Daniel Moder Biography

Daniel Moder is an American cinematographer known for his work in films such as ‘Secret in their Eyes’ and ‘Fireflies in the Garden.’ Born and raised in Los Angeles, Daniel’s passion for cameras and lights led him to pursue a career in cinematography. Starting as a production assistant, he worked his way up and eventually became a full-fledged cinematographer. He has worked on various films, including ‘Spider-Man 3’ and the documentary ‘Border.’ In addition to his successful career, Daniel is also recognized as the husband of Hollywood star Julia Roberts, with whom he has been married since July 2002.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Daniel Richard Moder
  • Age: 54 Years, 54 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Julia Roberts (m. 2002), Vera Steimberg Moder (m. 1997–2002)
    • Father: Mike Moder
    • Mother: Patricia Ann-Waltz
    • Siblings: Debbie Moder, Jane Moder, John Moder, Jyl Moder
    • Children: Hazel Moder, Henry Daniel Moder, Phinnaeus Moder
  • Cinematographers
  • American Men
  • Height: 5’10” (178 cm), 5’10” Males
  • U.S. State: California
  • City: Los Angeles

Childhood & Early Life

Daniel Moder was born on January 31, 1969, in Los Angeles, California, to Mike Moder and Patricia Ann-Waltz. His parents worked in the entertainment industry as small-time film producers, giving Daniel an early exposure to the world of Hollywood. He grew up in a large family with four siblings: John, Jane, Jyl, and Debbie. During his early years, Daniel had no interest in cinema and focused on his academics. He graduated from ‘Saint Monica High School’ in 1987 and went on to study psychology at the ‘University of Colorado Boulder’.


After graduating, Daniel decided to pursue a career in the film industry as a cinematographer. With the help of his father’s contacts, he gained experience as a production assistant. His first job in the industry was as a production assistant for the 1995 film ‘Crimson Tide’, which was a commercial and critical success. He then worked as a camera loader for ‘The Fan’ in 1996 and ‘The Brave’ in 1997, which was showcased at the ‘Cannes Film Festival’.

Daniel continued to gain experience in the industry, working as a second-assistant cameraman for the 1997 film ‘Enemy of the State’, which was a major hit. He also worked as an assistant for various films such as ‘The Big Tease’, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’, and ‘Lucky Numbers’. In 2000, he made his debut as a cinematographer with the short film ‘Kid Quick’. Although the film was appreciated for its uniqueness, Daniel felt that he still had more to learn before working on feature films.

In 2002, Daniel worked as a cinematographer for the feature film ‘Grand Champion’, which received a lukewarm response. He also worked as the first assistant of the cinematographer for the film ‘Full Frontal’ in the same year. The following year, he worked as the director of photography for the second unit of the film ‘Mona Lisa Smile’, which received praise for his work.

Daniel finally quit being an assistant in 2004 and started working as the chief camera operator. He worked on films such as ‘The Forgotten’ in 2004 and ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ in 2005, which was a commercial and critical hit. He continued to work as a camera operator for big-budget films like ‘Déjà Vu’, ‘Spider-Man 3’, and ‘Seraphim Falls’. In 2007, he returned to being the chief cinematographer for the documentary ‘Border’.

Over the years, Daniel worked on various films, both big and small, showcasing his skills as a cinematographer. Some notable films include ‘Fireflies in the Garden’ in 2008, ‘Plush’ in 2013, and ‘Secret in Their Eyes’ in 2015. However, he faced several flops and mixed reviews throughout his career, making him less in-demand as a cinematographer.

Awards & Honors

Daniel Moder’s most prominent achievement as a cinematographer was receiving a ‘Primetime Emmy’ nomination for ‘Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie’ for the 2014 TV film ‘The Normal Heart’. He was also nominated for an ‘OFTA Television Award’ for the same film.

Personal Life

Daniel Moder was previously married to Vera Steimberg from 1997 to 2002. Shortly after his divorce, he married Julia Roberts, whom he had met on a film set in 2000. Daniel and Julia have three children together: twin daughters, Hazel Patricia Moder and Phinnaeus “Finn” Walter Moder, and a son, Henry Daniel Moder.

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