It Takes Time [Maternity] | Truthy Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a wonderful start πŸ’›

For Today's truthy, I want to look back. In an effort to maintain transparency, I love sharing old photos from early in my photography career to drive home the point that one does not become awesome overnight, it takes time!

Back in 2013, I shared the story of how I got started (originally appearing here), which was supposed to be a multi-part series, but apparently I got busy and never finished it lol. Maybe I'll add that to my list of things to do (an updated series :) 

A couple years later in 2015, I created a short guide of sorts on how to prepare for your photo session (originally appearing here) that included quite a few progress photos relating to location, wardrobe, makeup, and session planning. I actually still share this with my clients so that they have an idea of the elements that make up a successful shoot!

Today? I'm going to share what the (session specific) progress looked like in real time, so let's get started with maternity sessions!


Though I had been shooting on and off for a couple years, 2009 is my starting point because this is when DFinney Photography officially was born :) I didn't provide any direction or suggestions (wardrobe, makeup, location, etc) to my subjects, nor were my photography skills where they needed to be (posing, focus, sharpness, etc).  


In 2010, I took wayy more maternity photos, but each was very different because at this point, I was letting my clients dictate my style. Bare bellies were very much "in", so I bought fabric and had it on-hand in case maternity clients requested it. I wasn't a fan of this style of maternity photos, but I also didn't yet realize that by sharing images that I wasn't a fan of (just because I shot them), I was inadvertently advertising for more of that work. 


I became disillusioned with maternity sessions. In 2011, I was no longer interested in photographing bare belly sessions, but it seemed that it was all potential clients requested. I photographed a few sessions, but did not publicize much of the imagery.

I didn't photograph any maternity sessions in 2012 or 2013. 


In 2014, I decided to approach maternity sessions once more, but with a fresh outlook. By now I'd began providing my clients with more direction prior to the session (including seeing their wardrobe beforehand) so that we were crafting more cohesive portraits.


Because I was out of practice with them, 2015 was more of a mental shift for me- to approach maternity sessions as no different from my others. Meaning, not being so "stuck" to traditional posing and composition.


I carried the goal of the previous year into my 2016 maternity sessions, and stepped it up a notch. Bold colors, backgrounds, and focusing more on capturing meaningful interactions defined the maternity sessions from this year. 


Having shot more maternity sessions in the new style I felt confident with, in 2017, I was inspired to get creative! Color harmony is a staple of my work now, so crafting visually appealing portraits that are cohesive all the way through is a goal of mine for every session.

So... this post ran longer than I intended it to, but I hope you made it to the end and enjoyed seeing the shift over the past 8 years :)

Interested in seeing more progression photos? Check out this post where I go into detail on the different factors that impacted my work from year to year.

If you've found yourself at a "stuck" point, and would like to improve your natural light shooting, I'd be more than happy to help! Check out my mentoring programs (upcoming sessions are now being booked for Atlanta, DC, Houston, and Chicago). Just shoot me an email if you'd like to attend!  


2018 Headshot Special | Specials

Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going well!

Following up on last week's Brand Guide Freebie- As promised, I have something special for you! What is it?

The 2018 Headshot Special!

Typically, the only specials I hold are the seasonal Lifestyle Mini Specials (which will be coming soon btw- Spring Minis will be held on May 5 & 6 so save the date if you'd like to snag one! Booking for the Spring Mini Special will open mid March) BUT, this year I decided to try something new in the meantime :)

I want 2018 to be YOUR year! To get it off to a strong start, why not update your headshots!

headshot flyer.jpg

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 $385 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 special: You must be located in (or willing to travel to) the Washington, DC Area (Alexandria, VA). Your session must be booked no later than February 1, to be photographed on February 24. All headshot sessions will be photographed at an awesome indoor (and outdoor- weather permitting) location in Northern Virginia!

Sound good to you?

Yes! This is just what I need!


If you're ready to book, DON’T DELAY! There WERE 6 spots available on Monday, but now? There's just one left. Booking opens first to the mailing list, then to the general public, so if you want a greater likelihood of securing your preferred time for specials in the future, you should probably sign up :)

Not sure if this is what you need? Check out the regular business session packages here to see if one of those would be a better fit for you!

Well, I think that's it!

