Danielle Nielsen – the photographer

I come from a fairly artistic family. My mom can draw, although she doesn’t do it very often. My sister Crystal is super talented in the realm of crafts. She’d make a great interior decorator/designer. My sister Lisa paints and plays piano and sings.

I always thought my “artistic talent” was writing, which I love to do. Until I realized I could tell a story with images just as well. I was well into my teenage years when I discovered photography. I borrowed money from Crystal (I’m sure I never paid her back) to purchase a Canon AE-1. My very first film SLR. I started teaching myself the fundamentals of photography.

I loved taking photos. It was a soothing stress-relieving hobby. I never thought about my ‘art’ influencing anyone other than my family. Then one day my sister-in-law’s friend asked me to take her senior portraits. She had seen some of the photos I had taken of my family and loved my style. It was an awesome experience. One that changed my outlook on the whole world of photography.

I realized if I put a little effort into it I could turn my hobby, my passion, into a way to make some income. I also realized that maybe I had a gift. Seeing those first few clients react so favorably to their pictures was confirmation. The same joy I felt at seeing my photos could be given to other parents as well.

I was a ‘stay-at-home mom’ and I wasn’t interested in a full-time job. I upgraded some of my equipment and let some friends know I was looking for families to photograph. My husband set up a blog for me to showcase my clients and I started shooting. I became “Captures Life Photography – capturing your life as it is now”.

Over the next few years things just grew. I was working just enough to know what kind of style I enjoyed the most. I specialize in families, from before birth through high school. Especially those toddler and elementary school years. I was working enough to see the joy my photography brought to my clients. The best feeling is walking into a clients home and seeing my work hanging on their walls.

I had finally built up an incredible client base. I was working and busy with repeat clients and new referrals. I felt like I was in a great place. Then, in the beginning of 2011, we learned we’d be moving to Seattle, WA. Moving away from Michigan where my career started was difficult. I decided the best thing to do was take some time off, professionally speaking. I didn’t try and develop a business here. Instead the boys and I explored. I carried my camera everywhere, documenting moving and starting our life in a big city. Being near the mountains and ocean. It helped in so many ways. I was able to enjoy my youngest son’s last year at home before starting school. I was able to focus on photographing what I wanted.

Now that both boys are in school full time I’m looking to get back into working full-time with photography. In the process of my transition, I am working on building a local client base and adding to my local portfolio. Now seems like the perfect time to change my business name. I am still invested in ‘capturing your life’. My aesthetic hasn’t changed, just the name you’ll find me under.

To read about who I am as a person, click here