Meet Your Photographer + Storytelling Guide
Who's Behind the lens
Hi, I’m Danielle Hanusek, the one always smiling behind the camera.
I love to capture visual stories that are mission-driven, stories that create an environmentally and socially sustainable future for all life on this planet. I’m mildly obsessed with adventure and love to shoot, teach, and explore anywhere my camera will take me.
From the coastlines, wild west, and farmlands of America, to the colorful cultures, ancient architecture, and lush landscapes of Europe and Asia, I’ve only begun to discover what’s out there and I am in awe of it all. Throughout my 15+ years of experiencing life behind the lens, photography has unapologetically transformed my entire outlook on life.
Now, all I want to do is help you create your own inspiring stories that are full of passion and purpose. Why? Because that’s what it means to Live Wonderful.
Here’s my story.
At 35 years old, my daily joys include early morning sunrises and late-night stargazing, getting lost on unplanned adventures, and collaborating with new friends everywhere I go.
It’s pretty much always been that way. Ask my mother and she’ll tell you I was running before I could crawl. I was out the door before anyone could tell me otherwise. I’m a native Floridian but my brother and I grew up on a farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Our farm was located directly on the Chesapeake Bay with over 300 acres of woods, fields, and shorelines to explore. I was the girl running around barefoot, making forts, and climbing trees and rocks, dreaming of adventures far and wide. Thanks to my father’s insatiable desire to share his knowledge of nature, animals, and the circle of life with us kids, I’ve always had a mild obsession with adventure.
But I don’t think anyone ever saw this coming.
I was hit by the travel bug at 8 years old when my parents put me on a plane to visit my grandparents – by myself. At 14, I’d managed to raise enough money to go to Australia to play soccer – by myself. By 21 I’d already done the whole “Eurotrip” twice and had another one planned. But travel wasn’t the only thing I was obsessed with.
Though I didn’t realize it until college, I had always been obsessed with photography too.
On most adventures, I’d have just a backpack and a camera in hand. Even when I wasn’t on an adventure, the camera seemed to always be by my side. I would annoy my cats trying to get up close to them. I would shoot landscapes and reflections to later paint in art class.
The camera had always given me a new way to see the world.
In college, it finally hit me junior year. I majored in Graphics and Visual Communications (whatever that means) with a minor in Photography. Degree in hand, I followed my intuition and let photography lead the way. Diving into the business of photography, I snagged a great job managing and shooting for a high-end studio. I immersed myself in the studio learning how to capture everything from families, seniors, and babies, to events, weddings, and products.
Within a few years, I set off for San Diego, California to happily start my own business and a new life on the West Coast (or so I thought.)
Life seemed great behind and in front of the camera but…
Every time I pressed that shutter, I knew something was missing. I always felt like there was more to discover. As I continued to travel and explore, I became more and more aware of the unsettling truths of our present planet. I realized that if I want to live in a better world and lead a happier life, I had to first learn how to make better choices.
With an innate desire to bring more purpose and joy into my life, I started taking steps towards creating a sustainable, minimalist lifestyle. First, it was simple things. I began to eat more natural foods, exercise outdoors, ride my bike more, use less plastic, take shorter showers, etc.
As I continued to alter my daily habits, other aspects of my life transformed naturally.
Unhealthy relationships ended, I started connecting with authentic, like-minded people, I traveled and worked with more purpose, and I started to feel more and more like my true self every day. This awakening brought magical experiences into my life and I wanted a way to share my transformation with the world.
I founded Live Wonderful in 2014 while traveling and volunteering through Southeast Asia. The idea became my soul mantra for life and my mission was (and still is!) to inspire everyone to see life through a new lens.
To Live Wonderful simply means to live, in wonder, fully. To be in awe of the magic that is life.
Now, years later I am still becoming more aware of the interconnectedness of everyone and everything. As I consciously change the way I consume, behave, and connect in this world, I’ve also stopped spending my time, energy, and money on anything that doesn’t align with my highest morals and values.
The truth is, I am not just a photographer.
I’ve always resisted that word. I don’t want to just take your pictures. I want to create visual stories that have a lasting purpose. I am a conscious storyteller, a curious explorer, a humble student of life. I am a creative human being and so are you.
If you are on a mission to help create a more sustainable planet, I want to know how you’re doing it. If you’re on a mission to change peoples lives for the better, I want to capture their stories. If you’re on a mission to make ever-lasting positive changes in this world, I want to create with you.
Ready to bring your stories to life?
What's Your Photographer Personality?
Understanding what inspires you is the first step to unlocking the mysteries of that amazing tool (aka the camera) that you possess! Take this 5-minute quiz to discover the kind of photographer you are meant to be and get that inspirational kick you need to skyrocket your skills immediately.