Big cameras and a van full of gear may be necessary for certain projects. But if those things get in the way of telling the story, Backpack Journalism provides an effective answer. For over 20 years, Dan has been telling stories through the lenses of his still and video cameras, as well as pen and paper.
He's an author and co-founder of JDSA; an Orlando-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that connects people to unique, social organizations around the world. Dan served on the Board of Directors at A Gift For Teaching – Central Florida’s primary provider of free school supplies for teachers and their students in need. And has worked closely with several other nonprofits - both nationally and internationally - shooting their commercials, developing marketing and branding concepts, directing public service announcements and writing web-based content.
He has worked for national and international publications, photographing everything from the Egyptian pyramids and Normandy Beaches to the plains of Montana and islands of Hawaii. He writes for a variety of international travel publications and regularly contributes as a Guest Columnist for Tribune Publishing’s Orlando Sentinel.
As a network cameraman, he covered some of the biggest news stories in our lifetime, including 9-11 at ground zero, Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq. While with NBC News, Dan traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In between, he covered politics and specials; traveling aboard Air Force One with Tom Brokaw, the Olympic Games in Torino, Italy and following Barack Obama's presidential campaign for the Today Show.
Delivering a wide array of marketing and entertainment-related products, Dan has sailed from Helsinki, Finland. Joining the launch team of the world's largest cruise ship – Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas – capturing daily "webisode" stories chronicling the 6,000 mile journey across the Atlantic. For four years, Dan and his team worked with Universal’s Public Relations and Entertainment Divisions along with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore, helping document the creation of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Studios Florida.
He was in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for the grand opening of Atlantis the Palm on Jumeirah Island, worked on episodic TV for A&E, shot behind-the-scenes on the set of feature films with stars, such as John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, and worked on national commercials with Tiger Woods.
Dan has also worked on international documentaries, satellite media tours, video news releases, and concerts around the world. The A-List of musicians he's worked with covers some of the biggest names in the industry, including Tony Bennett, Sheryl Crow, Aretha Franklin, N’Sync, Natalie Cole, Barbara Streisand, Janet Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, The Spinners and Stevie Wonder. Dan also traveled with Aerosmith for their Honkin' on Bobo Tour in 2004.
How’d I Get Here?' is about faith (with a big 'F') courage, love, family, and, at times, pure heroism. It is a must read experience that will then take up residence on your shelf as a friend to be revisited.
Working with Dan Beckmann was inspiring, fun, and always led to a feeling of accomplishment. His talent is obvious from the moment you meet him. He has an eye for clarity and art…at the very same time. He's a reporter's dream...a teammate who collaborates with passion and with ease...a tricky combination in any profession!
Dan is not only an amazing photographer, a talented producer, and a compelling writer; he's a fun guy, whose joi de vivre is infectious and who lives his life with zest, vim and vigor!
Dan Beckmann is one of those unique "get it done" talents. When we collaborate, and I share my big picture idea, it's a true pleasure to have confidence knowing Dan will deliver on the fine details that make our collective work a standout success. We've been to hell and back together. Hell isn't such a bad place when Dan is at your side, making sure the exit always has a clear path.
Meeting Dan Beckmann and working with him on his memoirs has been one of the highlights of my career in writing, editing, and publishing. This one man has seen more, done more, and experienced more of life than most of us dream of. Or, most of us can only dream of. The fun is, he's willing to bring readers along on his journey. Just wait ... just wait ...
I have worked with too many people who call themselves "photojournalists" who are, in fact, nothing more than technicians. Dan is not one of those people. He puts real journalism into his work by taking time to understand the story and offering great suggestions on how to capture it in an engaging manner. These are the traits of a good storyteller. It is a pleasure to work with someone who thinks and works this way.
Dan Beckmann and I have worked many times together under all sorts of conditions, some good, some not. Regardless,if you want it done right and want material that stands out, Dan's the man! He's not just a great shooter but also a producer with creative insight and an always positive attitude. Simply the best!
Dan's writing dwells in places few bother to go; pursuing ideals like social justice and victim advocacy. His well-researched passions are worthy of your time.