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.
My goal in shooting Backyard was to step outside of myself and focus on being in each present moment. In doing so, I realized that my surroundings were not mundane, but multifaceted and unique, and I wanted to glorify that renewed realization. The concept of being in the moment and flirting with nostalgia may seem like contradictory concepts but for me they were actually symbiotic. These nods to the past have character and charisma in a world where everything seems to be so fast. The craftsmanship of an older car or the way an older person puts themselves together, has a totally different meaning to what we live and do on a day to day basis.
Constantly experiencing new people and places made me become hyper aware of my surroundings For example, if I see a minor detail stick out or something a little off, such as someone wearing an old suit or a building that has an awkward color tone, I see it as an opportunity to photograph it. I tell myself I have to just take a photo and if the subject seems too aware I will approach them and compliment them on whatever it is that stands out. This is where it gets interesting, because most of the time it’s similar to having a preconceived notion of someone. We might think we know what they are like in person but it isn’t until the moment that we really throw that person in our path, that these stories manifest and come to life.
I wanted to take it all in, the architecture, the climate and the characters and create a world within a world. For me, street scenes are akin to movies, characters to observe, stories to hear, and beautiful sights to behold. The mundane stagnation we all have felt at times can be left behind as soon as you get into your car and just drive. Backyard encompasses all of those elements and asks the viewer to step back and really study the environment in which they find themselves.
To view more of Skyler’s work please visit their website.