Engagement sessions, boudoir sessions, pre-wedding bridal portraits, wedding photography, trash-the-dress sessions
I'm based in the Daytona Beach area and do most of my work in Orlando, but I have shot weddings from the Treasure Coast all the way up to Pennsylvania and have my passport for destination weddings as well.
Elopements starting at $899 | Weddings starting at $2,400
How would you define your "style"?
I consider myself a lifestyle photographer. I don't compose every single moment, but I do pay attention to the details in the background and provide clear direction on how to get the best out of your portraits. I take the time to explain the "why" behind the angles so that my couples understand how to look their best in photos now and in the future.
What is included in your most popular packages?
7 Hours coverage-Two Photographers-Complimentary Engagement Session-Online galleries-Wedding blog sneak peek-Download of all post-processed wedding images-Client can select 5 images for any extra retouching
What is a unique tip you tell your couples that is specific to your vendor category?
I actually have a weekly post on social media that gives people tips and tricks to get the most out of their wedding photos. I think my most important one is to prepare a family grouping list for the family portraits. Write out each grouping with the person's first name, so that your photographer can just read names off the list. This way nobody gets forgotten or missed the day of, and you can easily see who needs to stay for more photos and who can be dismissed to cocktail hour.
What current trends have you seen at weddings?
I'm seeing a lot more first looks with bridesmaids, other relatives besides parents, as well as just between the bride and groom. I am also seeing a lot of bridal party portraits and couple's portraits completed right after the ceremony and saving the family portraits for at the reception due to sunset times in the winter months.
What advice would you give a couple who is starting the search for the perfect venue?
Look at everything with a critical eye for detail. If it is an outdoor ceremony site - is the parking lot going to be in the background of your wedding photos? If the ceremony is inside - will there be a giant EXIT sign or red emergency fire strobe on the wall behind you in your photos? How much room is there for getting ready photos? Can you squeeze that many people, plus your planner, photographer, and videographer into that room and still have room for beautiful photos? Will there be room on both sides of the wedding aisle for the photographer and videographer to capture the wedding from multiple angles?
Why have a first look with my partner before the wedding?
Many people are now doing a "first look" with their partner before the ceremony. This is especially prudent in the fall/winter months when the light fades fast and we might be hurrying to ensure the photo session is completed before the sun goes down. Most couples agree that having a "first look" did not diminish the excitement of seeing each other walking down the aisle. It's a great way to calm pre-ceremony jitters and have a peaceful, quiet moment together. It’s also a perfect time to obtain a larger selection of romantic and intimate portraits of just the two of you. If you like the idea of a “first look” but still want to keep with the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony, we can arrange photos where you are on either side of a door, or around a corner. You can talk or pray with each other, hold hands, read letters, and/or exchange gifts. These moments make really beautiful photos and lasting memories. Don't forget you can have a "first look" with your wedding party, family members, or even your dog! Just remember that each of these takes time to set up and photograph, so plan your timeline accordingly, and make sure that your photographer knows which ones you'd like to do.
How do I choose the right photographer?
Ask questions! All questions are valid. Your potential wedding photographer should make you feel at ease and be able to answer any question without hesitation. If you are relaxed and comfortable with your photographer, your experience is going to be a good one. Remember, your photographer is going to be around you all day! Trust me when I say you want someone who understands your vibe and fits in with your tribe! Make sure that your photographer is a legitimate business. Ask: Are they insured? How many weddings do they photograph each year? Do they have references/online reviews for you to read? Do they have backup gear and redundancies built in place for backing up your wedding images?
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What makes you or your business stand out and why should a couple hire you?
Koontz Photography stands out because we understand neurodivergence. We welcome "different" with open arms and with excitement. We jump for joy when we hear words like, "May the 4th be with you!" When a couple mentions their non-traditional ideas, we yell, "YES!" Koontz Photography's goal is to be as inclusive, equitable, and body-positive as possible. We see where the wedding industry needs to change in that regard, which is why you’ll see we're diligently working toward shifting our verbiage and terms to represent and include all types of couples.
What's a fun or unusual fact about you or your company?
Besides photographing weddings, I've also done a lot of other work including photographing face and body painting. Due to this, I'm an internationally published photographer, since my photos have been in magazines across the world. But by far, my favorite accomplishments have been being published by the Smithsonian, as well as being included in one of their traveling exhibits.
How did you get started as a wedding pro?
Senior year of high school I was asked to take senior photos for my friends, then it was weddings. since I didn’t have any experience, they would hire a professional and I would just shadow. The first few years I only did weddings part time, since my main focus was being a new mother. After a few years I was working full time for a local wedding photographer which gave me the confidence I needed to continue doing weddings full time.
Share a piece of advice to reduce stress in the wedding planning process.
My anti-stress mantra is, "It is what it is." No matter how much we stress and worry about things, most of the time we can't change it, and we just have to roll with it and make the best of it. The best thing to do when planning your wedding is to delegate things and then just release them so that you can focus on enjoying the day.
What's your favorite wedding tradition and why?
It's more of a newer tradition - but my favorite moment is a first look between the bride and the groom. When you wait to see each other coming down the aisle, you have all this emotion and joy and you just want to hug them and tell them how beautiful they are, and then you have to stand there quietly in front of a ton of people while bursting with all this emotion. When you have a first look, you get a moment to enjoy each other fully. It helps calm nerves before the ceremony, and it provides time for more romantic portraits of just the two of you.
Tell us more about the couples you usually get the pleasure of working with.
My favorite couples are those who love all things fun, crafty, and whimsical. If you love all things sci-fi, are DIYing most of your wedding, and plan to walk into your wedding with lightsabers – I’m definitely the girl for you! I am also perfectly fine when people want to skip all the traditional pomp and circumstance and focus on just enjoying the day with the ones they love. No matter the budget, my clients and I create beautiful memories and awesome photos.
What are some of the best compliments you've received from your clients?
"As a former award-winning fine art and corporate photographer, one of the hardest things I have noticed is finding a photographer for your own family portraits. With a few words, what transpired was literally a magical set of photographs that make my heart happy. Daniella has captured the exact feeling I was looking for. Also, as someone who does not like being on this side of the camera, Daniella's warmth and professionalism made it not only completely comfortable but also so much fun. I can guarantee we will definitely be doing this again." -C.R.E. "Daniella is an amazing photographer who takes high-quality, creative, beautiful pictures that look like they came out of a magazine! Her communication was incredible. Meeting ahead of time to talk about details before the wedding was super helpful, as the day of is super crazy and you forget what pics you want! She was so friendly, on time, well organized, prepared, and patient. She got some really special shots that I didn’t even think about, and I’m so happy to have them as they are some of my favorites. We are so grateful to have had her!" - K & E"Daniella’s portraits capture the beauty of the moment so they may become lifetime memories. She is wonderful at suggesting ideas but also listens closely to what it is her client wants from their photographic experience. I recommend Koontz Photography with 10 stars!" - K.H.