We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniela Alarcon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Daniela, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Since I was a little kid I always felt like I had to be a good role model for the rest of the kids in my family. I am the first daughter, cousin, grandchild even great-grandchild; all this adds up to certain expectations in life. With that in mind, my family wanted me to become a lawyer, doctor, or something down that road.
It all started when I was twelve years old when I held a plastic film camera for the first time. It was gifted to me as a toy, but for me it was just the beginning of my creative carrier. I started to photograph everything, trying to express myself and explore a different side of life. From then on, I always had a camera with me and enjoyed capturing all the amazing moments in my life.
High school graduation came along and my dream of pursuing a carrier in photography was shattered. I am from Ecuador, where a Photography Major didn’t exist as a choice in college. I chose the most creative carrier I could find, Advertising with a Minor in Graphic Design. Fortunately, the university I attended had Photography as a Minor and I immediately chose to pursue this without any hesitation and started working on my photography. During this time I developed a deep love for animal photography, my final project was about capturing the majestic and magnificent essence of horses.
Following my college graduation, I worked in advertising for a couple of years but I felt like something was missing in my life. It was not my passion and I decided to pack my belongings and pursue a photographic carrier in the United states. To this day, it has been the best decision I have ever made.
These days I work with animals, more specifically with dogs and do landscape photography as well. The ability to connect with nature through the lens of my camera is a unique and incredible experience. Being in sync with our essence is liberating and an indescribable.
It all came full circle when I decided that I wanted to start my own business. Everything I learned during my time in advertising has been implemented into my day to day work. Now, all I have to do is take my camera out and start shooting.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It was not a smooth road when it came to pursuing my passion. Leaving my family behind was very hard but fortunately, I had my husband by my side who has always been my rock. Moving to a new country in itself was a challenge and so was adjusting to a new language. All that said, it has been an incredible experience and I wouldn’t change a thing. I have no regrets.

As for photography, nature as fine art is very complex and is difficult to achieve. Multiple factors have to be taken into account, including the time of day to achieve adequate lighting, location, angle, etc. I really have to be diligent and creative in every shot so I can make it unique.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are many ways to enjoy Scottsdale, from exploring the outdoors to a late afternoon stroll in Old Town. To start of the weekend off correctly, hiking is a must on the schedule. Pinnacle Peak is great way to explore the desert and take in all the views. You’ll be able to see a saguaro-studded landscape and massive granite rock formations.
There’s no greater feeling than finishing a long hike with a delicious brunch at Breakfast Kitchen Bar.
To continue into Saturday afternoon, we can wind down and visit some architectural highlights in Scottsdale such as Taliesin West , which is a famous landmark that offers tours of Frank Lloyd Wright’s former residence. This remarkable attraction is a UNESCO World Heritage site and National Historic Landmark located in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains.
To finish the weekend on a food note, Sunday is the best day to visit a variety farmer markets. The Farmer’s Market in Old Town Scottsdale is perfect for browsing the local vendors for pastries and coffee and and walk through the beautiful Old Town.
After a couple hours of well deserved rest, it best to stretch those legs with an easy sunset hike at Granite Mountain Trailhead.
This is one of my favorite hikes, specially during the Spring beacuase the mountains are packed with beautiful colors from the wild flowers. Don’t forget your camera, you are going to want to capture this amazing landscape.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family has been my biggest cheerleaders and supporters throughout my career. My mentors at Miami Ad School played a major role and significantly influenced the photographer I am today, especially when it comes to technique, perspective and editing of a photo. My first client in the dog product industry that trusted me completely to take the creative lead of the project which allowed me to grow and nurture my skills and confidence as a photographer.

Website: www.danialarconcoka.com

Instagram: danialarconcoka

Linkedin: danialarconcoka

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.