About Danielle "DZ" Vennard

Words that define who I am:
Wife, Mom, Friend, Artist, 
Rock Climber and Trail Runner

Having a family and witnessing my little guy, Graeme growing up puts into perspective how fast life really flashes before your eyes.  This awareness applies to every couple's big day as I have been in their shoes and know that this is the one time in their life where they will have all those close to them in one place at one time.  

Sports is a big part of who I am.  I grew up playing basketball and learned there is no "I" in team.  Knowing how to work with others to accomplish a common goal is a huge life lesson to walk away with.  Team work is what ensures complete coverage of a wedding day.  I'm not saying a wedding can't be covered alone but there are several moments during the day where I can' t be in the two places at once and so I bring a second shooter (co-pilot as I prefer to call them).

I don't get on the basketball court as much anymore but two other sports I am completely engaged in are rock climbing and trail running.  I owe a lot to rock climbing.  It is the sole reason I met my husband while attending the University of Delaware for my Master of Fine Art degree in 2005.  It is a very physical but equally as mental experience that makes me stronger and more confident in myself every day.  How else can you train to carry around all that photography gear and be on your feet for up to 16 hours on a wedding day?  To compliment those workouts on the rock I enjoy a good endurance run on the local park trails.  It's also an enjoyable time spent with my son as he rides along in his, tougher than nails, jogging stroller.  I can't imagine my life without either of these activities and all the joy, happiness and physical well being it has brought to me and my family.

The Artist In Me:
I've had a pencil or paintbrush in my hand since before I could remember.  Always observing my father as he worked on paintings, drawings or developing his prints in the darkroom had a huge impact on who I wanted to be when I grew up.  He was an artist, teacher and coach that shaped all aspects of my life.  I always joked with him that I would take his job as an art teacher at our high school when I graduated college.  As fate would have it I never got the chance to take my father's job.  Losing him in 1999 to cancer was my first lesson in how short life can be, and how priceless photographs of him as well as the ones taken by him would become.  The awareness of this value on documenting moments is one of the reasons I photograph weddings.  The wedding day is full of once in a lifetime moments that if they aren't documented, are lost forever.  I take pride in being able to capture a couple's wedding day to the full extent and know that the images I provide will be appreciated for years to come by generations yet to come.  

New Path:
December of 2008 I am offered a second shooter position by my now good friend, David Toth.  February of 2009 I started my own wedding photography business.  Flashback to May of 2008 and that is when my husband and I got married.  We hired David to photograph our wedding.  We met him through a mutual friend through the connection of rock climbing. (I said rock climbing changed my life didn't I??)  His approach to photographing a wedding was completely untraditional and fit my vision of how I wanted to remember my day.  David was also a published rock climbing photographer working for one of the biggest climbing magazines in the country.  He mentored me through my climbing photography and helped me get my first published photograph.  He saw the potential I had for capturing the moments without directing or interfering.  He then extended the invitation to second shoot a wedding with him at the end of that year.  

In the middle of my development as a rock climbing photographer I also managed to score a job as a sports photojournalist for a school photography company.  Before I knew it I was running up and down the football fields like my father used to as a football coach, though I did it with a couple pounds of photography gear and didn't get to call any plays.  This experience taught me a lot about anticipation.  Having a background in playing sports gave me a huge advantage in being able to anticipate the action and capturing the moment.  This relates directly to my job as a wedding photojournalist as I observe a wedding, anticipate when a moment will occur and make sure I get it documented.

Philosophy of Being a Creative Professional:
I believe my job as a wedding photojournalist goes beyond capturing the moment.  It begins with the first meeting with a couple.  It is very important to me that I connect with a couple on a personal level.  I want them to be as comfortable with my presence at the wedding as they are their own family since I will be one of the few that will be with them the entire day.  It is very important that a couple have complete trust and faith in my abilities to provide them with the memories I promise them.  

Understanding my style and if it coincides with how you want to remember your wedding day is the next factor in determining our potential relationship.  I document the day as it takes place.  My goal is to give you images that will allow you to relive your day just as it happened.  Having real images to look back on will bring back all those emotions that you experienced in those moments.  What is an image if it doesn't make you feel something whether it be happiness, sadness, anger or complete exhilaration, right?  

I would be delusional if I didn't think price was a factor in making the decision on becoming your wedding photographer.  I just ask you one question - what are your moments worth?  The photographs are the only thing you are left with after it is all over.  How important are your memories and being able to share them with your future sons and daughters?  My pricing is determined by many factors other than just my general time invested.  I am an experienced professional but I have also been in your shoes.  My husband and I decided right from the get go that the photography was the most important expense we would invest in for our wedding.  I am happy to say that when I look back at my photographs I am so grateful we made that investment and paid an experienced professional as well as a talented artist to document our day.

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