Danielle Monk – Elkview, West Virginia Greyscale Photography, LLC Business Website: GreyscalePhotographyLLC.shootproof.com Instagram Account: @greyscalephotographyllc Interview by Claire Plath
When did your passion for photography come about, and what do you love most about being a photographer? Looking back photography is something I have enjoyed since I was a child, I was about 5 years old when I got my first camera. In college I pursued photography even more. I got a “fancy” camera, took a photography class, and started booking sessions. I love that I can capture the beauty of someone or something in a moment and save it forever. Tell me about the different genres of photography you focus on in your business. I focus on a few different genres; weddings, family, lifestyle, newborn and seniors. I enjoy landscape and nature as well! I have also had the opportunity to photograph merchandise for a local boutique which was new and exciting.
What inspired you to start your own photography business a little less than a year ago, and what has the process been like? A couple of years went by and I never picked up my camera. One day I picked it back up, started taking pictures of my daughters (step) and that passion I always had came back. I began booking sessions for friends and family and as I shared my images with others, I was encouraged to start my own business. A friend who is also a client of mine offered to pay for my business license so, I took the leap and registered my business online. Since, I have booked holiday minis, family sessions, formals, weddings, seniors, and newborns. I also have a local business that rents studio space out for me to use whenever I need it. For the first year of business it is going quite well. My professional background has helped me prepare for the financial side of the business. I take care of taxes and all other financials on my own. How do you stand out in a community saturated with talented photographers who have been doing this for years? There are so many outstanding photographers in my community. I have used these individuals and their work as inspiration for my business. What makes me stand out among them is my style of work. I stay away from trends unless I have a client that requests something specific. My goal is to offer scenes and styles that other photographers aren’t offering at that time. My editing style is minimal. A photo captures who someone is in that moment and I don’t want to alter that, I simply want to enhance it.
What does your photography business stand for, and what does it mean to you? Greyscale Photography LLC is my outlet to pursue a mission of beauty, to help others find confidence within and share their passions. Who or what influences your style most? My clients and their individual styles.
If you could learn from any photographer or business mentor, who would it be? Milton Greene, he photographed Marilyn Monroe. I would love to stand back and watch him during a photoshoot.
What advice would you give to upcoming photographers? Follow your passion! Take positive feedback and run with it, take the negative feedback to fuel your fire. Best business book you ever read? Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuck
Favorite image you’ve ever? Our youngest at age 11 in the creek by an old white chapel. “Take Me to Church” (above) Three things on your bucket list – Safari Photoshoot, Swim with Sea Turtles and interact with elephants.
Other than photography, how do you spend your time? I work a full time job at the West Virginia Golf Association. Me, my husband and 2 daughters spend a lot of time on our boat in Summersville, WV. I love to bake and cook.