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Brianna Danylle Photography Portrait and event photography - Brianna Danylle Photography

Time to make Lemonade!

Sigh.  Yep, this entry starts with a sigh.  It happened.  One of the worst things that could happen to a photographer happened.  My hard drive crashed.  Oodles and oodles of pictures that I hadn’t gotten around to backing up… gone.  I’m not going lie, there were some sad little moments that involved tears, the many stages of grief, and definitely copious amounts of candy to help me through this sad, sad time in my life.  However, things started to look up when I realized I have some IT-savy friends who took pity on me and helped me save my beloved memories.  To say recovering “lost” files is a long process would be a great understatement.  While not all files made it, I believe most were saved.  While I’m happy that I got my files back, I’m also kind of happy this whole scary ordeal happened.  (I mean, everything is a life lesson if we allow it to be, right?)  I learned quite a few things from almost losing my work:

Back up regularly.

I know.  This is the biggest no-brainer of all time.  However, it’s so easy to get lazy and think things will be fine until “next time.”  I’m not great with “next time.”

Candy saves lives.

Seriously, candy just makes me happy.  Sugary candy.  Not that chocolate stuff.  My teeth (and dentist) probably hate me, but my inner seven-year-old is the happiest camper when that sweet, sweet sugary goodness is in my system.  No judging.  (This also may not have been a lesson, per se.)

Don’t panic.

Okay, maaaaybe I panicked a little bit initially.  However, things turned out okay in the end.  All that time wasted worrying and chastising myself for not backing up my work (albeit warranted) was time I could have spent playing with my dog, or napping, or candy-eating.

Remembering the past.

One of the coolest things that happened because of this whole ordeal was having to re-organize my photos.  The process in and of itself is in no way fun (at all), but it’s so much fun looking over old shoots and remembering details of the day.  It also gave me a chance to look over pictures that I didn’t initially like (for whatever reason), but now love.  Weird how that happens.  I guess that like enjoying a food as an adult that you hated as a child.  (Vegetables not included.  I still hate those.  My inner seven-year-old is strong.)

Be your own inspiration.

I’m always nervous before a shoot.  At least a little.  Always.  I’m a bit of a worrier.  However, I always go through my work and have at least a few images that make me feel like I’ve set my own bar for myself higher.  That’s an awesome feeling and very reaffirming.  Sometimes, it’s great to be your own motivator and push past your own boundaries.

Sharing is caring.

Sometimes I forget to share.  Each shoot is so different, and so much work goes into the behind the scenes, I just forget to update everything.  (Bad, Brianna.)  However, the “likes”, “+1s”, “retweets”, “shares”, etc. feels wonderful.  Not in a “I’m super cool because a billion people acknowledged my stuff” sort of way; but in an “awesome, I just connected with someone else” kind of way.  It’s like a little cyber pat on the back.  (And who doesn’t like a pat on the back?!)


Speaking of sharing… below are some couples that I got to photograph in 2012.  Doesn’t feel like it was that long ago.  Fun days.  Awesome people.  Great memories. =)

Baby Shower: Alice in Wonderland Themed

Baby showers are always fun to shoot because they’re so colorful, and light, and the people in attendance are happy.  Talk about a great recipe for fun picture-taking!  Shooting Natalie’s baby shower was extra fun because it had an Alice in Wonderland theme.  Hello teacups, candy, and all things king of strange!  The baby shower was a surprise for mommy Natalie and she was, of course, radiant.  We got lucky, too, because just the week before it rained and the weather was terrible.  As if Mother Nature just needed to get the bad weather out of her system, this shower has perfect weather.  Such a fun day.  Can’t wait to meet baby Alliya =)

www.thealbumcafe.com Natalie Collage2 Natalie Collage

Top 5: Gifts for Photographers

Top 5 Gift Ideas for Photographers

  1. Camera Pen Holder – What a lovely pencil/pen holder that would look good on any desk or workstation.  Everyone uses pencils and pens, right?  Why not make the holder a fancy photography one?
  2. Fun Photographer Sign – I love this fun sign.  A great gift for the lighthearted photographer.
  3. Camera Pencil Sharpener – Yet another thing that would add a little personality to a photographer’s desk or workstation.
  4. Film Canister Toilet Paper Dispenser – In fairness, I think this gift is awesome in concept rather than in practice.  Based on reviews, it works best as a decorative piece than an actual dispenser.  However, that’s how I would use it.  In fairness, an over-sized film canister that can hold items could go anywhere as a decorative piece.
  5. Camera Shaped USB Drive – This 4GB USB drive is a cute novelty piece that would look good hanging out with the photographer’s other computer peripherals.

