Get To Know: Danielle Marie Photography
If you ask me, professional photography is a vital part of every milestone. For example, every wedding needs a photographer! Whether there are 200 guests present, or it is literally just you and your significant other exchanging vows on the top of a mountain, a photographer is a key component of stopping that moment in time and preserving it forever. But the question becomes, how do you find that one person who is right for you and that moment? Helping you narrow down that search is a task I take very seriously because style and personality matter in this situation. You are trusting this person to capture some of the most intimate and important times in your life. These are the stilled memories every photographer hopes you can’t wait to have printed and displayed on your wall, memories that give you “all the feels” every time you show a loved one or look at your phone lock screen.
With that said, let me introduce you to Danielle Roberts, one of those incredible people behind the camera, clicking that shutter-release button hundreds of times, and spending hours editing your cherished stilled memories. To Danielle, even those every day moments are milestones that deserve to be captured and preserved! She magically does it all… weddings, families, newborn, high school seniors, professional branding… the list goes on with how she is able to share her valuable talent with you and your family. I can personally speak to her skillset as a professional branding photographer. Danielle took headshots for me that went well beyond the typical floating head “headshot”. These are photos that really capture me as a business owner, and I feel proud to use them on all my business material seen by past, present and future clients.
Danielle generously took the time out of her very busy schedule to answer some questions for me about her business and her photography style. I also wanted to give her the opportunity to share some of her wedding industry knowledge for those couples who may just be starting their planning journey and are already overwhelmed.
Tell me about you, how your business started & how it has grown.
Photography has always been a hobby of mine, so I feel blessed to have a business where I get to do what I love. My passion started as a kid; I loved snapping photos of anyone who would let me with disposable film cameras and then in college, my uncle let me borrow his Pentax 35mm film camera when I took Photography 101. I ended up pursuing a degree in Elementary Education, but my passion for photography never changed. In 2012, shortly before my first son was born, my husband gifted me my first DSLR Camera. So, I finally decided to take a leap of faith and give starting a business a go. Ironically, when I first started Danielle Marie Photography, I didn't think I would ever shoot weddings. I have three kids, and when I made my business official, my youngest was a newborn, so it didn't seem realistic for me at the time. However, after assisting a couple of friends at weddings, I was hooked. Now I specialize in Wedding Photography, and I love it! Over the past few years, I have started to grow the Branding side of my business too because I love working with small businesses to help them bring their vision to life in photos and grow their own businesses. I also love shooting family and senior sessions!
How would you describe your photography style?
My photography style is true to color, bright and timeless. I strive to capture connection and movement, so my posing is more Lifestyle with a twist of Fine Art. My hope is that these images will be loved and appreciated for generations to come. I prefer less stiff posing, but I also love to guide my clients through the process and help them figure out what to do with their hands. Most of us don't feel completely natural or comfortable in front of the camera, so it is so important to me to help my clients feel comfortable in front of my lens.
What was it like photographing your very first wedding?
The first wedding I ever shot was actually a second shooting position, so I assisted the primary photographer and learned so much! I second shot 15 weddings my first year of photographing weddings for 5 local photographers. By the time I shot my first booked wedding later that same year, I felt prepared to serve my couple. I strongly encourage anyone interested in pursuing wedding photography to shadow or assist at least a few times before taking on a wedding of their own. I'll never forget the first couple that hired me to photograph their big day.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced while photographing a wedding?
One of the biggest challenges I have faced at weddings is usually when the day is disorganized and no one is in charge. I always create a timeline for the photography portion of a wedding day, but it is so helpful to have a wedding coordinator or planner. They can be so valuable, especially at larger weddings. They assist in rounding up family members for family portraits, keeping on track with the timeline for the day, and most importantly they take the stress and burden off the couple so they can relax and enjoy their big day!
Where has been your favorite wedding or elopement location?
One of my favorite wedding venues would have to be The Farmhouse on Greenbluff. I have been lucky enough to shoot three weddings up there and have another one this year. Crystal, the owner of the venue, is amazing to work with, and it is a stunning venue that could accommodate any style. The bridal suite and new groom shed are also beautiful, and not a lot of local venues seem to have a beautiful area for both the bride and groom to get ready to gather with their wedding party before the ceremony. My favorite elopement location would be Farragut State Park. It is just a gorgeous landscape with mountains and water. You can't go wrong with that.
To a newly engaged couple, what are some important questions they should be asking wedding photographers during the consultation process?
This is an excellent question! There are so many amazing photographers in our area, and I encourage everyone to do their research before choosing their wedding vendors. Make sure to ask your photographer what their process will be on your wedding day and leading up to your big day. Will they be a fly on the wall, or will they be more interactive with you on your big day? Your photographer will be with you all day, so it's important that you get along well with them and like them as a person. And along the same lines, I would ask them how much experience they have working at weddings. So much of my job is creating a seamless and enjoyable experience for my couples so they don't have to worry about the photography portion of their day, and they receive incredible images they will love for a lifetime. It is also important to know if they are equipped to handle low light situations if your wedding will be at nighttime or at a darker venue. And it is totally okay to ask for a sample gallery if you want to see more of their work.
I promise I didn’t tell her to boost my ego a little when I asked her what the biggest challenge has been when photographing weddings. Completely unscripted response, but I bring it back up because it just goes to show how all your vendors need to work like a well-oiled machine in order to seamlessly pull off the most magical day possible for you and your significant other! I hope you feel it as much as I do the pride that Danielle takes in her work, and how seriously she takes the assignment of capturing your most precious moments. She is definitely an all-star!
If you would like to reach out to Danielle or peruse through her recent work, check out her website HERE or visit her Instagram feed HERE. And if you want to take her advice by hiring a planner, be sure to reach out to me with all your questions on my contact page!