Dan Milnor is the photographer-at-large for Blurb, the print-on-demand book company. Yes, that’s a real job. How does someone land a sweet gig like that? I’m not sure, but Milnor has the answer.

He knows how to create a distinctive brand of photography. A former assignment photographer, Milnor now works on personal projects that become quasi-professional projects for Blurb. He also teaches, as evidenced in the recent CreativeLIVE course that he taught on creating documentary portraits.

In the presentation, Dan spoke about how he traveled back to his home state of New Mexico, creating portraits of random people he met along the way. The result was a documentary project that contains images of simple power. Milnor seems to manage to pursue whatever creative projects inspire him, and to make a living at it. We should all be so savvy.

Milnor is not strictly a photographer. He tinkers with many art forms, playing with different ideas and media, from photography to painting to printing to film. To see a collection of his eclectic artistic projects, check out his Smogranch YouTube channel. Update on 1/26/2014: Dan recently just deleted some of his Social Media accounts. Read “Why I Deleted My Social Accounts“.

For example, this video from his “Because I Can” series shows one of his single-print books, The Postcard Book, showing and telling about the genesis of the idea behind the book, and how he created it.

Dan Milnor has figured out how make a living at playing. He keeps us wondering what he’ll be up to next. Keep up with him on his website, Smogranch.com.


This is one profile in a series about photographers to follow in 2014. These are people who are doing groundbreaking photographic work and who teach the rest of us how to do it too. They fit the PhotographyTricks motto: spreading passion for life through photography.

About The Author

Heather Nilson was editor of PhotographyTricks.com from August 2012 until November 2014. She has a background as an academic geek, with a degree in biology and work history in biology research. This was followed in 2010 by a complete career switch from laboratory research to writing, photography, and travel. She specializes in travel and fine art photography, and loves spending her computer time continually learning more about photography and creativity. Heather lives in Denver, Colorado, when she is not traveling. Like her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/LightAdventurePhotography

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