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Danielle is a commercial and travel photographer and educator based in Orlando, Florida. At a young age, her love of travel, nature, and art sparked her passion for photography. After graduating Suma Cuma Laude from Lynn University in 2009, she began her photography career at a luxury portrait studio in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Realizing that the corporate world was not for her, she traveled abroad to pursue her passion for photography, volunteering in 10+ countries while living out of a backpack. During this time she founded Live Wonderful Photography, a creative company with a mission to empower all to capture their stories with passion and purpose.
Her work has been published in The Guardian, Slow Flowers Magazine, Buzzfeed, Cityscape Books, and other national and local publications. She’s presented her work in multiple gallery shows, was named one of the Sony Alpha Female Photographers in 2019, and was recognized by Peerspace as the #1 product photographer in Orlando in 2022.
Her Story In Her Own Words...
Hi, I’m Danielle Hanusek, the one always smiling behind the camera. I’m mildly obsessed with adventure and love to shoot, teach, and explore anywhere my camera will take me. Throughout my 18 years of experiencing life behind the lens, photography has unapologetically transformed my entire outlook on life.
From the coastlines, wild west, and farmlands of America, to the colorful cultures, ancient architecture, and lush landscapes of Europe and Asia, I’ve only begun to discover what’s out there and I am in awe of it all. Now, all I want to do is create inspiring visual stories that are full of passion and purpose. Why? Because that’s what it means to Live Wonderful.
At 35 years old, my daily joys include early-morning sunrises and late-night stargazing, getting lost on unplanned adventures, and collaborating with creative people everywhere I go. Born in Florida, and raised on a farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, located directly on the Chesapeake Bay, I was the girl running around barefoot, making forts, climbing trees and rocks, and always dreaming of adventures far and wide.
I was hit by the travel bug at 8 years old when my parents put me on a plane to visit my grandparents – by myself. At 14, all by myself, I managed to raise enough money to go to Australia to play soccer on an international junior team. Training was fun, but what I remember most is the boat ride out to the Great Barrier Reed. By 21 I’d already done the whole “Eurotrip” twice and had another one planned with girlfriends.
It was obvious that I was going to travel any chance I could. But travel wasn’t the only thing I was obsessed with. On most adventures, I’d have just a backpack and a camera in hand. Even when I wasn’t on an adventure, the camera seemed to always be by my side.
In college, it finally hit me junior year. I majored in Graphics and Visual Communications with a minor in Photography. After graduating Suma Cum Laude, I followed my intuition and let photography lead the way. Diving into the business of photography, I snagged a great job managing and shooting for a high-end portrait studio. I immersed myself in the studio learning how to capture everything from families, seniors, and babies, to events, weddings, and products.
Within a few years, I set off for San Diego, California to start my own business and a new life on the West Coast (or so I thought.) Life seemed great behind and in front of the camera but…
Every time I pressed that shutter, I knew something was missing. As I continued to travel and explore, I realized that if I want to live in a better world and lead a happier more confident life, I had to first learn how to make better choices for myself now and for the future.
With an innate desire to bring more purpose and joy into my life, I started taking steps towards creating a sustainable, minimalist lifestyle. First, it was simple things. I began to eat more natural foods, exercise outdoors, ride my bike more, use less plastic, take shorter showers, etc. As I continued to alter my daily habits, other aspects of my life transformed naturally. I started connecting with more authentic, like-minded people, I traveled and worked with more purpose, and I started to feel more and more like my true self every day.
This awakening brought magical experiences into my life and I wanted a way to share my transformation with the world. It was in early 2014 when I got the opportunity to travel to Europe and then Asia on a one-way plane ticket. I never looked back. After couch surfing and shooting my way thru Italy, Germany, France, and Cheque Republic, I made my way to Thailand and then finally Bali, Indonesia to volunteer at a local creative community center.
This is when I founded Live Wonderful, my photography company. The idea to “live in wonder always” became my soul mantra for life. it became my mission to inspire everyone to see life through a new lens.
To Live Wonderful simply means to live, in wonder, fully. To be in awe of the magic that is life, always.
Now years later, I’ve returned “home” to the United States, and continued building my business as a commercial and travel photographer while also creating an inspirational and educational curriculum around this mission to help others learn how to feel confident and creative with their cameras. Currently living on the beach in Florida, I enjoy capturing local businesses and helping others learn how to bring their stories to life through online photography courses and private mentorship.
But I’m always ready for the next big adventure that will show me how to “Live Wonderful” every day.
The truth is, I am not just a photographer. I don’t just take pictures. I create visual stories that have a lasting purpose, as a conscious storyteller, a curious explorer, and a creative student of life. So join me on this adventure and bring your stories to life either behind your lens or in front of mine. No matter what your dreams are, I promise to show you a whole new way to see, feel, and experience what it means to Live Wonderful.
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