The traveling Lensbaby Project | Danielle Hatcher photography

What is one thing about your photos that says the most about you as a person? Dig deep!

I hope the one thing my photos say most about me, is that I see beauty in every day life. My images aren’t usually particularly breathtaking or groundbreaking, but I see beauty in all of it. The mundane. The simple. The quiet. The imperfect. My images are pretty straightforward. Not a lot of editing… just a little tweak here and there. I shoot with unabashed mom goggles and I’m ok with that. I even get mom goggles for/with my clients, because I form a genuine connection with them and love their family + children as my own.

Can you tell us a little bit about the process you’ve gone through (or that you are going through) to find your photographic style?

The time period that I really found my style was when I shot every day. There was a summer I shot every day for 100 days, and at the beginning of the following year I started a 365 project (though I didn’t finish). Both those time periods were huge for my growth in terms of finding and refining my style. I started simply shooting (and sharing) for me. Not for anyone else, or what I thought others wanted to see.

How has it evolved over the years?

Well when I first got started with a crop sensor and a 50mm, my style consisted of lots of limb chops and blurry images. Now I shoot mostly with a 24-70 so I would consider myself a fairly wide shooter. I like to get a lot of the environment when I shoot. But my shooting style has remained similar for the most part – I’ve always kept it fairly simple. I like to use lines, light, negative space, and connections to create visual interest in my images.

What Lensbaby lenses have you shot with before? How have they transformed your work?

I have actually never used a Lensbaby before, although I have used a tilt shift a few times before and I frequently freelens with my 50mm.

Why is it important that photographers not get too fixed in their ways? What makes experimentation so crucial to an artist’s growth?

I’m a huge fan of mixing things up to keep my work feeling fresh. I get bored real fast. And with my way of shooting, it’s easy for me to feel like “I’ve shot this before.” Or even, “I’ve shot this five times before.” I love to use new techniques (as I’ve mentioned the freelensing above, I also like to play with a copper pipe, prism, shooting through a plastic bag, etc.) just to put a new twist on the same old things. I shoot my clients in-home on location so that I don’t go to the same park every shoot. All of these things keep it interesting to me, and my work feels fresh. I LOVE learning new things – it’s like a challenge for me to work on and perfect a new technique. I think if a photographer gets fixed in their ways, their work can start to feel predictable. They might get burnt out. An easy way to prevent this is by trying new lenses (like Lensbaby’s), setting a goal (like shooting every day for a certain amount of time) or starting a photography project based around a central theme.

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I am a California native – born in So Cal and moved up north for college. After I graduated, I realized how hard I fell in love with Northern California so I stuck around. Just a few short months after that I met my husband. The rest is an honest to goodness blur. Here we are almost 12 years later, with 3 kids and a dog living in the burbs of Sacramento.  I love Diet Dr. Pepper. Cooking. Working out. Playing golf. Shopping. Traveling. Binge watching Netflix. And, of course, spending time with my family. Our rescue dog eats/steals all our toddler’s food, yet she’s still the size of a kindergartner (the toddler, not the dog). I am an extroverted introvert with the worst case of black thumbs you’ve ever seen (black thumbs = opposite of green thumbs). I have a strange phobia of ice, and use far too many exclamation points (I’ve deleted about ten from this paragraph already).  My kids beg me to stop singing along to the radio, so I have officially given up on my pursuit to be the next American Idol. I shoot with a Nikon D700, and an ever growing list of lenses (my current faves being my Sigma 35 Art, and my Nikon 24-70).  Sometimes when I get a wild hair, I’ll shoot a roll of 35mm film.

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