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Moments by Danielle Nicole

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Meet Danielle Nicole – The Girl Behind the Lens

I am SO EXCITED kicking off announcing my brand new website by introducing myself, Danielle Nicole–the girl behind the lens. This photography business has allowed me to truly experience such a magical journey since 2017. Moments by Danielle Nicole has grown SO MUCH since 2021.

My name is Danielle Nicole–the girl behind the lens. I grew up on my family’s crop farm on the border of Minnesota and South Dakota.

Because of where I grew up, I love open spaces to think, feel, and connect. After a short period in elementary school, my mom walked in on me teaching half my first-grade class how to do multiplication in the back of the room, while my teacher was teaching other kids how to read in the front half. After that day, my parents decided to homeschool my four siblings and I.

Growing up, we stayed extremely active with 4-H, FFA, music lessons, and school sports (go swim team and track!), not to mention all those fun livestock chores! Fun note, I played first violin in orchestra–so fun. Starting in 7th grade, I was full-time enrolled in a private, online, Christian school and I loved my professors and classmates.

Because my dad was a farmer (entrepreneur) and my mom helped him, while raising us, I believe that instilled the creative outlook on life I have. What you give is what you get. I “blame” the desire to always improve my life, what I do, and chase after new dreams and goals on how I was raise, but hey–better to dream to big than never dream at all.

I fell head over heels in love with photography at a very young age.

One Christmas I received a Barbie camcorder and followed my family members around the house. I obnoxiously filming every moment that felt so unnecessary at the time, but now we watch it and laugh–so it was totally WORTH IT.

Then, I used my birthday money when I turned 10 to buy a hot, pink Sony digital camera, at Walmart! I immediately went home and used the self-timer mode to do a whole photoshoot of myself. Fast forward to my senior year in high school, I saved up to buy my very first DSLR–the Canon SL1. It was white and it was perfect. I searched for months for a good bargain on Ebay. Finally, I found my perfect match for $500 that included the body and the lovely 18-55 and 75-300 mm lenses.

I thought I was in heaven! That $500 camera started my journey of photographing local high school seniors I knew.

I spent 2 years of college at the University of Northwestern getting my Bachelor’s of Science in Communication. During my first year there, I started shooting photos for my university’s newspaper and ended up as the football team’s personal photographer. I had a lot of fun chasing players with my camera on the side-lines. There were many (MANY) times of my toes being stepped on by player’s cleats on the sidelines. Another memory was getting run into by someone catching the ball and being thrown backwards into a soccer net. I can testify that sports are hard to capture, but that truly exposed me to the world of photography.

Another fun fact–I took a photography class in college. Ironically, I had to do extra credit to be able to receive an A to keep my 4.0 GPA. Why? Because the professor HATED (and I mean H-A-T-E-D!!) my light and airy style. She said it was a fading style. I find it quite funny now.

Fall of 2017, I was hired to shoot my first wedding for a couple I knew in Hudson, Wisconsin.

And that was it—the passion and creativity flooded my heart and I had so much fun that day. Comparing the images I took that day verses my recent weddings is so eye-opening! I am so thankful for mentors, education, and courses that have helped improve my skills. They gave me new perspectives on so many things. Education is powerful and life-changing, I am so thankful we have it at our fingertips.

On Christmas Eve in 2019, I relocated near where I grew up. This time, on the South Dakota side of the border. Relocating was challenging in many aspects. It took time to rebuild my brand from the ground up amidst the rolling South Dakota hills. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are enjoying our quiet life and watching our baby experience all his firsts.

Danielle and her Husband at their engagement session
Summer 2022 | Photo by Kesley James Photography
Danielle and her Husband on their wedding day
Our Wedding June 2023 | photo by Kelsey James Photography

Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

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Meet Danielle Nicole - Owner of Moments by Danielle Nicole

February 18, 2023

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