k a i t o o : pronounced “ki too”
Daniel S. Hagy was born on Thanksgiving morning at 2am in San Bernardino, CA which is the last stop on the famous Route 66.
His Grandma "Bee" had nicknamed him “kaitoo” and told him if he ever became an artist or writer to use this name. His artist name "kaitoo" made it's debut in the 4th grade, he has artwork was signed with this name.
He was given his first camera as a young boy by his mom, a Brownie, who used it to take her own pictures.
When he turned 13 his uncle gave him his second camera for Christmas, a white Polaroid Swinger which was the ‘hippest’ camera of it’s time, thus starting his interest in photography.
Growing up in the Bay Area and living in San Francisco, he became interested in studying graphic design at the City College of San Francisco and began work on his portfolio.
A few years later he followed his best friend Marilyn Evans’ advice and moved to New York City, where he has been living and working for the past 25 years. Since then, he has studied at the Pratt Institute, the School of Visual Arts and Photomanhattan. Before his coursework at Photomanhattan, he met his mentors, Jim and Cherie Mendez, who shared his passion for photography. Because they saw potential in his ‘eye’, they helped develop it and refined his gift. They gave him his third camera a Canon AE-1 with 3 rolls of film and told him to shoot whatever he wanted. Out of just the first 2 rolls of film from the lab that they reviewed together, Daniel was able to get 7 photographs shown at the “Go Fish” Chelsea Gallery in 2003; that was his first time showing publicly.
He then graduated to a Nikon D70 with which he continues to shoot a variety of media from still-life, events, fashion, product and headshots.
His work was featured in a full fledged media presentation at a party titled “Route 66” for Brandonology in 2010 featuring forecasted trends from the 1960’s which still are paralleled all aspects of design today.
His personal and current on going project is a coffee table book entitled “A Sole Survivor: A Perspective from the Ground Up” which features photos of literally - anything to do with shoes.
He is currently advancing his learning about lighting to further his craft and continue his love for both graphic design and photography.