One Frame Friday | 6 years | Dani Stephenson Photography

I remember this time of year 6 years ago, early September I was counting down the days to my wedding in November. I was amazed at what the little personal blog I made a year earlier had become.  After my husband bought me my first DSLR camera I had been shooting everything in sight! I made a personal blog just to post my photos and share. It was mostly flowers,  horses, our trips, wedding stuff, parties with friends, even bowling! Then someone said to me "can you take some family photos"?  and that was it. That was the start of it all.

 Then one day ( a year later) my wedding photographer Krystal Muellenberg found my little blog and sent me the sweetest message. "Would you like to second shoot with me"? My heart dropped to the floor. ME???? I instantly called Jason and told him and I think I literally squealed it on the phone. I said "what should I do"? he laughed and said "do it". Easier said than done I was drowning in nerves but of course accepted. I shot my first wedding with her in January 2008. Then worked with her most of that summer and the following. Also worked with some other photographers, attended a few small workshops all without even knowing or having a full understanding of what was happening. Later the following year in 2009 my first son was born, Krystal came over for some newborn photos and I remember her asking me if I was doing weddings alone yet and I remember so vividly my answer to her "Oh- no, I don't want to become a wedding photographer"  Maybe she knew the whole time, but I swear I didn't know.

This may sound cliche but I never thought I would be here, shooting 15+ weddings a year. I have had a lot of ups and downs on the journey and I appreciate all of them. Photography found me (I know people say that alot but it is absolutely 100% true for me.) I didn't seek this out, or make a business plan, or set goals, this kind of just happened, like a beautiful accident that was meant to be

I never even dreamed I would accept more than a cup of coffee for a session. My first wedding commission was $100 and I felt like I ripped them off.  Photography for me is so much more than money, comments or facebook likes. I truly love photography and I truly love meeting new people and just watching what I can create with them. Which is why you'll never see me advertise, I want people to find me the way photography did. Naturally.

Looking back at my photos, in 6 years I am glad to say I have learned a lot and come a long long way. I still feel like I learn something at every single wedding I go to. I love that. The biggest thing I learned about photography is experience is everything!!!! 

I think I could say photography is just something within me, that I never forced or studied. It's just always been apart of me. The back story here is, photography for me actually started long before 6 years ago. I have always loved photos. My grandma always knew I would become a photographer or clothes designer, Many many years ago, I used to make dresses out of old sheets and pose my sister and cousins (my cousin in now a freelance model-go figure). Here's a photo of my earliest work with my shabby Kodak 110 camera. To guage my age here, my sister and I are 3 years apart (she's on the left).

Scan 1

For those of you who followed me from the start, way back 6+ years ago. Thank you. And to Krystal for steering me in the right direction. Thank you. 6 years later you are still my favorite inspiration. 

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