20 under 40: Danielle Zimmerer, Danielle Zimmerer Photography
July 27, 2017
While professional photographer Danielle Zimmerer admits she shoots anything and everything, many locals who not able to afford her have also benefitted from her shutter click.
"I love shooting a variety of subjects — portraits for children and adults, weddings and events, sports, culinary, pets, landscape, interior and exterior spaces and lifestyle photography," she says. "I love the variety. But I also love the gift program I do."
To give back to the community she captures, Zimmerer recently began her "Gift of Photography" program around the holidays, taking photographs of families and then giving them to the subjects.
"I noticed that many families would inquire but not book a session due to budget restraints," she says. "Photography can be expensive but it's such a wonderful way to commemorate and document seasons of life with family or loved ones. I wanted to give back and organize an annual opportunity for people to get free pictures taken."
This past December, Zimmerer photographed more than 70 families, 140 children and 10 dogs. By the end of the two sessions, she had delivered more than 1,000 images to her community.
"Steamboat is very special to me, and I appreciate the philanthropic spirit that runs through the community," she says. "I'm proud to be a part of that, in my own way. I see the value of documenting everyday life, not only the celebrations but the days that fall in between. The gift of photography was an opportunity to share my passion and put our community in front of my lens and provide people with a tangible memory."
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Zimmerer, 29, who moved to Steamboat in 2010 after graduating from Colorado State University, gives back other ways also. She's a board member and historian for Young Bloods Collective and a board member of
Steamboat Dance Theater, and she volunteers for Partners in Routt County.
But her real skills shine on the photo front, where her career has grown steadily since launching her business in Steamboat in 2014. "I began to take portraits and landscapes and posted them on social media, and then people started reaching out to hire me," she says. " It's turned into my full-time dream job."
Her clients are ecstatic with her work. "By how warm and friendly she is, you’d have thought she was a guest at our wedding, not the photographer," says customer Haley O’Malley. "But behind her dazzling smile, the wheels are turning and she’s capturing moments that you didn’t even know happened."
Capturing everything from music acts to sports and other events, ZImmerer says she enjoys documenting it all.
"I love candid photography – catching a special moment that people may have forgotten about, or a huge laugh that rolls through the crowd," she says, admitting she appreciates the backdrop Steamboat offers. "I love that Steamboat has amazing natural beauty," she says. "There are endless opportunities here."