Hello! My name is Dana Willison and I am one-half of the 'Will' in 'Will and Co.' This is our very first blog post and I hope it will give you some insight into who we are as a couple and why you should invest in your wedding photography by choosing us as your photographers.
Photography has always been something I have loved. When I was just fifteen, I did work experience at a photographers studio in the Adelaide Hills. I don't remember learning much about how to use a camera or how to set up a shot at that time, but I do remember the people. I remember the photographer I was working for had a passion for his work. This sparked in me, the idea of becoming a photographer.
I had a plan. In my business class, my classmates were envious of my plans and goals. I knew what I wanted and how to get where I was going.
One thing stopped me. A change in technology. E V E R Y T H I N G changed. Mobile phones evolved, as did cameras. No longer did you need a dark room to develop photos as we were in the digital age. It was two thousand and three and anyone could buy a camera, and anyone could be a photographer. So I thought. It wasn't long until cameras became better, and more affordable than when they first came out.
Going to university to study photography was no longer a viable option for me. It hadn't changed with the times. The lectures were outdated, dull and dare I say boring. I had to decide to do something different, which wasn't the easiest and had me questioning my purpose in life at every turn.
After some time had passed, I met my husband Doug. We got married in two thousand and thirteen. When we were planning our day, photography was one of the most important items when it came to budgeting. We wanted to invest because our photos were what would outlast everything else from the day besides our love for each other.
My mother gave Doug a Nikon D3100 as a wedding present, his first ever camera. We were going to New Zealand on our honeymoon, so naturally my mother thought we would need a relatively good camera to take photos of the amazing mountains. And that he did. We found that he was not just good at taking photos, but really good. He fell in love with photography while on our honeymoon, so we decided he would go to TAFE to learn everything he could.
From there we started a photography business. Doug gave it the manliest name he could think of: Black Oak Photography. He started it cautiously, doing a lot of second shooting for other photographers to begin with, researching sometimes all night to learn everything he hadn't learned at TAFE; and there was a lot, because even TAFE didn't move with the times as it should have.
Then I started coming along to client meetings and shoots to do styling. It was so much fun to style shoots and help out. I found it easy to be able to help with posing and setting up shots as well as I loved conversing with the couples so much that Doug would tell me off for distracting them! I was able to eventually work this into his photography and get clients to naturally pose and enjoy their time together.
We purchased a Fuji X100T. Oh my gosh how I fell in love with this camera. I could pick it up and use it easily, and it was no where near as heavy or as complicated as our Nikon. I started talking about our Nikon like it was the Android equivalent to an iPhone. Nikon is an amazing brand, don't get me wrong! Like an android phone, it just isn't for me.
We went to New Zealand (again, but this time for a holiday) and I learnt all the settings and how to use the Fuji properly. I decided it would be nice to start doing some photography with Doug.
I started second shooting for our business and Doug noticed that my photos had potential, I got better to the point that he couldn't see much difference between the photos he took and the photos I took. He started getting into videography and realised how much he loved that, how much more film had life than photos.
I loved our clients, I felt like they were our friends- family even at times. They were choosing us to share in some of the most intimate moments of their life. It blew me away how much trust they put in us. I loved texting or emailing and asking how their plans were going, if they needed any help. I wanted to be involved and to be a good resource for our couples, able to give advice whenever they needed us, or just to be a listening friend when things weren't going to plan.
Doug noticed my interest and asked me about it. I told him about how I had wanted to be a photographer when I was in high school. One day when we were having dinner with friends he blurted out that I should chase my dream of becoming a photographer, that I should do what I love. He was adamant.
In my entire career I have struggled with a life-work balance. My work has almost always been my life, it has never seemed right to me to work and not be one hundred percent in it. I love people and want to help them, but I'm also very creative. No occupation I have worked in, has ever accommodated both things. I'll help people and suffer creatively, or I'll work creatively and feel like I live without purpose because my work isn't for the greater good. Photography is my chance to do both. I want to take photos of people and tell their story with their image. I'm choosing to do what I love because I know I can do good in the world with the gifts I have.
After a lot of business meetings and planning, we changed the name of our business (to something less manly to include me) to be able to incorporate the ideas we had and to include the future possibilities of working with other creatives as well as exploring other wedding options.
That's how we became Will & Co.
I decided early on, that I didn't want to be an ordinary photographer. I wanted to invest in our clients as much as they trust and invest in us. I'm still working on being the best photographer I can be and I will always be learning to be better than what I am. I hope I can help anyone who reads this, in some way at sometime.
It's our aim that our couples not only have an amazing wedding day, but the best marriage possible.
Please feel free to get in touch, whether it's to say hello, about a creative project, your upcoming wedding or anything else!