Anyone with technical skills and the proper equipment can snap the shutter, but in shooting the stars it takes the sensitivity and imagination of a "performer" as equally gifted as his subject. Capturing on film the vitality of a live performance is Dan Helland's specialty. "You've captured the real me!" exclaimed Pat Boone when he saw Dan's work. One particular photo-montage, later used as an album cover, prompted Boone to write "I'll always think of me this way!"
A New York native, born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Dan Helland joined the Navy after high school, where he learned the rudiments of photography in schools and on the job . As a civilian, he began working for other photographers until he opened his own studio in 1973. Over a period of 25 years he also pursued his interests as a professional musician, an experience that has helped him understand what his subjects are feeling as they stand on stage to perform in front of an audience.. Roy Clark recognized Dan's appreciation of the performer's situation in the shots he produced of Roy on stage. "You got me" he said, referring to the manner in which Dan had captured in one-dimensional form the depth and intensity of an artist trying to please his audience.
A stickler for detail, Dan insists on doing all of his own developing and printing. From darkened stage to darkroom, Dan maintains ultimate control over his final product. He alone shared that moment in time with the artist on stage. Only he can turn the recorded image of that moment into a work of art.
Today, after nearly 50 years of photo experience in all venues of the art, from Portraits, Weddings, Commercial /Industrial, Aerial, Advertising and his later specialty in the Performing Arts, Dan continues to "mine" his Personal Negative File, which , in addition to his extensive Celebrity Roster, includes many acquired historic images from the turn of the 1900s up to the present.
Dan Helland and his wife, Connie, live in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has his studio and Online Headquarters.
-Cornelia Carter Fort
from "An Evening On Stage with Liberace"
The eye of the beholder filters what it sees...judging, modifying, interpreting. The eye of the camera sees all...and records all it sees. It is the Photographer, more specifically the Photo/Artist, who can bring the brilliant image of the moment, recorded by the camera, into lifelike perpetuity.
Veteran Photographer Dan Helland is such an artist. His experience in photographing the on stage performances of such great and diverse entertainers as Tony Bennett, Roy Clark, Liberace, George Carlin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jerry Lewis, Bill Cosby, The Doobie Brothers, The Mills Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Anne Murray, Pat Boone and Danny Thomas, has elevated Dan Helland's skill at Stage Photography to this dynamic level of artistic expression.
"You're an Artist", wrote Liberace, "Mr. Showmanship" himself, to Dan on a photo taken when Dan covered the Legendary Star. Here was the case of one performer recognizing the work of another, of two artists working together.
PHOTO ARTIST TO THE STARS
Biography of Dan Helland, Photographer
UPDATE: In early August, 2004, Dan Helland retired from his photo career of 48 years.
His plans for the coming retirement years include his new hobby of digital photography (which
he wishes had come along twenty years ago! ) and learning to apply the wonders of PhotoShop Computer Graphics and Printing to the many favorite, historic images from his original negative files, as well as to the future images he'll be creating with his new high-resolution digital camera.
"I'm very thankful that Digital Imaging and the Internet have both come along at this particular moment in time", he says. "Now, all of my photographic activities will only be an extremely pleasant extension of my former professional life.
www.deejayphoto.com O 2020 Daniel J. Helland
Contact Us: ADDRESS: 612 Bluewater Drive
Nashville, TN 37217