Dano Comite | Photographer
Where did you grow up where do you live today?
I've called home in crowd of states and countries mostly raised around Atlantic New England.
Today I split time between Carolina and Hawaii otherwise traveling for work contracts and residencies. Water has been my constant conductor.
What are your fondest memories that you feel impacted your life choices and lifestyle today?
It's in my nature to be curious. My parents raised me to show respect and compassion to all. They had a huge impact encouraging me to look through a creative lens, explore my surroundings and take risks. So some of my fondest memories stem from places of discomfort. Maybe it's had an adverse affect because I've grown to embrace the unknown.
Why do you do what you do? What qualities/values have drawn you to this path in life?
I design to bring others creative visions to life. As a freelancer I've the liberty to partner and align with some pretty sweet agencies and brands.
I shoot photography because it makes me happy, especially when I take a beating in the surf. It all comes back to just putting yourself out there. Find interesting positions, between interesting subjects and letting the story tell itself.
I love working with my hands. Whenever I feel them softening, I'll disconnect from a desk for a long while. Move somewhere new, pick-up odd jobs laboring, fishing, farming, working from once service industry to the next. Everyone has a story or skill to share. And in most cases I can take it back to my career or life and apply it. If nothing else come back with a new family and weathered hands.
Who or what inspired you?
Before I could clear my ears I was all about books on sea life, castaways and survivors. I'm inspired by island / water communities. We're separated by great distances but share common grounds living with the ocean. We're all kinda related in that sense. It's part of us.
Waterman and artists in their respective trades like the Malloy brothers, Mark Healy, Kimi Werner, the Goodwins, Mike Coots among others that have a well-rounded balanced approach to their lifestyle / ocean pursuits.
Jeff Johnson's 180º South story , jumping between jobs and seizing them as opportunities to chart new waters and meet new families was an enormous trigger for me to start my own itinerant journey as an independent contractor / freelancer. Let life unfold as it goes because you meet a lot of cool people along the way.
Photography, my first creative director and photo wizard Michael Hrizuk inspired me to pick up a camera later in life. He was my professional mentor now longtime friend.
How would you describe yourself?
Itinerant. Big smiles. Waterboy.
What would you most like to change in the world/environment today?
I'd like to change how others perceive the ocean or any foreign environment with fear. It's hard to relate to something that you can't physically see or encounter. We've all jumped into water and with our firing imaginations immediately sprinted for the safety of shore? If you stop and just open your eyes to what's real maybe the fear dissolves. Hoping those of us with lens's can bridge that paralyzation.
What do you value most in life?
Balance of opposites. Independence. Kinship.
I have this nomadic inertia. It feels natural to be in a constant state of movement, daily, weekly, seasonally. I don't want to be anywhere doing anything all the time. Even if that means leaving something or someone I love very much. I have to keep trimming my branches to grow and serve as a better person.
If you had the opportunity to tell one story that's close to your heart what would it be?
Too many, so probably just the next one.
What legacy do you hope to leave?
Give more, expect less. And to Inspire others to go for it even if that means betting on yourself and taking a leap of faith.