Daniel Stancil is all about family and community. The first things you’re likely to hear about in a conversation with him are his wife of 16 years and their five children. An easygoing man who’s a country boy at heart, he considers himself something of a mentor to the couples he works with. Daniel has been a full time wedding photographer in the Atlanta area for nine years. Though Daniel Stancil is the business name, it is a husband/wife team. His style is traditional with a hint of contemporary, and his love for photojournalism tends to show in his work. Of his approach to wedding photography he says, "If grandmama thinks certain shots are important, we'll get those shots, but we'll also get the shots the bridal magazines think are important."
As a personality, Daniel is laid-back and committed to the country lifestyle. He owns 20 acres of land and does some farming. He loves getting to know his clients, and employs a personable approach to his work. Daniel understands that if a couple is comfortable with their photographer, it'll show in the images. He places a lot of value in family and relationships, and his authenticity often results in lifelong friendships with the couples who hire him. Though typically he does specialize in weddings, families will often return to him for photos of their newborn children and family portraits. He does dapple in some small corporate-style work - he’s worked for Chick-Fil-A in house, and has a video work background. Daniel is also an ordained minister, and originally came to the wedding industry 20 years ago as a minister. Licensed to do weddings and perform ceremonies, he was invited to a wedding recently where he was both photographer and officiant.
Daniel has always enjoyed weddings. He thrives under pressure, and finds that his personality and talents fit well within the industry. Though he’s worked in other areas of the photography industry - portraits, Santa photos, etc., he considers his spotlight on weddings to be a very focused move. Simply put, “I wanted to see couples on one of the greatest days of their lives. It's such a joy and an honor to be part of the day.” When advising newlyweds, he tells them to just hold on for the first few years - it doesn't get easier, it actually gets harder. He says to “make sure that you focus on each other, don't let work come in front of your relationship. Don't let family come in front of your relationship. Make sure that your spouse is your number one priority on this earth, and in 15-20 years, you will have something beautiful that you have worked on, that is almost a visual piece of art that other people can see. For us, year 7 was our hardest; I know a lot of couples say year 4 or 5 is hardest. If you can get past those tough years focusing on each other, I honestly believe you'll have something great.”
Outside of photography, Daniel’s many hobbies tend to center - predictably - around his family and community. He coaches his son's travel league baseball team, serves at church, loves to barbecue for friends, and play golf. A born and raised Georgia boy, his grandfather ran a local pig farm. He’s lived in Locust Grove on and off and is happy to reside there now, near both his and his wife’s parents and lots of nearby siblings, nieces, and nephews. That Daniel loves his life is obvious, but he admits he’s always thought it would be awesome to be a rock star, or the front man in any band. If you ask, he’ll tell you his next career is going to be wedding singer.
Interview by Betsy Throop