Tonya Wanner

 
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PHOTOGRAPHER

Instagram @tonyawannerphotography
Facebook @tonyawannerphotography
Website tonyawannerphotography.com/dance
Email tonya@tonyawannerphotography.com


WRITE YOUR VISION

From the studio to the streets, providing a photography experience for dancers that want the freedom to express themselves fully while dancing to the music that moves them.

 

WHAT STEPS DID IT TAKE TO GET YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

It all started with trying to figure out WHY I wanted to photograph dancers in this way. Once I let my guard down and understood why I wanted to connect with each dancer in from of my len on such a personal level, I was able to feel confidant in my brand and my business going forward. It took a lot of hard work and determination to go out and let dancers know what I was providing for them and why. I put myself out there and truly believe that what I'm providing is so beneficial for these dancers, and I think because of my strong belief in these sessions, dancers and dance parents were able to understand what exactly I want to provide for them and feel comfortable and excited about booking me going forward.

 

HOW DO YOU STAND OUT IN YOUR FIELD?

Because of my own dance background, I feel like I can connect with each dancer and not only know how to capture the right lines and angles, but most importantly I have lived the dance life and know the triumphs along with struggles that dancers go through and can get the dancer into the right head space where they feel completely comfortable letting go of anything they may be holding in, where they don't want to perform, they don't feel they need to be perfect, and they just want to close their eyes and dance to their music. My #1 goal is to capture their real authentic movements and emotion behind their movements.

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WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO? WHY DO OTHERS CARE?

I do what I do, because as a young girl I would've loved to have even one image of myself actually dancing and something to look back at and remember just how much I loved to dance, and how big of a part of my life it was back then. The only images I have were the posed in studio year after year images that to me shows no emotion, nor does it depict who I was then. As a mom now to three young girls of my own that are all in dance, I want them to have these type of images that they can feel proud of and want to have blown up on their bedroom walls. My hope is that my dance sessions not only provide them with the photos they love, but that the experience alone builds up their confidence in themselves and makes them feel so beautiful, strong and incredibly talented and gifted. I believe that dancers and dance parents understand why I am doing this, and also see a need and a benefit from booking my sessions. They too are tired usual posed dance photos, and are wanting more! This is a huge part of their lives right now, and they want it captured the authentic way!

 

WHAT TYPE OF COLLABORATIONS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? ARE COLLABS OF INTEREST TO YOU?

Oh boy do I ever believe in collaborations, and coming together as woman and raising each other up and if we can in any way, help each other reach our goals and succeed. Plus, this life is so much more fun with woman doing it together. What fun is it to celebrate on your own right?! I am always wanting to collaborate with hair stylists, makeup artists, fashion stylists, florists, woman that work with young girls and want to incorporate dance in any motivational way, nutritionists, pretty much any one that has a business that can be related to the dance world!

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WHAT IS YOUR NUMERO UNO WAY TO GET INSPIRED?

These days it doesn't take me much. I get inspired just from listening to the right songs that motivate me. When I take time to listen to my heart and be still is when the inspiration starts flowing.
I try not to look at what others are doing around me in my field, so that I can concentrate on what I feel I should be doing.

 

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOURSELF AT THE START OF YOUR CAREER TO HELP EASE YOUR TROUBLED MIND?

Don't stress to much about what you THINK you should be doing, and how to make others happy. I worried too much about the over saturated photography business world in our city, and how to provide clients with images they were wanting and a style they wanted. Instead I would tell myself then, to just be yourself and the more you show others and your clients who you really are, the right clients will come to you and want your style of photography that you love to provide! After 10 years of being in the business I can now truly say that this is what I have finally figured out!

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WHAT NEEDS REVAMPING IN YOUR LIFE OR CAREER RIGHT NOW?

Lets be honest, as a woman entrepreneur these days there are always going to be the great days, the hard days, the motivating days, mistakes along the way, and everything in between. I think I need to learn how to balance out all the emotions that come with it. I need to revamp my self care, and learn to take time for myself so that along with feeling great with my business I can also feel like I can conquer my daily family life as well.

 

WHO INSPIRES YOU, OR MENTORS YOU?

I have so much love and respect for yours truly Tammy Zdunich! She was able to see me for me before I decided to start my new venture, and if it wasn't for her seeing my passion and fire and giving me the confidence to do what I believe I was created to do, I don't think I'd be doing yet what I do. That girl hold a very special place in my heart! I do get inspired by other dance photogs from the US that because of social media have connected with. Each doing their own thing, and so different from one another.

 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PROJECT YOU’RE WORKING ON AT THIS TIME?

I've got a very exciting couple of months ahead of me going into competition time! I'm bringing something very new to competitions that aren't your typical photos taken during them, which I'm very excited about. Also Swinging With The Stars is only weeks away and I'll be capturing the entire event!! Not to mention, I'll be visiting dance studios these coming months to provide them with unique behind the scenes images of their teaching styles. And of course I'm always excited about the individual dance sessions that I can't wait for! Every. Single. Session. Gives me goosebumps! So bring on the dancers!!