Hi! I’m Dani, and I’m so glad you’ve made your way to my tiny little corner of the World Wide Web. I want to share with you what keeps me motivated to continually pursue my passion of photography!
I lost my dad to brain cancer shortly after my 14th birthday. My dad was my person growing up. He’s the one who “got me.” And I loved making him proud. My dad and I played catch almost every summer evening. We had epic “around the world” games, too. He sat in a banana chair on the sidelines of my softball games, and he paced the halls of my gymnastics meets because I didn’t want him watching inside for fear of letting him down. I still remember the feeling of his finger on my hand when he played, “all around the bush… here sits the bear…” (which I’ve played with all my kids, too). I loved when he would sit me on his lap and let me steer the car down our street. I remember cuddling my head as far as I could into his arm on the roller coaster he dragged me on. I loved being on the golf course with him, and feeling how proud he was when I hit a good shot. And I love how close I still feel to him when I step onto those hallowed greens. I felt especially loved on “bring your kids to work day” at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant as I walked into his office and saw the newspaper articles about my state championship win in gymnastics and the essay contest I won. He held me as I cried after finding out I only had months left with him. And he got me one final present shortly before he died – my first SLR camera.
I still have that camera. But that’s not why I became a photographer. It may have been a step towards it. But the reason I became a photographer is this first picture below – my favorite picture of me and my dad. You see, I have very few pictures of me with my dad. But these ones that I do have are truly my greatest possessions – they are the things I would save if my house were burning down (and our home videos). Because this is what I have left. I don’t have any letters from him. I don’t have his clothes, his belongings, his cologne. I have these to remind me of everything my dad was for me. These and my memories. And pictures help me keep those memories.
I am grateful to the stupid phone I always have on me because it allows me to capture almost every big and little event in my kids’ lives. So that will always be my goal – not to just take pictures with the whole family, but to be more purposeful in the time I spend with them. I am very blessed to have so many people in my life who I love – and who love me in return.