Today, we're shining the spotlight on our wonderful friend and A Lowcountry Wedding Vendor, Dana of Dana Cubbage Wedding Photography! Dana is an amazing photographer who is based in Charleston, South Carolina but is always down for a destination wedding! When she's not photographing beautiful Lowcountry couples, you'll probably find Dana hanging out with her husband and her 3 pups. Fun facts: She's slightly addicted to Diet Mountain Dew, Taco Boy and Starbucks...so much so, that she was recently upgraded to a Starbucks Gold Card. Girlfriend likes her caffeine! So sit back, and take a minute to meet the our friend and wonderful Charleston wedding vendor, the fabulous Dana Cubbage! Please excuse the excessive use of exclamation points. I just think she's really awesome :)
Tell us a little bit about yourself…and by a little, we mean a lot :)
I was born in New York and raised in Maryland, but my heart belongs to South Carolina. After spending 6+ years in finance, I rediscovered this love for photography and decided to try and fulfill my dream of building my own business + finally doing something I absolutely love for a living. And wow – 2 years into it, I can finally say I'm living the dream! I started out specializing in pet photography, which is something I still do + love. I've always had a special connection with pets, especially dogs, so that was a natural fit for me. While volunteering at my local animal shelter in Baltimore, I met another photographer who specialized in weddings. We became good friends through volunteering and so I asked her if I could tag along and help out with some of her weddings. She said yes and I fell in love with it. That was in the fall of 2011. We moved to Charleston in January 2012 and I spent all of 2012 second shooting with some amazing photographers here in Charleston, learning the business + sharpening my technical skills. After booking pretty much every weekend, I thought to myself "maybe I could do this full-time and quit my day job" (which I hated). So I gave myself a deadline – by August 1, I would have a website up and I'd start marketing myself. Well, as luck would have it, I was laid off from my full-time job on July 31 and so I was pushed into life as a full-time photographer. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Since then, I've been working hard to build my wedding photography business and it's been amazing. I think back to my life a year ago and still can't believe how much has happened and how incredibly lucky I am to finally be doing something I absolutely love for a living.
I'm married to my best friend, Brian, and we have 3 dogs – two Golden Retrievers named Camden + Brady, and a small lab-pit bull mix named Beckham. I love to read, travel + eat… but not necessarily in that order. I love reality TV, Starbucks, and anything that sparkles.
Gettysburg College – BA in Business Management; Mount Saint Mary's University - MBA
One crazy fun fact we wouldn't know about you...
I have been involved with animal rescue for years and I've fostered several Golden Retrievers and 3 pit bulls for local rescues + shelters. Someday, I hope to start a pit bull rescue here in the Charleston area.
Top Five All-time favorite TV Shows…
- Friends (hands down, my favorite TV show EVER)
- Grey's Anatomy
- Real Housewives
- Modern Family
- Friday Night Lights
Give us a little background on how your business came to life...
I've always loved photography. I can remember using my parent's film Minolta when I was young and I just LOVED taking photos of anything… but especially of my pets. When my parents got me my own camera one year for my birthday, I was in love. I took a camera with me everywhere and I still have boxes of prints + albums from my childhood. I just can't bear to get rid of them! When I bought my first DSLR camera in 2010, something clicked. I had always loved photography – capturing moments – but the DSLR allowed me to create art. I loved that!! So I dove into it, learning how to shoot manually and taking in as much information as possible. I started my pet photography business in early 2011 and my wedding photography business in August 2012. It's been an amazing couple of years!
What is the one tip you wish you could tell every bride?
When you're looking for a wedding photographer, make sure whoever you book makes you feel confident and comfortable. Feeling at ease with your photographer will only enhance your images in the end.
How can a bride come prepared to her first appointment with you?
I love when my brides come to me with ideas. Although I rely on my own creativity, it's always great when brides are vocal about what inspires them and what exactly they love about my work, so that I can focus on providing them with great images that they will be over-the-moon excited about. I guess I really like brides who aren't afraid to speak up and let me know what they are really looking for when they hire me. It helps ensure that we're both on the same page and that we are the right fit for each other.
Favorite Item of Clothing:
Probably my grey J Crew sweatpants :)
Favorite Summer beverage:
Sweetened Passion Tea Lemonade from Starbucks… yum!
In three words, sum up your style...
Fun, fresh, editorial
Favorite wedding image you've ever snapped.
There are so many wonderful images, it's hard to choose just one! Right now, it's a tie between Becca + Jay's portrait on the beach (below) and Stephanie + Jason's portrait on the beach (first image). I just love the light in the first one and the cool tree in the second one :) Both of them are on the homepage of my website. That's where most of my recent favorites live!
It’s Friday and you just cashed your paycheck….what’s your first splurge?
I'm pretty good at saving money and sticking to my budget, but every once in a while, I have to hit up the J Crew outlet for some new clothes :)
What blogs provide you daily inspiration to keep your creative juices flowing (non-wedding related) ?
I follow a lot of designers on Facebook that keep me inspired – Promise Tangeman, Ravyn Stadick, Jennifer Olmstead. Most of the blogs I read are wedding related or pet photography related. I gain my inspiration from real life and things around me. When I'm out and about, I'm constantly inspired by light, architecture, textures, colors + unique locations. I am always on the look out and thinking of new things I could bring to my work.
What the most rewarding thing about your line of work?
Being a part of my clients' wedding day is so rewarding. Becoming friends with them throughout the process is amazing and something I cherish. Sharing + capturing their joy and their love is indescribable. I'm so blessed.
If you were a major league baseball player, what would be your ‘at-bat’ song?
Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5… that song always makes me want to dance!
Must have Lowcountry wedding detail….
Antique furniture rentals (think 428 Main Vintage Rentals… one of my faves) and lush Southern florals… the perfect combo!
Current favorite color palette:
I've always liked a muted color palette – muted greys, blues, greens, etc. I'm also loving champagne-colored sparkles right now :)
"In a world of people who couldn't care less, be someone who couldn't care more"