Miguel Lasala

Posted by on Nov 30, 2009 in Inspired by Dan

As far as how I found Dan Eldon, I must have just picked the book up at a bookstore. The book just wanted to be picked up. I can remember being floored by his story and it was 98 and i was 22, and I can remember thinking that I was spinning my wheels and burnt out on school. I needed to get out and see something, and really see if I could handle being alone out there. I was already taking pictures, but something about being around places that were too familiar just stopped me from taking my camera out. When I got to NY, I said to myself, this is real, the past is thousands of miles that way, so what do you do now?

I was born in Lafayette, Louisiana. My father came to Louisiana to study Architecture from El Salvador when he was 16. He met my mother while in school, who was born in Scott, Louisiana.

Dan Eldon has been a hero of mine for a long time. In 99 I moved to NY before finishing college. No one understood what I was doing. I had no job, no experience, just a camera. I washed dishes and took snap shots of people in the rain when I had money for film and time off. They never seemed to notice me when it was raining. Once I got hit in the head by a man in a suit with a brief case on the Brooklyn bridge. He had noticed me taking his picture and didn’t like it.

But I knew I had to be out there, away from family, away from school, so I could figure it out for myself. I know reading and looking through Dan’s books helped me make that plunge and find the courage to try and discover my own potential.

A few years later, not long ago, I left an office job in NY to once again give photography a shot. I went to Costa Rica and freelanced. But I soon realized that everyone with a digital camera was freelancer. It didn’t matter if you got published or not, we were all freelancers. Then I got lucky and showed up at the Tico Times for meeting and slipped into a recently vacant intern position. I spent four months there and learned a hell of lot.

But really what I’m trying to say is that I would like to contribute to your gallery, if for nothing else than to add to the already growing evidence of how Dan’s energy and passion has been felt by so many.