Dan Luedert: Blog http://www.danphotos.com/blog en-us Dan Luedert dan@danphotos.com (Dan Luedert) Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:40:00 GMT Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:40:00 GMT http://www.danphotos.com/img/s/v-5/u841830775-o720707151-50.jpg Dan Luedert: Blog http://www.danphotos.com/blog 120 85 "42" http://www.danphotos.com/blog/2016/10/shining-in-the-moment

“The Answer to the Great Question... Of Life, the Universe and Everything... Is... Forty-two,' said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.” 

--Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

This is my last week at 42..... For the past year, 42 has been the answer. Not because of a clichéd quote, but that’s my age and where I am in Life, the Universe and Everything. In a week I hope that answer will be 43. For now, still 42 and still learning. Still present.

At the beginning of the 42nd year, as I began another rotation around the sun, I continued to say “Yes” to Life, to make room for the Universe and a  little of “Everything”. I found myself practicing vulnerability and opening my heart. I found grand new adventures and unimaginable beauty. I said yes to "radical self-care" and to "daring greatly", I opened my heart and practiced vulnerability. I enjoyed moments of beauty, losing a dreamy count of pleasant nights and epic adventures.

As I begin a new year, I’m starting with a grand adventure, living it all and, again, saying “Yes” to life. I am taking a moment to show my gratitude for the gift of life, looking with eager anticipation for the years new adventures and wish to shine in the moment. 

Namaste

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dan@danphotos.com (Dan Luedert) Daring Greatly Lotus House of Yoga Radical Self-Care Yoga http://www.danphotos.com/blog/2016/10/shining-in-the-moment Mon, 17 Oct 2016 23:26:17 GMT
We are all Kings and Queens http://www.danphotos.com/blog/2016/9/we-are-all-kings-and-queens

Kings of the HaymarketA young actor plays a King while promoting a summer play in the Haymarket in downtown Lincoln during the summer of 2016.

Shooting with film is one of the creative exercises I've begun in the past year. For too long I got caught up in seeking perfection. Trying to photograph for others perceptions of perfection and not my full enjoyment. Film, particularly expired film, helps me let me let go of that, of enjoying the moments. It lets me take a look at what is actually there, enjoying the small mistakes, the small nuances of color shifts, grain and different moments. It helps me see how things are perfect as they are.

We are all Kings and Queens,

Be bold in who you are and what you do,

Embrace yourself fully.

Live the Life you Love every day.

Knowing you are who you need to be.

Knowing you are exactly where you need to be.

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dan@danphotos.com (Dan Luedert) http://www.danphotos.com/blog/2016/9/we-are-all-kings-and-queens Fri, 02 Sep 2016 15:02:01 GMT
Ashley & Jared's Engagement Session http://www.danphotos.com/blog/2016/4/ashley-jareds-engagement-session I had the pleasure of spending some time with Jared and Ashley for their engagement sessions.

A really cute couple who gave me a couple of nights. The first night we wandered about campus and went to the Haymarket for a late dinner.

The second night we visited the park and played under the blossoming branches of the spring colored trees.

It was casual, relaxing and fun.

If the fun we had is any indication of what images we can capture during the wedding in the fall, we'll have a blast and make some great images.

 


 

 

All the best, you two are beautiful.

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dan@danphotos.com (Dan Luedert) Engagement Lincoln Nebraska beautiful photography portraits http://www.danphotos.com/blog/2016/4/ashley-jareds-engagement-session Fri, 15 Apr 2016 00:56:57 GMT
All for a little romance.... http://www.danphotos.com/blog/2016/2/all-for-a-little-romance  

 

This weekend I had one of those magical moments. One of those moments, where you see the beauty of love....

My friend was going to surprise his fiancée with a ride in a Cinderella inspired carriage. I thought it was a beautiful and romantic gesture. I wanted to be there, as a simple way of saying, "Dude, this is a really sweet and cool idea that you are doing for your best friend. I totally dig it and want to offer what I can to make the night even a little bit more cool, not that it needs anything else." So on Saturday, I sat any plans I had aside, and went for a drive to Omaha to take a photo or two.