If you have a question that's not answered here, feel free to shoot me an email! I look forward to hearing from you soon and creating awesome business imagery with you next month!

-Danni β™₯

Your FREE Guide to Better Brand Photos!

Ya'll... Is this my THIRD blog post in as many weeks?! 😱 I'm just as shocked as you are lol.

I wanted to pop in to share something awesome with you- a FREE guide I created to help you take better business photos!

Grab your Better Brand Guide HERE!

Currently I'm business planning for the year, and figured now would be a great time to share this resource because I'm sure other small businesses are doing the same! If you haven't updated your business photos in a while, and you're not even sure where to begin, no worries! This guide will help you through the process!


Not a small business owner OR looking to build a brand? Chances are you know someone that is! Spread the wealth, share this post with them! And if you find it helpful, I'd love to hear from you!

No, I didn't forget about families and couples. Just giving the business-owner some love for a moment lol.

**ALSO: Stay close to your email for a something special coming your way on Monday! (and mark your calendar for February 24 ;)**

Well, that's it for today! I hope you have a great weekend β™₯


Kreative Sentiments | Washington, DC Brand Photographer

We are midway through the second week of a new year... time just doesn't stop moving does it? πŸ˜© As a business owner, time has a special way moving around these parts (too fast! lol), because there is always something to be done.

That simple fact is one reason why I enjoy photographing other business owners so much... because for a couple of hours, you don't have to worry about clients and their needs, it's all about you!

I had such a great time with sisters Kim & Kelley of Kreative Sentiments for their brand session, and I am in love with the resulting images! They are so sweet and it was a joy to capture their beauty, lovely personalities, and sisterly bond in photographs. πŸ’–


Hear from Kim & Kelly on their experience with DFinney Photography:

"Danielle's work is AMAZING! Her eye for detail is like no other and she has this way of making you feel comfortable in front of the camera while photographing you. Additionally, she really takes the time to understand the look and feel that you are going for with respect to your shoot. Naturally your outfits play a huge role in this, so she takes the time to know what your outfits are before hand, and makes excellent recommendations where needed. We trusted Danielle to capture the essence of our "sisterliness" on camera, being familiar with her quality of work, it was a "NO brainer" when it came to deciding who we wanted to take our brand photos.

Our brand session with DFinney Photography was INCREDIBLE! We had so much FUN working with Danielle! She was extremely organized and selected specific backgrounds and locations within walking distance of one another. And she was very patient, giving excellent direction to ensure that she got the photos she needed and images that we would love. Danielle is extremely professional, her editing process is seamless, she always goes the extra mile for her clients, and we couldn't be happier with our photos."
-Kimberly & Kelley Smith

If you want to step up your brand visuals for 2018 with a business session, I would love to get you on the calendar! Email me to schedule yours today!

Day 4 | Truthy Thursday

...It's been a slooow start to the new year for me.

This time is characteristically busy and full of excitement; New year, new opportunities, new goals! But all of that excitement seems to have been lost on me this time around.


Art by Fisayo Quadri

It all just feels like yet another day I have to muddle through. I know it is "just another day", but those "clean slate" feelings have escaped me completely, and I've been feeling kind of bad about that.

Honestly, it's still pretty tricky for me to actually "own" my bipolar 2 diagnosis and understand just how much it affects me :/ Sometimes I feel fine and I am able to get things done easily, be thoughtful, responsive... you know, normal adult things lol. Then (far more times), I feel quite the opposite of fine, and my accomplishments for the day are very minimal- just getting basic things done like: 

And not all of those things in one day lol. So while the world is excited about a new year, I'm just trying to manage consistently eating and actually getting out of bed when I wake up. 

Despite the daily mood and energy shifts, I am still chipping away at things and trying to be productive, so I guess that counts for something? It's just a long road to find exactly what works and what doesn't, so when I'm MIA for days or weeks at a time, that's why. I'm in the mix trying to figure this thing out... or just trying to make it through a crappy day.


While I inherently hope that 2018 will bring me closer to a better way of operating, I fully realize that it's going to take a LOT of effort, but I am ready for it and I look forward to seeing those improvements (no matter how small) in real time.

If you're feeling similarly about the new year, just know that you're not alone, and just like we got through 2017, we'll get through 2018. One day at a time πŸ’š