It should come as no surprise that the photographer with one of the most kick back portfolios in Frames history was born in Milton, NSW. A sleepy seaside village on the south coast, Milton’s famous unhurried lifestyle takes centre stage in Dane Singleton’s work. And although not all shots hail from the holidaymakers’ hotspot, it’s clear that Dane’s homegrown culture of small town casualness is integral to his visual language.
“I would describe my style as pretty natural, not too staged, and when it is staged, it comes across pretty candid,” Dane says.
While we’ve all been asked to take ‘candids’ of our friends (often as they pose against picture-ready backgrounds with put-on smiles), Dane is one of the few photographers who captures this candidness with genuine authenticity. This eye for real, un-staged moments was first refined when Dane was only 10 years-old, when he’d shoot his friends as they surfed and skated around his hometown.
“I started taking photos and filming around 10-12 years of age, shooting surf and skate clips with my friends. I was shooting on my parents handy-cams and point and shoot film cameras,” he says.
Surfing and skating feature heavily in Dane’s work, but the cruisey nonchalance of these sports is clear across his entire portfolio. Whether it’s two mates unwinding in a hatchback or another one enjoying her cigarette on the grass, Dane captures life at its most relaxed and serene. And while there’s a distinct Australian-ness to these laid back shots, Dane’s work actually traces him from the bushfire-ravaged South-coast all the way to the shores of Portugal and Paris.
“[The craziest experience is] just being in different countries and all the situations, places and people you end up seeing and meeting. You get to experience and learn a lot as you get to work in a lot of different locations,” Dane says.
There’s still a small town homeyness in Dane’s work despite his well-travelled CV. In one shot, a skating duo meander down a car-less side street, and in another, a bikinied subject lazes around her wooden balcony. But for all this effortlessness, there’s a lot of work that goes into capturing the ultimate ‘candid’, and this is the process that Dane enjoys the most.
“[I enjoy] the process of creating something from the concept all the way to the photograph or film. Having something you have created at the end, and seeing it all come together,” Dane says.
And come together it does. Scroll down for more of Dane’s Frames, hereand head to follow him on Instagram.