This week, we touch base with Dan & Chelle, a Utah-based husband and wife duo that are passionate about photographing travel and love.
It’s no secret that for husband and wife photography duo Dan and Chelle, traveling is their biggest passion in life. For proof, just take a brief trip back in time to 2019 when they toured 11 countries in 11 months, shot 235 videos, and snapped a record number of photos.
But for Dan and Chelle, it’s not the locations that matter. It’s the people.
“I love capturing love, regardless of the kind of love that it is,” says Chelle. “I thrive off of that. I thrive off of people’s energy and shooting other people. And the same goes for shooting ourselves, like the energy that we feel between each other. I really like to capture tender moments of genuine happiness.”
The first spark
Social media has played a huge part in Dan and Chelle’s success.
“I would say our primary source of business is either word of mouth or honestly Instagram,” says Chelle. “We get a lot of work from people who have seen our work on Instagram, whether they’ve seen our own personal page that is just the two of us, or whether they’ve seen our photography page that features the work that we do of other people.”
Beyond fueling their business, social media has driven the photography duo to never stop moving.
“We love to turn around images really quickly, especially in our personal work,” says Chelle. “When we travel or when we take photos of just ourselves, we get them on social media as fast as possible.”
Defining the creative vision
Behind every Dan and Chelle pic is a simple human truth: People just want to feel good and be happy.
“I think that our photography really captures happiness, especially with Chelle,” says Dan. “She’s just a happy, fun person. Her personality comes across in photography. And I think that’s really cool. I think people see that. Even above the professional quality, they just see that energy and they can feel it.”
For Chelle, perfect composition is everything.
“I feel like whenever we post a photo in which we’re either really far away or the couple is really far away and small, those don’t seem to perform as well,” says Chelle. “But if we post a photo that really showcases the couple’s faces and their genuine love for one another, I feel like those always do way better.”
Perfecting the edit
Dan and Chelle have always been obsessed with editing and making their final product flawless. But when it came to incorporating AI into the mix, there was some apprehension.
“When we first heard the word AI, as far as photo editing goes, it kind of scared us in the way that we’re losing some of our control,” says Dan. “We’re very used to having control over everything that we’re doing to a photo. And allowing the computer to do that can be scary at first because you don’t know what it’s gonna do. And you’re giving some of that control to the computer.”
Those concerns were put to rest as the two quickly discovered that AI is not scary at all.
“You’re not completely relinquishing your control. The computer is changing things so well, sometimes better than I feel like we even can. But at the same time, even though the computer’s doing it, you still have the freedom to go back and adjust it as needed.”
What role can AI play in photo editing?
Dan and Chelle have been exploring LuminarAI and quickly discovering what it means for achieving their creative vision.
“I edit pictures to make them feel more alive,” notes Chelle. “I feel like raw photos are often flat. And so I feel like when you edit a photo, it really brings that photo to life and you can bring out more color. You can add so much more beauty to a photo if you just take some time to edit it a little bit.”
According to Chelle, LuminarAI plays a big part in getting the results she’s after quickly and easily. In the past, she says, editing was “having to deal with all of the shadows and the highlights and the whites and the blacks and the exposure, all of that individually. LuminarAI has a lot of tools that are just like one to two sliders that you have to adjust that take care of all that.”
If AI saved you time, where would you spend it?
Dan notes that when he’s editing a photo without AI tools, there’s a ton of repetition. “It can get really old really quick, but you have to just bulldoze through it. I’ve trained myself that when I go to start editing, I’m going to have a lot of bulldozing to do — a lot of repetition — and I don’t always look forward to that.”
AI eliminates some of that repetition. And according to Chelle, there’s a lot of promise in that.
“With AI, allows you more time for shooting, marketing and your clients. If we didn’t have to edit so much in the evenings ourselves, in particular when we’re traveling, we wouldn’t have to call it an early night as often as we do. And so we’d have more time to just capture more things.”
Dan concurs, identifying another major positive: “With AI saving us time, we can hang out with each other a little more.”
“Agreed. I would want to spend that time totally device free,” says Chelle. “I would just want to get off of all screens and just go be. That sounds so lame. But I would love that because I feel like so much of our career is spent in front of a computer screen or on our phones building social media. And I would love to just put all devices down and just be.”
No matter what kind of creative vision you’re looking to achieve, AI can play a big role. It certainly has for Dan and Chelle.
“As portrait photographers, I would say hands down my favorite part is all of the AI for facial features like IrisAI,” says Chelle. “We don’t change colors of eyes. But just being able to add that extra layer on certain colors of eyes really helps to bring out the eyes. The way that LuminarAI just detects each face in a photo. I mean, it’s incredible.”
Dan agrees. “All we have to do is move a slider. The AI finds the faces, it finds the eyes, and you just tweak your settings from there. You don’t have to spend any of that time masking and it’s incredibly fast.”