Spring 2007




Visual Arts
Challenge Prompt
Arts Community
Author Bios

profile - dean muldoon: photography
Dan Ratté

         I had the opportunity recently to have coffee with Dean Muldoon and to talk with him about himself and his art. He is a student in the Public Relations program at Metropolitan State University. After two associate degrees, an AA degree in Radio/TV Broadcasting and an AA in Histology/Pathology Technician, Muldoon returned to school to bridge his two disparate careers: Broadcasting and Diagnostic Medicine.

In addition to his chosen career, Muldoon is a very active photographer. In this issue as well as in our last issue, we have been privileged to showcase his photography. He has had work published in Haute Dish on two prior occasions, as well, but I spoke with him mainly in reference to the work published in our Fall 2006 issue.

Muldoon’s photos from that issue are a series of candid shots taken at West St. Paul’s Cinco de Mayo celebration in May 2006. Candid photography, he says, is the staple of his work. One of his driving interests is seeing how people respond to their environment. In his Cinco de Mayo pictures, not one of the subjects is looking at the camera nor do they know they’re being photographed. In his quest to capture real life rather than composed images, Muldoon says he has a general rule that he will not take a picture of someone who has noticed him.

He made an exception to that rule once.

Muldoon had been watching a ninety-plus year old street performer on a milk crate who was wearing a top hat adorned with plastic flowers and a long black coat and playing a plastic toy guitar. Unfortunately, the man noticed Muldoon framing the scene through his camera. The old man stepped down, picked up his crate and walked away to set up in another location, all the while keeping his back to the photographer. Determined to capture this particularly odd subject, Muldoon walked over and dropped five dollars in the old man’s basket. After that, the old fellow continued with his performance, but allowed him to take a few shots of him without turning away.

I asked Muldoon what his particular interest was in Cinco de Mayo. He told me that his interest as an attendee started three years ago and has continued to be an annual event for his wife and him. With that many people around and that much activity, it naturally sparked his inner shutter-bug. He says that the people there are either part of the activities going on or avid, engrossed spectators. These are two groups who lend themselves well to candid photography, according to Muldoon.

He told me that he loves photography as a means to record experience, but since experience is the important part, “I never let photography get in the way of a good time.”

Overall, though, his goal is to graduate from Metro State with a degree that will serve as a bridge between his two career lives. Through PR, he can seek a position such as hospital or clinic Public Relations, allowing him to keep a foot each in the worlds of medicine and broadcasting.

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