We recently connected with Daniella Koontz and have shared our conversation below.
Daniella, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. We’d love to hear about a project that you’ve worked on that’s meant a lot to you.
Each year I am challenging myself to do two meaningful things. First, I choose one non-profit to donate my business time to – either by helping them update their headshots or by covering one or more of their events. I choose the non-profit based on something that is important to me. Giving back to my community is important, but it is also important to be appreciated and valued for what you are giving them, and not just because someone is looking for a free service.
The second is a passion project or something that you have fun doing. When you start to make money doing what you enjoy – it becomes a job and is less about creating, and more about delivering a product to a customer’s expectations. Sometimes you just have to create art for yourself. Find your joy in what inspired you to start your business in the first place. Make art just for yourself. Give yourself the freedom to play, and do, and just be. It will help replenish your soul to continue creating for your clients.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
To sum up my business I am a creative portrait and wedding photographer serving offbeat fun-loving people. My goal is to be inclusive, body positive, and give people permission to just have fun.
Photography has been a life-long passion of mine. With over 25 years behind the lens, I have been there during the days of film and experienced the evolution from film to digital. I grew up with a camera in my hands and even convinced my high school to let me join the yearbook club a year earlier than normal.
My husband and I originally started Koontz Photography together in 2006, but since then he has followed his career path in the hospitality industry. He now works as a cast member in transportation at Disney.
Besides the technical skills that I’ve developed over time, countless classes, seminars, and workshops; I can relate to a client’s needs on multiple personal levels, which means I can bring my personal experience to each session.
Being a wife, I’ve been in a bride’s shoes planning a wedding. I’ve been on the other side of the camera trying to plan family photos. I wholeheartedly understand the stress of trying to find the time, make decisions, and organize it all.
Being a mother has taught me patience, organizational skills, and has trained me to become a better problem solver. I always strive to make the experience fun for the entire family. I will do anything to make children feel at ease. Even if that means pulling out my killer Blue’s Clues impression, Baby Shark song and dance, or engaging them in questions about their favorite superheroes.
Besides photographing weddings and portraits, I’ve also done a lot of other work including photographing musicians, body painting, and cosplay. These photos have been internationally published in magazines, books, and merchandise across the world. But by far, my favorite accomplishments have been being published by the Smithsonian, as well as being included in one of their traveling exhibits, “Water/Ways”.
When it comes to relaxation and fun, I love getting to experience life all over again through the eyes of my children. I mean, who doesn’t love board games, crafting, and going to museums? My family and I love costumes, face painting, anime, scavenger hunts (Have you heard of GISH?), and we love exploring new places.
Since my husband’s family is spread out through the northeast U.S., we like to try to spend our summers up north. We enjoy hiking, swimming, and exploring national and state parks. I especially love finding waterfalls to photograph. In the winter we love to go sledding and one day I hope to teach my children how to snowboard! I also take bookings while traveling, so let me know if you live up north and would like to book with me!
When it comes to my love of art, I was classically trained in oil painting but later discovered my love of watercolors. My favorite things are tacos, sci-fi, gaming, and emo music. I enjoy working with people who are full of love for life and share my appreciation for the quirky, unique, and nerdy things in life. I am always excited to connect with new people and create art together!
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
Word of mouth is the best marketing ever. Instead of paying thousands of dollars on a marketing team and materials, do your best to give your customers the best possible experience, and they will market for you.
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
I love making people feel confident and beautiful. There is so much negativity and self-criticism in the world. I am not immune to it myself. Society and the media has a very narrow spectrum of what they consider to be beautiful, and that can take a toll on people’s opinion of themselves.
It is most rewarding to watch people feel empowered, step out of their comfort zone, embrace themselves, try something new, and then see their face light up because they are having so much fun doing things that they might have been terrified to do. Then, when they see the final results, they can see just how beautiful they are to other people.
The people who love you don’t measure you by your weight, wrinkles, or color of your hair. They love you for your smile, infectious laughter, warm hugs, and beautiful spirit. I love capturing the self-love of embracing yourself on every level.
- Website: www.KoontzPhotography.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/KoontzPhotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KoontzPhotography/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniellakoontz/
- Other: https://linktr.ee/koontzphotography
All images taken by me