We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Tayenaka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
looking into photography it can look very fun and easy, what a lot of people don’t see is the behind the scenes of what really goes on. We don’t just shoot photos and we’re done. We have done research on what gear we need for situations, what the lighting is doing, emails to clients, permits, crew/clients etc. Then we shoot then back to the computer for retouching. Most of our job is in a dark room on our computer. So the job does come with a lot of freedoms there’s a lot we do in the shadows.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
So much in my life seemed to lead to where I am today. From random decisions of taking a job on a ship in hawaii and buying an underwater housing for the heck of it, to my dad and brother getting me into water polo, one thing lead to the next and I was kinda in the right place right time. That all lead to me being very comfortable in the water which lead me to be in amazing places with amazing creatures. I think things coming hard/easy is relative, I have worked hard learning how to do things which I think people have seen which has gotten me opportunities which lead to bigger things. So even though I have worked hard I feel like things have gone pretty smoothly. I have learned that if you’re willing to grind and work hard things will come eventually, but you have to put in the work and time. I would want people to know how much work and effort I put into my work and that I love sharing my knowledge with people because most times they teach me or push me to understand the same concept more.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The best part of Ca is there is so much to do one things I love to enjoy with people is a scuba dive in a kelp forrest, there’s not much that can beat flying upside down underwater looking up in the the sun rays peaking back through the kelp, you never know what your going to see swim by. On the way home we would stop off at a place called A’s Burger and you get a breakfast burrito its super simple food but they do it crazy fast and delicious, sunset there are some cliff faces over looking the ocean that if you in the right spot you can’t see buildings so it feels very raw California which you don’t see much of anymore. If they were a surfer and wanted to brave the Lower Trestles line up it can brutal finding a wave in the crowd. I enjoy taking out a few guns to BLM land with some friends and target shooting and some camping, Its always nice to get off the grid for a bit. I don’t go out to eat or drink much so I’m not the best person to show people that side of CA. Depending on time of year you can even go skiing/snowboarding there’s just endless options!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve had a couple teachers that had really pushed me to continue to push myself, my high school yearbook teach Mr. Landino was a super creative person that would give us assignments that were general so we could explore whatever we wanted and would push our ideas to the next level. I also had another professor in college that took me on a few shoots and was always there and still is whenever I have questions or we bounce ideas off each other for things. My family as well has pushed me from my brother being in the video production industry and my parents that will always support what I’m doing.
the photo of me was taken by my friend Gemma Smith