#4DaCulture: NYC Photographer Dani B
Danita Bethea, known as Dani B, is a 23-year old New York-based photographer. Residing in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Dani is constantly inspired by her neighborhood, her people, and herself. She started to pursue photography at 16 years old and eventually attended New York Film Academy, completing a one-year program in February 2014. She has since come to be known for her focus on culture, self-love, and positive images of Black people.
Photography played a huge role in Dani’s life after her father died. She developed anxiety, she says, and couldn't stand being in social situations. She wasn't sure how to converse or interact with other people. Photography gave Dani confidence and a reason to step foot into social settings. Over the years, photography has helped reduce her anxiety almost entirely.
Dani is inspired by David LaChapelle, incorporating bright and bold colors in her work. She is heavily influenced by her surroundings and cultural upbringing.
“Photography is personal, and being black plays a huge part in my art. I make sure I include either familiar faces, moods, or items in my art,” she says.
Like any other artist, Dani has faced her share of challenges— however, she considers most of them to be self-inflicted.
“Procrastination and stubbornness are the biggest challenges I have faced,” she says. Despite these obstacles, Dani is committed to her artistic journey. She is extremely driven by her social media supporters, her parents, her best friend, and herself.
Through her art, Dani hopes to represent an array of beautiful black faces. “I want to represent [Black people] in a positive light. I want people to look at my art and be proud of themselves and their people,” she says. “My art is powerful, I know that!”
As for the future, Dani isn't sure if she'll continue to pursue photography. However, she does aspire to publish a photo book, whether it be a book of her own work or a curation of works by other Black creators. No matter what medium Dani chooses to express herself with, she says, “I will definitely continue to empower and encourage self-love within the Black & Brown community.”
Stay up-to-date with Dani's creative journey on her Instagram .