Who Are You in the Dark?

One thing often overlooked when couples are choosing a photographer....
the photographer's low-light and night-time abilities

I have spoken to many photographers that say they don't use any type of flash... they're "natural light only". I can agree shooting with the sun is incredible... and you can't beat it! It's kind of my thing, actually! ;)

 The problem with 'natural light only' wedding photographers...  receptions.

Half of the wedding day fun is almost always at night. Dim mood-lighting, lots of different small lights, colorful DJ strobes, candles, cell phone flashes, sparklers, etc and you are expected to manage amidst all this.

Actually- as a wedding photographer you are required to manage. That's what wedding photography is! It is difficult, exhausting, incredibly rewarding, and FUN because you have to be on your toes at all times, and because you are always pushing yourself to get the best shots amidst tricky situations.

That's why I love specializing specifically in wedding photography.

If you highly value your wedding photos, then be sure to learn about your photographer's different skills. Tell them about your venue, the time of day, the lighting that will be available... If they are not comfortable or experienced with your lighting situation- find someone who is.

Your wedding photos are too important not to.


She's Only Happy in the Sun

This bridal shoot was simple and elegant...just my thing! Leo was incredibly easy to photograph. She was owning every single pose in these J Noelle mix-n-match separates. The top was a high neck top with an intricate lace design, and for the bottom an award winning past-floor length a-line floral skirt. Both Leo and the dress were a joy to photograph, as was the location at Sleepy Ridge Weddings courtyard.

Fun fact: To get that ethereal glow in the first image, I stood next to a branch on the left, and held up a bunch of pine needles on the right... the colors are thanks to the needles being extremely out of focus, and hit just right by the sun! All done in camera!


Model: https://www.instagram.com/leoannxo/?hl=en
Gown: https://www.instagram.com/jnoelle.design/?hl=en

Wild & Whimsical

This wild & whimsical inspired photo shoot was a DREAM... as was working with everyone involved.

Photography by Danielle Joy Jenson

For the reception set up, we had a large rustic farmhouse table covered in pine needles and other greenery, tall candles, a blush sequin runner, gold silverware, and gold chargers topped with hand-designed menus.

Table chairs and plating by renteventutah.com

Menu and place card design by Kelsley Wolfley Designs.

Menu and place card design by Kelsley Wolfley Designs.

Menu and place card design by Kelsley Wolfley Designs.

Nearby sat a two-tier wedding cake, elegant and whimsical, topped with one single rose. It stood tall on a golden stand atop a rustic barrel. The cake was lined with coconut slices giving it a captivating texture, the perfect blend of simplicity and detail.

 Cake by Frosted Custom Cakes & Sweets. 

Cake by Frosted Custom Cakes & Sweets. 

 Table greenery by Raw Floral.

Table greenery by Raw Floral.

Our bride was a vision in her floor length, a-line skirt paired with a high-neck, long-sleeve lace top, finished with snip-toe leather cowgirl boots.

 Gown by Janay Marie Designs.

Gown by Janay Marie Designs.

Gown by Janay Marie Designs.

To add to the romantic and natural feel, our bride was fashioning a rouge lip, and earth-toned eyes, with big lashes and dark shapely eyebrows.

Make up by Beautified.

Gown by Janay Marie Designs.

Hair by Pins 'N Polish

Bohemian inspired, our bride's tresses were textured with a micro-crimper, then given loose waves, a few small fishtail braids, topped with dutch-braids and a vibrant green and red flower crown.

To make the perfect pair we had our horse prettied-up with a flower crown of her own, and a 'winner's circle' style wreath for her neck...Both featuring blush and red roses, and lots of large greenery including Genestra and Silver Dollar Eucalyptus.

 Make up by Beautified.

Make up by Beautified.

Greenery wreaths by Raw Floral

Though the horse and bride were absolute perfection together we still outfitted our handsome groom with a rose and wheat boutonniere to go with his casual grey pantsuit, and brown oxfords to tie in to his lovely bride. 

 Boutonniere by Raw Floral. 

Boutonniere by Raw Floral. 

Led by a silver, show-bridle our groom walked us down by the arroyo, with his bride sitting bareback atop her buckskin mare, in her hand yet another stunning flower-piece, a full bouquet filled with Quicksand Roses, Burgundy Spray Roses, Genestra, Wheat, Silver-Dollar Eucalyptus, and other vibrant foliage to compliment the wild and whimsical theme.

Foliage by Raw Floral. Gown by Janay Marie.

Bouquet by Raw Floral

 Bride & Groom by Bergen & Austin Russon.

Bride & Groom by Bergen & Austin Russon.

I'd like to personally thank all of the vendors that put their time and energy into this photo shoot. It was such a joy to watch fall into place, and so beautifully at that. 

Hair and Makeup: @beautifiedpc
Hair: @pinsnpolish
Gown: @janay.marie
Florals: @rawfloral
Cake: @frostedccas
Tablescape: @rent_event_utah
Paper Design: @kelsiewolfleydesigns
Photographer: @daniellejoyphoto

Brushfire Fairytales

Now Offering... Campfire Sessions!

I have been wanting to do this for a while, so now that the flowers are blooming at the top of the mountains, I have decided to open up booking for Campfire Portrait Sessions!

What to expect if you book one...

A gorgeous mountain setting of your choice, a bright fire, and included s'mores. This is a lifestyle portrait session opportunity; meaning, you come have a good time and I document your family being themselves in a beautiful, relaxed setting. The kids will like this because sticky faces are encouraged! Don't worry Moms, at the beginning of the session we will get a couple posed-non-sticky portraits, then the actual fun-time begins!
Why do you want this? Because you deserve to have beautiful, professional-quality photos with your whole family in it at once. I'm talking to you, parents. iPhones aside, come have a good time and make some memories!

