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Tribute - Neil Elvis
1st July 2017

Worldly Whys

It’s easy to lose an hour or two on Dan Weill’s website. One minute you’re looking at an Elvis tribute act combing his hair and pouting in the mirror, the next it’s behind-the-scenes shots of grime artist Chronik shooting his music video.

Dan is a London-based photographer. Specialising in visual arts, the photographer boasts an impressive portfolio with clients including the ICA, Whitechapel Gallery, the National Theatre and Tate. Although we’ve long been fans of Dan’s work, Zetteler has recently got to know the photographer and his work a little better, having collaborated on a number of projects for clients including Coops, Camille Walala, Clerkenwell London and Alex Booker. 

We’re also big fans of Dan’s Instagram feed and Worldly Whys blog. While his Instagram feed captures everyday occurrences, mostly in London, through the eyes of a photographer, Worldy Whys is a slightly more curated edition: the best of the feed being uploaded to the website every couple of months. 

We thought it was high time that we quizzed Dan on his practice. In the below interview Dan discusses his dream photo shoot, looking dweeby with his very first camera, and who he looks to for inspiration. 

When and how did you first discover photography?
I was given a Ricoh point and shoot camera as an early birthday present. I used to wear it holstered onto the belt of my jeans. I thought it terribly cool, but it was most definitely dweeby. I think I wanted a camera to ape my dad, I remember him taking a lot of photos as my family grew up.
Your portfolio is wildly diverse: you photograph everything from weddings to musical festivals. What would be your dream subject or project?  
Gah! There’s so many things that I’d love to photograph. I couldn’t give you a specific thing as such but I’m happiest with a camera when I’m travelling or walking. I need to go to South America.
Trevi Fountain souvenir seller, Rome
We are big fans of your Worldly Whys visual diary. Why did you decide to start it?
Thank you. The Worldly Whys diary is just a way to give my favourite images from my instagram feed a little more breathing space and a chance to see them a bit bigger than on my phone. I have over 2,000 images on my feed so if I want to see any of the earlier images it would take ages to scroll down and wait for them to load, so it’s partly a tool to capture the better images and have them to refer to in an easier format. There’s probably some really simple trick or app that I’m not aware of to combat this but it will do for now.
How much thought goes into each picture on Worldly Whys? Is there a daily shortlist?
There’s no daily shortlist as such. I add images every one or two months, sparingly. Each image that goes into my original feed doesn’t have a huge amount of thought or pondering as it’s an on-the-fly diary. For an image to make it from feed to Worldly Whys it needs to grab me a second time and make me want to keep looking at it.
Your portfolio is a healthy balance of commercial and more creative, personal work. Is maintaining a balance something you are conscious of?
Yes, I’m conscious of the fact that I don’t make enough personal work. Though I do manage to take images for an ongoing project that is very insignificant in my mind but gives me pleasure doing it (see the Jazzy Lower Legs gallery on website), so I think that’s okay. I genuinely love what I do so it doesn’t always feel like work, which is an amazing thing.
Where in London are you based? What does your studio look like?
I’m based in Stepney/ Mile End and have been for the past five years. I don’t have a studio, or the need for one at the moment.
Best thing about being a photographer?
Collaborating with nice people.
And the worst?
Number of hard drives required and file transfer times. 
What photographers do you look to for inspiration?
William Eggleston, Martine Franck, Homer Sykes, Alec Soth, Pieter Hugo, Matt Stuart, Viviane Sassen, Charalampos Kydonakis (AKA Dirty Harry), James Barnor and Jon Tonks.

Follow Dan on Instagram to find more of his most recent work.
Laura Eldret's performance 'Fought'
Worldly Whys
Tribute - Neil Elvis
Chronik's video for 'Man in da Boot'
Jazzy Lower Legs
Rome and Venice

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