Fall & Winter Fashion Guide | Photography FAQ

Happy Monday! And a COLD one it is! Apparently winter wanted in on the fun this weekend because it has definitely been very freezy these past few days :/ 

This cool weather season we are in (and the cold weather season to come) has put fashion on my mind :) I don’t love cold weather by any means, but I do appreciate all of the fun possibilities that dressing for cold weather affords you- especially when it relates to pictures!


I am always asked for suggestions on what to wear- even more so during the Fall & Winter months because folks may want to take pictures but simply don’t know how to dress appropriately for the elements and still be fashionable. That’s where this post comes in :) 

Not only is it important to be fashionable, but in the cooler months, it is SO important to dress for the elements. So this means unfortunately your spring & summer outfits are no longer an option. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve arrived to photograph someone and their outfit looks great but they are FREEZING! Well I probably can because that doesn’t happen often, but I don’t want it to happen at all! Your average person isn’t a model so they haven’t yet mastered the art of not looking cold in photos lol. It is VERY difficult to smile and look pleasant when all you’re thinking about is how you can’t feel your toes. So my hope is that we can prevent this from happening in the future.

This post has been modified from a Fall & Winter fashion guide I created for my clients a few years back. I decided it was time to update it and that instead of having it be an exclusive document, now everyone can benefit!

This guide was created to remove the fear associated with taking photos in cold weather and give you a few helpful tips and suggestions!

You don’t have to forgo looking good to keep warm. There are many ways to dress so you can stay warm and still be quite fashionable for photos. Here are a few helpful tips:


TIP #1: Dress in Layers

Use a few thin warm layers rather than one thick layer. It will insulate better and allow for flexibility if you wish to take photos without a coat.

Wear a base layer
Your “base layer” can be tights or long underwear … whatever will provide a warm, light base to your outfit. Don’t forget about your legs! At minimum, have a base layer like long underwear and an outer layer, like a pair of jeans.

Visible layers
Visible layers help add depth & interest to your outfit. For example- you can layer a plain tee under a printed button-up shirt with a sweater or vest on top.


TIP #2: Wear a Stylish Coat, Blazer, or Vest

Your outerwear is the most important part of your cold weather wardrobe. Make sure it’s camera ready by selecting fashionable AND warm outerwear. Don’t be afraid of color and patterns either! This helps add visual interest and personality to your photos.


TIP #3: Cold Weather Accessories

Accessorizing isn’t just for regular outfits - you can (and should) accessorize
your outerwear as well! Complimenting scarves, fashionable hats, colorful gloves… these are your best friends during the colder months. Even better, they’re generally inexpensive so there’s no reason not to buy a bunch of them :)


TIP #4: Boots!

Boots are so versatile- you can keep warm while looking great too! While boots are not a must, they definitely help pull together your fall & winter looks.


TIP #5: Switch it up!

If possible, bring along a couple different coats or jackets, scarves, hats, etc
that way you can switch up your look without having to do a full outfit change (unless of course you want to).


TIP #6: Have fun!

Fall & winter photo sessions can be a blast! Use these tips and the outfit suggestions to follow to put together your perfect look!

Here are a few sample looks from a few of my Fall & Winter sessions over the past few years. The key to almost all of these looks is visible layering! Also take note of how couples and families can coordinate their looks without being too matchy matchy.


Need more ideas & outfit inspiration? Check out my Fall & Winter Fashion Pinterest Board.

When preparing for each session, I always ask my clients for photos of what they plan to wear for 3 reasons- to begin getting ideas in place for their session, select the appropriate location, and make wardrobe suggestions where necessary. That way we can ensure amazing results like this every time! Speaking of which… that ties in beautifully with what tomorrow’s post will be. Stay tuned for a brand new Truthy Tuesday tomorrow :)

Hopefully you found this post helpful! Let me know what you thought and please share if you know of anyone that can benefit from it!

‘Till next time

-Danni ♥

What Kind of Camera Should I Get? | Photography FAQ

Two weeks in a row doing a Photography FAQ? Who am I?! Lol well I hope you enjoy today’s topic as it’s a question I find myself being asked more often these days so I figured I’d write about it so I can have some place to direct folks to who ask this question in the future :)

The assumption often is that since you’re a good photographer, you should know all things about cameras. This simply isn’t true- for me anyway lol. 

I’m often asked this question and I never exactly know how to answer because to be quite honest, I don’t keep up with the latest camera technology to even have the slightest idea of what’s the best out there currently.