This opportunity is also PERFECT for engagements, or couples with dogs. It has the makings to be fun, exciting, adventurous, romantic, and beautiful. This is a one of a kind experience, that is available through fall. If you book now, you get wildflowers, if you book in the fall you get gold leaves. Your choice! Weekends are filling up quickly, so shoot me a message on which day works best for you, then come have an unforgettably fun evening, and one-of-a-kind photos to cherish for years.

Love always,
Danielle Joy


Campfire Session | $200

60 Minute session | S'mores | Mountain or Backyard Location

Various group poses | Portrait of every family member
A Zillion candid shots of sticky faces and laughter | Unlimited Adventure

*Optional Add-ons: Extra 60 minutes $100, can add up to 2 extra hours

Sit Still Look Pretty

I have dreamed of the day where I could produce images that would look and feel similar to Florabella Collection - Photoshop Actions . I think I am getting close, or at least on the right path! She is an incredible artist! Her work has deeply inspired my entire editing style.

Her actions are amazing, I would highly recommend them. ( Actions are workflow presets that you can apply to a photo to speed up work time. Basically, instead of 20 mouse-clicks, you do one click and it does it all at once, you can then adjust it as needed. ) Though with any action you have to know what to do with it, it will not do the work for you. Actions are not filters! This was a lesson I had to learn... about 5 years ago I got her actions and was sad that my photos weren't suddenly amazing. I have had people ask me what actions... which is cool but also hard to answer. Here's the answer:

For this particular photo...

In Lightroom: increased brightness, increased shadows, decreased highlights, added more yellow and green to white balance, adjusted tone curve, exported to photoshop... This is where most photographers stop.

Take it to photoshop!

Used Florabella retouch action to smooth skin, brighten eyes, darken eyelashes. Painted on the layer mask to eyes, adjusted brightness and saturation, painted on skin, adjusted opacity of smoothness, painted on eyelashes, increased contrast and clarity, used the retouch tool in photoshop to remove any fly-aways from her face. THEN the fun part! Used Florabella's sun flare action ( this is a radial flare, with the colors adjusted to yellows and reds ) Resize and rotate the sun flare to correct placement, remove flare from face, hair, and specific parts of the background with a layer mask ( painting ), these particular photos total took 7 separate flares. I then did color selection, and selected the yellows and greens, made an adjustment layer mask and adjusted the color sliders to make the leaves more blue-green as opposed to yellow-green, used the burn tool to darken leaves and create shadows and depth, used the burn and dodge tool to ever so slightly contour her facial features, painted on more contrast and saturation to the leaves, created the grid, did some more tweaks with dodge and burn then applied my watermarks, save as, jpeg, save. Done!

Yes I use actions and I have a fancy camera... not they don't do the work for you, just make it a little easier.

Boss Mode

One time during a wedding I was posing the bridal party telling everyone exactly how I wanted them to stand from how to tilt their heads, down to how to hold their feet, and the Father of the Groom yelled in front of everyone that I was bossy...

At first, the thought going through my head was "Oh no, I need to stress how essential everything I'm doing is.. this photo is important.. it's such a momentous occasion... it'll last forever...it'll hang on your walls... I want you to look perfect..." but before I had a chance to utter anything I was abruptly thanked by the same person that called me bossy. He said he appreciated the amount of consideration that was going into this photo. He had recognized that I cared about the outcome of this photo probably just as much as he did.

I believe when you are picking someone to capture such an important life-changing day, it should be required that you choose someone who genuinely cares about how these photos turn out... someone that will make sure your Mother who so thoughtfully picked out what necklace to wear and ruminated over her outfit for months has the necklace perfectly centered and the clasp isn't showing... someone who will ensure your little brother is standing up tall and broad-shouldered... someone who will tell your nieces that they all look like princesses making sure they give their true smiles, and someone who will do her best to place your flyaway hairs.

I'm not saying I am perfect and even catch every. single. flyaway. I'm not saying I have the ability of mind control. ( Though that would make my job a lot easier...! ) In fact, a lot of the time I find it really beautiful to embrace imperfections, and I also really focus on moving quickly and efficiently during large group poses.

What I am saying is that I care, and I want you to have the photos that you and your family deserve.

That is why they call me "bossy". You'll either thank me now, or you'll thank me later. ;)


Country Lovin'

One of my beginner goals as a wedding photographer had been to photograph a wedding party in cowboy boots. It was just as beautiful, and fun to photograph as I had pictured! I myself have always been cowgirl at heart, so it was a blast to take and edit the photos from this backyard wedding celebration in the New Mexican desert. What a dreamy way to start a life together!


The Saltwater Room


Emily and Terral had one of the dreamiest bridal sessions I have been a part of. I LOVE having brides that really go out of their way to make photos important. She prepared so well! They brought this super cool vintage door, stools, huge bouquet, Emily also had her hair and make up professionally done for the portraits! When people prepare, the photos turn out so much better. We had perfect weather, and perfect lighting... one thing we didn't expect was the spring rainwater was still sitting on the majority of the Salt Flats... so we ended up exploring for a bit to find a dry spot. At the end of the photo shoot Emily said she didn't mind getting her dress wet... I wanted to hug her. That is so rare- it's like finding a unicorn in the bridal world. I joked that she should lay in the water then she said she would really do it. I. Was. In. Photographer. Heaven. So of course, I had her do it, and the shots turned out amazing! One of my favorite sessions by far, I'm looking forward to The Tyler's wedding- if she puts anywhere near the amount of thought into that day as she did to this day- I'm sure it will be one of my favorite weddings as well.

See you soon, lovebirds! 

With love,

Danielle Joy