I'm so happy I did, to see their smiles: hers when she saw her night's ride and his when he saw her smile. I was happy to be there for the few minutes it took to capture an image or two. I quickly disappeared as they rode off together into the night.

Love is magical.

 

Instagram

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dan@danphotos.com (Dan Luedert) Cinderella Engagement Fairytale Happily Ever After Love Prince Charming http://www.danphotos.com/blog/2016/2/all-for-a-little-romance Wed, 17 Feb 2016 05:56:21 GMT
What happens now? My Plan B http://www.danphotos.com/blog/2016/2/what-happens-now Burning BushBurning BushA bush is backlit by the rising Nebraska Sun. Photography by Dan Luedert It was late in the winter of 2013 when I returned to Nebraska; slightly battered and beaten, two busted discs in my lower back causing daily pain, a fear I could no longer do what gave me the greatest joy

For twenty years I had chased the dreams of a photojournalist. It was my identity, who I believed I was and wanted to be.

I believed, if I worked a little harder, put in a little more... everything would work out fine. This dream led me across four continents, through more than a dozen newsrooms, on the sidelines of major games and in the backrooms of shady dreams. I worked from the front seat of my car and through two herniated discs. I saw my images in print on a daily basis, virtual copies crowded my desktop, but I never took the moment to enjoy the work I had, only looking at the next assignment and where that may lead. 

In Chicago I lived in a two room apartment, with the second room no larger than a closet. To the right of my bed was the refrigerator, at the foot my desk and out the window a highway and train tracks. I worked as hard as I could; under daily deadlines and trying to elevate my craft to another level.  There was constant stress, as is the nature of a newsroom. As soon as one project finished it was forgotten and replaced with the next the headline, and so the days passed. Every day brought bleaker news to the group I worked with, more layoffs and cutbacks in a struggling industry. Aside from the increasing workload, we were faced with the constant threat of ultimately losing our jobs. Which would finally happen to so many of us.

It's hard to let something go, when it's all you know and have dreamt of for so long.

The newsroom was dying and it was slowly taking me with it. This was the moment before the dawn.

Thankfully, I saw the writing on the wall long before this, saving what I could with plans of making a change. I still held out hope that if I worked a little harder...  until one day, as I crossed the tracks outside my apartment I came to the realization, one I am not proud of, but one I must share to show there are better choices. I was slowly killing myself, as surely as if I chose to stand on those tracks and wait for the next train to run me down.  

This was the moment I knew I needed to make a change. The moment I decided to turn in my resignation. This was the moment I chose happiness, a moment when I began to see the larger picture. There wasn't going to be a big epiphany, there wasn't going to be magical moment until I chose it. 

I packed what I had gathered, took the savings gained, and left. 

Within several months of turning in my resignation, the owners of the Sun-Times laid off the photojournalism staff. Nearly thirty of my coworkers lost their jobs in one afternoon.

I prayed.

By this time I was already in Nebraska and beginning to heal from this very fine adventure.

Waking before dawn on that cold Nebraska morning, I went to a field near my family's farm. I saw a glimmer of light and a ray of hope for a new day. I took one of the most important photographs of my career, I took a photograph for myself.

I began to invest in myself, and not in my career. I began to photograph the friends and family I had missed while chasing the dreams of tomorrow. I stretched myself in new ways as yoga began to heal my broken back and bruised ego. I found new teachers who taught me the joy of the moment. I coupled my yoga with therapy. I quit smoking and chose a healthier lifestyle. I began to see the beauty around me, and to appreciate it. I established a small business, getting a few clients, treating them well and having fun. Slowly, I beginning to build off that.

I remember coming to Nebraska, broken and scared. 

I remember coming to Nebraska to a new dawn.

I'm not sure what the future holds, but I know where I've been.

I wanted to make this first blog post open and honest, as my teachers have taught me, "to lead with the heart".

 

Namaste.

 

 

 

Instagram

 

 

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dan@danphotos.com (Dan Luedert) A New Dawn Beautiful Nebraska Sky Burning Bush Nebraska Landscape Winter http://www.danphotos.com/blog/2016/2/what-happens-now Tue, 16 Feb 2016 05:56:54 GMT