DeeAnn Donovan uses her Nikon to create legendary All-American photographs.
Unlike most photographers, DeeAnn Donovan started out in front of the camera. As a swimwear/fitness model, she enjoyed a 25-year career before deciding to switch to the other side. “ My family has always laughed at me, as I have always loved documenting every single action of our three children, from age birth to their twenties.” “Every road traveled, and every vacation, you were sure to find me either shopping for old time treasures in some corner, overfilled antique store, or with my trusty camera in hand, taking hundreds of pictures of anything that crossed my path.”
Shortly after her three children left for college, she too decided that it was time to begin in a direction. In no time at all, she was behind the camera, ready to take on a new challenge.
When DeeAnn’s decision was finalized to try her hand as a full-time professional photographer, she found that due to her extensive modeling background and sheer love of the artistry in her personal photos, the transition wasn’t difficult, at all. “I have an easy going nature, and obviously love creativity. I've always gone the extra mile on each and every photo shoot that I've done on my own for the last 25 years. Most photographers and editors gave me free reign and allowed me to choose my outfits, props, and sometimes even my locations and sets as well. Creativity is a must as a photographer. If you lack it, you are simply in the wrong business. “
After taking photography courses at a nearby SUNY campus, and working hand in hand with as many different photographers as possible to learn about the business, a second career was quickly born.
DeeAnn believes that her distinct style of photography and down to earth attitude, both originated from her humble country upbringing on a small corn farm in Iowa.
“ I was taught at a young age, that everyone was created equal, and that honesty and a smile could brighten anyone's day. I’ve always believed that “Life is too short, not to live in the moment”, so, I have always tried my best to have fun every step of the way, without allowing much of anything, to ever bring me down. I attribute the success I’ve had as a magazine model, spokesmodel, television and radio personality for 25 years, to never forgetting where I came from, and never forgetting who helped me get there. “
“Because I have worked with so many different photographers from all over the world, and have done many live television segments, I know first hand how nerves can make or break someone. It is crucial to me to immediately “break the ice”, with a new client or model, for them to feel unintimidated, and perfectly at ease with me. My most famous line that I use with everyone is that “I’ve seen and heard it all, so don’t be afraid to be yourself, and let loose”. In my book, the worst thing a photographer could do to a client is to be silent and to give no direction at all. The result is always the same. No enthusiasm, no trust, and therefore, no energy, which is always evident in every photo.” Although DeeAnn goes into a shoot with most plans already made, she never overlooks the contribution of the model. “When I say a model is superb, I’m usually talking about what he/she brings to a shoot. When someone begins to make moves on their own that go with the mood of the photo, I go with it and encourage it. And that’s when I say those things you always hear photographers say in the movies ‘That’s great, you’ve got it, keep it going.' I do say that and mean it. The model knows I’m telling the truth, and then the energy of the shoot takes over.”
Many of DeeAnn’s photos are sold as stock photos. “It’s very exciting for me to be able to create exactly what I want. My ideas come from observation. I allow myself to be inspired by just about everything around me. I look through magazines, all types from fashion, to food., and everything in between. Something always stops me and inspires me, and then many possibilities are born. Then it’s my job to take those opportunities and see what I can do with them. I always keep a mental wish list and take all ideas with me into the studio, and on location. “
DeeAnn also submits to magazines. “Whatever my clients needs and wishes are, I help in any way possible. Anything at all that is inspiring to a client, no matter what it may be, I will enthusiastically encourage and shoot for them. My lifelong love of documentation should have landed me a photojournalism job, but instead of working for someone else, I decided to try my best at making as many clients happy as possible. By helping clients focus on capturing what’s most important to them, I am doing what I've enjoyed doing in front of the camera for 25 years. “
To see more of DeeAnn’s personal modeling photos and portfolio, please visit her website at DeeAnnDonovan.com.