Danny Wonders on his work, Background and expectations going forward.
A picture is worth a thousand words. This popular adage speaks true to the power of pictures, yet apicture possesses way more value than just a thousand words. Pictures tell stories. Pictures capture memories. Pictures capture truth. Whether in black or white or fully coloured, pictures are a gateway to creativity and exploration. In this interview, we explore the amazing world of Danny Wonders.
From Photography, Music Videos, Documentaries & Short films, Danny Wonders has transcended the world of visuals with his unique vision and perspective. Danny Wonders is a Director, Photographer, visual artist, and serial entrepreneur. In this issue, we linked up with Danny Wonders to talk about his story, inspirations, projects, and dreams.
Tell us something about your background? Childhood? Origin? Family?
I was having this conversation the other day with a friend. I believe my mother played a huge part in me subconsciously finding my purpose. I used to watch a lot of movies and TV as a kid, and every time my mom would come home to see me on the TV she would always say “You know there are people who sat down to focus and make this exact show that you are watching.” That statement would always leave me thinking wow.. someone created this show! There was a spark that went off in my mind that later in my teens would begin to manifest into a hobby and then skill.
I had no passion for any subject in school except for art. I was not interested in anything that I didn’t find fun! It is key for kids to do what they enjoy. I remember rushing to tell my parents I wanted to do media, they laughed and said, “Where is the money in that?” I don’t blame them though, times were different in their day. I was raised in an African household, Ghanaian heritage. My parents were fairly strict, but I knew from an early age I didn’t have to tell them what I wanted to do with my life. I had to follow my intuition; it is what has led me here today. I have 1 brother and 2 sisters, all of us are creative.
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style nonchalant, confident, creative, and wonderful. When people see my work I want them to see and feel the amount of planning, discipline and hard work that went into every scene or every shot. My style can also switch up at any moment I am always growing, and believe life is about adapting to the better version of yourself. Never choose to settle with what used to work for you!
Define a photographer? Define Director?
A photographer is one who shows the world what he sees through his eyes. A Director is one who has a clear and solid vision and can express it with confidence to a team who in turn helps him/her execute to the best quality.
Images courtesy of Danny Wonders.
When you travel, what must you always take with you? Why?
I don’t have any special carry on’s when I travel. I do make sure I pack some books, notepads to write ideas down and of course, a checklist to ensure all my equipment is with me. I’m always ready to capture, anything wherever whenever.
Among your works and projects, which one is your favourite? Why?
Whenever I get asked this question I never know what to say. Every project I’ve done in the past required a certain level of focus and effort. I believe the work I do is not for myself, but for the ones who need it. There are many projects I enjoyed myself and loved the outcome, but I still don’t believe I’m anywhere close to outdoing myself. My next work will always be my best work.
Natural light, studio lights, which do your favourite more?
Nothing beats God’s natural lighting. At the same time, I can appreciate a well-lit set that sets the mood/tone depending on the project.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos/films?
It’s a bit different, I could say there is nothing I wish I knew because if I did I would have looked out and learned it. I believe if you knew better you’d do better, what you don’t know you can’t do. Most of the time I seek knowledge before applying action, that way I learn through my actions and it becomes a fun process of new adventures, it’s also key to learn from others mistakes and avoid them.
Images courtesy of Danny Wonders.
What according to you is a favourite part of being a Director/Photographer?
My favourite part of being a Director is visualizing an idea, and communicating your idea to a team that will help bring it to life. My favourite part about being a photographer is locking in special moments and securing the emotion of that moment in time through a still image. If the audience doesn’t feel it then I didn’t do my job.
Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
In the next 10 years, I see myself completely global with a hard-working and talented team. I will be positioned in a huge part of the culture, from inspiring billions of people through my Films/Documentary and Music videos to taking photos of the most iconic moments. My entrepreneurship will also be a separate avenue that employs and inspires many, along with speaking engagements. I want my brand to be so powerful it empowers others when they work with me. I see myself and my company working with brands on the biggest commercials, to solely speaking at the biggest events sharing my voice and motivating those seeking a way up. I will keep the same flow currently by giving back to the community and back home in Ghana on a larger scale and I will find and have a loving team who will help to achieve this along the way. Everything I’m doing at this moment is for my future self, family, team and those around me. I started this journey seeking opportunity, I want to later be known for bringing the opportunity to the people.
Words: Edna Odai & Maxwell Adjavon Photography: Danny Wonders