Auckland based Wedding Photographer Danelle Bohane shares with us her inspiration, advice for budding photographers and her dream to photograph a wedding on the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
Where are you based?
When did you first pick up a camera, and what was it?
Probably around the age of 8. My Grandad bought me a camera and every year for my birthday he would send me a couple of rolls of film and the money to get them developed. I guess you could say he fueled the fire for me to start loving and learning photography. I can't recall what the camera was, but it definitely wasn't anything special.
Tell us a little about your style of photography?
I predominantly shoot weddings and I would say I mainly focus on finding a story to tell throughout their day. I like to hunt for the little moments that aren't always seen, and like my images to communicate the emotion of the day. I am inspired by documentary and editiorial photography, I would say you can see this creeping into my wedding work rather than traditional wedding photography styles.
What gear do you use?
I shoot with Canon 5D mk II's (hopefully I can upgrade to the mk III soon, but I want to be able to buy 2 when that happens). I mainly keep the 35mm f/1.4 on one body, and then the 85mm f/1.2 on the other as they compliment each other so nicely when shooting a wedding. I also own the 50mm f/1.2mm which is just lovely, the 135 f/2.0mm for when I need to get closer up to the ceremony, and then the 24-70mm f/2.8 which rarely gets used, but is good to have in the kit!
If you had to choose only one lens, what would it be and why?
Gosh, this is a hard one because the 85mm f/1.2mm just has the most dreamy colours and insane glass. I definitely favour the 35mm, it lends itself well to the photo-journalistic look I like in my work, and I don't mind getting close to my subjects with it. So, I don't think I could live without the 35mm f/1.4.
What is/has been your greatest challenge as a photographer?
I think the greatest challenge of being a photographer is the need to wear all the different types of hats when owning a business. Doing the accounts, admin and marketing side is a challenge for me as I am naturally quite a creative person. But I am always willing to work hard, because at the end of the day it is all worth it!
What do you feel has been your greatest photographic achievement to date?
I entered the NZIPP Iris competition last year, and a few of my prints won awards. That was a pretty good achievement for me - I think it's a wonderful process to go through as a photographer and I recommend it to everyone. I would also have to say booking some wedding work overseas in places like Australia, Germany, Cook Islands, Samoa, and USA - it's pretty cool where photography can take you these days. Mostly because of connections through social media - people aren't afraid to bring a photographer from another country to photograph their wedding.
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?
I would definitely be in the creative industry. I would have to say an interior designer, I do love a good piece of mid century furniture!
Could you describe your dream client/job?
Easy... photograph a wedding on the Amalfi Coast! Maybe one day it will happen.
What tips or advice do you have for budding photographers?
Don't give up, and persevere!! I started my business straight out of uni at the age of 21, in the first year I assisted some incredible commercial photographers and photographed A LOT of little jobs to build up my portfolio and become a stronger photographer. Three years on, I have been lucky enough to have shot over 100 weddings and I love my job so very much, I feel very lucky!
Also another little thing... don't sell yourself cheap, you are worth more than you think, there are people willing to pay for your talent, knowledge and creativity.
How have you dealt with the rise and demand of videography - have you noticed more clients wanting video coverage as well as stills with there wedding?
I would say only 20% of my clients have a videographer at their weddings, and those clients usually just ask me who I recommend. I think I have lost only one booking over the years I've been in business because I didn't offer a package deal with a videographer. It may be the type of client I book, but it hasn't really affected me much.
Could you take us through your typical day?
Everyday looks so different for me - I love the variation my job offers and that I can work at night if I want, or meet with someone for lunch in the middle of the day.
Though generally throughout the week I start work around 9:30am after brekky and a walk with my dog. Emails for the first hour and then editing weddings after that.
I don't get many full weekends free throughout the year especially over summer time, so Sunday is usually my day of rest and I usually take Monday morning off if I am still tired from a big day of shooting on Saturday.
In your opinion, what makes a good photograph?
If the photograph is technically good, from there I would say that if the photograph conveys an emotion and moves you in some way, it's doing a pretty good job at being a 'good photograph'.
What do you enjoy doing to take a break from photography, what recharges you?
Going to cafe's, and going on holidays with beautiful nature and scenery around me!
Who motivates or inspires you to keep doing what you do?
My beautiful clients inspire me, and my friends in the industry motivate me! I feel so lucky to know such wonderful people and be part of such a fun and caring industry, we are all friends and are here to help and see each other succeed.
Visit Danelle's website or her Facebook page