Dan McGarrah grew up near Philadelphia. Around age 10 he received an Instamatic Camera as a present, and he was hooked on photography from the beginning. Translating the view of an instant into a printed image was his kind of magic. Dan's father, John McGarrah, had been in a photography club while a student at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1940's. And continued shooting 35mm slide film for the rest of his life. While in high school Dan started using his fathers Kodak Retina rangefinder camera. In 1973 -74 Dan attended Rochester Institute of Technology as a photography major for 4 quarters. Then in 1978 he enrolled at Brooks Institute of Photography, in Santa Barbara, and graduated with a B.A. in 1981. From Santa Barbara he moved up to San Francisco and worked as a commercial photographer for many years, doing photo art as time would allow. Since mid-2017 photo art is Dan's full-time passion.