Dana Pennington grew up in Denver, Colorado and discovered his passion for photography during college while studying journalism.
In a moment of creative boredom he discovered the works of the greats of fashion photography and was immediately inspired to change directions. Pennington immediately switched his major and focus to photojournalism but shortly realized he wanted more creative control over his art. So with a shift in focus, Pennington transferred to the Art Institute of Denver where he had a brief stint as photography major. He decided that his path to education however would be hands on, in the field. Pennington began to then shoot and assist while still living in Denver. He also recommends to those looking to start careers in photography also consider business school as an option because those are the skills he sees such a great need for in our profession.
“There’s a crop of new photographers popping up every day it feels like, so it’s easy to be forgotten,” Pennington says. When he first got out to Los Angeles as a resident it was all about reestablishing and reconnecting. Once reconnected and settled in, more paid test starting coming in which transitioned into other paid work like look-books and line-sheets.
Pennington has found that the presence of being there (Los Angeles) makes a difference. He has found that a lot of his growth to bigger projects has come from word of mouth as well as social media, but also notes that the journey is different for everyone. “I would like to continue to book look-books and get bigger ones and then move into ad campaigns. I would like to start shooting real true editorials, telling the story, true fashion.”
Pennington is always looking forward to the next goal. He is in fact currently in the process of throwing out a large percentage of his current portfolio and reshooting with higher production value and planning, setting his sights on the next big job.
Along his journey through fashion photography, Pennington has found the work of Melissa Rodwell to be particularly inspiring. Melissa Rodwell had partnered with Marius Troy, the founder of Bentrovato, to create the online resource known as Breed with whom Pennington is now working with.
Pennington had followed Rodwell’s original blog and has known Rodwell for a few years now. “I wanted something to teach me the things that I wouldn’t have a resource for, for learning about fashion and there wasn’t one.” Rodwell has served as a mentor in a way for him. So Pennington was more than open to the idea and opportunity to partner with Breed.
A lot of Pennington’s experience writing for Breed has been a way for him to document his experiences as a photographer who is in the early stages of their career. “A lot of the things I have been writing about, I’m telling to myself as much as I’m telling to everybody ’cause I’m still learning too.” Pennington hopes to continue document and share his experiences as he continues to grow in his path as a Los Angeles fashion photographer. Pennington says he want to share with “people who don’t live in a big fashion city and [who] want to make the leap but don’t know where to start.” “I was one of those people,” he said.
Dana is available for fashion, beauty, commercial, and editorial projects in the US and internationally.
He lives in Los Angeles and regularly works in New York, Denver, and Miami.★ Recommended on Instagram ★ ★ Portfolio on Alafoto Gallery ★ ★ Portfolio on Alafoto Gallery ★