We had the good fortune of connecting with Danni B and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danni, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
When I was younger, I worked a job I dedicated my life to. I was hired at 17 and worked as close to 40hrs a week as I could manage while still in school and left little to no time for other activities.
When I graduated high school I decided to skip further education and take on as many hours as I could get my hands on while working my way up. 50hr weeks and coming in on my days off or staying longer to help cover when we were short staffed became my new normal. Eventually I moved to Tempe for school and transferred to another store in Scottsdale where I continued on this same path. I moved back to Tucson after a year and I transferred again to my original store as a manager at 20 years old. I soon started managing two locations, worked up to 60hrs weeks sometimes, and made no time for anyone or anything else outside of work. When that job suddenly came to an end, I realized the damage I had done to not only myself but my relationships and everything I gave up during the last years of my teens. It was eye opening.
Though in the moment I thought I loved what I was doing, getting out of it made me realize how much I missed out on in my late teens and in turn made me realize that having little to no work/life balance is a lifestyle I never want to pick up again which has played a huge role in the way I go about my photography business.
Some days, I do think it sets me back in my level of success. It’s hard not to want to hustle 24/7, 365 days a year. Particularly with something that’s so close to my heart. And even harder when I see hustle culture blasted all over social media. But anytime I start to get down on myself, I think back to when I was younger and how unhealthy I was and, deep down, how unhappy I was burning myself out while leaving little to no room for anything else in my life. Especially rest.
There are times when I wish I could go back and change so much of how I perceived that job. But being where I am now, I can appreciate all that I learned from my mistakes. As a creative, establishing a healthy work/life balance early in my creative path is essential to me. It allows me to take on projects that I can put my ALL into and give clients my best self. It allows me to be a better friend, girlfriend, dog mom, and any other title I take on which benefits my business in return by having amazing people around me to support and lift me up. It allows me to take care of my health both mentally and physically so that when things get tough I’m healthy enough to handle it.
As an entrepreneur, you are your business. And every aspect of your life plays into that business.
For me, there is no Danni B Photography if there is no Danni B.
We all have our own ways of starting a business. And how I see it, life will unfold the way it is meant to, as long as you are putting in work, have good intentions, a good idea, and lots of faith, it’ll all come through in the end.
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.
I’ve always been a creative kid. Always wanted to be an artist growing up. Shifting from wanting to be a painter, to a sculptor, to fashion design, to a photographer, and now entering into my new study of graphic design, art has always been my focus. I love that I’ve dabbled in so many different types of art forms that I can bring them all together with Photography now being my main source of creative expression.
As for challenges, being a creative person is in no way easy. Your brain works different and unfortunately, your creative talents are not held to the same valuable standards as academic skills are. As a kid growing up, that was very difficult to deal with. As an adult, it’s even more frustrating knowing how much design and art play in literally every single aspect of our daily lives and how heavily it influences the choices you make on things you purchase or entertainment you like. But yet still isn’t taken as seriously of a profession. This idea of what I do being “valuable” has been one of my biggest struggles to overcome. Growing up being told what I want to do isn’t a “real job” for so many years has been more than difficult to push through but continuing to surround myself with people who believe in what I do and see the value in it has been a huge help in changing that mindset.
What I would love for others to know is directed especially towards younger creatives. Pursue your creative dreams, prove people wrong, be proud to love art and be an artist. Your skills are important, they are valuable, and you can make a living doing what you love. With that being said, remember to take it one step at a time. You will get to where you want to be with baby steps and constant practice. Do not get discouraged by other creatives, do not give up. You truly are the only one that can do what you do, so continue to do it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Man, I love Tucson. It’s such a quirky city and I love that I get to be apart of it!
We’d definitely spend some time outside, (hopefully she’s coming in the early spring) and admire the blooming desert out in Gates Pass and Saguaro National Park. A trip up Mt. Lemmon is definitely a must and staying up their till sunset to watch at Windypoint is also required.
We’d also taking a drive down to Bisbee and spending the day doing a mini photoshoot and shopping around the antique stores. Possibly squeeze another day trip to Phoenix sometime during the week and hit some of the bars up there and other shops.
As for restaurants and bars we’d have to do a happy hour at Postino’s, lunch at Seis with a walk around The Annex after. A stop at KonTiki and then The Hut just for the experience. Other stops at Boxyard, Owls Club, Highwire, Club Congress, Crooked Tooth, and The Downtown Clifton.
Watch a movie at the Loft and then head over to Casa Video. Man this itinerary could go on and on so we’ll just leave it at there haha.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh gosh, where do I even begin. I don’t think people realized how much their support impacts others. Especially creatives. Estrella Sevilla was the first person who really gave me an incredible opportunity when I first started out. She is who got me in touch with Jackie Sterna, an amazing Tucson based Photographer who taught me how possible being a photographer was. That connection alone led me to so many other creatives such as (insta handles) @blewyew @tucsonhairdiva @makeup.by.dre @chelseawhitakerphotography @christinahollanddesigns @camilaochoa.faces and at least 10 other creatives who have donated their time and creative skills to my work and are always hyping me in my DM’s. Other photographers and creatives who have been more than supportive by offering their mentoring and kind words have been @stephanienewboldseniors, @josec_photography @rycardo_bia_photography @lx_chayka_photography @dhaevis @jquinivory @tobychiversphotography @_christopherberry_ @cassandramariaphotography and more. Then, of course my friends and those out there that always take time out of their day to give constant support in my DM’s @izabella_bech @violettrosee @destiny.camou @danielblanchard4 @brandonsflower @trevor.mack @keenkiyoshi @jasyi64 @mothertierra @tianamcdaniel @gene_designs @brennanonymous @Maximiliano.mv and so many more! And lastly, but of course not least, my incredible parents and family members that support me in everything I do and offer any and all resources they can to make my dreams come true.
@classicrockcouture, @tobychivers, @blewyew, @saguaronationalpark, @elizabeth_wesst, @ayianna.h, @dhaevis, @brooke.enr