in 11th grade, I sold a bunch of stuff I had, got some money, and bought a real camera. I bought a Nikon D300, a real photography camera, an amateur one, but still. I still would just take pictures of my friends, until I downloaded photoshop one day and I was like, “whoa, this is awesome.” I started getting really good at it, and honestly from there it just inclined and I started getting into music and going to concerts. From there I started to get in with Wiz and ever since then I was like, “this is it.”
MO: What was the first big trip or tour you traveled on and where did you go?
DF: The first big vacation I went on was to Hawaii. It’s still, to this day, my favorite vacation ever. I was in maybe 10th grade. I went to Maui and Kauai and ever since then I’ve been literally obsessed. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot of sick places, but that place is perfect.
MO: What are your favorite US cities to visit and photograph?
DF: This is easy, I would go Boulder, Colorado for sure. New York City is definitely one too and Chicago is another.
MO: If someone were to send you to a destination for one hour, where would you go and what would be captured?
DF: I would say Thailand. I really want to go to Thailand. They have real big rocks in and around the ocean. There’s forest around the ocean too. So I would take a lot of landscape and beach pictures. That would be sweet. Even forest pictures — the jungle. That would be awesome.
MO: What do you do in your down time when you’re on tour?
DF: I literally go explore by myself. A lot of those guys just like to chill, but if I have time, I’m out by myself trying to do something fun. Even places that I’ve been before, like Los Angeles, I’ll just go and explore.
Venice Beach, California
MO: Your forte is capturing artists in their element, but when you’re not shooting an artist what else do you shoot?
DF: Scenic stuff — definitely landscape shots.
MO: Describe how travel and photography fit together.
DF: The more you travel, the more you’re going to see, the better photos you’re going to get — the more variety. If you’re traveling everywhere your portfolio is going to be a lot more interesting than someone who doesn’t travel. Traveling is huge for photography. The more you see, the more inspired you’re going to be. You get super motivated. Traveling makes you motivated.
MO: If you had to land in one hotel what would it be?
DF: The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. It has the infinity pool on the rooftop. When you look out you’re looking at the whole entire city.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
MO: When’s the next trip or tour and what’s it for?
DF: The next trip is LA. I’m in Pittsburgh right now, but I think I’m going to go out there next week. That will be my next trip. The next tour is Boys of the Zummer, starting on June 10th in Camden, NJ, which is not too far from my hometown Pittsburgh. That’s with Wiz and Fall Out Boy. On that one we’re going to 45-major cities.
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For more information about Dan Folger Photography visit his website.
Be sure to also find him on the Boys of Zummer Tour.