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Conversations with the Inspiring Dana Berk

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana Berk.

Dana, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I didn’t grow up with a camera in my hand. I was never offered photography classes in high school and it wasn’t until yearbook my junior year that I first set my hands on a DSLR camera. I had no idea how to work the camera and we weren’t given too much instruction. I remember thinking how badly I wanted to create beautiful images and was so overwhelmed with all the mechanics and settings on the camera. I was obsessed with capturing candid moments to put into our yearbook, but it was done on the auto setting and autofocus. This class sparked a small flame in me that I knew I wanted to explore. Due to class scheduling, I was unable to take yearbook my senior year and my photography interest slowly got put on the back burner.

Flash forward to my freshman year in college. I had probably one of the best roommates I could have ever asked for. She brought out the best in me, my artistic side. I was always artistic and creative growing up- drawing, painting, and designing. But when I got into high school something changed, I cared more about what people thought than what actually made me happy. Victoria was everything I wish I had been the last four years. She lived her life for herself and did not let what others thought deter her from anything. She pulled my love for photography back out and that first semester I purchased my first DSLR. She taught me how to use it and gave all her knowledge to me without even thinking twice. I owe so much to her. Seven years later and we are still the best of friends today and have not let life push us apart. While visiting her in New Zealand, we came up with a dream to own a business together one day. Our friendship has no limits and I can’t wait to see where our dreams and ventures align.

Pursuing photography was a very slow process for me. I started by taking pictures of scenery and candid moments where I was just a fly on the wall. I then moved to taking photos for family members and close family friends. It took me five and a half years to tell that little voice in my head it was wrong. I can do this. We can all be our own worst critics and I kept myself from pursuing photography for too long. I was scared of failing and putting myself out there to be judged. After leaving New Zealand, I had a fire in me I had never felt before. In 2018, Dana Rose Photography was born. I photograph everything from families and couples to weddings. I seek to capture the raw emotions and love between one another and families. Photography is the only way to pause time and look back, almost like a time machine. I love having the power to pause a moment in time.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I believe the hardest challenge to overcome, as a creative or someone in the service industry, is being able to put yourself out there and allow yourself to be judged. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea and that is perfectly fine. Not every potential client is going to love your editing style. Every photographer or creative brings something different to the table and attracts a specific clientele. If this mentality can be engrained into your brain early on in your career then you are one step ahead.

What should we know about Dana Rose Photography? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a photographer who aims to photograph the raw emotion between individuals. One of my favorite things that I think sets me apart from others is that I try and keep my services as affordable as possible. Photography can be considered a luxury service and not everyone can afford to document their special moments with a professional photographer. I am only able to do this because photography is not my primary income. I truly love creating beautiful images and seeing clients light up when they receive so many beautiful photos. I am proud of my work and I am thankful photography can be my creative outlet.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
I think this may be different for everyone when it comes to finding a mentor and your comfort zone. I know when I first started to take the leap into photography, networking seemed so daunting. I felt like I couldn’t contribute anything because I was still so new. It’s a mindset I had to get out of. A mentor can be anyone. Someone on social media, podcasts, and/or speakers. Rachel Hollis honestly was a big factor that helped me get some self-confidence. Reading her books and listening to her podcasts were motivational and she helped me realize how to overcome self-doubt. Beyond that, I have taken a few photography workshops that helped me with my portfolio and confidence in that specific field. Networking is still a work in progress for me. I have slowly met others in the service industry and I am starting to build good relationships with them. A big goal I have for myself is to start attending wedding expos or other community events that will help create that network with other vendors and service providers.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jessi Hoecherl

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