Dawn Gardner Photography: Building Brands and Empowering Women

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By Erin Pittman

Sponsored by Dawn Gardner Photography

It all started with Darrin Stephens — yep, that Darrin Stephens from Bewitched. It wasn’t Samantha’s twitching nose that captured local photographer Dawn Gardner’s attention way back when; it was Darrin’s career in advertising.

“I’ve always had a love for branding, marketing and conceptual photography, and I just loved his creative career,” said Gardner.

A Focus on Branding Photography

As a former graphic designer, she knows the importance of the concepts, themes and messages conveyed with brand photography and design. So, this year, she’s getting behind those concepts and making it a business focus.

“People think it’s just about snapping a picture,” she said. “But it’s more about crafting a picture. That’s the most important thing to think through.”

Making a difference through brand and conceptual photography can be what sets businesses apart, and Gardner is setting out to help businesses and entrepreneurs step up their game through branding imagery. She possesses a keen eye for detail and prides herself on establishing key connections.

“It gives me great joy and such energy. It really does,” she says, and a conversation with the enthusiastic photographer quickly proves her statement. She approaches her career like one might put together the pieces of a puzzle — with care and attention, ensuring everything fits together perfectly.

Empowering Women Through Photographs

Her second business focus for 2019 continues to be working with and empowering women.

“This has always been a mainstay of my mission as a photographer,” she said. “I love to help women discover aspects of themselves located deep down, or ones they have lost.”

Many women Gardner photographs come to her in times of transformation, whether that means having lost weight, gone through a divorce or suffered a loss.

“They come wanting to discover themselves again or celebrate their achievements,” she said.

(Dawn Gardner Photography)

When working with her female clients, Gardner lets them dictate the direction of a session. Some want to look like a movie star on the cover of Vogue, some want to be a medieval princess for the day, while others simply want her to style them as she sees fit. Gardner’s response is always, “I can do that!”

“I have a lot of women who come in and just ask me to completely style them. I love that too, because women often don’t know what looks best on their body type,” she said.

Gardner will include hair and makeup as part of their photo package. “It’s incredible to hear a woman say, ‘I love it! I would have never thought to put that together!’” she said.

And while the glitz and glamour are fun, Gardner notes that it doesn’t always have to be about dress up. Many women have a fear or extreme hesitation to simply having their picture taken.

“Every woman I hear that from thinks they are the only one, but that’s not true. In fact, that person is one of my perfect clients!” she said.

(Dawn Gardner Photography)

Gardner notes it’s all about putting people in the best possible lighting and them being receptive to her direction. She removes the poor images they have in their mind and replaces them with beautiful ones from their shoot together.

“I love to put clients at ease and provide them with portraits they are proud of,” she said.

Gardner prides herself on her ability to bring out the stunning confidence in each client and feels it’s a gift she gets to share with the world.

To experience a photo shoot with Dawn Gardner or to discuss brand photography, visit dawngardner.com




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