JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Danielle Harris has been a photographer for more than five years. She started off taking individual portraits, pictures of weddings, even maternity photos from her garage, but she always knew there was a bigger plan for her business.
“I saved up and targeted a goal of January of an opening day for a studio, and the first of January is when I signed my lease,” Harris told News4Jax.
Her close friend and client, Jackie Graham-Townes, said Harris had been dreaming about opening her own studio for awhile.
“She told me about the studio and I was the one that said, ‘Lets manifest, lets speak it into the universe,” Graham-Townes said.
The universe listened.
Harris’ new studio, The Portrait Boutique, sits along Herschel Street in Avondale.
“What I’m noticing is most of the studios are in industrial areas. I wanted to stand out and do a smaller location and more customized photography for my clients,” Harris said.
Harris said she wants to serve every type of client at her studio, even those who may need assistance moving around the studio.
“I have a physical therapist that will be helping me. You’re just as beautiful whether you’re in a wheelchair or not,” she said.
Harris also wants to make sure she photographs everyone of every race and ethnicity.
When News4Jax asked Graham-Townes if she noticed any other Black-owned photography studios in the area, she couldn’t think of any.
“I’m going to be honest, I don’t know of any. Danielle is one of the first ones,” she said.
“I want to make sure I’m not only looked at as a Black business owner I want to be looked at as a business owner, as a photographer, because I do photography for everyone,” Harris said.
Harris says she also offers to help her clients pick out their outfits so they feel comfortable during the photoshoots. She says she’s allowing other photographers in the community to rent out space in her Avondale studio.
The grand opening will be on Saturday.
News4Jax is celebrating Black culture and elevating the people and stories that thread together our American fabric. They’re stories that are often untold, but our goal is to help shed light on communities that are often overlooked, not just this month, but all year long.