I shoot Nikon because that’s what my brother had when I began shooting so I just stayed with the same brand because we shared lenses. Quite a few of my photographer friends also shoot Canon, and a few shoot Sony and Mamiya (I know there are other brands but those are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head lol). I don’t have brand allegiance so you won’t hear me suggesting you get a Nikon over Canon or any other brand because truly it’s about knowing how to use the camera, not the brand :)


Your camera search will begin when you get an idea of the kinds of things you want to use the camera for. If you find you’re not interested in becoming a photographer, you may not even need a professional DSLR camera. Digital technology has advanced tremendously in recent years and you’re able to get great quality photos with a regular digital camera, so this will save you loads of money. If you are looking to get a DSLR camera, my suggestion is always to google “best beginner DSLR camera” or things like that so that you can begin your search with more information in the area specific to what you’re looking for. That will help you narrow down your selection.

Once you’ve found a camera you’re going to move forward with, the greatest piece of advice I can offer here comes from what my brother told me when I was looking to purchase my first camera- buy the camera BODY ONLY and then use the money you would have put towards the full camera + kit lens towards the purchase of a quality lens. Kit lenses aren’t really that great (which is why they’re included for free), and once you progress in your photography, they will never be used… so skip that step and move forward with a lens that you will actually be able to use for years to come :)

Lenses… are another topic altogether, but some great (relatively inexpensive) portrait lenses are 50/1.8 and 35/1.8. Which lens(es) you choose to go with will ultimately depend on the types of things you plan to shoot and there are wonderful articles on the interwebs that have been written to take you much more in depth on that :)

Hopefully this helped get your search started!


All the Files? | Truthy Tuesday | Photography FAQ

Guess what’s making a comeback on the blog today? Truthy Tuesday AND the Photography FAQ feature! :) I decided to combine the two because of the topic. 


Lately I’ve been asked by fellow photographers (both during mentor sessions and via email) what they should do when clients ask to see all of the unedited images from their session. My short answer is no. Why? I figured the explanation would be a great educating moment for newer fellow photographers and potential clients alike… So let’s get into it! 

Since both potential clients and fellow photogs may be reading, I will address them separately :)

This is a fairly common problem that I hear about from other photographers (and that I did have to deal with early on). But if the question ever comes up for a client to see all of the raw/unedited images from their session, my answer is always no.

Why? Because I want to showcase my best work. Often times when folks ask for things like that it’s because they truly don’t understand all that’s involved in what we do (or because they’re trying to get over lol) but I’ll approach it from the aspect that they don’t know so it’s my job to educate them.


If you find yourself in this situation, share with your client that it’s important that you provide them with the best final images and as such, providing all of the files is out of the question. It’s kind of almost like a chef or a painter- the raw files would be like giving the meal ingredients before they are cooked and artfully plated or giving the canvas, paint, and brushes before the art has been painted and framed- raw files are an incomplete work of art. 

And if you’d like to take it even further- you can share that not all of the photos are great- some are test shots, the lighting may have been off, an unflattering pose, eyes closed, etc… So when you eliminate the unflattering and mediocre shots, the great photos stand on their own, so they don’t need to worry that they’re missing anything :) But this also places a heightened responsibility on you to be sure that you are providing a final set of dynamic images.


To eliminate having to deal with this in the future, try writing somewhere on your site that clients will receive final photos as selected by the photographer so that they’re aware of that even before booking. Truthfully this only makes sense because when potential clients look at your work, and contact you to book, they are in essence telling you that they like your eye because they fell in love with the images YOU selected to showcase. So it comes down to simply trusting that and trusting your judgement that they will love the final product.

I’m sure you read all that up there, right? Hopefully it wasn’t too harsh to read! It’s very important to realize that although everyone has access to cameras and photography equipment these days, everyone is not a photographer. So when you hire a photographer, you have to be sure that you trust their judgement and artistic vision.


Think of it this way- would you go to a restaurant, wait till you’re served a dish, then say “Thanks, but no thanks chef, can you give me the raw chicken, vegetables, and uncooked rice? I’d like to fix this myself/have a look at the ingredients to be sure they’re being prepared properly”? Absolutely not! You might as well have just fixed a meal at home! If you did ask that though, I’m certain your request would not be honored lol. 

It’s precisely the same thing when you ask to see all of the raw/unedited files from your session. In essence you’re saying “I don’t trust your judgement". So my advice is not to not ask for them, but to be sure that the photographer you choose to hire is one that you trust. That will make this process much more pleasant and enjoyable for all involved :)


That’s all for today! Clearly I’m making up for lost time with this super long post lol. Sorry about that! Hopefully it was an easy read though :)

Stay tuned for more newness this week! Leave a comment and let me know what you thought about today’s post!


