I am writing to you straight from the sunny corner of my home office, to introduce, and yet re-introduce, my name (Dani Toscano Photography), brand, and vision for my wedding and editorial photography career. To be completely honest, this whole year has been very tough for all of us. Tough in the event industry, in our world, and in our personal lives. We have all been struggling to find the strength to move forward, grow, and stay motivated in a season of extreme disempowerment. Collectively, our world has seen what one generation sees, in multiples. Our country is caught in a turmoil of systemic racism, political divide, and economic disfunction.
But, as Leslie Dwight notes, “What if 2020 isn’t cancelled? What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for? A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow… A year we finally accept the need for change. Declare change. Work for change. Become the change. A year we finally band together, instead of pushing each other further apart. 2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather the most important year of them all.”
And, as my favorite Bob Dylan would say, “The times they are a-changin’.”
Years ago, I photographed my first wedding with all the nerves. You know, that first wedding you work where you are excited, nervous, and excited again. It had fallen into my lap after photographing an engagement session that I booked off Groupon (yes, cry me a river, it was a long time ago). For the record, it was during a time where I was still in university, with professors encouraging me to go to grad school, work in art residencies, and later become an art professor. Commercial photography, and wedding photography, were seen as absolute “no no’s” in my department.
I honestly had no idea how much that one wedding would steer my career. I instantly fell in love with it as we all do — the joy, the authentic moments, the times where you feel so moved at documenting such an important moment in someone’s life. As a wedding photographer, you develop into something much more than just a photographer — a stylist, a planner, a designer, a listener. It’s something you work on every single day.
I worked with film for years in art school, was the darkroom technician at my university, and taught others how to develop their film and work with silver gelatin prints. But honestly, I never expected to incorporate film into these weddings I was capturing. After diving into the wedding world for a couple years after my first wedding, I fell more and more in love with hybrid photography and the art of film itself. I reached out to Dear Lovers and was excited to receive an associate photographer offer. I joined their team and photographed under their name for years. Now that this chapter has come to an end, I am so very excited for what comes next.
I’m very excited to continue to capture and create beautiful images for couples. I’m also very excited to use my platforms to elevate important matters: Black lives, animal rights, environmental impacts and climate change, LGBTQ rights, sustainability, and more. I cannot wait to create for pandemic-affected couples, for new couples, for vendors and other creatives, and for myself.
If you are a fellow photographer, couple, friend, associate, vendor, please feel free to message me and introduce yourself. I would love to meet you and hear how change is coming for you.