52 Project – Week 16 (?) – @thedanband (Dan Finnerty)

Background: This year, I’ve decided to do a 52 project (one photo a week), and my “theme” is that I’m going to do a self-portrait each week, where I try to mimic the Twitter picture/avatar of someone that I follow, figuring I’d be able to learn a new technique/look each week that I can apply to future projects.

OK, first things first – obviously, it’s not week 16.  It’s more like week 30 or so.  Things get in the way…and not enough of it was photography, but I’ve had “things” going on the past few months so I kind of lost track of my 52 project.  But I felt the need to get back to it and not give up on it, so I picked a fun one to get myself back in the groove.  Now on to the story…

The story of why I chose Dan Finnerty (@thedanband on Twitter) actually begins on my first day of college.  I walked into my freshman dorm never having met or talked to my roommate before, and there sat John Kozeluh of Missoula, Montana, incoming Music Theater student.  I was in the Architecture school (soon to be in Engineering, as I quickly found out that Architecture was a lot of free-hand drawing which I SUCK at), so you might think we were an unlikely pair.  But we soon found out that we shared a lot of common interests, including Van Halen, goofy humor, and vodka (being poor college students, that meant Popov in the plastic bottle).  John was even responsible for re-piercing my ear (a procedure that included ice and vodka).  We had a great freshman year together, with lots of good memories, and although we didn’t room together after that year, we still hung out a lot.  After college, we lost touch a little bit, but I kept an eye on what he was doing in theater, and we kept in touch when we could.

Fast forward to shortly after the movie Old School came out – in the beginning of the movie, at Will Ferrell’s character’s (Frank the Tank) wedding, they had a wedding band that sang “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, but not exactly the original version.  That band was The Dan Band, with Dan Finnerty the lead singer.  Dan has two backup singers, and shortly after the movie, one of them left and they were looking for a replacement.  Enter John Kozeluh – he knew someone who knew the other backup singer, got a chance to be in the band, and has been one of Dan’s backup singers ever since.  In college, John did an act at the campus “pub” (non-alcoholic, boo) where he did a lounge singer, a la Bill Murray in Saturday Night Live – so this gig was TOTALLY up his alley.  Their stage show is great fun, as they sing all sorts of “girl” songs, and John and Gene, the backup singers also dance/cavort/preen as part of the act.  If you ever get a chance to see them live, do yourself a favor and do it, it’s a fantastic show!  To find their schedule of appearances, go to their website here.

For this shot, I used a two light set up – one for the background and one as a key light. I decided to use my speed lights to get in some more experience with them, along with the Pocket Wizard MiniTT and FlexTT for triggering.  The background light had a 1/2 blue gel on it, and the key light had a grid.  “Styling” was my official Dan Band mechanics shirt and a black blazer along with a big old wad of bubble gum.  I hope you enjoyed the story and the picture – stay tuned, as I’ll try to keep on track with my project and maybe even catch up if I get a rainy weekend or two…

Set up for the shot

Me in my official shirt

Dan Finnerty of The Dan Band

Me as Dan Finnerty


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