Plenty of photographic memories

Growing up on a farm in Ohio, Dana Moffat never imagined he would be photographing swimsuit models and wedding ceremonies when he moved to California.

Moffat, 70, grew up around an uncle who used cameras from the 1900s to photograph nature.

That uncle sparked his interest in the art form, prompting him to take photography classes in high school. Once he started college in the early 1960s, he accrued his college credits in photography but never earned his degree.

Moffat, a Glendale resident, aspired to be a photography teacher, but the idea of having to take courses in math, history and science to become a teacher didn’t appeal him, he said.

But it didn’t take long for Moffat to find work as a photographer. He started photographing weddings and took up work with magazines and newspapers. Moffat’s career also landed him at concerts where he photographed celebrity musicians including Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks.

Moffat worked behind the lens for more than 30 years.

Since undergoing heart bypass surgery, Moffat took a break from photography to recover. But he doesn’t see himself giving up the craft. Once he is able to get a camera and equipment, he plans to take pictures as a hobby.

Glendale News-Press news assistant Ani Amirkhanian sat down with Moffat and asked him a few questions.

How did you get your start in photography?

I developed an interest in the 11th grade. I went to a local studio in Temple City. I said, ‘Teach me how to develop film.’ That’s where I learned to develop film. I was a photographer for my school paper and yearbook.

Why is photography such an interest for you?

There is something about photography that gives you such a high, a gratification. To experience the high that you get, there is nothing that I know that can give you the same feeling . . . . I’ve been so blessed to do what I’ve done.

What are some memories you have photographing weddings?

I photographed a Jewish wedding. I had to wear a yarmulke. The groom passed out; he dropped like a rock. The rabbi had the best man get a chair and they put him in it. I did one wedding where the groom didn’t show up. He went surfing. The bride ended up in the hospital with a breakdown. I got shots of her getting ready with her bridesmaids and her parents.

What or who is your favorite subject to photograph?

I would have to probably say beautiful women in general — just beautiful women. I’m a firm believer in God. I believe that women are the most beautiful creatures in the world.

Which photography assignment are you most proud of?

I was living in San Clemente the year when [Richard] Nixon was elected. The city of San Clemente offered to fly me to Miami to shoot Nixon’s reelection, the Republican Convention. I photographed all that. It was a blast.

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