David Molnar: From pilot and wrestler to an award-winning photographer


David Molnar, photography expert and founder of Aperture

If you are interested in photography, the name David Molnar should be on your radar.  From tragic accident to success story, Molnar has spent the last decade perfecting his craft. We all know the story too well of life changes and career goals. From the time we are young people ask us what we want to be when we grow up, and the answer may change as we grow. For some of us, our path is clear and defined. We have goals that we set out to reach with a clear focus. For Molnar, that focus was originally collegiate wrestling.

His career goal was to be a pilot, but wrestling was always instilled in him. As a natural athlete living off the coast of California, he was determined to win the state wrestling championship his senior year. Unfortunately, that plan took a painful turn. On Christmas even of his senior year, he suffered from a head on collision. The vehicle accident caused Molnar to have knee surgeries on both of his knees. Thus, his wrestling career ended. Although he was projected to attend college on a full athletic scholarship, all offers were off the table the moment he was injured. Because knee surgery has a long recovery time, most colleges aren’t going to be so willing to offer scholarships to an injured athlete. Without scholarships, Molnar decided to seek alternate routes after graduation.

Coming from a small island off the coast, he thought it was important to move away and make something of himself. Like many other small town narratives, there is a strong belief in getting out and moving away to become successful and venturing back when necessary. After the the wreck, Molnar thought he had lost all hope. Leaving high school, he decided to leave and go to Texas to go and work for a nonprofit organization. During his time there, he worked in the creative department for a year long internship. Although he had taken some photography courses in high school, he wasn’t sure that it was something that would ever lead to anywhere.

During his time working for the creative department, he found himself with a camera in his hands and began taking pictures. After stumbling into photography, he started to think that it might just be the perfect fit for him. As more and more doors began to open, he was finding his passion all over again. From pilot to photographer, he was even fortunate enough to meet his wife during that time.

Hoping to photograph his favorite band, Molnar had a friend who helped him get backstage at a concert. After photographing the band, they actually reached out to him and used his photo for their tour shirt that year. At the young age of 19, he had already achieved one of his biggest career goals.

Now, Molnar may be considered one of the most famous and innovative photographer’s in the world. Although his professional training is done primarily through experience, it’s because of those experiences that he was able to become the well-known artist that he is today. He was fortunate enough to photograph for advertising campaigns and travel the world doing photoshoots and even album covers. Although he seems to be the expert, he wanted to share his knowledge with others and future generations.

After realizes how awesome some iPhone pictures can be, he became crafting some of his best works utilizing the pocket sized device. 3rd party applications that can help you take professional quality photos, but many people don’t know how to do it. He started utilizing techniques he had learned in his career to get some of his photos in places like People Magazine and the New York Times. Most people taking photos on an iPhone are doing so just to it, and although sometime the photos do turn out well, they aren’t utilizing the techniques necessary to get them professional looking photos. Molnar decided that he really wanted to help people make each photo wonderful every time they took one. There is an art to taking a photo that looks expensive with a device that is meant for communicating.

As his photography career continues, Molnar has created a new video series called Aperture where he discusses that tiny hole in your camera and how to get the best use of it. Learning how to manipulate the small details of a craft or trade can be the difference in a novice and an expert. Being selfless with his information, he continues to educate the photography community about each of his discoveries and skills. With videos, books and tutorials, he has been able to create a library of information and knowledge that can be shared with people who are considered experts or even people just starting their photography career. His unique ability to explain and teach his craft is one of the most important reasons he has been so successful in his photography career.

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