In this amazing world of photography, once in a delicious blue moon you stumble upon something so beautiful it takes your breath away. That is what happened the day I discovered the uber talented Danielle Fletcher of Boudoir on Film. Such gorgeous and honest photographs brilliantly capturing the quintessential essence of a woman, of light, of life - pure and good. What an honor to have this amazing film photographer on TML. It's our pleasure to introduce to you Danielle Fletcher of Boudoir on Film - your senses will never be the same.
Name: Danielle Fletcher
Name: Danielle Fletcher
Business name: Danielle Fletcher Photography
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Tell us one sentence to describe your photography:
I photograph women as if I'm photographing myself and I'm interested in three things... beauty, emotion and fashion.
What's one thing that everyone should know about you?
Everyone that knows me tells me I need to work on my confidence! I guess I agree, I have quite the inferiority complex and I'm a big chicken. But I'm working on it!
How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started?
I started when I was still a teenager. I worked for a woman in my hometown who I met through my friends mother. The day I walked into her house, I never looked back. I just knew it's what I would do. I slowly got my own equipment and started practicing then started my business. After about 3 years I took a long break from doing anything professionally because I had a couple clients who took advantage of me and I didn't know how to handle myself so I sort of crumbled. Then I got married and I re-started my business in 2005.
If they made a movie about your life, what would it be titled and who would play you?
It would be titled 'All That She Wants' (I always said if I had my own boutique, I'd call it that because I love the double meaning. Don't steal it, I'll come after you!) And who would play me? Well when I was thinner, I'd get at least one person a week tell me I looked like Natalie Wood. I guess I should work on that because I want to hear that again!
What change are you looking most forward to this year...both professionally and personally?
I'm looking forward to putting more of myself on the line. Believing in myself. Taking more risks. I'm always rewarded when I do. I've just began to offer mentoring and so we'll see what happens!
When you take pictures just for you, what are they of?
Honest truth... my photo shoots are just for me. Yes, my clients are paying me for the finished product but my heart and soul goes into creating every image. I know so many photographers that do 'personal' work and tout how important it is. I agree. It just so happens that my clients shoots are my personal work. I wouldn't have it any other way.
If you were given $500 today, what would be the first thing you would do?
Put it in the bank! One of my furbabies needs a teeth-cleaning bad!
Where do you go to find inspiration?
I buy magazines like W, Vogue and Vanity Fair (often the European editions). I also keep a vision board that keeps me focused on the things that inspire me.
What is your best post processing tip?
Shoot film! It only takes me about 15 minutes to edit a full day shoot. And if you don't shoot film, keep.it.simple. Enough with the 'vintage actions'! If you know how to use light and take a beautiful photo, you won't feel the need to make it look fake. It's a fad and it's been dead for quite some time. Yeah, I said it. ;)
What would you tell someone who is just starting up a photography business?
Buy a film camera and use it. Have a critical eye. Don't adopt every utterance from other photographers as fact, look around at other sources. Be better. Raise the bar. And shoot what YOU LOVE, not what you think will make you a few dollars.
What color paint is your bedroom? Why?
White! I love white walls for a bedroom. I'm all about airy and bright. It helps my mood, makes things feel cleaner and It goes well with my antique furniture fetish.
What equipment do you use and if you had only one lens to use...what would it be?
I shoot with my Contax 645 and a Canon 1v. I am totally in love with the zeiss 80mm 2.0 lens for the Contax.
What session idea are you dying to do, but just don't know how to pull it off?
You know I can't tell you that!
Do you have a hidden talent? Or a stupid human trick?
I do this thing called 'floppy fingers'. I bend a finger at the bottom joint and the tip of my finger flops like it's not attached if you flick it. I don't find it exciting but it freaks people out.
What was your first paid session like? Were you nervous? Did it turn out how you wanted?
I don't even remember what it was! Is that bad?
What music do you love? Do you have a favorite song of all time?
Lots of types of music... I like anything I can sing to and that moves me (you do NOT want to be in the car with me when I play Weezers 'Say it Aint So' or 'Stay' by Lisa Loeb). My favorite song of all time is 'The Wind' by Cat Stevens.
What is at the top of your wish list right now?
Toss up between getting in shape and photographing an editorial for Vanity Fair.
Tell us the best advice that you have ever received (photography related or life in general):
Photography related: Take my time, don't rush. Plan it out. Wait until I see what I want (by directing) before I click the shutter.
If you had an entire Saturday to do whatever you wanted...what would you do?
I often do (I don't shoot Weddings, yay!) but if I had the Saturday AND the money, in the morning I'd hit a couple vintage stores and shop for wardrobe for photo shoots. Then hit the mineral pool at Indian Springs Spa in Calistoga in the afternoon. Then a fabulous dinner at Brix in Yountville with plenty of champagne and great company.
When you look back at your life, what are you most proud of?
Living in Brooklyn for nearly a year. It was a very different life for this northern california girl.
How do you get a connection between you and your client?
Honestly, it's nothing I have ever thought about. The connection is there because my clients can see that I am 100% present and dedicated to making them look amazing and I take no short cuts. I have zero pretense and I'm just comfortable. It's obvious to them that I'm invested so there's just this automatic trust. But then, I'm the girl who will start a conversation about shopping carts or cereal or dog collars with random strangers. When I'm feeling chatty that is.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I'll be doing everything I am now (shooting fantastic clients, traveling) but I'll be doing it more and better and also teaching a little too. I will still be in the bay area but I'll spend more time in NYC and Europe doing shoots and visiting friends. And my husband and I will finally be able to take a vacation!
And lastly.....when we started The Maternal Lens, all of us filled out this questionnaire and shared our answers....now it's your turn :)
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
Packet. I don't know why, I think it reminds me of a high school teacher I hated.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Seeing through my lens something that I've thought about and planned, styled and directed... and hearing.my.shutter.click! It's an indescribable high. One of my friends who has shot with me twice says 'Danielle, I love It when you have photogasms'. And that pretty much sums it up.
What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
People who put on a fake persona and use things like self deprecating talk to get compliments and ego stroking. It shows a weak character.
What sound or noise do you love?
My dog Bijou barking. And stirring macaroni.
What sound or noise do you hate?
The double buzz of my husbands phone when he gets an email. Aaahhhh!!!
What is your favorite thing to say when you get mad?
um... I plead the fifth. It's usually a long, passionate litany of ranting that I don't exactly censor. I'm a bit fiery that way!
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
If I could sing, I'd be all over that, but sadly, I suck. I actually have wanted to be both a singer and actress since I was 4 years old. Also a fashion designer/stylist, a writer and an animal trainer. And OH.MY.WORD... I wish I could dance.
What profession would you not like to do?
Anything involving a desk/computer with set hours. Don't fence me in, man. I'd lose my mind!
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Adapting this to my own beliefs, I'd like to hear 'I'm so happy you're here. You've got a lot of work to do girl, go have fun with it! There's a few wild cats (panthers and tigers and such) in your backyard that would love it if you could play with them. Oh and by the way, you now have a beautiful singing voice'.
Danielle has an amazing giveaway - don't miss out! Click here for details
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