We had the good fortune of connecting with Dani Haims and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dani, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I have always been a big believer in pushing boundaries and questioning the norm. Taking risks has allowed me to overcome my fears, and pursue my true passions in life, regardless of what others think. I studied Health Sciences in college, but never felt extremely passionate about pursuing a career in the health field. I knew what I really wanted was to pursue a creative career, but was constantly reminded how big a risk that would be, and that I would not be financially “successful” in an artistic career. However, I knew my passion for creativity would overshadow any doubts. To me, pursuing a career in photography was well worth the risk. I decided to move from Connecticut to Colorado in the beginning of 2020 to pursue elopement and adventure photography. This was a huge risk, as I threw myself into a new niche in a completely new market. Little did I know COVID would effect the entire wedding industry, just a few weeks after I moved! Now, more couples are choosing to elope instead of have a huge wedding. At the time, moving halfway across the country to pursue my passion for elopements seemed crazy to many people. However, I’ve learned that in order to fully take charge of your life, you need to overcome any doubts or fears, and simply follow your heart. If I played it safe and avoided taking risks, I would never have fulfilled my dream of living in Colorado and having the joy of pursuing a career that I truly love.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an adventure elopement photographer, meaning I capture rad couples in epic outdoor locations. I first got into landscape photography while traveling abroad. From then, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in photography, but didn’t know where to start! I sort of fell into the wedding industry from a lucky and random series of events, and realized that photographing couples truly speaks to my soul. I still love photographing traditional weddings, but elopements allow me to combine my passion of exploring and creating in nature, while simultaneously capturing the love between adventurous people. I feel I create my best work when I am able to deeply connect with others in a landscape that leaves me in awe of nature. Getting here hasn’t been easy at all! I often second guess my abilities to run a business all by myself. Handling everything alone can be scary, but as soon as I’m in the mountains, running around and laughing with a couple who is deeply in love, I know that this is truly what I’m meant to do. I want to encourage others out there to pursue their dreams and passions, even if it seems scary. It might be difficult, but there’s no harm in trying and just seeing what happens! You can serve yourself and those around you best if you follow the path your heart shows you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m vegetarian, so I love trying out veggie-friendly restaurants around Denver! Some of my favorites include City O City and The Corner Beet. The Denver Art Museum is awesome, and they have an area where you can create art projects yourself for free. For outdoor activities, I tell everyone coming to Colorado to go to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s the most beautiful place to hike! All of the State Parks are also amazing places to hike and explore. My favorite state parks are Eldorado Canyon and Roxborough. If you have enough time, definitely go camping in Crested Butte. You can never go wrong taking a few weeks to drive around this incredible state to take everything in! I could never get tired of exploring Colorado.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many people to thank for continuously encouraging me along my photography journey. My family and friends have been extremely supportive of my decision to become a photographer, and they continue to celebrate victories with me, both small and large. I’d also like to thank Nicole Apuzzo Cain of Evermore Imaging. Nicole is an amazing wedding photographer in Connecticut who mentored me when I was first starting my career. Without the support, love, and guidance from those close to me, this journey would be so much more difficult!