About Me: My Seriously Unprofessional Cover Letter

Let me just start by saying, it’s not very often that I write a blog post solely for the purpose of expressing myself or telling a story. Honestly, this feels something like a combination of writing a CV for a job application and telling a story to a close friend. So, I guess I’ll start over…

Dear Future Client, 

I am so excited you’ve stumbled on my website and made your way to the blog. Seriously, it’s flattering that you like me and my photography that much! It’s people like you who keep me doing what I’ve been doing for the last 10+ years. 

You may find yourself wondering, “How did she end up pursuing photography professionally?” or “How did she get SO good at this?!” (Or, maybe, you’re just trying to get a bit more info on the person you’re choosing to capture images of your important moments!) Either way, let me give you a bit of backstory…

Honest Answer: I honestly have no idea. 

A Bit Of My Photography Backstory

I wish I could picture the lightbulb moment where I chose to jump ship on my Intensive Care Nursing career and go full speed ahead with professional photography, but I can’t. I spent almost seven years working at the hospital as a neuro ICU nurse whilst moonlighting as a professional photographer on my available off days & weekends. It wasn’t even me who made the decision to leave the nursing professional altogether–THAT was most definitely my husband. 

No, my need for order, reason, and an airtight game plan would never have consented to small business ownership or professional photography as a full-time career. 

But if you asked me why I love being a professional photographer so much or where my passion for photography comes from, I could absolutely answer that. 

The Real Reason I’m So Passionate About Photography

I lost my little brother. 

He died on January 18, 2023. 

And, although I had been a professional photographer for almost ten years, it was that day that made me realize how much I truly valued my career. 

Because, after the chaos of that awful, terrible, nightmare of a day, the first thing we did was search through all of the albums of photos to see his face again. It was the photos of my brother that we sought and the images of us together that brought such comfort. 

As the news of his death broke to family and friends, the pictures of Clay that they sent us were the greatest gift. It was like we got to relieve tiny moments of his life over again through the photos that they shared. 

(Ironically, none of them were professionally taken. Not that it really matters, but I always wish we had taken the time to capture more photos of our family together.) 

If I’m being honest, I have tried to make this post about anything other than my brother’s death. Sometimes, it feels like it’s stamped to my forehead; the words, “Dead Brother” or “Forever Grieving,” just etched into the canvas of my face.

The “Obvious” Reasons To Be A Professional Photographer

I have searched for cheery and upbeat reasons for why I chose to become a professional photographer or why I continuously hustle to work harder for my small business than I ever would at a 9-to-5 job. Those reasons are there, obviously, but they seem so frivolous:

 ✅ Sharing my abundance of wedding planning knowledge with couples? Don’t you know it! 

 ✅ Getting wrapped up in the wedding day excitement? For sure! 

 ✅ Snuggling up with newborns in those first days of being home? Absolutely! 

 ✅ Traveling to incredible places to capture stunning images? The BEST! 

…but, you never see the main character of a story having their major epiphany at the height of their happiness, am I right? 

No, it’s the profound moments of loss that make you realize what is most important to you. 

Why Professional Photography Is So Important: Real Life Case Study

I photographed a wedding this past year with a couple I truly adored. They were two of the sweetest and most genuine people. Their wedding? Absolutely FABULOUS. It was at the Larz Anderson House in Washington D.C. and with an incredible planning team. I was so excited to capture their day! 

Throughout their wedding, I did what I always do. 

I push couples to take more photos than they think they need and emphasize capturing moments with their loved ones. We made sure to take plenty of posed portraits, but also a ton of candids throughout the day. (Per norm, I struggled to narrow down the amount of images for their gallery because they were all so breathtaking!)

About a month or so after their wedding, I saw the announcement on social media that the Father of the Bride had died unexpectedly. Seeing the post as I scrolled on my feed literally took my breath away.

…because I knew exactly how they were feeling. 

I pictured her searching through every photo she had trying to find the ones of her dad. Sitting on the floor teary eyed with her mom, going through old albums just to see his face in them. Logging into her wedding gallery and reliving the first look she shared with him before she said, “I Do.” 

A couple of days afterward, I was so touched that her wife reached out to thank me for capturing their wedding day. She told me they valued every image so much more now and were truly so grateful for all of the photos. (I most definitely cried.) 

Why I Choose To Be A Photographer Now (…And All The Days After)

As time goes on and the Earth continues to spin, I’m less sad as I look at photos of my little brother. I have the strength to smile now as I hold those 4×6 photos and see his face hanging up on our walls. Sometimes I can even laugh at some of the stories of our childhood rather than cry. 

Now, every time I take an image, I feel the weight of its importance. I know what I am doing will truly mean the world to someone one day–even though I pray that day is a long way away. 

I don’t often share my “Why” on client calls or tell potential couples the reason I’m so passionate about photography. 

(I mean, tell me a way to do so without making it incredibly depressing and I’ll give it a try!)

But, as you’ve made your way into the depths of my blog, I feel like we’ve connected. You’re looking for a photographer to capture some of your most important moments and I wanted to tell you why I’m the person for the job. 

It’s because I know just how important photography is. 

I do not take my job lightly. 

So whether you’re looking for someone to celebrate with you as you tie the knot or weep tears of joy as you hold your newborn in your arms, I’m that girl. I’ll be the one creating art you proudly hang on your walls and the photographs to help you relive every moment. 



(Your Future Photographer) 

P.S. If you haven’t already, get in touch. Let’s schedule a time to chat more about your photography needs and take photos together asap. 

Hi there—

i'm danielle

I'm a Virginia-based wedding & portrait photographer capturing photos that look like actual ART. 

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hi, i'm danielle—

In the past 10+ years as a Wedding & Portrait Photographer, I’ve found that, aside from arming myself with my cameras to catch swoon-worthy moments of my couples on their day, I’m also bringing a few other unexpected things. 

Like my tough love mom-voice that will keep your bridal party in check, my air of calm if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and the corniest jokes so no one has the jitters in front of the camera!

Because so much more goes into getting those gorgeous wedding photos than just hitting “click!”

and I'm not just bringing my camera to your big day.

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