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

Hi Danielle, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I didn’t always know I wanted to pursue this type of career, but I have always gravitated toward the more creative side of things. Photography was just another fun hobby for me at first, and continued to grow over the years as I found myself constantly wanting to do more with it. Once I started getting into weddings, I just fell in love with getting to be part of such amazing days and getting to make something beautiful to commemorate them. I always say to myself that I never knew what my dream job was until I started living the dream, and couldn’t be more grateful that I get to do what I do.

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.
It definitely took me a long time to find my own personal style with photography, but one of the biggest challenges was transitioning from a fun hobby into an actual business. I felt that there was just so much that I didn’t know, both about photography and about the business-side of things in general, that I would never know enough to be a professional. It’s really easy to doubt yourself, to think that you aren’t one of the people who actually has what it takes to take things to the next level – but there are always going to be a million reasons not to do something, and an even better million to take the chance. With photography specifically, I’m very grateful that it’s a community full of other creatives so willing to help out and offer advice, and other photographers have been a great resource and inspiration for me. I get so genuinely excited for every shoot and every wedding, and love showing off vibrant, authentic moments through my work.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out to all my friends who have supported me, ever since I got my first camera. Some of you saw me from the very beginning when I knew literally nothing about photography, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without everyone who let me use them as test subjects for new equipment. I also want to thank Vanessa for being my first mentor and teaching me about the beautiful wedding world! Every kind word that anyone has ever said has stayed with me, and I can’t thank you enough for all the love and encouragement.

Website: danielledongphotography.com

Instagram: instagram.com/danielledongphotography

Facebook: facebook.com/danielledongphotography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.