We had the good fortune of connecting with Dani Gordon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dani, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
Going on a solo trip for two months was without a doubt the easiest and best decision I made for myself. I earned my Bachelor’s in Exercise Science in 2018, and my last six credits involved working 365 hours in 10 weeks at an internship in the summer. We could choose anywhere between hospitals, therapy centers etc. in any state as long as we got it approved by our school. The idea of spending 9 hours a day, 5 days a week all summer in Georgia, and still work weekends in a restaurant did not sit right in my soul… so I left. I found a pediatric therapy center in Honolulu, got it approved, and on May 13, 2018 I left for Hawaii. I was 22 and knew absolutely nobody on the island, but I had faith in myself and knew that’s where I was supposed to be… I am a photographer, and up until that point I was doing what I thought I wanted for myself. It took me being away from it all to figure out what I really wanted for my life. Whilst at my internship I loved every minute of working with those kids and witnessing their progress week by week. However, I never truly felt fulfilled. It felt like work. All the write ups and background knowledge it takes to be a physical therapist, occupational therapist etc. is a lot of time and effort, and I could tell I didn’t love it enough to put in the work to become one of them… like I said I’m a photographer. It just took me trying what I thought I wanted first to accept it. The reason I say accept it is because I used to fight with myself all the time about it. I always knew I was supposed to be a photographer. From family vacations to my brother’s weekend soccer games, growing up you could always find me with a camera in hand… Before going to Hawaii that summer I shot a few grad pictures, maternity pictures and a some random photoshoots for fun; but, that trip really sparked my travel photography journey. Whenever I wasn’t at my internship, I would intentionally lose myself in my surroundings capturing every moment I found beautiful. I would come back at the end of the day and spend hours editing the photos to my liking. I found that internally this gave me peace. How is spending hours editing hundreds of pictures considered peaceful? I’m not sure. But by the end of those 10 weeks, I officially finished college, shot the best photos of my career at the time and gained valuable life experience leading me to come home and start my own photography business.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
There’s a lot that goes into being a photographer and running a successful photography business, so it’s definitely not easy. I have a degree completely unrelated to photography so I am 100% self taught. I spent a lot of time post-grad online taking photo courses and watching tutorials on Youtube trying to piece together all that I didn’t know. Ultimately I believe this helped play a part in my overall photography style because I apply my outside perspective and mix it with the techniques I’ve learned to create something beautiful. I’m big on perspective, so any time I can allow people to stop and see something in a way they might not have before I feel as though I’ve done my job.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If a friend were visiting Atlanta we’d spend majority of the time eating. I’m a sushi fan so I naturally would take them to go to RA Sushi on Peachtree for dinner. Their crunchy shrimp tempura is delightful and they have great drinks as well. Then for desert we would go across the street to Cafe Intermezzo and enjoy some crepes and coffee. I would probably take them to Hudson Grille and 9292 Korean BBQ for dinner as well. When it comes to drinks, Tacos & Tequillas on Ponce is the best for margaritas and amazing food. They also have a cute little outdoor patio to complete the vibe. Another place I would take them to is Anatolia’s. The atmosphere is always cool and they have great food/drinks, music and hookah. It’s the perfect place for a chill night out with friends without being super packed in one space. Activity wise I’d take them to Stone Mountain, Centennial Park, Atlantic Station for shopping and maybe to see a movie, Top Golf for some golfing and drinks, and The Painted Pin; which is a cool 21+ bowling alley with great drinks.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The support system that I have around me is truly inspirational and I definitely dedicate my shoutout to them. My family, friends, friend of friends, strangers; to anyone who has ever let me photograph them, thank you for being my muse. To anyone who has seen my work and liked it, or not like it for that matter, thank you for the feedback. To the people who have hired me to photograph them, thank you for taking a chance on me. To the people who have encouraged me to keep going, trust my instincts and trust the process, thank you for believing in me even when I don’t always believe in myself.

A very special shoutout to the brands and companies I have worked with so far: Shameless Society, The Brochillians Podcast, Unique Stars Performing Arts, Luxor Realty Group & Kaniz Kosmeticz.

Website: www.visuallydivine.com

Instagram: @littleone_dani @_divinevisuals

Image Credits
Evan Berry

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