In our Behind the Lens series, we’re connecting with our favorite photographers around the globe and in our community. What we do as photographers is capturing experiences and sharing them with the world, so we wanted to provide a platform for others in our field to share a little bit about their process, experiences, and themselves.

 

In this iteration, we’re catching up with Dani Purington, the photographer we partnered with in our brand new collaboration pack. Dani has a knack for capturing the exact feeling of whatever she’s photographing. Her candid style of shooting lets her take extremely authentic photos, leaving you with crystal clear vignettes of the day. She tailors each shoot to the couple, lets them do their thing, and snaps away – creating timeless images that feel like you’ve been transported back to that day.

Her preset pack has 9 color profiles and 2 black and whites designed to make your work pop, while still feeling natural and true-to-color. Like Dani’s work, these presets give you gorgeous, creamy skin tones, while warming up the temperature a touch and adding a little bit of grain.

And, if you know Dani, you won’t be surprised that she has great tips for new photographers.

Where did your photography journey start?

I started my photography back in 2016 when I shot my first wedding for just $500. I had no idea I wanted to do this as my career, but after that day, I knew it was something special and I had to pursue it. I’ve always been into film, photography, and just creating/capturing moments since I was a pre-teen. I would always document our family vacations, put together videos, and share it with the family – so it’s always been a passion of mine to document and tell stories. Now I’ve been doing photography for 6 years, 5 years full-time, and I wouldn’t trade it!

 

What did you learn from shooting your first elopement?

I learned that there were other ways to get married than just in a ballroom or golf course – so much of what is pushed on our couples these days. And I felt like that’s a message that needs to be shared – because these days are truly not about any of the details or “things” or “production,” but truly more focused on the couple getting married. And that just makes it so much more intentional and beautiful. It’s since created a deep passion in me to help couples make this dream of eloping a reality!

 

Why do you love being a photographer? Have you always wanted to be a photographer?

I love being a photographer because I believe I have a role in blessing a couple with the coolest moments of their biggest day, and I get to help tell their story. I’m truly a creative person – I love to create music, paint, and create graphic designs for fun, so photography and film-making have always been a great outlet for me to get those creative juices out. So not only can I be creative, something I love doing, but I also get to tell beautiful love stories. I’m also a hopeless romantic, so that helps.

 

How would you define your photography style?

I would say my style is very documentary style – capturing moments as they happen. I LOVE the in between moments. And when it comes to posing my couples, I really try and capture them naturally with some direction that’s exactly tailored to who they are as a couple personality-wise. I believe photography is important, but I don’t want it to be the most important thing on the day. I don’t like the posed stuff – I love capturing moments as they happen.

 

What is your favorite location to shoot? Favorite subject?

I have too many! I love Yosemite (my most photographed destination), but Hawaii, Glacier National Park, and Moab are all a close tie! My favorite subjects are elopements and couples sessions.

One thing that I’ve begun to love most about this career of mine is getting to capture intimacy in all forms – physically and emotionally. Vulnerability is something that will come naturally in this process with me. I want to capture your tears, your laughs, your wind-swept moments, your epic moments, your close moments. They are all there, and can come out in a shoot together if we let it happen.

After doing the big wedding thing for almost 4 years, I’ve truly found my passion in this career. It’s the intimate declarations of commitment that always resonate the most with me and my work. I’ve honed in what has made this job incredible for me personally, and it’s when I get to be intimate with the new friends I come to love in this experience that mean the most.

 

How do you approach your photography sessions?

First, I never meet the couple for the first time face-to-face on shoot day. We ALWAYS have a FaceTime meeting getting to know each other and cultivating a friendship. That’s so important to me before even picking up my camera. Then after that, I love getting food/coffee/drinks with my couples again, before I even touch my camera. It’s really important to me to build a foundation of friendship and trust first before the photos begin, and I’ve found that it makes their experience a lot more personalized and fun, and gives them photos that truly capture who they are.

 

How did you develop your editing style? What elements were important to you?

I would say my style is colorful, but natural. I LOVE colors, but want them to look as natural as possible, not oversaturated. I shoot in many different landscapes – from redwoods to the red deserts of Moab, and each of those locations have unique colors that I want to keep true-to-color as much as possible. I believe that colors tell the story of the day as well, which is something I truly value in my photography style – telling the day as beautifully as possible and capturing the essence of what it felt like.

 

What did the process of creating your preset pack look like?

It was honestly a lot of fun! I learned a lot with Greg, but loved creating a preset that I believe truly keeps those colors in every environment and can tell the story well. It took many different calls and trial presets to make it happen, but I’m so stoked with how these turned out! It’s been almost 2 years in the making!!

 

Which preset in your collection do you use the most? Why?

Oh gosh, I love DP Preset 2. I love the creaminess of the skin, the colors, and just everything about it! I use it personally on my own photos, and I can’t wait to share it with others!

 

 

How else do you fill your time, other than photography?

My husband and I love to get outside! We love camping, hiking, exploring on our dirt bikes, offroading in our 4-runner, and playing with our pups. Now we have a new son that we just added to the family back in January, so we can’t wait to show him the world!

We are also huge foodies – we love to find new places to eat including sushi, BBQ, burgers, taco trucks, tapas restaurants, and so much more. We also are kind of adrenaline junkies and like to motorcycle together, as well as snowboard during winter seasons. Nothing really scares us that much if an adventure is involved!

 

Do you have advice for photographers who are just starting out?

Oh gosh, yes, so much! First is to honestly invest in your education – it will get you to where you want to go quicker. I was a stickler when I first started and was very frugal with my finances when it came to investing in my business – and I honestly feel like if I would’ve invested in a mentorship or workshop sooner, I would’ve been able to grow quicker. I know a lot of people say this is their biggest advice, and it’s honestly because it’s so true!

 


Photography by Dani Purington

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