Section: Features

Dannie Lane ’22 captures beauty and bliss on the Hill

Dannie Lane ’22 captures beauty and bliss on the Hill

An example of Dannie Lane’s photography, which he shares on his website and Instagram. | COURTESY OF DANNIE LANE

Kenyon’s social media accounts tend to feature notable moments and places on the Hill: Old Kenyon Residence Hall illuminated by a soft purple sky, autumn leaves strewn on a foggy Middle Path and early-morning snowfalls in Gambier. Those who interact frequently with the College’s social media accounts may have noticed recurring photos attributed to the same source: Dannie Lane ’22.  

Beginning in the fall of 2019, Lane’s photography has been featured multiple times on the Kenyon College Instagram account. Inspired by his father, who is also a photographer, Lane developed a passion for capturing moments around him from an early age. “Growing up with a camera around got me into [photography],” Lane said. 

The Kenyon junior has been casually capturing sights at Kenyon since his arrival on the Hill in the fall of 2018. Struck by the campus’s beauty, Lane eventually upgraded to a higher-quality camera between his first and second year at the College.

“I started taking photos for real as a sophomore,” he said. It was then that his brother convinced him to create an Instagram account to informally share his photos. Lane didn’t think much of it until Kenyon’s official Instagram account took notice. 

In late fall of 2019, Lane posted a photo of Old Kenyon, which the Office of Communications later shared on Kenyon’s Instagram. After Lane posted a photo of his track teammate walking on a foggy Middle Path, the Office reached out to him and offered him a job as a social media photographer. By accepting the job, Lane transitioned from a casual photographer to a more professional one.

Though he liked working for the Office, his time there only lasted roughly five months. Lane found limitations in this creative career. He’d take weekly photos around the Hill, but didn’t have much control over which photos ended up being featured or the captions that accompanied the posts, which had always been an enjoyable aspect for him. 

In March 2020, when the College suspended in-person classes due to COVID-19, Lane began regularly posting photos of Kenyon on his personal photography account to connect students back to the Hill. 

“Hopefully, I can help brighten your days with a little piece of home,” Lane captioned a photo of the Kenyon seal in Peirce Dining Hall. An alumnus commented on the photo, calling it “a welcome respite during these dreadful times.”

Lane’s account became a space for Kenyon students to reminisce. Through his daily photos and thoughtful captions, he provided an outlet in times of chaos, bringing a degree of stability to the Kenyon community. Followers expressed their gratitude for Lane’s photos. Not only were his posts reminders of life on the Hill, but his captions were deeply touching as well. “Physical isolation shouldn’t impede online communication and community,” Lane captioned a photo of Ascension Hall. 

Now back on campus for the spring, Lane is currently working on a few independent projects, including developing his website. Though the College has reached out to him recently for admissions publications, Lane is more focused on his own creative endeavors. He has compiled several photos of Kenyon that he advertises as phone wallpapers, all of which are available through his Instagram account. 

“A lot of people who don’t know me see my work on the Kenyon page,” Lane said. “But what I’ve been working on is trying to reveal the person behind the lens.” 

 

More of Lane’s work can be found on his website, dannielane.com, or his Instagram page @dannie.lane.photography.

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