Interview with Dalayna McKnight Photography! | Colorado Springs, Colorado Lifestyle Photography

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing fellow lifestyle photographer, Dalayna McKnight! She has such a great eye for creating emotional and artistic images. I love the expressive nature of her photography. After you read the interview, go check her out! Her Facebook and website links are at the end of the post. Thanks for your time, Dalayna!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in North Dakota with my Husband and our 3 kids (Jessi, Barrett and Raya). I really dislike the cold, which is unfortunate since I live where I do! With the exception of the weather, I love where we live even though I miss Nebraska and our family's. I love watching people. Everybody is so different and I find it fascinating. I don't believe in "normal". I crave interaction with others and yet sometimes all I want is a quiet room to myself. I find a sense of humor one of a person's most attractive qualities. Don't take life too seriously.
When I was little I wanted to be Batman when I grew up.

Where is home?

Hillsboro, ND. It's a small town 40 miles north of Fargo.

Did you go to school to study photography?

No but I've taken several classes at 

How long have you been a photographer?

I'd say I've been a "serious" photographer for over a year now.

What or who got you started in photography?

I don't know if I can say exactly what. I love taking pictures, I love dreaming up a session and how I want it to look. I love editing and when I can bring my vision out. I wasn't sure if I was good enough to start a business but a friend of mine bluntly told me to quit piddling around and do it because I knew I wanted to and I was good enough.

How would you describe your style?

Soft, light and airy.

Do you have a few images you can share with us?

These are some favorites from different shoots I've done.


What type of cameras do you shoot with?

I love my Canon 5D classic. It has a film like quality to the pictures that I love.

What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera?

I just got an expodisc and love it. I don't have a whole lot of accessories.. (yet!)

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?

The 50mm. Since I have a full frame camera I can still use it in my small house and it's great outdoors. It's sharp and Iove the background blur you can get with it.

Photoshop, Lightroom or both?

Lightroom with a little bit of Photoshop Elements

What is your most used Photoshop tool, plug-in, action set etc.?

I love Emily Lucarz's dream action set. They're perfect for what I like to do.

Are you a MAC or PC lover?

PC. My brother in law just built me a new computer and I love it.

Do you plan on buying any new equipment and if so what do you have your eyes on?

Ooooh yeah. Haha! Not for a little while, I have to save up for them but the 100mm L macro lens is next on my wishlist and of course, I dream of owning the Canon 5D Mark III.

What gives you ideas and inspires you to create your photography?

It can be so many things. Pinterest, movies, an idea that just pops into my head, a certain outfit, a look between two people, a cute little kid, a beautiful spot I find... the list can go on and on I think!

What has been your most memorable assignment and why?

There's two different family shoots I've done that stick out in my mind. One was just a regular family shoot and the other was a newborn lifestyle shoot... you could just see the love and connection with these families. I felt like I was invited to see an intimate part of their lives. It really makes you love your job.

If you could shoot with another photographer who would it be?

Oh boy! SO many people come to mind! First one would be Meg Bitton. Someday I'd love to do one of her in-person workshops. Her pictures and vision is amazing and I've heard she's as wonderful a person as she is photographer. Annie from Paint the Moon, I'd just love to peek into her life. Sarah from My Four Hens,  just to name a few.

How many images do you average per portrait shoot and how many do you usually present to your clients?

It depends on the shoot, how much time we have, if there's children involved and their moods. I usually do 15-25 pictures in a gallery, or more.  I have a hard time narrowing down pictures when it was a great session so I usually don't!

How do you make kids and families feel relaxed in front of your camera?
Well, there's always farting jokes!
Who do you draw inspiration from in the industry?
All of the above who I said I'd love to shoot with, Keri Duckett Birth Photography,  Colie James is my new favorite lifestyle photographer.
Website and/or blog you visit often?
All of them! Ha! I'm an avid website-hopper.
Do you advertise?
I haven't yet, except on facebook.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue photography?
The most important thing to me is to know your camera. I wasn't planning on going into business when I bought my DSLR but I was determined to know how to use it fully on manual.What's the use of spending that much money on a camera just to use it on Auto? You won't get near as great results using it on auto as you will knowing how to use it in manual.. you want to tell your camera what to do, not let it decide for you. I’ve learned the most from…, seriously the greatest recourse for amateur and professional photographers. Their classes are great and well worth the money.
Something you’re still learning?  
Creative edits by hand. I can do a nice clean edit on my own and then some, but when it comes times to creative stuff, I still depend on actions for. I'd love to learn to do it all by hand.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Hands down, my Husband. He is the love of my life and my best friend. I can't even begin to describe what he means to me.
If you could have lunch with anyone who is famous who would it be?
George Strait. :D
First thing you would do if you won the lottery?
Pay off all our debt. And then be scared to spend the rest. Lol! But I'm pretty sure I could be convinced...
Which three words describe you?
easygoing, crazy, dreamer
What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now? Photography wise, I'd like to be doing more birth photography. Birth is a passionate subject for me. Personally.. sitting on a beach.

And the last question, if you had one wish…

I'd wish for a vacation, now.

Follow Dalayna McKnight Photography on Facebook and check out her cute website!