Photos by Justine Danielle Photography

Where did ‘Dreamy Elk’ Come from?

Before getting married, my initials were ELK. That’s the easy part to describe! On my very first day of college, my studio professor gave us all the assignment of writing a brief essay about ourselves & to bring in five pieces of our favorite art, whether that be a painting, a sculpture, architecture, landscape, etc. We were also supposed to come up with three words that we thought described ourselves. After hearing the essay & seeing our favorite art, he would either agree or disagree with our words or come up with a new one. He didn’t like any of mine, but he said, “You are either a ‘dreamy’ or an ‘elegant’.” For the rest of the semester, all of our projects had to reflect our word, which was essentially reflecting our personality. I was warned by older students that I would never escape my word. They have no idea how right they were.

I suddenly found myself in the wedding photography world in the summer of 2008 when a girl contacted through Facebook asking if I'd like to photograph her wedding. My only response was Ummm...I don't own a camera! At that point I had only taken black & white film classes taking pictures of shadows & textures found in nature, which hardly qualified me to shoot a wedding. Then, before that first wedding took place, my bride's sister wanted me to do her wedding a few months later. I still don't own a camera & I still don't know what I'm doing! That didn't stop either of them! I am forever grateful to my first two brides for trusting me enough to do something for which I was super under-qualified.

Over the next few years, I began to build up my portfolio by photographing a variety of people & events such as Impact Retreat at Texas A&M. In whatever situation I find myself, I try to learn something new. Whether it's finding more flattering angles, lighting, or poses, or how to better interact with my clients during their shoot to make them feel more comfortable, I love spending time behind the lens perfecting my style & skill.

I have been very happily married for 5 years, & I very much love my husband for succumbing to a life of constant wedding-talk. I make it up to him by tagging along to midnight showings of all the latest superhero movies & encouraging his Marvel obsession. We became parents in January 2019 to the most precious baby boy you've ever seen. We never knew that it was possible to love someone so much until he came into this world.

When I'm not busy working or playing mommy, I enjoy eating pizza, drinking Dr. Pepper, reading, sleeping, & playing my piano. My hubby & I work in the youth department at our church & are involved in several other activities there as well.