Hello! I’m Danielle, the owner and lead photographer for Salty Raven Studio. I love getting to know couples over coffee at Jaho (an adorable coffee shop here in Salem, MA where I’m based) or a virtual cup of tea during a video chat if distance or schedules are tricky. Until then, you can read about my style of photography and my background below- including where Salty Raven got its name!
I graduated from Wellesley College in 2002 with a degree in Studio Art. Photography was my concentration, and I spent countless hours immersed in the darkroom developing my own film and watching images appear underwater like magic.
After enriching life experiences teaching English in China, working as a park ranger in our National Parks, and finding my rhythm as the parent of two spirited kiddos, I returned to my image-capturing days as a professional wedding and portrait photographer nearly ten years ago. Weddings take me all over New England, but I am also open to travel having photographed weddings with Western mountain backdrops, Pacific Ocean cliffs, Atlantic beaches, and Midwestern fields of corn.
My approach to wedding photography is to lovingly document your day as it unfolds in an unobtrusive, photojournalistic way.
While I might suggest an area with gorgeous lighting to slip into your dress or adjust your tie, I will never ask you to “pretend” to do anything, and I want you to forget that you’re being photographed. I’m there to capture real emotion and human connections, not forced ones. The good, meaningful, and authentic stuff. I want you to look at your wedding photos years from now and *feel* the energy and joy of your day with dynamic, vibrant, and creative photography.
Of course, I also believe posed family and wedding party formals are important, but who wants them to drag on? My background as a teacher and park ranger helps me wield a commanding presence during this period of the wedding day, harnessing momentum, and keeping it snappy so you can get to your reception and start celebrating with your guests!
As for the nuts and bolts, my business is fully licensed and insured, I shoot with two professional Canon 5D Mark IV camera bodies with a third back-up Mark III body just in case (I am a firm believer in being over-prepared!), and I own a robust and carefully curated selection of professional Canon L-series lenses to help me achieve my style which I describe as timeless, colorful, and joyful.
My family portrait sessions are goofy, fun, and play-based. Having two kids of my own, I have lots of tricks up my sleeve for gaining trust and participation from toddlers to teenagers. I’ve also endured more than a few epic tantrums from my kids, so you as a parent can relax knowing that I come into a session expecting your kids to be real kids. As a lifestyle photographer, instead of “Say cheese,” I help create situations where laughter bubbles out and real smiles are on display.
If you have any questions for me about my process or approach to weddings or portrait sessions, please don’t hesitate to ask, and if you want to learn more about me as a person, read on!
10 Tidbits About Me, Some Factual, Some Whimsical
1. I grew up in Minnesota, and people often say I’m “Minnesota Nice” with a fun and quirky streak. Being approachable, positive, and genuinely friendly are huge assets as a wedding and family portrait photographer.
2. I was a park ranger in the National Park Service for 5 years leading guided hikes and giving talks to visitors at some of the most spectacularly beautiful places on earth. I’ve watched whales spouting in the Pacific Ocean while at Point Reyes National Seashore, hiked 1.5 miles down switchbacks into an Ancestral Puebloan village at daybreak on my daily commute to work at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, and slipped through narrow slot canyons in Utah at Capitol Reef National Park.
3. My husband and I met while working in Death Valley National Park (super romantic place in my opinion!), he as an archeologist, and me as a park ranger. Four national parks later, we were married in San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park on a ferry boat and watched the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge.
4. Before I had kids of my own, I was terrified of them (and they knew it!). Now, I’m that goofy stranger in Chipotle making your baby so happy and animated that beans and rice fly.
5. My 8 year old is quite spirited and my 6 year old is King of Mischief, so I guarantee nothing short of your kid wielding a real chainsaw or blowtorch in a family session would startle or offend me. Seriously.
6. I lived abroad in China for two years teaching English at a university in Nanjing after graduating in 2002 from Wellesley College where I studied Chinese, biology, and photography. Living in a city of 5 million+, there was never a dull moment. I dream of returning for a visit to experience the food and vibrant street life again (although my Chinese is getting quite rusty!)
7. Did the name Salty Raven clue you in to the fact that I love birds? Through my spotting scope, I’ve peered in on Peregrine Falcons mating, California Condors soaring over the Grand Canyon, and Common Murres sitting on their aqua colored eggs balanced on rocky cliffs over the Pacific Ocean.
8. I grew up watching re-runs of the 1960’s Batman series, but nothing prepared me for my two superhero obsessed children.
9. There are never enough hours in the day for creative pursuits! I have too many art projects to list, but using broken glass and tiles for large wall mosaics is one of my recent favorite art forms. Introduced to the process in a dusty town in New Mexico, I would participate in community mural projects with a baby strapped to my back.
10. The LEGO brick obsession is BIG in our household. As soon as my daughter was old enough to play with them (and my son was old enough to not eat them), the floodgates opened. There is never a time when my floors are free of LEGO bricks, and I’m mostly okay with that.
Now that you know a bit about me, please drop me a note so I can learn a bit about you!