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Simply Pleasure Magazine Feature with Danni-jo Photography

Posted By Dale Sweatland on

Tell is about yourself and your Photography career so far. when and how did you first get into Photography?

I am a fashion photographer based in London. I have a first-class BA degree in photography. I first started photographing five years ago and I have been in love ever since. I photograph lots of different types of work from boudoir to editorial work!


Can you describe what is involved with a typical shoot? How do you decide locations, themes, what does a typical shoot day look like?

This is very dependent on what type of shoot I am doing and how much creative control and direction I am allowed. For the majority of my shoots, I have a lot of the creative control so I will choose the themes and locations to match the brief. On a typical day of a shoot, this will already be planned and ready to go. I will normally arrive first and the crew to follow. While the models are getting ready with makeup and styling, I’ll be creating the set and getting the lighting set. I am normally a one-woman team so I normally do this by self. 

Dannii-Jo Photoshoot with flowers - Dannii-Jo Featured Artist Blog Post image


Throughout a Photographers career there are often standout projects, and shoots, which a photographer is particularly proud of. What do you feel have been the highlights of your career so far?

So far, my favourite project has been my Mother Nature series. This got a lot of engagement and praise from my viewers! This series was how I envisioned Mother Nature and I wanted to create an editorial fashion look around this. I used this idea of flowers and hairstyle to create this vision. This project was made to empower women and bring inclusivity and positivity into the fashion photography world.

I also did a huge project exploring the foster care system and estranged people. This project was incredibly important to me as I am a part of this too. This was incredibly rewarding, and I got to produce some beautiful pieces of some amazing people. 


What first sparked your interest or first got you involved in fetish? How did you discover it? Was it a personal interest or intrigue, were you approached by a designer?

From my personal experience the modelling world and the SW world overlap quite a lot. So, by photographing models I met a lot of them that also did SW and wanted boudoir shoots. This led to shooting content for online platforms which included fetish work, but overall, I am a female photographer and I wanted to be able to create a safe space for my models to shoot in, as this is quite rare. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories from my models so being able to provide this safety felt really important.


What made you want to work in the world of photography?

Ever since I can remember I’ve been interested in everything and anything creative. I always wanted to be an artist, and then I wanted to be a fashion designer. I discovered photography and realised I could combine every artistic aspect of myself into one art form and that’s how I fell in love!


What are your favourite subjects to photograph?

WOMEN. I absolutely love photographing women in every sense. I think women are incredibly beautiful and I love using my female gaze to photograph them. I personally think women just know how to photograph women!


Dannii-Jo Photographs of Women - Dannii-Jo Featured Artist Blog Post Image

Do you set the scene? How do the models contribute and influence the final piece. 

It depends on the shoot again but I’m a very collaborative photographer and I like to hear everyone’s ideas and make the vision come to life.


What are the most out-there scenes you have photographed?

I feel like all my work is a bit out-there so it is hard to choose! I once did a shoot in New York and we stood in front of a gigantic truck and shot in front of it while it was parked in Times Square, that was terrifying and so fun! I also did a burlesque photoshoot in the middle of a busy town with an audience which was interesting. I once did a boudoir fetish photoshoot where I edited her holding her own head and also eating a heart, that was crazy!


 Have you become friends with any of your models over the years? 

Yes! So many! I tend to put a lot of hours and care into my shoots, and this leads to me bonding with the models as we basically just hang out all day and have fun. Some of the best people and my closest friends are models I have met on shoots. It’s one of my favourite things about being a photographer, I get to meet so many amazing people.


Do models get shy?

Yes, all the time! It is rare I come across a model that is not shy! It is a scary job! But this is normally just in the first hour or so and once everyone is settled that tends to calm down.


Are there any exciting projects coming up at you can tell us about? 

I’m going to keep working on and growing my Mother Nature shoot this year! I am full of creative energy so you can expect lots of new work for 2023.


 What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

“It doesn’t hurt to ask.” I live by this phrase! I’m always asking for help or asking to shoot certain people or in certain locations. I’m not afraid of just asking as it’s better than nothing at all, and it normally is a positive experience.


 What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

 I wish I knew that I’d be where I am now, even though I’m not where I want to be in this present moment, this is where I wanted to be then. My younger self would be proud of me for that. 


 What is the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

 Being a photographer as a career move is very daring and scary. Especially as I am a freelancer with no financial back up. Making the plunge into just living of my art!

 I also used lots of my savings to travel across America after completing university and for someone without any financial aid that is terrifying! But worth it.


 What motivates you?

 My past. I came from a troubled and difficult upbringing, so I never want to be in that situation again. I grew up below the poverty line and I am now estranged, and I feel like I deserve better, so I work to try and make that happen.

Also, when your estranged you have no financial help or back up help from family members, so it’s almost as if I have no choice but to work hard. I also love my work, so that definitely helps. 


What is your proudest accomplishment?

Graduating university with a first-class degree. Travelling America and getting to where I am now. 


What taboo(s) would you like to see de-stigmatised ?

I think sex work itself needs to be less of a taboo. For me it’s something I’m comfortable talking about as I’ve met so many people involved in this, but I know this isn’t the case for so many people. Discussions around sex work should be more open and spoke about more without the fear of embarrassment or judgement. 


Has photographing people changed your outlook on body image/sex/relationships? 

Massively, in every way. My relationship with body image is always changing, I’m in a damaging environment where many models are photoshopped, which is hard to see, but it does also make you realise how fake everything is! Also being around sex workers and models has made me more comfortable in my own body and relationships. The job is also very therapeutic and builds my confidence a lot, I’m around strangers every day and building relationships with them. So being able to learn that has been rewarding.


And finally, what makes your job easier?

Loving it and enjoying it. When it’s creative and when I get to work with great people.


Follow Danni-jo at:

Instagram: @danniijophotography


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