Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota Faces: Life through his lens June 5, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Portrait #26: Dan Traun

Photographer Dan Traun. Photo by Cynthia Traun. Visit Cyndie's photo blog at cyndietraun.com

Photographer Dan Traun. Photo by Cynthia Traun. Visit Cyndie’s photo blog at cyndietraun.com

One of the best ways to improve one’s photography is to study the work of others.

And since discovering Minnesota photo blogger/photographer Dan Traun of Red Wing, I’ve learned a lot. Dan’s photographic talents are far-ranging. I don’t think there’s anything he can’t shoot and shoot well, from portrait to studio, event, nature, panoramic, and scenic and urban settings.

A recent photo I shot outside of Kwik Trip on Faribault's east side was inspired by the work of Dan Traun. This is the type of scene Dan photographs.

A recent photo I shot outside of Kwik Trip on Faribault’s east side was inspired by the work of Dan Traun.

Dan excels in capturing urban street scenes, moments of everyday city life that, through his eagle eyes and the click of the shutter button, are personalized studies of humanity. His work is truly documentary, focused on ordinary activities and people. A road construction crew. People waiting at a bus stop. A man leaning against the side of a building eating lunch.

This remarkable photographer has taught me the value in the ordinary. He’s taught me to notice alleys, which can reveal as much, if not more, about a business than the public front side. He’s taught me to appreciate streetside interactions. He’s shown me urban Minnesota, an area I seldom frequent.

Every photographer develops his/her own signature style. I’d suggest you check out Dan’s work by clicking here. His photos show an unembellished Minnesota, the type of photos historians value. This is life. This is real.


“Minnesota Faces” is featured every Friday on Minnesota Prairie Roots.

Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Dan Traun portrait copyright of Cynthia Traun




18 Responses to “Minnesota Faces: Life through his lens”

  1. Been following him for some time now and it’s been worth it.

  2. Marneymae Says:

    I really enjoy their work, too

  3. treadlemusic Says:

    I definitely see his influence in your photos BUT, more importantly, you share the same aesthetics which results in your awesome captures!!!!!!!!

  4. Dan Traun Says:

    Thank you so much for the recognition and kind words. You know my style of photography well. There is so much more to photography than a surreal sunset or epic sunrise; although I very much enjoy photographing them as well. It isn’t all about the latest gear, or ultra-tack-sharp images; it is about freezing moments in time, conveying emotion and telling stories. There is so much that goes on around us on a daily basis that seemingly goes unseen by the masses. I search out those every day and perhaps ordinary things to spot light. I enjoy bringing this type of imagery to the forefront through chronicled pixels published on my photo blog. As you have pointed out, we can all learn from each other, photographically and otherwise. It has very much been a pleasure making your acquaintance, reading you poetry and viewing your photography. Happy Friday – have a great weekend!

    • You are welcome, Dan. Thanks for sharing the additional insights into your photography. I agree with you that it isn’t about the latest gear, because I am sometimes asked what type of camera I use. It is about a photographer’s ability to tell a story through an image. Often it takes thinking with a different perspective, too, noticing the detail, appreciating the everyday.

      I look forward to viewing many more of your photos and continuing to learn from you. Likewise, I’ve enjoyed getting to know you also.

  5. Beth Ann Says:

    I know of your admiration for Dan and have looked at his offerings because of your praise. He is an amazing and gifted artist and is so wonderful to have mentors, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing Dan with us.

  6. Jackie Says:

    I have peeked at Dan’s and Cynthia’s work and find them both amazing photographers. It really is fun to learn from others that have the same passion 🙂

  7. Hey, I know this man 😉 Audrey, what a great write-up and I agree wholeheartedly! He does amaze me with how he sees the world and am blessed to have him by my side.

  8. Sue Ready Says:

    All I can say is you have done your homework well from this photographer. You are a master of using the lens to bring out the beauty of the ordinary.

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