I like to think of Danny Kern as the king of Instagram features. I don’t know as many young photographers who have had their shots featured on so many different brand accounts. Constantly killing it on both the video and photo side for Strange Brew, Danny is always working on new and exciting projects. Now working for Fyve Snowboards and Woodward Tahoe, more and more opportunities keep opening up, allowing for Danny to show his skills. Not even a College graduate yet, I think it’s safe to say that the future is bright for Danny.
How did you first get into photography?
When I was in middle school my Dad got my mom a lil’ Canon powershot or some shit like that. Nothing special, but I would always steal it from her and just take photos of random things. I think I was in sixth or seventh grade. Anyways my mom would go through the camera and see all of my shots and she was really surprised. She told me I had a natural eye. Not really sure how or why but I could just frame things well through a lens I guess. So when I when I graduated eighth grade I saved up my allowance and did extra chores for my parents so I could purchase a DSLR. I ended up getting the first digital Canon Rebel XT in a big package deal. It came with a bunch of crappy stock lenses and a tripod that an infant could break if he wanted to. The main reason I got the kit was because I was going to Washington DC and New York with my class. I’m pretty sure the camera didn’t leave my neck the whole trip. I was that tourist for sure. After that it was on. I took photography my freshman year of high school and started from the basics. Pin hole, 35 mm, developing film, all the true ways to create an image. Then the next three years of high school I was the photo editor of the schools yearbook and my best friend Eli and I ran the class, and produced the schools first award-winning yearbook. So I guess that’s pretty much what made me decide this was what I was going to try and do.
When did you begin to become involved with working for Fyve Snowboards?
The first work I did for Fyve was at the end of the summer of 2013. I was working at Woodward Tahoe on their Digital Media team for the summer and Lou Macias was a counselor there. Lou had just gotten on Fyve that past season he was pretty much the first main US Fyve rider at the time besides Colin Clarke. So anyways Clive the owner hit up Lou asking him to make an edit with all of his footage from that summer at camp. Lou asked me to do it because Paul was busy being a boss doing boss things. The edit turned out pretty good and got a lot of hits, but it definitely helped having Paul and Hackbarth’s shots to work with. From then on Clive’s been asking me to produce content for the company.
How do you manage to both film and shoot photos for Strange Brew?
Oh god! At first it was a task but this past season I kind of switched things up. Well I guess it’s always going be a task. Our first season we got serious about filming Ian bought the van in Maine and that led to the East to West trip. So I purchased a strobe and another DSLR being that I was going to be the only one capturing the moments however that may be. I also managed to steal my moms HD handy cam, build a shitty PBC dolly, and snaked what was left of my dad’s old construction lights. So you know we were pretty much right there, competing with Red Bull Media House.
Anyways shooting spots was the trickiest part. Resorts were easy. I’d throw the 5D in the Death Cube and just follow all the homies. I didn’t really shoot too many photos at any of the resorts we stopped at. So when we’d hit spots I’d pretty much set everything up myself. One of the guys would run the sketchy dolly, I’d film fish eye with the Cube or long lens from a Tripod and my other DSLR would be set up as a stationary photo angle on a remote, which I would hold while filming. We had plenty of photos from the same angle to say the least. This past season I realized this wasn’t very productive and would sometimes lead to fuck ups and what not. So now I generally just stick to one at a time unless I’m shooting a sequence. I’ll film and if someone gets a trick that’s when I’ll set up the strobe and get a photo to back it up. This was tricky though because for some reason the cops love to show up right after a trick is landed. Plus no one enjoys hitting a heavy spot for a photo right after they get a clip.
What’s your fondest memory of being in the Strange Brew van?
Damn that’s a tough one. They’re definitely to many to recollect, especially during the road trips. Everything blurs together during those times, but I’d have to say probably the nights that we pack it as full as we can after a good night of partying. I think we fit over 20 heads in it one night so all the homies could get back to Kings Beach. People having to puke in their shoes because there was nowhere else to go with it, good times.
What are your plans for this upcoming season/the future?
Life for me is generally never really planned, but there are a few dates that are set in stone. I’m planning on spending some time in Japan again hopefully for the month of February. Other than that I’ll probably just be based out of Tahoe, filming with Paul part time at Boreal for Woodward, and making Strange Brew edits. I know were going to do a few trips after I finish up the fall semester in December. One thing I’m mainly looking forward to is doing more snow camping trips around Tahoe and hopefully some other places up North and possibly Montana. Last winter I planned a few short trips and had some of the best times camping/snowboarding. I really want to move towards working for my turns, trying to keep that heart healthy.
Meanwhile I want to continue making Strange Brew happen, we’ve been working on getting some collab product made. Nolan/SB mittens, SB Stinky Socks, and working with Common Apparel for other random things. But in the big picture after I finish up college when ever that will be I’m planning on disappearing for around a year to just travel and do freelance journalism. We’ll see though, like I said I don’t usually plan that far ahead in the future.
Have any accounts you think we should check out? Hit us up below and the Catfish will dive in.