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27 Frames – Daniel Russo

Welcome to our 27 Frames series. We sent 27 single use cameras out to some of our favorite photographers, they shot stuff with it, then mailed it back to us. We developed the film and are sharing the results with you (and the photographers) now. In this instant, digital age, we want to pay homage to a snapshot photo process we grew up with ourselves — waiting for the film to develop and being surprised by the results. These 27 Frames belong to Daniel Russo, AKA the Karate Kid.

Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Daniel Jay Russo and I am not the karate kid. Haha! I’m doing good, I’m currently on Maui capturing some footage of Nathan Florence and Koa Rothman.    

How did you first get into photography?

I got into photography after high school. What attracted me was the challenges of film and water photography. It was like a secret cult back then. You’d see photographers in the water, but you would never see the photos til the magazines would come out or someone did an art show. It took me almost two years to gather a camera body, lens, and water housing. Money was part of the delay and the other was finding who made water housings.  

Film or digital?

Both at the moment. My brain gets overloaded with digital, now with out social media takeover it’s become a constant flow of creative images daily in your hand. I have been collecting a catalog of 120mm film shot on a Pentax lately that is getting me stoked.

When was the last time you used a single use (disposable) camera?

The last time I used a disposable camera consistently was for a campaign I did with a lifestyle brand about 5  years ago. And before that I think I played with one at a wedding.

What did you decide to shoot with your camera for this project?  

At first I had a few ideas, then I just made sure I had in my truck or travel bag with me on hand. I ended up taking it to Tahiti for New Years and out to Jaws during a big swell with Nathan Fletcher and the Gudauskas brothers. I kinda wanted to just show a small part of my life in a candid form as natural as possible. 

Did you have any interesting experiences along the way?

I didn’t have any thing too interesting other then what normally happens in my life.   

What was the biggest challenge (if any) you had with the project?

I think the biggest challenge was to finish on time. I wanted to keep the single frame project going. Can we continue it?

Yes, we can! What was your favorite image from the roll?

Nathan Fletcher before the first heat of the day at the Jaws event. He was up all night at hospital for his second son’s birth, Jetson Epic Fletcher. We left the hospital at 4:30 am and got on a flight to Maui, the rest is history.

Check out more of Daniel’s work here:

Daniel Russo

Special thanks to Dexter’s Camera in Ventura for developing all of the film for the 27 Frames project. If you are a photographer who loves film and have never visited their shop, go there now, they’re the best.

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