Meet Colorado-based Photographer Danielle DeFiore
Why photography? What led you to pursue photography?
When I was young, I used to spend summers at my grandmother's house and she would let me look through all of her old family albums. The photos were a keepsake of our family; a glimpse into their lives back then and I felt like I was there. Now thinking back on it and where I started — I can proudly say those summers with was how I fell in love with photography.
The first wedding I ever photographed was in 2001 — I shot it all on my Hasselblad 500cm and developed all the rolls myself in my laundry room! I’ve left the laundry room as a photo processing option behind, but it’s fun to reflect on where I came from to where I am now.
How would you describe your style?
It’s really hard to describe because I don’t quite fit into one “style.” I like capturing timeless images for my clients that won't be dated with passing trends. I consider myself to be a hopeless romantic, so I’m inspired by images that tell a story, embody the spirit of the day, joy between two people, the happy things that make the world go around showing just how beautiful a moment and person can be.
What is something you wish more brides knew?
Hiring an event planner will save your sanity and also help to make your engagement more fun. Let the planner take care of all your details so you can focus on being present with your family and husband or bride to be! I believe it’s important to remember that although you’re planning your wedding day, that you’re also planning the rest of your life, so take that time with your fiance and remember to focus on what’s important.
What is your best advice for couples looking for their photographer?
Ask for a full portfolio and really dive into a photographer’s body of work to look for consistency. There is a difference between real weddings and styled shoots, and you need to make sure your photographer knows how to approach a real event. Wedding days are fast-paced, and you need someone that can keep up while documenting the day in its entirety.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
I have a handful of favorite artists that I love, including Henri Cartier Bresson, Ellen Von Unwerth and William Eggleston. They all are pretty different in the way they photograph, but I’m really drawn to their styles. Beyond artists, I’m inspired by my daily life! We own a few acres north of Denver and when I’m not shooting photographs, I’m out on our property tending to the bees or playing with my children. Patiently watching the little things unfold (like my daughter picking up a ladybug and admiring it) inspires me deeply.
How do you help your couples feel comfortable in front of the camera?
I really like to invest in getting to know my clients. I ask lots of questions and always seem to find a connection with them - be it how they met, what they like to do, what their hobbies are etc. Having a shared passion and listening to their stories helps me connect and build from there. If you can understand the importance of what they love in life and who they are, it helps immensely in making anyone feel more comfortable in front of a camera.
Tell us about living and working in Colorado.
Colorado definitely has my heart and I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing the community is here. I feel constantly inspired.
If I were to pick a few key reasons, I love Colorado because the landscape is so diverse and scenic. From the rocky mountain peaks, rolling foothills, to the deserts and green pastures, they are all within driving distance. If you ever happen to get tired of scenic vistas, it’s easy to mix things up by going to Denver to check out new restaurants and the nightlife.
What would be your advice to an aspiring photographer?
I have a few thoughts for aspiring photographers. I would encourage them to find their style. Attending workshops and walking away with beautiful images doesn’t mean that you have honed in on your aesthetic.
I would also remind them it takes time to build your style. The only way to work at it is to keep shooting! Another great way to grow creatively is to challenge yourself each season by trying new equipment or different technique. Push yourself to create something new!
The most important thing I’ve done for my business is to find a mentor—someone I look up to and can help me curate my work. We all have emotional connections to our photography and creative expressions, so having a fresh set of eyes look at my portfolio has been one of the best ways to improve on and grow my business. I would highly recommend it!