Maya- Herpothecary | Makers Series

It’s here, it’s here!

As announced last week, today is the official start of the Makers Series- a biweekly series that will feature some inspiring and talented women makers! So beginning today, that makes every other Monday, Makers Monday :)

I am so inspired by creators- especially when I can learn more about the processes behind their work, so it was really important to me to bring this series to life because the work just doesn’t magically appear. Often we see the the final product someone has created, but not necessarily what went into the creation process, so I’m really happy to have the opportunity to share this with you.

To kick things off, I would like to introduce you to the woman responsible for my smell goods- Maya Johnson of Herpothecary!

I happened to stumble upon Maya’s beautiful soaps last year when I saw her pop-up at the Spice Suite. Let me tell you… this is one of the rare times I wish the internet had a scratch and sniff option lol. I was already super drawn to her products by the gorgeous designs, but after experiencing them for myself- not only did they smell great, but I couldn’t get over how nourishing everything was! The cherry on top? Her soaps, butters, powders, and scrubs are all created with natural ingredients you can pronounce and that are good for you! I became an instant fan and told everyone I could about her! So now it’s my turn to share her with you :)

Your products are absolutely beautiful! What guides your decision-making when it comes to what you will offer and how the final product will look? 

Thank you! The soap designs are definitely driven by the seasons as well as by things I see around me and in nature. Oh and lot of Pinterest color palettes! LOL

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Walk us through the creation process. What does it look like from idea to final product for one of your soaps? 

While it's usually ideal for me to draw a sketch of what I'd like the final soap to look like, lately I've been diving into the making process blindly and letting the colors and scents lead the process. So once I've prepared my lye solution along with my melted oils, butters and additives, I combine them with my stick blender until emulsified. I separate them into different containers and color each one with a different mica or skin-safe colorant. I fragrance each color and further combine them until smooth and cohesive. From there I start to pour them into my soap mold. Depending on the design, I'll either do a hanger swirl where I drag my swirling tool throughout the soap in random directions, or I'll leave it as is. I love gold on tops of my soaps and will usually finish everything off with a gold mica drizzle swirl. The next day, I'll cut the large slab into loafs, cut the loafs into individual bars, stamp, bevel and cure them for at least 4 weeks.

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What is the soundtrack to Herpothecary (what's playing in the background when you're creating)? 

99% of the time, some type of lo fi hip hop is playing as I soap. It's super soothing and really allows me to focus. 


As a small business owner, sometimes motivation can ebb and flow. What slows you down and how do you overcome it? 

Some of my soap designs can make me feel a bit stagnant at times. It can feel like there are only so many drop swirls one can do before all the soaps start to look alike. I like to keep it fresh by watching the trends in the soaping and handmade world and put my own spin on them to keep me inspired.  


What is the most fulfilling aspect of running Herpothecary? 

I love getting the testimonials and reviews of customers who at one time were loyal Dove or Lush junkies tell me that they've "made the switch" to making me their Soap Pusha lol. I never thought this would be a "thing" and it really inspires me to keep going to hear that something as small as a bar of soap really brightened someone's outlook on their self-care routine.

What's been your favorite entrepreneurial highlight so far? 

Hands down, having the experience and chance to build and grow with The Spice Suite and the Spice Girls. Those women are SUCH a rock of inspiration and I doubt that Herpothecary would be such a "thing" without my tribe. 

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What's the most important thing you've learned so far about yourself as a maker?

I've learned that I'm pretty resilient, even as a die hard introvert. As this entrepreneur trend seems to tick up and I find myself surrounded by people from all walks of life who look like me, support me, or folks who would even be considered "competimates", its forced me to change the lens of which I view those interactions. I've had to pivot with more precision and intention. There are bumps and bruises but I've found those moments to be teachable ones that I've been able to grow from. 


It was such a joy photographing Maya and getting to learn more about her creative process. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Maya a little better! And if you’re interested in experiencing her smell goods for yourself (which I do highly recommend), please visit her website, and follow her on facebook and instagram- she’s @herpothecary everywhere!

Let me know what you think of the new series! Also: stay tuned for our next Makers Monday feature on May 20 :)

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Something New + Spring Availability | News & Updates

Happy Monday to you!

Today I am excited to share (a teaser of) a project that's been in the works for months:

Next Monday will kick off a new biweekly feature: the Makers Series.

Similar to my Artist Spotlight feature from some years ago, this project will be highlighting some of my favorite makers of all kinds! The Makers Series will be slightly different from the aforementioned though because this will be more focused on the process and thinking behind the creative work.

I can’t wait to share this passion project with you and introduce you to some amazing women makers ♥

For now, I’ll leave you with this teaser :)

The Makers Series will go live the first Monday of May!

I have just one more update for you today, and it's regarding Spring availability:

Spots have been M O V I N G!

Here’s what’s left: 
2 May dates 
4 June dates

50% of which are weekdays, so if you’d like to grab one of those for yourself or your family, you might want to secure your date sooner than later :)

That’s it for today!

I hope your day treats you well and (if you’re in DC or the weather is great where you are) that you get out and enjoy it!

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Spring Update + Chicago Booking for May!

Happy Tuesday to you!

