As executive director of Photographers Without Borders, photographer Danielle Da Silva balances a slew of her own projects while overseeing the organization, which was born out of her passion for photography. Photographers Without Borders connects international charities with their network of professional photographers, and fosters a community among these artists. They also sell prints, splitting the profits between the photographer, charity and organization 50:25:25. Da Silva is currently on her way to Tanzania to shoot a book with one of their partner organizations.
What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?
Depends which country I’m in! I suppose after being up all night editing I generally get up and get a coffee, shower, answer e-mails and calls, then go out to run errands, etc. Then I come back to my lovely desk for some editing or work on projects…the usual! I do at least 15 minutes of yoga or meditation per day. My camera and equipment are always good to go. I’m often found out shooting or directing, but there are days when I spend most of my time editing. Those days are long, but I keep up my momentum with plenty of breaks! I produce all of my shoots, so there’s often a lot of calling people, making sure people are happy, and what would appear to be organized chaos. I try to make time for my family and close friends as much as possible. After a day of work (my days usually end at midnight) I read or watch something good on my computer until I fall asleep.
What was your first job out of school?
I helped my dad assembling telescopes and running store errands at his telescope shop starting when I was around 10. Then when I was 14, I pretended I was 16 so I could work at a restaurant. I couldn’t wait to be independent!
What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?
Creativity, organization, and excellent communication skills.
What do you love most about your career?
Freedom…Being my own boss, travelling, no business suits or heels!
Do you have any warnings?
Don’t let anyone or anything bring you down. Be realistic with yourself and be open to change.
If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?
UN Secretary General.