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From DC Nightlife Photography To The Chainsmokers Stage: Danilo Lewis Reveals How He Got There

March 2, 2018


Photo by Danilo Lewis


Red and white fireworks lit the stage as Drew Taggart played the chords for the Chainsmokers' new hit "Sick Boy". While everyone in the crowd attempted to capture the moment with a cell phone, Danilo Lewis, with the patience of a trained marksman, snapped a perfect photo from the back of the screaming fans.

We used it as the photo above for all of our visual friends.

"There is a never ending supply of things to learn, and what I've done is surround myself with great colleagues and friends who have helped me along the way," Danilo describes his art in photography. "I don't think being an 'Instagram photographer' is that difficult. But to really develop a craft and business for photography, it takes a lot of time and passion."

I imagine it took quite a bit of time. This guy has mastered photography on a level that's earned him the spot as the dedicated photographer for the Chainsmokers, as well as a shooter for many other artists and brands.

But it has to start somewhere.

"One of my best friends was starting out as a DJ 10 years ago, and asked me if I would take photos of him at a local club in DC," Danilo reflects. "I was always just a hobbyist photographer. I had no idea there was a business of nightlife photography."

This guy proves you can't just hire any bimbo to take photos of your epic event. You need someone who treats it like an art.


Photo by Danilo Lewis

"It's what I love to do," Danilo says, "I love to share my art with people. If I can inspire you to go out and chase your dreams, then I'm doing my job correctly."

As "Disney" as that sounds, it's true. One scroll down this guy's Insta feed, and you'll wish you were screaming at the front of the crowd.

But it's not always a perfect dream for this camera king. Sometimes stuff can go pretty off course.

"I try to adapt to the situation as quickly as possible," he remembers all the times things can go wrong on a music tour. "I try to stay calm and roll with the punches. I also pride myself on being a problem solver. It's best to take a step back and assess the problem. You learn a lot from just taking a moment to analyze things and paying attention to the details."

Speaking of learning things, Danilo realized his best work came after he stepped out of his comfort zone.


  Photo by Danilo Lewis

"Change your setup," he gives his #1 tip for aspiring photographers. "Bring out one camera, and one lens. Go out and walk with your camera. That has always helped me to clear my head if I find myself stuck."

Or you can just swing a club around like a caveman, hoping you don't break anything.

"I'm actually a very good golfer," he clarifies. Awkward. " It's hard finding a playing partner or time to really play on the road."

Sign us up. Just make sure you get a dope pic of this backswing. Wrong sport? Maybe we'll just drive the cart.

A life on tour can include plenty of unpredictable moments. But it's still important to create unpredictability whenever possible.

"Sacrifice...it's a tough life, but it can be really rewarding," Danilo explains how he avoids routine. "Don't be afraid to make sacrifices. Live your best life."

A life with so many high action moments and things to capture with his camera, Danilo is bound to have some of the best memories to not open. Shouts to the die hard Chainsmokers fans who got that. But Danilo isn't really a fan of keeping them safe in one box.

Photo by Tania Hauyon

"I try not to hold just one particular memory, but rather a collection of them," hoping he remembers us the next time the Chainsmokers are in our city...

"I love meeting people, and exploring new places. The combination of both will always leave a big impression on me. I love being able to explore new cities, as well as capturing those specific concert moments not many get to see."

Jokes on you, Danilo. We get to see them all in your Instagram. Just keep taking photos in the shape of an iPhone background, because we like opening our phone to reveal no new texts, but instead a great picture of Drew and Alex killing it on stage.

Here are some highlights from the Chainsmokers' current European tour, all snapped by Danilo:


You can follow Danilo Lewis on:

Instagram (@danilolewis)

Twitter (@danilolewiscom)

Facebook (Danilo Lewis)



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