Tips & Tricks? | Photography FAQ

A rare late night post :) I just posted this on Facebook, but then figured it should probably be on the blog so here it is.

imagePhoto by Tosha Francis of The Captured Life

Often I’m asked if I have any photography tips and tricks to share… that’s kind of like asking a chef if they have any cooking tips to share. Yes, there are tips and tricks, but it’s SUCH a huge topic filled with so many nuances that this “tips and tricks” statement kind of gets to me lol. 

I know folks don’t mean any harm, but there are so many different ways to go about learning and perfecting YOUR photography that I never feel right indulging this statement. What level of understanding do you have of basic photography already? Do you understand what the exposure triangle is? Do you know why a DSLR is called a DSLR? Are you interested in taking better pictures or do you not know how to take pictures at all? I could tell you to always make sure you focus on the eyes, but what if you don’t want to pursue portrait photography? What if you want to get creative with your compositions and not focus on the eyes? What if you don’t even know how to use the focus points on your camera? What if your camera doesn’t have focus points?

Lol clearly you see there are a lot of facets to this thing and this hasn’t even scratched the surface! I love teaching, but I love teaching with direction. I don’t like talking just to talk. I like providing specific assistance and actionable steps that you can implement right away.

So I guess I say all this to say that although I would love to help everyone with their photography questions, it’s not always possible. I encourage every photographer that I mentor to be an advocate for their own education. Don’t wait for information to be handed to you. Research and try to find out things on your own. This is not to say that you shouldn’t ask for help when you need it, but don’t be so dependent on help and direction that you lose your own voice. Photography, just like any other artistic endeavor, is all about personal expression and the best photographers are those that are truly doing what they love. 

Just my 2 cents… or 3 ;)


What's In Your Camera Bag | Photography FAQ

Happy Monday guys!

Last week was probably the most I’ve posted on this blog in a while lol. But I’m going to try and keep up (not that many posts!) but I do have lots to share with you :) Guess what’s back today? Photography FAQ! 

I came across this amazing site a couple months ago and spent way too much time there.


It is full of amazing work from great photographers where you get to see exactly what they use to bring to life their various projects! I’m always impressed when photographers are able to produce a striking image with just a few items. 

This site gave me an idea to do one of my own, but then I forgot lol. Then I received Maryam’s message and it was perfect timing :) So here’s our Photography FAQ for the day! 

“I keep seeing posts about different photogs and "what’s in their bag” and I would like to know what’s in Danni's camera bag! So Danni what’s in your bag and why is that your equipment of choice?“


I absolutely love this question Maryam because I love sharing how little you need to make a great portrait :)


Here’s what I take for portrait sessions:
Kelly Moore Posey Bag
Nikon D700 + Scarf camera strap (via Etsy)
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 35mm f/1.4
Step ladder

My recent love is my 35/1.4… The 50/1.4 used to be my go-to fave, but I fell in love with the 35 when I needed to get my 50 serviced and now I think I may use them both equally. Initially I used my 50 almost 95% of the time, but since I’ve been using my 35 more, I am IN LOVE! In my head I used to always complain that I wanted to get more of the scene without having to be so far away and the 35 lets me do that beautifully, while still maintaining the beautiful background blur (I hate the word bokeh lol). So that’s it! Just my cam and the 35 & 50 lenses. And my trusty ladder/step stool. 


Here’s what I take for weddings:
Kelly Moore B-Hobo Bag
Nikon D700 + Scarf camera strap (via Etsy)
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 35mm f/1.4
Nikon 85mm f/3.5
Nikon SB-900 Speedlight
Step ladder

And my brother Adrian shoots with the following:
Nikon D700
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
Nikon 135mm f/2.8
Nikon SB-900 Speedlight

I pretty much use the same thing but with just a couple additions. As you see, I’m a fan of fixed lenses and my brother shoots with the zoom. The last wedding I shot, I almost shot the whole thing with my 35! Previously it would have been with the 50. For weddings I bring my macro lens for the ring shots only and my 20mm f/1.8 (not pictured) in case I want to do any creative wide angle shots but generally they just take up space because I rarely switch lenses. I also use the speedlight for weddings, but only when necessary because I don’t like flash… mostly because I don’t understand it honestly lol. I’m learning though, with the help of my brother :) Which is why shooting weddings with him is the only way I’ll do a wedding.

That’s it for today! 

I hope you guys found this helpful :)