At first glance, you might think Daniel Nennig is the son of one of the vendors at the East Side Open Market. Instead, the 16-year-old is peddling his own photographs. But these aren't point-and-shoot photos that just mom and dad will appreciate; they're shot with the sophistication and sensitivity of an adult artist.
Nennig, who lives on the East Side and will be a junior at Whitefish Bay High School in the fall, has been taking photos with his Canon for about two years.
"I got my camera when my grandpa died," he says. "Before I even considered taking photos, I saw things in nature and in urban settings that I knew would look great captured on film. I decided to pursue photography as a hobby and capture living, moving art."
Nennig is drawn to the natural world and the majority of his photos are of flowers. Interestingly, many of the flowers he shot are quietly growing in the city, on the bustling East Side.
"The mood that flowers express by their color and shape makes each picture truly worth a thousand words and express feelings such as happiness, depression, joy and anger," he says.
Nennig, an aspiring pianist, also snaps candid shots of people and enjoys capturing true emotions as opposed to unnatural posed shots.
Most of his photos are matted or framed and come in a variety of sizes. He has already sold more than 20 of his pieces after only two open markets, including a couple to Monica McElroy-Denisson of the East Side Open Market committee.
"This kid's loaded with talent," she says.
The East Side Open Market will occur every Saturday morning this summer, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., in the Beans and Barley parking lot, just east of Oakland Avenue and south of North Avenue.
"I love the feeling of selling a photograph and knowing that your picture will hang on someone's wall," he says. "It's a very satisfying feeling."
It's definitely more satisfying than burger flipping.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.