Hi, I’m Emi– you’re metro Detroit lifestyle portrait and wedding photographer and owner of Emily D’Angola Photography. My photography journey began when I was a young girl whose older sister forced her to take new Myspace profile pictures for her. But to be honest- our weekly paparazzi hours didn’t make me fall in love with photography; it wasn’t until I was in high school and took a film class that I really fell in love. Being able to shoot on film and create images in the darkroom was absolutely amazing to me and I spent the next four years of high school taking as many photos as I can. I wasn’t interested in traditional portraits at that point and leaned really heavily into creating surrealistic art and making my own self portraits to tell both made up stories and my own story. In the seven years since a lot has changed and there has been a lot of growth on my photography journey.
The one thing I knew is I loved being creative and coming up with these ideas that felt honest and raw but I wasn’t sure how to translate that into making a career. After graduating high school, I knew college wasn’t the track for me and I wanted to pursue photography but I still wasn’t sure how so I put it on the back burner for a few years while I began working and figuring out my late teens to early twenties. While working for a small business, I began to help run their social media and explore more product photography. I started to find my passion again and started taking on sessions for businesses, seniors, and families. Through all of this, I had ridiculously supportive friends and family who would hire and recommend me all the time. I was learning and growing but I still felt like something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it. My photos felt stiff and my clients felt awkward because *I* also felt stiff and awkward telling them to smile and say cheese, trying to capture this perfect photo. I scoured Youtube and Instagram to try and find other photographers whose pictures had that raw and honest emotion that I had felt while I was in high school. I didn’t want to just take any photo anymore, I wanted my photography to feel like art and be something my clients cherished.
After a lot of research, taking courses, and some trial and error I finally learned that to have photos feel like there is emotion in them there has to actually be emotion in them. If you’re reading this and like DUH then congrats you were ahead of my twenty one year old brain. But this revelation changed everything for me–it altered the way I meet with clients, take their portrait, and ultimately approach photography as a whole. I learned that the most important thing to me as a photographer is to tell stories; I started using prompts and using movement while connecting with clients on a deeper level. I started having fun and feeling more free to push boundaries and create better images without the pressure of the perfect shot. As I continued this approach my passion grew for working with couples, families, and small businesses and what amazed me was the way my clients resonated with this version of photography. My lifestyle approach with a goal of getting your photo taken be light, easy, and fun was not only more enjoyable for me but also for my clients. I had found the secret to make my business and passion come together.
As time has continued and my business has grown, I’ve continued to hone my craft and learn and grow. My approach to how I work my camera, direct clients, and the way I edit has all evolved so much through the years and will continue to evolve and only get better. Through my own life and personal challenges, I’ve learned to embrace all the seasons of life and the way we’re all at different parts of the journey worth honoring, celebrating, and documenting. Being able to continue to photograph and create memories as you grow in your relationships, families, and businesses is my life passion and I appreciate every single one of you for being a part of my journey.