How is the Spring season treating you? 🌸

Mine is going fairly well! Especially compared to about this time last year. I have been working with some amazing clients (as always, honestly lol) and managing my mental illness much better than I have been in quite some time. That’s huge for me, so I’m pretty happy about that :)

My last Truthy Tuesday at the beginning of the year was a not great one… Since then, I’ve been incorporating a number of things in an effort to craft some semblance of wellness and… although the bad days aren’t gone completely, I can say that I have been doing a bit better these past few weeks and I am super grateful for that. If you’re interested, I can go more into detail on that in another post :)

Before I get on to the availability updates and whatnot, I have a new book recommendation:

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day.

This book has been really helpful in regards to changing how I view my personal priorities vs what’s important to others and combined with the principles from the previous books I shared, I think I may be onto something! As soon as I can successfully apply these things to my life lol. But having the tools is a great first step :)

Onto the availability updates!

I do hope you’ll forgive me for the late notice BUT-

Chicago, I’ll be in your city at the beginning of May!

You guys didn’t get as much notice as Atlanta unfortunately because quite a few spots were booked ahead of time, but I have 3 spaces left available on May 2 and 5.

You can check out the details and secure your session here!

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On the home front, weekends are going F A S T.

I updated my calendar this week, and… there are only 3 weekends left available for May and June! Plenty of weekdays available, so if you’d like to get on the calendar sooner than later, that may be your best bet.

Also, you may have noticed that I typically have early appointment times listed. Why is that? 3 reasons:

1. Less people which means less car and pedestrian traffic, 2. Cooler temperatures. As the weather heats up, this means that we’re able to shoot comfortably without being super hot, and 3. Although good light can be found at any time, I tend to enjoy morning light. So even though I’m not a morning person, I don’t mind sacrificing for the sake of art, and I do hope you’re open to creating in the morning hours with me as well :)

Want to get on the Spring Calendar? Check out the available dates and if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email! I’d love to photograph you this Spring for your headshots, brand, graduation, or family photos!

That’s it for today! I hope your week is treating you well and I look forward to creating beautiful art with you this Spring season!

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ATLANTA | April 2019

Happy Monday to you!

Towards the end of last month, I shared that I was coming back to Atlanta in April! Booking opened up last week to the mailing list, and now? Just 3 spots are left! 😲 I even added an extra one just so I’d have the opportunity to work with at least one more person while I’m in town :)

Check out the info below if you’d like to grab one of the last few spots!

The following sessions are available for booking in Atlanta from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7:

Please note: If no dates are shown as available, the time has been booked. You’re welcome to inquire if you’re interested in a time that’s not shown as available, but I cannot guarantee calendar availability.


This session is perfect if you're just looking for a updated photos for your career. You'll for sure walk away with a few great headshots, but full body photos are included as well.


This session is perfect to celebrate a milestone for yourself or your family. Or if you're feeling cute and just want to shoot :)


This session is for the entrepreneur in need of full brand imagery. You'll walk away with a versatile final gallery with images that you can use across your online platforms and for print marketing.


This session is specifically designed for photographers looking to improve their natural light portrait photography. Please view the full course description here. This is an all day (roughly 7 hour) session.

Ready to secure your spot?
Just click on the button above for the service that you'd like, and you can book right away!

Have any questions?
Click over to the
FAQ page! You can also shoot me an email if you don’t see your question there, and I'd be happy to answer it for you!

I look forward to creating with you in Atlanta!

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2019 Headshot Special | Specials

Following up on the last post about brand photos… I have something that you'll definitely be interested in if you're looking to update your headshots this year:

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The 2019 Headshot Special!

Last year was the first year the Mini Headshot Special was held and it received such great feedback that I decided to bring it back for year two!

Just a quick note: Booking was first available to the mailing list, and now it’s open to the general public, so if you're thinking about booking, you might want to move on it. There WERE 6 spots available. Now? Only 2 are left. Check out the full details below!

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Here are the details:

The Mini Headshot Special will be booked in 60 minute increments- with makeup taking place first, photo session to follow.

This special is $425 and includes the following: 
• Professional makeup application for 1 
• 20 minute headshot session for 1* 
• One outfit 
• Your choice of 3 retouched high-resolution images (w/ option to purchase additional)

*Full body photos will be included, for a diverse final gallery to choose from!

To take advantage of this: You must be located in (or willing to travel to) Washington, DC. Your session must be booked no later than February 1, to be photographed on February 23. All headshot sessions will be photographed at an awesome indoor location in Washington, DC! (So we'll be good to go no matter what the weather is doing outside :)


Not so sure? Maybe you'd enjoy hearing from someone who participated in last year's Mini Headshot Special:


"I have been following DFinney's work for years! I've always loved her vivid coloring and ability to capture real moments in ways that still look polished. When I worked with her for my headshots, she exceeded my expectations 20x over! I never felt like I was able to capture who I am in photos, but Danni gave me great direction and made me feel so comfortable- and my pictures showed it! I LOVED working with her (loved the process and her organization), and I hope to work with her again soon!" 
-Tara Carter

Looking for a bit more than headshots? Check out the regular business session packages to see if one of those would be a better fit for you!

Additional questions? View the FAQs and feel free to shoot me an email if you have a question that's not answered there!

I look forward to hearing from you soon and creating awesome business imagery with you next month!

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