ICYMI: Yello Interviews Photographer Dani Devaux
by Karen Rollins Nov 4, 2019
Originally from St Kitts, entrepreneur Dani Devaux has been lucky to call more than one Caribbean island her home, but she’s currently settled in St Lucia.
After becoming interested in photography at a young age when her grandfather gave her, her first camera, Dani has now made taking pictures her life and has been successfully running her own business – Dani Devaux Photography.
Last year, Yello chatted with Dani about growing up in the Caribbean, how she knew she’d never have a desk job and why she loves taking pictures of people.
In case you missed it, here is our interview with Dani.
Describe yourself in three words.
Open, adventurous, strong-willed.
You were born in St Kitts – tell us more about your background.
My younger life was spent roaming wild in the Caribbean. I grew up in St. Kitts and Antigua mostly. I spent a LOT of time outside observing nature and people. I’ve always been very sensitive about those around me and the environment.
There was no Google when I was growing up, so I spent a lot of time with my face in a book or travelling through the world in a National Geographic magazine which my parents subscribed to.
When did you become interested in photography?
Almost from the time I remember! My grandfather from St. Kitts gave me my first camera when I was six and from there my interest exploded.
I got my first SLR (proper camera and totally manual) when I was 11. My Mum showed me how to develop the film then print my own black and white images – her photography was very inspirational for me. Her portraits really are exceptional!
Later on in the UK at secondary school, my form teacher set up a darkroom for me and my friends to use. You totally lose your sense of time inside there, so it made me late for a lot of things!
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
I didn’t know what that was, back then. But I knew I’d never have a desk job.
What do you like to photograph the most?
I love to hear their stories and know about the people that I work with. Some don’t open up immediately, but it does help me to see their different expressions and see what I’d like to capture in them.
The added benefit is that people feel more chilled when they’re engaged in a conversation and don’t notice the camera in front of them as much.
Why did you choose St Lucia as a base?
It kind of chose me. My father’s family comes from here, so it’s always been a familiar place.
You’ve worked all over the Caribbean – how are the island’s different?
Each has its own flavour – in food, language, topography. All of that will contribute towards creating a general vibe in both the people and the environment.
Is there a photographer who particularly inspires you?
Sooooo many! Ansel Adams, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, Annie Leibowitz, Mario Testino, Gilles Bensimon. I’m sure there are more too!!
If you weren’t a photographer what would you be doing?
I’d probably be a beach bum, or a free-diver, athlete, dancer, healer, shaman…
Visit Dani’s Facebook page to see more of her photography.