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5 Minutes with Our New Associate Dani Toscano!

Tell us a little bit about you.. where you’re from, your hobbies etc..
I’m a San Diego native! Aside from photography, I love creating things with my hands! I’ve taken up embroidery, weaving, knitting, and illustrating with pen & ink!
The perfect day for you looks like..
My perfect day would be spent exploring or hiking a new landscape and then maybe ending it with a hot yoga session. My favorite landscapes are Joshua Tree, Glamis Sand Dunes, and Ojai! I’m so fortunate to love where I live. California has such a variety of places to escape to. One of my favorite things is taking a long road trip up the California coast highway, listening to a nice playlist. From sun-kissed cliffs to a herd of wild zebras to the Santa Cruz Redwoods, there are so many exceptional sceneries to enjoy and make memories in!
What you love most about weddings is..
I love the love in weddings! I feel so grateful to meet couples, share their stories, and also just capture the most intimate time of their lives. And secretly I cry tears of joy almost every time during a ceremony. I adore the light couples radiate in weddings, but also how much love surrounds and envelops our brides and grooms.
If you have a free Sunday you would spend it..
I love playing a fun game of ultimate frisbee with friends or hosting a game night. My game recommendation for any party: Celebrity Bowl!
Your most memorable travel experience was..
Traveling is so wonderful and serendipitous! When I turned 15, I chose to travel to France, England, Kenya, and Tanzania in place of my quinceanera. My favorite part of the trip was seeing the vast Tanzanian reserves and spotting my favorite animals. I was so fortunate to share moments with a herd of elephants right outside my hut, a lion troop that came up to our safari van, and even visit Mount Kilimanjaro. We also visited a Masaii tribe where the king’s son gave us a tour and told us the history of their tribe. I was introduced to so much during that time and I couldn’t be more grateful!
The country you most want to visit is..
Iceland! Or Madagascar. Two entirely separate countries that I’m in so much awe of!
If you could give newly engaged couples one piece of advice it would be..
Love one another and enjoy being in this sweet moment.
If you could live anywhere in the world it would be..
I think if I lived anywhere in the world, excluding California, it would have to be Hawaii or New Zealand. With Hawaii, I have so much history and nostalgia because my grandparents lived in Oahu. When I was young, I’d visit their home that had a private beach. I’d swim with my grandpa around the nearby coral reef or I’d find all the little gecko eggs around their outdoor sheds and create my annual “Gecko Nursery.”  With New Zealand, I road tripped across the islands for a month and fell madly in love with the countryside.
Your favorite movie is..
I really enjoy artsy Science Fiction films. My favorite has to be Donnie Darko. It has a really cool 80s soundtrack and is just so mind-bending and weird. I love watching films that challenge the way I think… On the other hand, I have a huge guilty pleasure for 90s romantic comedies that I could watch over and over again.
The most memorable meal you’ve ever eaten was..
I once had crocodile in Tanzania. This was a big deal for me because I’m absolutely terrified of crocodiles!
Aside from family & friends, three things you can’t live without?
My cats Penny & Mochi, a really great hammock, and lemon cake!
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Jesse & Alannah Styled Desert Engagement Session

Desert Styled Shoot, Desert Engagement Session, Jesse & Alannah, Algodones Sand Dunes

Minimalist desert engagement session featured on Wedding Chicks

These two are nothing short of incredible. Jesse & Alannah’s were the winners of our styled desert engagement shoot giveaway. Since then getting to know them has honestly been all our pleasure! We absolutely love the story of how they met and fell in love.

Their love story told by Alannah

I love our story and we have social media to thank. We actually meet on instagram. I was asked by a high school friend who was doing makeup for a shoot if I could model. I said yes and the photographers (dulcetcreative) posted a photo of me. Jesse followed them on instagram and saw the photo of me. He started following me and liked a bunch of my photos and I remember wondering who is this guy. Well I like all his photos so I followed him back. 5 mins later I received a direct message with Jesse say “hey I dig your art.. do you have a website?” 
 
Well that messaging turned into phones calls, texts and FaceTimes. Six months later Jesse finally asked me if he could visit me in San Diego! Of course I said yes because why not take the risk. I picked him from the airport. Talk about nerves. But we were blessed and hit it off. We had so much fun together and so much in common. After that we dated long distance for a year and he visited more! We even spent a week in London with friends! And continued to see each other every month or so. Sometimes it was hard especially when we couldn’t see each other for 3 months. 
 
But finally come October 2016 Jesse told me he would moving out here. And he made the move! We have so much everyday doing nothing and doing everything. We truly trust, respect, and love one another. We would occasional talk about being together forever, getting married, traveling the world and having kids. And then to my surprise he actually had already bought a ring and had been waiting to propose. He asked to do a creative shoot with me on the beach in La Jolla where we first went. To my shock he got down on one knee and said the sweetest things. I started to cry and said yes! Then we hopped on a plane the following week to celebrate our engagement in Paris! 

The Styled shoot team!

We are also so thankful to have gotten to work with such a talented team for the styled session! For all of your flower and styling needs we can not speak more highly of our dear friend Tam from Isari Flower Studio! And for makeup and hair, makeup Elwynn and Cass with EC Style Bar!
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We’re growing: Meet Our New Associate Dani Toscano!

Dani Toscano, Deer Lovers Associate

Deer Lovers Associate Dani! See her work!

It all started when we all met a month ago at Communal Coffee in North Park. The agenda of the coffee meeting was to simply say hello to a fellow rising photographer named Dani Toscano. She had reached out to us on Instagram searching for a mentorship opportunity; that’s all.
 
Since we founded Deer Lovers in 2012 we had talked about what it would look like to bring on another team member. We have had requests for an internship program or such, but it had never felt like the right timing.
 
This time it was much different. We instantly knew everything was right about this eager, polite, and talented photographer. All she was asking for was wisdom. And one of our biggest desires was to find someone who we felt we could invest in. Dani showed us that was her biggest goal by taking the initiative to seek us out.
 
It wasn’t 15 minutes into our coffee meeting before we asked Dani if she had any interest in joining Deer Lovers. To this she responded with an “Absolutely!”. We told her we would need to put together an associate program. And a week later we sent over a 10 page document casting vision for what we hoped this program could become. Finally at the end it invited her to join our team.
 
Below is the vision page from this proposal.
 
Deer Lovers Associate Program Dani
 
We are so excited to have found Dani and now have her on our team. She is absolutely incredible and we hope that you have the honor of getting to know and work with her! Here’s a quick arrangement of some of her recent work! She is available for bookings in 2018!!!
 
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to her directly at Dani@deer-lovers.com!
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