#166–Dani Diamond

Dani Diamond

Dani Diamond is a Fashion, Portrait & Commercial Photographer working our of New York city.  He is also a writer for Fstoppers and commands a huge social media presence.  The power of his portraits can only be described as “The Dani Diamond Look”.
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Dani Diamond

(from Dani’s website – go here for his write-up.

Dani Diamond has become a household name.  His breathtaking portraits and signature style have taken over all forms of social media, from Facebook to Fstoppers.

Dani grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in Connecticut with his wife Etty, and works in New York City. He began his journey into photography merely as a hobby after graduating with a degree in business administration.

Dani started shooting landscapes and portraiture and found that people responded fiercely to his portraits, due to the connection Dani was able to create with his camera. Dani grew a fast following on facebook and social media. Dani’s ability to answer, comment and respond to his followers is just one more thing that makes Dani the photographer that he is.

Show Notes:

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  • Intro Questions:

    • How did you get started in photography?

      • Started in business school.  A friend had a camera while I was into computers…friend asked me to install Photoshop for photography lens.

      • Started taking photos of everything and morphed into portraits

      • First camera to shooting portraits was around eight months

      • Took some classes / workshops

      • Started shooting for fun

    • Why portrait photography?

      • My followers on Facebook / Instagram actually decided for me.  While posting all sorts of photos I was receiving the most positive feedback on portraits / fashion

    • Gear, favorite lens?

      • Mainly shooting with a Nikon D800 – Tried shooting with Medium format

      • 85 f1.4…the ultimate portrait lens

    • How did you build up clientele

      • Most difficult aspect…all to do with connections.  Knowing people

      • Got a lucky break…father is a clothing manufacturer in Italy.  After taking photos of fathers work I was able to build up a base

      • Posted photos through Social Media

      • Quality clients versu quantity

    • Why Photoshop and not Lightroom

      • Lightroom is good for people who shoot events and work in batches

      • Photoshop has everything I need…all tools are within the program

    • Why not too many B&W

      • Fashion shooting clothing lines.  The clients want to see the product

      • Enjoy the toning…skin color stands out in color

    • What’s the most important thing a photographer looking to make a living in the field needs to do?


  • Interview

    • Do you have a signature style?  What is it?

      • Girls

      • Head Shots and three quarter body

      • Backgrounds are always blurred out

      • Backlight if possible

      • City locations

    • What do you look for in a background to your images?

      • Just as important as the image

      • Looking for backgrounds that compliment the subject and the colors compliment the skin / hair of the subject

    • Always look stress free

      • Only you are in control and you are choosing how to feel

      • Always go into every shoot looking for the positive and happy

      • Try to bring out the positive energy and let the subject leave pleased

    • Would you try the mirror less systems

      • Don’t feel comfortable with these cameras

      • Models instinctively change when they hear the shutter

    • When are you coming to Dallas?

    • How do you balance work / family life?

      • Observe Sabbath, sundown Friday to sundown Saturday

      • Lot of free time throughout the day and spend times with family / friends

    • Common coaching tips

      • Keep posing simple…

      • All about eyes, lips, chin and position of shoulders

      • Expressions…very descriptive.  Have photo album on phone with expressions that I will show model

        • Shy – bring shoulders in, head down to side and eyes up. 

    • Do you use strobes?

      • Always bring a strobe to a fashion shoot.  usually ad einstein strobe.  Use mainly as a fill light

    • Highest ISO

      • 800 and that is rarely.  Ensure I have good light or else I end the shoot

    • Tablet

      • Wacom Intuos Medium

    • Any chance of allowing someone to shadow you?

      • That is the purpose of the workshops

      • Had a bad experience with a shadow and a photoshoot and it didn’t work out well with the other photographer over my shoulder.

    • How did you master strobes?

      • If you master natural lights the strobes are easy

      • The secret is to learn light

    • Male vs Female models.  I notice most of your images posted are female, do you shoot male models very often?

      • I do shoot two mens lines, suits.  However, there are more female clothing lines and people rather see females on social media.

    • What makes for a good model?

      • Took time to obtain and cultivate models and now shoot with mainly the same five models. 

      • After shooting with one model and posting on social media I was able to obtain additional models to shoot

    • Which photographers influenced you and your career path

    • What extra gear do you bring to shoots and where do you keep?

      • I utilize several pelican cases.  Each has a different set of items for different tasks

    • Difference between 85 f1.4 and f1.8

      • The f1.8 maybe sharper

    • Thoughts on the Sigma 85mm f1.4

      • Love the lens

    • Anything crazy ever occur during a shoot

      • Fashion shoot for a children’s clothing line.  Nine children show with their parents along with my team.  Locked in a location in a cabin in upstate New York.   Fifteen cars parked at the location and the owner drives up and has a tantrum questioning what we are doing.  The owner kicked us out and we needed to drive and find a new location.  Ultimately it worked out great.


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Album for this episodes can be found here – Dani Diamond

Albums from previous episodes can be found here – Podcast Images



Dani Diamond


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About geephotant

geephotant (Geek-Photographer-Accountant) (aka. Mike Howard) is the creator of Nov Studios and the jpeg2RAW podcast. Mike is an accountant by day as the Controller for a large US based corporation. By night, he is a geek and has appeared on the Home Server Show Podcast & the BYOB podcast ( both found at www.homeservershow.com). He has also appeared on the Home Tech Show podcast (www.theaverageguytv.com) and is now a regular guest on that show. Mike's true passion is photography and shoots when ever he can find time. As an amateur photographer, he is always looking to learn more about the craft.

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