Vendor Spotlight: Daniel Marks Photography
Meet Daniel Marks with Owner/Photographer for Daniel Marks Photography. Daniel has been shooting weddings since he was 14 years old, but he knows no two weddings are the same. Read his story below!
How did you get to where you are now?
I started photographing weddings when I was 14 years old in 2001 with my father, Dave Marks. We started off very small but it didn’t take long for things to grow with weddings and high school senior photography. After I turned 15 years old, I was legally able to work and started spending the off months working in restaurant kitchens. in 2007 we incorporated and became dmfoto. by 2008 we were photographing over 50 weddings and over 300 portraits a year.
Without getting into any gory details, things changed. In 2014 I went to work in kitchens fulltime. In less than a year I became the chef at The Wine Loft and photography took a serious back seat. I was still shooting, but only a handful of weddings and events a year. This continued for the next while and I had accepted that this was my new career. I left The Wine Loft in March of 2019 and went to run a kitchen closer to home at Baja Bean Company in Richmond. In October of 2019, they closed their doors for good after 25 years. Next, I went to Morton’s Steakhouse. This was a great job. It allowed me time to work on me. Shifts were never more than 8 hours. Previous to that, I was working at least 10 and up to 16 hours a day.
Fast forward to March of 2020. COVID-19 has happened and places are closing left and right. I entered the reinvention mode. I started changing how I eat, exercise, operate. I found all-new levels of accountability and I started letting the world know that this is where I need to be.
Dave had since retired from weddings and events a few years back. The dmfoto name and sites were mostly shut down and remained in a sort of limbo. So, here we are. Daniel Marks Photography is here. I look forward to working with you.
What makes you or your business stand out and why should a couple hire you?
People have described my style as romantic, fun, and timeless. My health is very important to me and I keep on top of myself in rigorous ways. This is in order to keep me on point and in tune with the moments of wedding days. We are on our feet from 6 to 10 hours a day with very little downtime. We believe that all moments of a wedding day are emotionally critical and want to capture the beauty of those moments.
I have also been told by a couple of professional people that they consider me to be one of the most technical photographers in town. My ability to capture shots properly in any lighting condition is very important to me and I use the best possible cameras and lenses to get it done.
What’s your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry?
No 2 weddings are the same. It’s not making the same recipe over and over again. Everybody is different and requires different needs.
What’s your best piece of advice for couples planning a wedding?
Think about the tangible takeaways from your wedding day. This obviously a big plug for what I do, but it is very important. We create the memories that we hope you will be cherishing for a very long time.
What’s your favorite moment at a wedding?
The anxious moments leading up to the start of the ceremony. Any moments where emotions are running high and positive and I can just fire away.
If you care to share, what’s a funny/awesome story from a wedding you’ve worked?
I photographed a ceremony during a torrential downpour. I knew it was coming and well prepared..it started raining as the bride was coming down the aisle and they went with it and I got some of the best photos I have ever taken. There was no backup plan and all was good. We were clearly not going to even attempt to do group photos during that so we had to readjust and did them at the reception site downtown. Once we all dried off.
How do you de-stress?
Working out and eating right on the daily is very important to me. I have 2 dogs that I very much consider my children. After wedding days, I love coming home to them and listening to music or putting on a scary movie I have seen a thousand times for noise. I do fancy a couple of glasses of wine or bourbon to finish out my evenings.
What’s your favorite food/dish/cuisine?
Anything Mediterranean, Indian or Asian. I don’t call myself a vegan at all, but I do believe in a diet full of whole food vegetables. Stir fry’s, pasta dishes, occasional fish. I don’t eat any beef or pork and my consumption of anything dairy is extremely limited. Shrimp alfredo is my biggest guilty pleasure.
If you were to meet any celebrity, who would it be?
If I have learned one thing in life, never meet anybody you consider to be a hero. You will likely be disappointed. In the last few years some of my favorite food personalities and actors have shown their truest colors in not good ways. If I had to name 2 people that have affected me in very positive ways I would say Diamond Dallas Page for helping me get on a path of complete accountability, and Jim Root from Slipknot. I would love to talk guitars with him.
What would your perfect Saturday be like?
Wake up, work out, eat breakfast, and prepare cameras, watch college football for a couple of hours, photograph a wedding from 3 to 10, wind down with dogs and friends.
What are your top three favorite movies (or books)?
Too many to chose from…Original Star Wars trio, Halloween franchise, anything weird,\ and David Lynch-like Lost Highway.
What’s a fun or unusual fact about you?
I have many many tattoos that you will never see on a wedding day. I know where we live and respect is a very important thing to me. I am an artist in many ways. My food is my art and I have also played guitar for over 25 years. I have 2 that are custom built.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on now?
Hopefully, my fall garden will be far better than my summer garden. The late frost in May did a lot of damage to several things. I have been playing a lot more guitar lately too. That took a back burner as well with some of the jobs I previously have worked.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Tool with Tomahawk in 2001, Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age in 2005, BB King twice in 2008, Joe Bonamassa in 2019. These are a small handful of many. I love music.
Do you love to travel? If so, what are some must-see destinations?
I love to travel. Big Bend Ranch national park and Antelope Canyon in Arizona are on my list.
Do you have a pet? If so, what’s their name and what are they like?
Honey is a 12-year-old lab and basset mix and Turtle is an almost 10-year-old American Bulldog and Boxer mix. Demi and Presley are my dad’s dogs but they live here too. Demi is a golden doodle and Presley is a Labradoodle. They are all ridiculous and amazing.
What is your favorite season of the year and why?
Fall. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and my birthday is the same week. I love the changing colors and the crisp weather.
What’s your favorite family tradition?
We do a seafood feast for Christmas every year and that is our focal point.
Learn more about Daniel and book him for your wedding on his website!