What I love about Danielle is how stinkin' down to earth she is. It doesn't matter how much recognition (for her bad A photography) she gets, how many times she gets published, or how successful she is, she's still completely humble. Completely down to tell it how it is.
Something that has been so important to me for White Buffalo Project is the vulnerability. To really celebrate the story of life, instead of hide behind a mask of something else. While trying to curate interviews of women who could really cut the bull, Danielle was an immediate pick.
Without further ado, I give you Miss Sabol.
Tell us a little about yourself, however you feel best suites you.
Why are introductions so awkward? I’m Danielle. I’m female. I’m human.
What inspired you to get into photography?/ Create your own business?
Photography came into my life at a time I felt I didn’t have much going for me. I was in the midst of a horrible relationship AND a tumultuous family relationship. I needed an escape from the despair and uncertainty I was feeling. Photography provided me with not only a hobby to get me out of the house, but it gave me the freedom of creative expression, which I considered a type of therapy at the time. It gave me hope.
Somewhere along that messy road I fell in love with shutter clicks and medium format photography. And here I am four years later, in a wonderful romantic relationship, and fabulously mended familial relationship and I’m lucky to be photographing all the things I love.
What do you think is the most rewarding part of what you do?
I love the idea of encapsulating memories, feelings, and beauty. Knowing that I could be providing a service that could still be appreciated years from now is a pretty rad concept.
What is the biggest struggle?
Haha, there seems to be a constant flow of little obstacles and struggles. I’d say my biggest struggle is finding ways to deal with the struggles in a mature, professional way.
Being in the creative occupation, with everyone else’s art billboarded in front of you everyday, what do you think is the most difficult thing about being an entrepreneur in your field?
I know this sentiment has been shared by so many, but it truly is easy to get caught up in the fight to the top. I am obsessed with the future and ‘where I want to be’. I crave progress. I feel like I’m dying if I’m not moving forward and improving. There are times I obsess with curating my ideal self and my ideal life in my head. I'm so focused on the type of human I want to become and what I want to accomplish that I completely discount any current successes and am already fixated on the next goal and I become totally dissatisfied with whatever project I just completed. I sabotage any compliments, ignore any praise, and end up seeming totally ungrateful in the process. It's a daily struggle to enjoy NOW and appreciate my tiny steps I'm making toward my big big dreams.
What advice would you give someone struggling with the same thing?
I feel like we 90s girls (or most girls) grew up in a time where we were encouraged to belittle ourselves a bit. You know someone says “wow you’re so pretty” and you say “no I’m not, look at this pimple here”. It’s normal to be self-critical about yourself and about your work, but it’s important to accept praise and compliments and (if you don’t already) learn to appreciate yourself the way others do. Having a strong sense of self worth is so important.
Why do you think it’s important to slow down? How do you do that?
I feel that without slowing down and briefly disconnecting ourselves from our aspirations, there would be no perspective. Sometimes it takes a ginormous step back to ensure you’re on the right track, that you’re heart’s in the right place, and that you’re making time for those who are supporting you.
I don’t know if I’ve mastered the art of slowing down, but I’m trying. I usually find that ‘detoxing’ myself from a creative environment helps the most. Social media sabbaticals, football games, walks with my (non-creative) boyfriend, even the mundane task of grocery shopping has been incredibly therapeutic for me!
What does your typical day look like?
Monday – Friday (9-5 woop woop!) I work for a health and wellness company as their social media manager. It’s a new habit I’m working on, but the moment I leave work I head to the gym for an hour (spin or row), and then I go home to work on my photography business putting together mood boards, scheduling photo sessions, sending off proofs, making dinner with my love, and attempting to catch up on Jon Stewart before I pass out.
What does your perfect day look like?
My perfect day would include a spontaneous car drive with my love to a quiet place where I can eat wine and cheese and be lazy under a warm sun. Of course I’d bring along one or three cameras and a few boxes of film.
What things make you feel alive?
Fresh issues of So It Goes and Porter Magazine in my mailbox, talking to any one of my six little sisters, concert hopping, photo shoots, sour patch kids, baked brie, seeing things for the first time.
What is something someone has told you that was impactful to the way you do life?
Someone once told me “don’t settle” and I swear if I was into permanence I would get that tattooed on my forehead. Those two little words have carried me again and again.
If you could have any super power, which one would you be and why?
I suppose I would really love to emit laser rays from my fingertips that could instantly make someone full of kindness and accepting of others the way they are.
Any parting words of wisdom?
Kindness is the new black, yo.
You know. You read interviews like this, and it just makes you feel GOOD. Right? To remember that we are all the same. We all struggle. We all succeed. And we all have a unique story.
Thank you, DS, for getting honest about yours.