Dave Landua

Photographer and Danae Founder

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Painting with light

Danae Studios founder and award-winning photographer David Landua can’t imagine doing anything but taking photos. After all, as a wedding and family portrait photographer he has the privilege of witnessing some of the most important moments in people’s lives.

I like people, I like telling their story, I like capturing a moment in people’s history as a legacy for their families and future generations.

I go home to mum’s and she has on display the photos of her grandmother, my great-grandmother, and she can pull out albums and say who’s who in the albums and it’s really nice. I guess my plan is for as many people as I have contact with to have the ability to do that in the years to come. If you go back about 60 years, you might have used a roll of film or maybe two when photographing a wedding – that’s between 12 and 24 photos. Now at a wedding we take anywhere from 1200 to 2000 frames I enjoy that we are now capturing complete stories.

I love to create beautiful images for people but just as important is that anyone who comes through the doors of Danae Studios has an experience like they never thought could be had with photography. The minute they walk in the door we want them to go ‘wow’ and after getting to know us and what we do a little better, we want them to feel the same as they are walking out the door, excited for the next step.

I stay focussed on the job I have to do, but sometimes you can’t help getting caught up in the emotion of the day. There’s one particular image I took at a wedding and the bride’s dad gave her a hug. Through the lens I saw the rawness of his emotions in his face. It was a moment the bride only came to fully appreciate when she saw the photo. That image actually won an award.

Photography is effectively painting with light, but obviously at a wedding you’ve not got the control to make perfect light for every shot. Part of the craft of being a good wedding photographer is the ability to use what you’ve got and turn it into something really beautiful. It comes down to experience, knowing what the cameras are capable of doing and how to use the light.

To see people’s response when they first see their photographs – from brides in tears hugging us to brides’ mothers, grooms’ mothers even fathers coming up with tears in their eyes, hugs from people who don’t really know us – it’s all stuff that I never thought I would see as a photographer.  It really hits home that we do touch people’s lives and that what we do is really important.

My first camera was a little $20 K-mart camera. I was fascinated with the ability to click a button, send the film for processing and then receive an image back. One day I got chatting to a photographer where I got my processing done and he liked what I was doing and he asked me if I wanted to do some work. I asked him if I could go along to a wedding or two and carry his bags. That’s how it all started and the rest is history.

I got serious 12 years ago when I set this business up. I knew that this is where I wanted to be, this is what I wanted to do and that I wanted to create beautiful images for my clients. I like people, I like telling their story, I like capturing a moment in people’s history as a legacy for their families and future generations.

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