Skyler Dahan (b.1989) is a photographer and filmmaker currently based in Los Angeles. He graduated from Bard College with a BA in Film and Electronic Arts. He then lived in Paris, France for four years working as an assistant photographer before returning home. His photography is orientated around the off beat moments in his native Los Angeles as well as his travels around the world. Intrigued by the characters and landscapes that he observes Skyler brings them into the spot light while adding his own narrative.
I had left my native Los Angeles for Paris France after I graduated from college. Initially I left because I craved adventure and being my father’s hometown Paris had always intrigued me as a child. After spending four years there I strengthened my skills as a photographer and fully immersed myself into French society. Although the experience was enriching I personally felt there was more opportunity back home, so I returned to Los Angeles.
Upon my arrival I realized how I became accustomed to the lifestyle in Paris where I felt like a foreigner in my own city. The access amount of food, the vastness of the city, people talking loud, and the over friendly attitude stuck out like a sore thumb. Factors that I never thought about twice had me constantly rethinking about my surroundings. In Paris I noticed people dress more conservatively, they keep to themselves and the city is relatively small. Here I noticed how open and laid back people were and how spread out everything is. It was a strange contrast because at a certain point I felt like I was living in a Hollywood film.
For example Alberto the ice cream man in this series is from Oaxaca Mexico had been living in the US for ages. When I first saw him I noticed he had such a particular style. While I was taking his photo Cumbia music was blasting from his radio, he was sporting a mullet with a authoritative mustache and when he smiled his golden teeth glimmered from the sun’s reflection. This guy was such a character but it wouldn’t be uncommon to see other ice cream men with a similar aesthetic. I would constantly play this game with myself, observing someone on the street and creating their backstory.
I started to notice how eccentric everyday people were. Even if they weren’t trying to be a character they just were. Hometown exposes Los Angeles through my daily interactions and observations as a dual citizen.
To view more of Skyler Dahan’s work please visit his website.