10 Questions: Danelle Bohane

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Auckland based New Zealand photographer, Danelle Bohane, started photography when her grandfather bought her a camera when she was still young, and then gave film as a regular birthday present. From there it has been a journey of discovery inspired by her love of people, art and connections. She has been photographing weddings for the last five years now. Her work strikes a delicate balance between photojournalism and fine art – with every element skillfully included in the frame.

1. What do making images mean to you?

Making art is something that I need to do, it’s not just a job but rather it is part of who I am and a natural expression of the emotions that I am feeling or those of who I am photographing.

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2. What is life to you? What it should be?

For me life is about creating and connecting. This is something very dear to my heart and what keeps me focussed in life and business. I think as humans we innately have a need to connect with people and to create, and for me that is my art.  

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3. Where did you grow up and how did that play a part in your photography?

I was born in a small town called Townsville in Queensland, Australia but at a very young age my family moved to Auckland, New Zealand so I would definitely claim to be a kiwi. I think the culture but mostly the people that are around me here in New Zealand has been what has shaped me and what I do. I feel very fortunate to have had such a positive and supportive upbringing where I was encouraged to follow what I love to do rather than what is the ‘right/academic’ thing to do, I was also always encouraged to connect with many different types of people within my day to day so I feel like this has influenced my photography and business as I get as much joy at being around the people I photograph as I do creating images. Also being in a beautiful country like New Zealand I have always had such a connection to nature and the land and I feel like this has influenced my photography visually.

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4. There are a lot of professions out there – why be a photographer?

I have always been interested in photography from when I was little, my grandfather bought me a camera and for many birthdays, he always used to send me film with a $10 note rolled into the canister. I just love that he encouraged me to create at such a young age and I knew this was my direction and it was something I could never shake off, it’s ingrained into who I am. I currently work for myself and I don’t think I could do it any other way, yes you wear many more hats when you run your own business but to have the flexibility and continual ability to capture moments for a living is very fulfilling.

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5. Are you creatively satisfied at the moment?

I wonder if I ever will be? Sometimes I think not being satisfied is what drives you to create and think of new ways to do things.  I know there are ways I can feel more satisfied than what I am at the moment, I need to shoot more for myself but I always find that a difficult task when busyness sets in due to wedding season and I do get so much satisfaction for creating what I do for my couples.  I think the relationship I build with the people I get to photograph definitely help fulfill the creative process of satisfaction but in my eyes there are so many elements that input into this.

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6. Do you have a “second profession” or passion?

At this stage all of my attention and time is focussed on my photography and business. Though my husband and I have a huge passion for brunch dates and drinking a good coffee brew. I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a boring person.

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7. What are you reading now?

The Scent Of A Dream: Travels In The World Of Coffee” by Sebastian Salgado… Can I even say I am reading that? It’s literally 98% imagery and 20 pages of text, but I am half way through taking in all the images. “Louder than Words” by Todd Henry – every creative business owner should read this, there are so many ‘a-ha’ moments.

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8. Describe your path to what you’re doing now.

I was reading a Facebook post by a friend a number of weeks back and he wrote about being more concerned about how we walk out our path than the path we are on, and I couldn’t agree more. I think in today’s society we are always so caught up in making the big decisions and putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to creating the best path possible for our lives, which I can absolutely relate to. What I think will really make our lives the most enjoyable is to embrace the journey we are on, to celebrate those relationships we do life with and I think we will be amazed in the journeys we all travel over a lifetime. In saying this there are ups and downs in the path we walk and getting to where I am now in my journey definitely has it’s mundane moments with mountains of admin, making mistakes in business and life and hours upon hours of trial and error but there has been so many rewarding moments that outweigh the not so great moments. I have been lucky to have such incredible support and encouragement from family and friends over the last five years from when I chose to step out and launch into photography and running a business and that is where I count my blessings. I have chosen to focus a lot on the experience my couples have with me as much as refining a style and making sure I am out putting work that is consistent.

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9. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?

My left eye.

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10. Where do you see yourself in 10 year’s time?

Living in the mountains with a beautiful family and still photographing and travelling. I have been really challenged lately to make decisions that are based from what my husband and I dream of rather than living by the expectations of others, that is probably way easier said than done. I would really hate to come to the end of life thinking that I really wished I did something and never did it because I was scared of someone else’s opinion… hoping that is more like 70 years time than 10 😉

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Bonus Q: Do you think the gear you use affects the way you photograph? Why?  

I think its a good Idea to have good quality gear, I am really hard on my cameras and lenses and do a terrible job at looking after them. I don’t think it has affects on the way I photograph except I probably over shoot to make sure I really nail the focus. I think I will be able to get the same results I do from other similar products / brands but I am really not that into gear, and I still probably don’t know half of what my camera could actually do, but it doesn’t really bother me. Though in saying that I am looking forward to seeing how the gear market does change in the next couple of years, definitely getting over the heavy gear.

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Gear LIst

  • canon 5d mk 3 x2
  • canon 24mm f1.4
  • canon 35mm f1.4
  • canon 50mm f1.2
  • canon 85mm f1.2
  • canon 135. f.2
  • canon speed lights x2

Field Notes

I think its a good Idea to have good quality gear, I am really hard on my cameras and lenses and do a terrible job at looking after them. I don’t think it has affects on the way I photograph except I probably over shoot to make sure I really nail the focus. I think I will be able to get the same results I do from other similar products / brands but I am really not that into gear, and I still probably don’t know half of what my camera could actually do, but it doesn’t really bother me. Though in saying that I am looking forward to seeing how the gear market does change in the next couple of years, definitely getting over the heavy gear. 

 


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