1:1 - Daniel Vidal

Posted on: March 12, 2015

Interviewed by Mark Killian
Oh, hello there. You’re just in time. We were about to interview VSCO photographer, social media expert, and occasional writer, Daniel Vidal, but then he caught a glimpse of a grackle fluttering ever so delicately around the top of a recently constructed Austin skyscraper, and he just had to capture the moment with his iPhone.

Then he’ll have to filter it, caption it, hashtag it, share it--you know the drill. Anywho, Danny’s work is all over the 1:1000 Archive, so we’ll give him all the damn time he needs. Ah, here he comes now. He’s smirking. He must have a bunch of likes already.

1:1000: Daniel, Danny, Dan, what sparked your #instadope VSCO photography hobby?

DANIEL VIDAL: I've been playing with a camera off and on since high school. My grandfather loves taking photos and documenting moments. It's to the point now where he sends us Year in Review DVDs with all the photos he took and collected. I love it and am inspired by it. I love a photograph's ability to capture a memory. A very specific time, place, and mood that might not continue to exist otherwise.

1:1000: DVDs? I think it's time to get that man an Instagram account. So, what are your favorite things to filter: people, landscapes, architecture, objects, etc?

DV: This is hard, as it changes often, but I try to capture photos of the ordinary. I think there's inspiration to be found in those things that you see everyday but might not think twice about. Whether it's just taking a moment to look up at the skyscraper towering above you or a sliver of light dancing on the wall, it would feel great to know a photograph I took has someone looking twice the next time they walk down the street or into their kitchen.

1:1000: Well then feel great, sir, because you’ve completely changed the way I see window washers. What's your favorite photograph you've taken so far, and why?

DV: My answer changes every day, but it mainly depends on the feeling I get when taking the photo. There are sometimes when you just know it’s going to be special before you even trigger the shutter.. It doesn't always happen, but right now it's this one

I think chance and timing play a big role in creating a "good" photo. The symmetry in this image, and just having the guy walk by at the right time, was perfect. I honestly just stumbled across this shot. It all happened in under a minute.

1:1000: Dang! That’s faster than most selfies. Speaking of, what’s your stance on the selfie? Under what circumstances is a selfie acceptable?

DV: Meh. I guess maybe in a volcano or maybe when travelling the world.

1:1000: Have you fooled around with a camera outside of your smartphone (don't worry, I won't tell it)?

DV: Yeah, I have. Like I mentioned early I've been playing with a camera since high school when I bought my first DSLR before a family trip to Colorado. The hobby dropped off a bit after college and it wasn't until I joined Instagram (yes, really) that I felt inspired to pick it up again. I liked the accessibility of mobile photography and the fact that there are some pretty powerful editing tools out there, too. After messing around a bit on my iPhone, I collected a few of my grandfather's old 35mm camera, bought a new DSLR of my own and have been working on my collection since. I honestly shoot a lot of film now and really enjoy it. Mainly, because it really forces you to think about what you are shooting and to take your time in capturing the photo. It can also be unpredictable which is fun. Everything on my website is film actually.

1:1000: Hey, there is no shame in rekindling your love for photography through Instagram. Switching gears, you were also kind enough to share your writing chops with us. What was it like being on the "1000" side of 1:1000?

DV: I really enjoyed it. I like writing a lot and it's a good challenge for me. I think it's good to do things that make your head hurt or require effort, and writing 1,000 words is that for me. I hope to give it another shot sometime soon.

1:1000: We hope you do, too. That is, whenever you’re not busy. According to LinkedIn, Social Content is your profession. Does that mean you pretty much Tweet, Instagram and Snapchat all day?

DV: Kinda. I actually write a lot, believe it or not. Most of my day is spent pushing out content for some of our clients. I also help drive strategies, wrangle designers and concept our photography shoots. Although, all of the content I work on is for social. It's fun and a little stressful, but it keeps me on my toes and I learn a lot.

1:1000: You ain’t lyin! The social space is an ever-evolving landscape, much like downtown Austin. If you could push a magical button and rid the planet of one form of social media, which would it be and why?

DV: As a user, I say Facebook, but the marketer in me says you can't do that. I don't like Facebook at all, and rarely use it. Proactively, at least. It helps me stay in touch with family in Colombia, but email and WhatsApp work just as well.

1:1000: Facebook Followers, don’t listen to him. Keep your eyes on your news feeds, especially Tuesdays and Thursdays. What is your white buffalo; that one thing you want to VSCO more than anything else in the world?

DV: Hmm, that's a tough one. I think spending a day photographing my grandparents sometime in their 20's would be awesome. No particular time or event. Just a random day. That'd be fun.

1:1000: I don’t recall saying you had a time machine at your disposal, but that answer is too adorable not to accept. Anything else you'd like the world to know about Daniel "VSCO" Vidal?

DV: I feel like Ron Swanson said it best, "I'm a simple man. I love pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food." Also, my spirit animals is the wolf.

1:1000: So you’re saying you’re a Stark?

DV: Wait, is that a Game of Thrones reference? I think I’ve only watched 3 episodes of that show.

1:1000: Well, Danny, thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. Get going before you miss that sunset over Town Lake. Bonus points if you capture someone falling off their paddleboard.

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