Baby Shower THEIR Way

Who says a baby shower has to look a certain way?  Especially in October!

 Hilary Shower 4


When you have a couple who loves Halloween they way Hilary and Solomon do, perhaps it only seems natural to blend the two things they love together: their favorite holiday and their new baby!  This was definitely not your mother’s baby shower, let me tell you.  Starting in the evening and with an open bar, this couple wanted their get-together to be like them–lively and fun.  And it was!  The snacks and food were great, the music was nostalgic, and the drinks were…GREEN!  Proof that you should never feel constrained to “the norm” when planning something for yourself.  They had fun, as did the guests, and isn’t that the important thing?  I think we’ll chalk this Halloween baby shower a “howling” success.  (I won’t apologize for my pun-loving ways. #SorryNotSorry)  =)

Hilary Shower 2

Hilary Shower 1

Hilary Shower 3




It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

Okay, friends, I’m going to get a little personal here–because I think it will strike a chord with others.  Picture posts will resume soon, I promise.

While I was still shooting here and there, I purposefully needed to step back from the business side of things for a bit. I was noticing that as time went on, I was feeling more and more anxious about certain aspects in what I was doing with Brianna Danylle Photography. I needed to step back, take a breather, and really reassess things. Ultimately I realized I was slowly deviating from what I wanted to do in order to follow the paths of others. Well that’s not good!

Here’s the thing, I love photography… but it’s still a business. There is a lot to learn about running your own business, marketing, planning, etc.. Now there’s nothing inherently bad about any of those things—in fact I find them fun. The problem I ran into was of me employing strategies that worked for others, but wasn’t necessarily the best for me based on my objectives and goals. Trial and error, my friends.

The beauty about these little bumps in the road is that they serve as reminders. For me, specifically, I learned that I need to take a step back every so often in order to make sure I’m forging my own path (with the help of others) rather than accidentally following the path of others. Trust in oneself is powerful and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.  I repeat: it’s okay to make mistakes along the way. =)

That said, I’m looking forward to what the future holds and I hope you all stay encouraged, too!

5 Things You Can Do with Your Photos

The combination of camera phones and social media, collecting pictures has been easier than ever.  The question is: what do you do with all of those images that you’ve compiled and saved on your computer?  Well I have a few ideas for you so that you can do a little photo organization and give those photos the love they deserve.

5 things to do with your photos

1. Make a lovely photo book

You can pick a theme and go from there.  If you have a lot of photos from a trip, or family, or an event, upload them to your favorite photo book site and make a lovely memory book.  The best part is that you can generally add a title to the spine of the book, so you can end up with a nice collection of books that you can easily distinguish from your bookshelf.  Photo books always make lovely coffee table books, also.  If you take a lot of photos, you can always organize them by year and make a Year in Review photo book.

2. Share them in a photo community

There are so many photo communities online to join, you could share your images with others.  Websites like Flickr and Google+, for example, have groups you can join to share your work, get constructive criticism, and even participate in contests.  You never know, you could inspire others and you can get inspiration from others.

3. Use digital albums

The cool thing about digital albums is that you don’t have to select one image to frame, you can select multiple images!  You save pictures on a memory card and then put the memory in the frame–simple as that.  Then you have a collection of images that rotate.  This is great to keep your wedding photos, family, and any other special photos on display.

4. Share your gift with others

Print them and put them in a collage for a friend or loved one.  You could also use your photos to make a personalized give for someone.

5. Scrapbook

If the photo book isn’t your thing, you could get those creative juices flowing and make a few scrapbooks!  The nice thing about scrapbooking is that you have a lot more flexibility to add other personal items, like concert tickets, to the book.

Bonus: Computer Screensaver

Why keep your photos hidden?  Put your favorite photos in an album and then set that album as your screensaver preference.  Now when you’re taking a break from your computer, you can reminisce as your photos scroll.


