First of all lets just clarify something about my name. Danni Maibaum. It looks kind of exotic ( it definitely isn’t) and is pronounced /maɪ̯/ baʊ̯m/ MY BOWM. And in German it kind of translates to Mai (“May”) + Baum (“tree”) And there you have it – Maytree Photography! My dad’s side of the family is from Germany, my mum side is from South Africa and I inherited my Yorkshire family around 20 years ago when my mum married a lovely Barnsleyman.
I live in Sheffield with my partner in crime Joe, and I love nothing more than making a fire, eating some delicious food (that Joe made, not me) and putting an episode of Columbo on! That’s not to say I’m not adventurous. I also love travelling, going to gigs and walking in the Peak District.
My parents are musicians, and when I was little we moved all over the place. I spent a lot of my childhood catching lizards in Zimbabwe and fireflies in Tennessee. I used to tell people I wanted to be a vegetarian when I grew up. I meant veterinarian.
I studied photography at Sheffield Hallam University. I was really interested in the portrayal of families in particular. I come from a family that is scattered across the globe, and I was fascinated by the connections and narratives that images of family could contain and how this relates to our sense of togetherness. Some of my favourite photographers are Rineke Dijkstra, Larry Sultan and William Eggleston.
After University I became a little lost. I worked for some photography studios where there was a white backdrop, lots of high key lighting, structured poses by numbers, and pressure on me to get the cheesy shot! I became a bit disaffected with what that kind of photography could offer me creatively. I was too chicken to go freelance and work on my own, and instead pursued a career path in teaching. This career choice filled me with confidence and taught me the discipline needed to run a reliable business. Plus, the students were pretty awesome and it was inspiring to see them grow and create their own work. After seven years of teaching A-Level Media Studies and practising photography part time, the sound of the camera shutter drew me back into a colourful world of creativity.
The emotion that a single photograph can inspire drives my passion for the medium and since immersing myself within the craft I have never looked back.
I also take photos in my spare time, often working with fellow creatives on collaborative projects. I try and update my personal Instagram as much as possible, so check out my feed below and give me a follow!