Weddings aren't just the traditional religious ceremony (though those are beautiful). They can be anything you want, from a beach destination, to a nature adventure, or an intimate elopement. I got to speak with the amazing Daniela of Daniela Buvat Wedding Photography, who specializes in intimate ceremonies, destination and adventure weddings, and authentic, intentional events.
All photos in this post are by and/or courtesy of Daniela Buvat Wedding Photography.
Daniela is inspired by nature and loves to help her couples lean into the beauty and energy of the place they are shooting at, as well as playing into their personalities. Another thing that's important to her is her commitment to her clients. She’s not just there to shoot pictures, but to make the process meaningful. She makes timelines, does the research, and scouts out the locations. She’s there as a friend and a resource.
I loved chatting with her and learning about her journey with wedding photography! She has always loved photography and made the choice to start shooting weddings in 2019, which led to her first official season in 2020.
S&S: How did you get started with wedding photography?
Daniela: I was really into photography and I realized I could start to shoot couples and get paid to do it, and also that there’s a whole section of photography that involves travel, which was my goal. Photography, working with cool people, and traveling. So I figured out I could start shooting elopements.
I realized I could find my niche if I kind of niched down and started attracting clients that had similar interests to me. Which would be people who want to keep it experience-forward, keep it adventurous, keep it loose, make it authentic and intentional. I realized I wasn't into the big production of the wedding day. I was really into couples who wanted to do their own thing, their own way. So I started shadowing people, second shooting a lot on Saturdays, and built up a portfolio. So in 2019 I decided that this was my thing, and 2020 was my first real season.
S&S: How would you describe your personal style of photography?
Daniela: I’d say it’s playful, it’s kind of filmy, colorful, yet timeless. And a little candid, but I wouldn’t say I’m documentary style. I really like that style, but I feel like that’s not what I ended up doing. I like to keep it kind of bubbly and fun. Maybe emotion evoking.
S&S: Can you walk through your creative process?
Daniela: So I’ll have the couple who will inquire and we'll set up a call, and I’ll ask some questions about each other and their love story. Which really gets people excited, like if they’re super in love they’ll be feeling good and feeling happy. So we'll get to know each other and I kind of hope that we leave friends. I want it to be really casual.
I make sure that I have all of the answers on my end for questions they could possibly have. Then I’ll send them the contract, they’ll book, it'll be official, and then I'll send them a welcome package with tips and tricks and everything they could expect.
We'll set up their engagement session, I'll send them a questionnaire with what do you like to do for fun, what are you thinking for your engagement session. I just try to lean into their relationship style. If they’re the type of couple that likes to poke fun at each other and isn’t into PDA, then we do a lot of silly ones that kind of lean into that. If they’re a super PDA-ish couple that’s super romantic and touching each other, then I’ll try and keep it gushy and cute and lean more into that. So I function based on what kind of couple I’m working with .
Then the wedding day will hopefully go perfect, and I’ll come back and upload everything onto my computer. I’ll send them sneak peeks and the gallery a couple of months later.
S&S: Do you have a favorite kind of wedding?
Daniela: In general, my favorite weddings and clients tend to be the ones that are super go with the flow and who’s family and guests understand the assignment. They make sure that these people are celebrated and centered all day. It’s just so clear that people love them and understand that this means a lot to them. Nobody’s leaving early, or not on the dance floor. Everybody’s there 100 percent giving their all. Those are my favorite types, when the guests are absolutely there to celebrate the couple.
S&S: What do you love the most about what you do?
Daniela: The people. The more I get to niche down, the cooler the people are. They're like the only co-workers I have. So it’s nice I get to choose my clients as much as they choose me. I feel like I get to work with such awesome people, honestly the best people. I leave with such a huge smile on my face, like I’m exhausted and I’m like yes I worked a lot today and I have a lot of work to do, but the people I spent time with are great.
Also just the fact that I get to be part of someone’s really, really important day. It’s just such an honor, I’m so grateful for that. I feel like I have favorite moments throughout wedding days, but I think my favorite part is that they’ve made such an intentional decision and that I have a really big job. You can’t really re-shoot a wedding, so I cannot mess it up.
S&S: What are your greatest sources of inspiration?
Daniela: I'm always trying to be inspired by the landscape that I’m shooting in, so leaning into that. I feel like I’m always inspired by color. I really always want people to lean into where they are. So if we're shooting at Big Sur, I’m inspired by the water and the energy that’s out there. The natural color of nature, the natural curves of nature. I love to lean into that.
But otherwise, I take a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, some cinematic moments in old movies, I love that stuff. Just like film photography, I love the style of film.
I had such a ball talking with Daniela, and as seen above, her work is truly breathtaking! See more of her beautiful work at her website, danielabuvatweddingphotography.com, or follow her on Instagram @danielabuvatphoto.