Any other ideas?  I’d love to hear them!

6 Photography Projects to Do with a Friend

Looking to keep your creative juices flowing?  Why not do a photography project with a friend.  (The more friends the merrier, actually!)  You and your photography-loving buddies can pick a project and share your work with each other, compete against each other, or just accumulate a huge compilation of images and make a fun photo book.  The sky is the limit here, friends.  To get you started, here are a few projects that I think may get you and you camera going!  Don’t forget, sharing is caring.  I’d love to see your work!

Photography Projects

 Project 1: ABC Project

Pick a theme and go out and find something to photograph that represents each letter.  In the past, I did that for Christmas.  It’s a lot of fun talking about which letters you and your friend(s) are having trouble finding.  (Oh how tricky letters like “q”, “x”, and “z” can be in this project!)  Depending on how you want to do it, you can get pretty competitive with this.  Still, it gets you looking at things you wouldn’t normally look at for photography.  Great for creativity and practice!Selfie Saturdays

Project 2: Selfie Saturdays

Don’t underestimate the possibilities of a selfie.  Sure you can hold your camera phone out in front of you and snap away.  However, this is an opportunity to really get creative with your self-portraits!  Try things that you never tried before.  The beauty of selfies is that you don’t have to explain any weird poses to any other subject, nor do you have to worry about wasting anyone else’s time while you experiment with your shots!

Project 3: Photo Scavenger Hunt

This works great if you and friends are going on a trip, or just everyday life.  You and your friends can compile a list of things you want to search for and then go to town!  See how many things you can shoot before a set number of days, or see who is first to fine all of the items.  Get creative with your list!

Project 4: Photo Shoot Fridays

Offer to photograph a friend or a family each Friday for a month.  This doesn’t just provide a perfect opportunity to practice your photography, but it’s also doing a service for someone else.  As you share your work with your friend(s), also share tips from your photo shoots.

Project 5: A Month in Time

Pick a specific time in the day, or time of day, and photograph what you’re doing at that time, every day for a month.  Maybe you want to pick 2:30pm.  Then every day at 2:30pm, you stop what you’re doing and take a picture of what’s going on at the moment.  Or, you pick mornings.  So every day for a month, you take a picture of something you’re doing each morning.

31 Days Project

This is an abbreviated version of Project 365.  Every day for a month, you take a picture of something.  Anything!  (Ideally something that you’d want to remember, however.)  At the end of the project, you can look back at your month in photos!  To keep each other going, share photos with each other on your social media platform of your choice.

Spotlight: St. Bernard’s High School 20th Reunion for Class of 94

Who doesn’t like a high school reunion??  Well the class of 1994 of St. Bernard’s High School showed up and had a great time.  The DJ played 90’s music and the Vegas-style theme was colorful and fun.  I love seeing that moment when people recognize each other after so many years.  It’s priceless.  I was so happy to share the evening with you, class of ’94!  Hope I’m there for your 30th reunion!

collage1 collage2 collage4collage5college3

Spotlight: Francisco, the Renaissance Man

Francisco Collage


Once again I got to photograph someone who seemingly lives in front of a camera regularly.  Talk about relaxed!  I went in with a particular game plan for what kinds of pictures I thought we’d get, and ended up with far more than I anticipated.  My camera’s shutter button was definitely in overdrive this day as this creative fella moved from one pose to another, seamlessly.  Color me impressed!

That’s not to say that one has to know how to “strike a pose” in front of the camera, mind you.  In fact, I like photographing people that get nervous in front of the camera.  Each experience is totally different, but it’s always fun to see where the session goes!  My goal is always to capture a person’s true self in their pictures, and I love the journey to those pictures.   For the record, the first picture in Francisco’s set above was one of my favorites from the day.  It was between poses while we were talking.  I thought it was an honest emotion and one that I was happy I caught.  See?  It pays to always have your camera ready on location, people! =)

7 DIY Photography Hacks and Tricks

For all of you photography fans out there, this was one of the coolest things I’ve seen lately.  I’m sure you’ve heard of life hacks–things to make life easier by using uncommon objects–and possibly photography hacks.  Well quick little video list shows how you can do some REALLY cool things with basic everyday/inexpensive objects.  Definitely makes me want to get out there and try some of these!



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