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Conversations with Daniel Stabler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Stabler.

Hi Daniel, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
In the early 2000’s I was taking a lot of pictures of bands and musicians, hoping to one day tour the world working for a music magazine or some giant band’s personal photographer. I quickly learned punk bands have no money (duh, right?), so I hung up my dreams of working for Spin Magazine and did what almost every photographer does – shot some weddings.

Unfortunately at the time, my work ethic sucked and the industry was pretty competitive. Thankfully another business opportunity popped out of nowhere, and I and a friend started a poker league, Freeroll Atlanta, that I ran for 14 years.

Around my mid 30’s, with a wife and house, I grew tired of working in bars every night and figured it was about time to put my ancient skills back to work. An old friend from the music scene had moved back to Atlanta to sell real estate and asked if I would shoot some photos for him. I guess he liked them because he spread my name around his brokerage and I started getting lots of phone calls for listing photos.

At this point, I shoot for about 100 different interior designers, real estate agents, builders, and AirBnB management companies each year.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Honestly, it’s been pretty easy, considering the circumstances the whole world is dealing with right now. The real estate market, for some reason, boomed the week after lockdowns started in 2020. And it hasn’t slowed down. Since real estate listing photos are the bread and butter of my work, it’s been a very busy 1.5 years.

That said, I’m very critical of my own work, and I do struggle to meet my own expectations a lot of time. Instagram is a great tool to find photographers that constantly remind you how terrible you really are at the craft.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m trying to bring a more designer / architectural / editorial look to my real estate shoots. Plenty of real estate photographers just stand in the corner of the room and slap on their widest lens and make a room look terrible.

I try to shoot mostly with natural light but still supplement most shoots with some artificial light where I need it. A lot of agents want every shot “light and bright,” but I’m slowly convincing some that shadows can also be beautiful.

I pride myself on my photography but also on my business. Running a completely unrelated business for over a decade taught me a lot, and since I developed those skills already, I can focus more on improving the creative sides of my business.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
That’s hard to answer! I had a wonderful childhood, growing up in Hall County on a rural road. Lots of time spent playing in the woods, visiting my grandparents here in Atlanta and going to the Center for Puppetry Arts through the 80s, sleeping in sleeping bags in our front yard after playing hide and seek with our dogs in the woods, discovering the energy of punk rock music in middle school, dating a girl a state over in high school and traveling there every few weekends and meeting all sorts of different people.

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