HOT 100 Icon Status Winner | Dan McClanahan

Today we are featuring HOT 100 Icon Status winner, Dan McClanahan of McClanahan Studios of Ames, IA. 


“Ames, IA Dan McClanahan became a photographer in 2009 with the goal of creating a fresh alternative to traditional photography in his market. His quest was so successful that his work quickly made waves in the photo industry with multiple Grand Imaging Awards, WPPI awards, magazine features and becoming one of the youngest photographers on record to receive all three photography degrees bestowed by PPA. Dan has given back to the photography community as an educator, teaching numerous times at Imaging USA, SYNC, After Dark Education, PhotoVision and several smaller events. He owns and operates McClanahan Studio with his best friend and beautiful wife, Alex, and splits his time between advertising photography and modern high school senior photography. The couple lives and works in a 12k sq/ft historic building they renovated and share with nine tenants. Outside of work Dan is a small town Iowa introvert that loves Jesus, his family, punk rock drumming and strong coffee.”

About the session:

“I don’t seek out specific inspiration for senior shoots anymore because my goal is to amplify the uniqueness of the individual vs. trying to make them look like what culture wants them to look like. I’ve found images speak more truth about a person when we have an experience together reacting to the light and compositions that is presented to us by whatever locations we are shooting at. If I have a specific image in my head prior to the shoot, I often come out disappointed. If I go into a shoot genuinely interested in my subject without preconception, I always come away pleasantly surprised by what we were able to create.I don’t require hair, makeup, or styling but this girl happened to have great HMU and wardrobe. This shoot was a mix of natural light and strobe (2x Profoto B1 with a Chimera collapsable beauty dish). We shot a mix of studio, urban, and nature images. We ran out of sunlight and some of my favorite images were shot at night on the street!”

Congratulations Dan on your HOT 100 Icon Status, and thank you for sharing with us!  To see more of Dan’s work, make sure to check out his work on the above social media links listed!