I am, obviously, Dan Williams. I was born Saturday, May 7, 1983, the day before Mother's Day, in Ventura, CA. The day before, my parents finished building a canoe, and tested it out in the harbor. And then a week later, they took me onto the pier, with waves crashing over the top. I've always loved the ocean, and water, but have a healthy respect for it. I won't surf, but I take great photos of surfers from the shore or pier.
A month before I turned 3, my sister was born, and then we moved to the San Bernardino Mountains for a few years. Our parents worked at a Christian camp, where my love of God's Creation (nature) grew, as did My Faith. I learned ping pong, shuffle board, giant bubbles, and stained glass, but didn't keep up with any of those skills.
For most of elementary school, we lived in Eureka, CA, and for Christmas in 2nd Grade, I got my first camera. It was one of those "reel to reel" 110 film canister cameras, orange with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle transparency in the corner; didn't take long for me to learn how to remove it. But it was my first camera, and I loved it. I also got into computers this year (1992); my friend, Mike, and I would fax each other in Wingdings, and play Sim City 2000. Like any kid, I also got into cars: Hot Wheels and Micromachines, and building models; I also started looking up each new years' cars, and drawing. My uncle worked fairly high up at General Motors, and sent me lots of brochures and magazines about tech development and concept designs. But I found more interest in the pictures than the articles and information. I was diagnosed ADD.
Depression in Junior High as we moved to Wisconsin in 1996, cost me a lot of interests. I kept up with band, and became interested in physics: I decided I, too, would teach High School Physics.
In 2000, my Junior Year of HS, we moved back to California, to San Luis Obispo. National Politics (budget cuts) and the move, put me short of being able to graduate high school, and so I took the Proficiency Exam at the end of my Junior Year, and only had three years of High School. I took Fall of 2001 off...
I had tried to join the National Guard in the summer of 2001, but was denied due to being on Ritalin between '93 and '97. Then September 11, 2001 happened, and then a month later, a year after moving from Wisconsin, I had my first seizure. Exactly what the Recruiter was worried about.
I started Cuesta College in January 2002, planning to major in Physics. But a few years in, and the various seizure medications, I couldn't keep up with Pre-Calculus, and gave up on physics. I decided to try photography/videography. I took Broadcasting classes and Black/White Film Photography classes. I also got involved in the Student Government and the school Newspaper. I helped ensure California Community Colleges would keep Designated Smoking Zones instead of a complete ban, as a compromise for interested parties that I otherwise disagreed with.
By 2005, I was unable to hold a regular job, and began applying for Disability in 2006. I continued at Cuesta after graduating with an AA in General Studies, because the school didn't offer a Photography or Journalism Degree. I eventually went on to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online; I knew more about photography than most of the teachers, I had more experience with photography and computers. My seizures made keeping up with the non-photography aspects of the school, which was far more often than I was hoping when I enrolled. Eventually, the school kicked me out due to my seizures affecting my ability to log in to the online classes. A great waste.
The 2010s were spent doing my own photography, as I felt driven, and waiting on Disability to be approved. And learning "Life Lessons." Finally, in 2018, after 12 years, I got approved for Disability, and a year later was able to buy my RV, a New camera, and New lenses. Five months to get the ABS fixed, and I hit the road in my RV on Easter of 2020.