Today we’d like to introduce you to Deanna Johnson.
Hi Deanna, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I was 14 when I got my first camera for Christmas. I remember my mother asking me to slow down on the camera clicks to save the film. In college, my sophomore year, I took a photography course and a nutrition course to see which path felt right for me. As much as I loved being in the darkroom, I chose a degree in health education.
Then in 2009, my little sister got engaged. As a member of the family with a “nice” camera, I volunteered to photograph their engagements, and of course, I would choose a rainy evening to attempt my first real session. Despite some shaky photos, that shoot was just the kick I needed to jump both feet into photography, and not long after A Day to Adore Photography was born (and I have still never used my HE degree). My business started in my hometown of Pocatello, Idaho.
For the first couple of years, my husband and I worked out of a shared studio downtown where I did photography and he owned a graphic and web design business. I never questioned that I would photograph weddings. I still remember the first call from a bride I received after launching my website. I was in a Home Depot and my happy dance definitely warranted some odd stares.
In 2012, we closed the studio to embark on a new adventure and moved our family to Kansas City. It wasn’t long before we completely fell in love with the city and I dove right back into rebuilding in my new city.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth would probably not be a word most would use to describe running any business. For me, the biggest struggle has and probably always will be balancing the needs of my family with the needs of my business and my couples. There used to be lots of 2 am editing sessions after my kids would go to bed, but a lack of sleep and too much coffee is not a sustainable way to run a business.
I started really paying attention to what the pain points of my couples were and what the bottlenecks in my business were. I am a one-woman show, so I needed to be very clear with what I could actually do and do well. I created processes to help guide my couples through the planning process and what to expect from me.
I outsourced bookkeeping, accounting, and sometimes editing to ensure that I can show up for my clients and that the important aspects of my business were being taken care of.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I specialize in wedding photography and I absolutely love it. There is something so unique and special about weddings that no matter how many I photograph I can’t get enough. I approach wedding photography from a documentary side. My goal is to tell the story and the emotion of the day through the photographs. I look for ways to incorporate the setting, the style, the details, and the people to tell the entire story around why this couple, at this time, are here pledging their lives to one another.
I am also very hands-on in the planning process with my couples. The stronger the relationship I can build with my couples before the wedding day means the more I understand their priorities and how to ensure they have images that are special to them. I’ve learned that planning for the inevitable means getting to enjoy the unexpected. I’ve learned when to take center stage and be the conductor to ensure the must-have shots are checked off that list.
But, I’ve also learned when to be still and wait for the relationships surrounding each couple to show their beautiful touches of joy that long to be captured. Capturing the authentic relationships that surround a couple is what drives me to keep making photographs.
What does success mean to you?
Success is sitting on my patio surrounded by twinkling lights drinking wine with good friends. Success is date nights out with my husband listening to live music. It’s roasting marshmallows around a campfire with my boys. Success is hearing from a couple that their images made them laugh and cry and relive their wedding day all over again.
Success is pushing myself to never stop learning ways to create better and more unique photographs. Success is the couple that calls me year after year to document their growing families.
- Wedding collections start at $3500.
- Portraits start at $600.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.adaytoadore.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adaytoadore/