In the early seventies, I was transported to another world when I saw a photo editorial in Life magazine of Max Waldman’s mysterious grainy studio tableaus of theatre productions shot on a black background. Inspired by Waldman’s work,
and my love of theatre, the idea of having my own photo studio was born.
In 1990, I opened a studio in Hayes Valley at 320 Fell Street in a former bakery that was built in the forties. It was a curious old place with a winding rickety staircase, broken windows, no heat and a fantastic group of inhabitants. My dream of doing studio work was encouraged by fellow tenants Gene Nevins, Gary Gay and John Edwards and Kent Taylor, who were creating an amazing legacy in their own studios photographing some of the queer community’s greats, including Sylvester, Doris Fish and Juanita More. The studios closed in 2001 after the building was sold.
In the years that my studio was open (1990 – 2001), an illustrious array of queer community personalities and theatrical people continued to waltz through the playful space for a variety of projects and community gatherings - it was ten of
the best years of my life. – Dan Nicoletta