Friday, May 13, 2016

Feature Friday with Danielle Stevens Photography!

Danielle Stevens Photography is the winner of last week's 'mother' challenge, and has graciously agreed to let us be nosey, and ask her all kinds of questions ;)  And the best part is - she is also sharing more of her beautiful work!

1. Please tell us about yourself...
I live in a little town in Upstate New York with my boyfriend and our 7 year old son. I photograph families in a documentary style to tell their stories. I dream of one day teaching photography and other artistic workshops and moving further into the country where I can have a little farm and we can spend our days barefoot. In the meantime I enjoy driving with the windows down, a good coffee, and getting outside as much as possible

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?
Honest, raw, and uninhibited
I chose honest because I hardly direct my subjects so what I am photographing is truly what they were doing in that moment.
I chose raw because I capture life and embrace the emotions that are present.
I chose uninhibited because I let my inhibitions go when I shoot, if something feels right, I click the shutter, if I want to experiment, I do it. I play around with freelensing, with focus, with framing, and even with capturing video.

3. What sparked your passion for photography?
Middle school photography class. Being in the darkroom was like being in this magical little room where I can bring the moments I captured to life in my own way. From there I took a high school photography class and a college class while I was majoring in Biology. I decided I loved photography more so I switched majors, moved to New York City and studied photography at Pratt Institute.

4. What's in your camera bag right now?
I have my D800 and 35mm 1.8 lens which hardly ever leaves my camera. I also have my nikon fm10 film camera and a couple of rolls of film, my lensbaby spark and some batteries and memory cards. Oh and chapstick...can't ever go anywhere without that!

5. What is your dream shoot or project?
I am completely fascinated with all different lifestyles and cultures, which would make sense because initially I wanted to work for National Geographic when I started on my photo journey. So a dream project would be one that depicts childhood around the world. That captures traditions, lifestyle, and practices that make childhood different in other countries, and even just in other areas of the country I live in. 

6. What are some of the misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed, and how?
When I first started this journey I honestly didn't even think of doing weddings or portraits in the traditional sense, I just knew I wanted to document people and their stories, but on a global scale. I ended up interning with a wonderful wedding photographer, Karen Wise, and realized that weddings were stories, and we all have our own stories to tell too. So I started my business hoping to tell peoples stories. I completely thought that I would be able to quit my job and make great money soon after going into business....wrong. I underestimated the amount of marketing and work on the business side, and didn't realize how little I knew about both.
Now I understand how much work it takes, and I am still learning every day. I understand that being a photographer isn't just showing up with a camera and taking some pictures, there is so much more to it than that.

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?
My advice to new photographers is to learn about marketing, start shooting in manual right away, don't ever be afraid to ask anyone anything, and charge what your time is worth. Also, don't be afraid to experiment and when you find that one thing that makes your heart sing, run with it, that is your calling!

Find more of Danielle's beautiful work here:

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