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Interview with Summerana’s Guest Instructor Daniel Venter

Introducing Daniel Venter of Daniel Venter Fotografie who is a guest instructor inside the Summerana Membership this month! We are lucky that not only do we get to watch him edit from start to finish showing us all of his editing secrets, but we also got to sit him down for an interview!

Daniel Venter is an international award winning wedding and portrait photographer based in Europe. Here are some questions we asked:

Who is Daniel Venter?

I’m a Portrait Photographer with a relentlessness passion for creating photos of people!

Tell us about your photography journey and your style.

My journey started nearly 6 and a half years ago when I decided to quit my day job but for the sheer heck of it move country at the same time to start my career as a photographer. No, just kidding! Actually, not really! It’s true. My wife and I lived in the UK and after the birth of our little photography model, Amy we decided to move to the Czech Republic! I’d assessed the state of the photography market and found gaping holes with lots of opportunities to get into the industry. We took the risk and since my wife is Czech we figured there was nothing to lose and if things didn’t work out we’d simply move back to the UK. I got right down to making things happen by spending the first few months marketing myself at every opportunity. The sheer risk element to the whole journey kept me focused. There were no backup plans and that was the best thing ever! Why do you ask? Because backup plans OR plan B’s make you complacent! Always something you can fall back on so you wouldn’t work hard on plan A. In the first 6 months we managed to setup up a fully functioning studio and started taking on clients. It’s a blur from there! The evolution of my style has come from shooting from the heart and remaining as neutral as possible to trends. Some folks have labeled my style as very “Venteresque” but truth be told it’s simply one that developed over time with many many hours of shooting and being relentlessly self-critical to the nth degree! So here we are years later and I’m still discovering new paths and new ideas to take me forward. I love this journey. It’s one that doesn’t have end goals.

Who is the one person you look up to in the photography industry and why?

This one’s a tough question! I can’t put my finger on anyone in particular because I’ve remained so neutral to most around me. I respect anyone’s work that catches my eye because we’ve all got our own journeys and stories to tell.

Describe the perfect personal photography project you would like to complete if funds were unlimited.

I want to travel to the “7 Wonders of The World” to capture epic Styled Portrait shoots in those locations! Then I’d like to release a book called “The Seven Wonders Portrait Collection”! I’m gonna make sure funds aren’t limited because I really want this to happen.

You are one of Summerana’s Guest Editors and your tutorial is live this month (Eeek!) What should people expect to learn from you?

You’re gonna learn that I can really bark like a dog and at best probably detect that I’m crazy! But on a more serious note, I hope that you will learn how important it is to create the best image you can in camera!

Where do you find inspiration for your sessions?

I feel like my inspiration comes from within. Putting myself into my environment and the interactions on set with my subjects usually spark that moment of inspiration for the next shot! I do little to zero planning beforehand and love to feel my way through a session with my heart. For my personal projects, it’s the sudden ideas that spring to mind that I carry out and the inspiration comes from the seasons! Strange right? I know lol

Describe the perfect client.

I think my perfect client is one that listens to my creative intent and puts full trust in my abilities to make them look great and have an enjoyable experience!

What is one mistake you did in the past that if you knew what you know now, you’d avoid at all costs?

Right now I’m thinking of how much I underused social media. I could have done so much more to create more market presence and I’m sad I didn’t. I spent too long trying to get to the first page of google only to find people’s attention wasn’t there!

How important is the business side of this career? And why?

People take on a photography journey for many reasons. If you’re in this as a business you need to be able to put on a business cap and a creative cap. Those two sides clash tremendously! The creative brain at best isn’t wired for logical thinking, being competitive and being a numbers person, that is the business brain. They fight so much. The creative brain is sharing and caring and a lot of times to the detriment of running a business and generating an income. If you’re in this for the business you have to be prepared to put equal attention on the business side since your products are your images! You have to be prepared to compete or you will just become a statistic number of failed businesses.

What is your favorite quote?

“Find your style behind the camera not behind the computer.”
I made that one up lol But I feel it resonates with me personally and it’s a message to all my fellow photographers out there!

Watch me edit: 

Want to watch me edit this image in Photoshop from start to finish? It is available to watch in the Summerana Membership here from December 11th-January 10th, 2020!

In this editing tutorial, Daniel Venter Fotografie shows you his step-by-step process for editing a stunning winter portrait in Photoshop. Also included are Photoshop actions created by Daniel Venter for you to download!


In this editing workshop Summerana guest teacher Daniel Venter will teach you how to:

  • Create a gorgeous winter fine art portrait
  • See his behind the scenes video on how he set up the shot
  • Make corrections in Lightroom to adjust highlights, shadows, and levels to get gorgeous tones and warmth in your image
  • Correct vignetting from lens distortion
  • Edit a distracting background to really make your subject pop
  • Even out tones, smooth, brighten and add warmth to your subjects skin
  • Edit eyes by enhancing color, removing under eye circles, darkening eyelashes, brightening and adding catchlights to eyes
  • Edit hair by altering colors to remove yellow tones from blonde hair, removing stray hairs
  • Get glowing, bright white snow
  • Add dimension through dodging and burning
  • Sharpen to enhance details
  • Add snow using Summerana snow overlays

and more through hand editing, using Daniel Venter’s included Photoshop actions, and Summerana overlays!


Camera settings:

  • Shot with a Sony A7iii +
  • 85mm 1.8 FE Sony lens
  • ISO 100, f2.0, 1/2050s


Edited using:

  • Lightroom
  • Photoshop
  • Summerana snow overlays
  • Daniel Venter’s Photoshop actions
  • Hand editing

This article was featured in Summerana’s Magazine | December 2019 | The Light Issue. See the full issue here

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