Born 1989, Brockville, Ontario. Commercial, Advertising & Editorial Photographer.
I've been working within the advertising and commercial photography industry for 8+ years. It's been challenging, exciting, and, at times, very rewarding. However, my moral and ethical beliefs are beginning to conflict with the industry I've dug deep into.
I've begun feeling the weight of the guilt that arises when I consider how many unnecessary products I've encouraged people to buy. How much of this product has ended up in the landfill? How much of the advertising I've helped build has encouraged someone to further max out their credit card? What percentage of the work that I've produced has actually benefited people or the planet? These, and similar questions, don't necessarily have answers I like.
So, here we are - a project that allows me to use the craft I have developed over the years, for a cause that helps balance the impact of my work in the commercial field. You've come across the project that I have created to merge my ethical and moral beliefs with my love for my craft, and my appreciation for our planet.
If you want to know more about me, my previous work, or a deeper look into who I am, I recommend you check out my personal site here: www.dylanleeder.com.
Also, my personal Instagram shows what I'm up to and will give a look into the behind the scenes of this project:
Personal Instagram, @dylanleeder:
2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Van
Currently known as "Frank" based on the fact that it's become a 'Frank'enstein of different vans.
The van will be the vessel that I use to find 'The Good People'. Having always been intrigued by "#vanlife", I have spent a good amount of time researching (and testing) the lifestyles and practicalities of living out of a van, and feel that the lifestyle and its comparisons to minimalism coincide with the message behind this project.
Living in a van is a semi-forced version of minimalism. You can’t own a lot of possessions, as there is simply no room. The things you have with you are the things you either require to live, or value enough that you're willing to fill the limited space. With living a nomadic and adventurous lifestyle, it helps share the importance of appreciating your environment and, therefore, protecting and cherishing it.
The van itself is old, barely ran, and was basically a shell of a vehicle when I bought it. I bought a van in this shape for two reasons; one, it was cheap and two, it coincides with my "repair before replace' mentality. I knew it had potential if I was willing to commit the time and effort towards repairing and building it out. Also, the advantage of this route is that I acquired skills helpful in maintaining the vehicle, and now know pretty much every square inch of the vehicle that I will rely so heavily on.
For a detailed look into The Van check out it's own series of blog posts HERE.