Dani Connor is a wildlife photographer and a popular content creator.
She has 118K subscribers on her YouTube channel, ‘Dani Connor Wild.’
Danielle Connor (Dani) was born on 20 September 1995.
She hails from Wimbledon, London, England.
She is half Russian; her mother is a Russian.
Dani has a sister.
Love for nature & photography-
At 14, Dani borrowed her father’s DSLR in a local woodland to photograph her family dog, Ashley; this started her journey of wildlife photography.
At that time, thanks to her surroundings, she developed a connection with nature.
In 2020, Dani travelled to Sweden, fell in love with nature and wildlife there which inspired her to become a full-time wildlife photographer.
Education & career-
Dani did her schooling from Ursuline High School in London.
She completed her schooling in 2014.
In 2015, thanks to her love for nature, she joined University of Exeter to study Zoology BSc, Biosciences; she graduated in 2018.
Dani focused on tropical ecology for her degree; so, she travelled to the Amazon Rainforest and to Costa Rican rainforest; here, she studied spider monkeys for three months on her own; spider monkeys were her dissertation for university.
In the Costa Rican Forest, she also encountered puma, and fer-de-lance.
From May 2015 to August 2015, Dani worked as a Junior Field Biologist for Crees Foundation in Manú Province, Peru.
From April 2015 to June 2016, she worked in media production of Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, in Barnes, London.
From June 2017 to September 2017, Dani worked as a Field Biologist for Osa Conservation in Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.
In October 2017, she co-founded Pocket Pals, an animation and augmented reality app in London.
From October 2019 to January 2020, Dani worked part-time in Visitor Engagement at Zoological Society of London, London; in the same period, she worked as a part-time Zoo Experience Host at Chessington World of Adventures Resort theme park.
She also freelanced as a Keeping It Wild Forum Member for London Wildlife Trust.
Dani also worked part-time as a Visitor Engagement and Experience Assistant at the Natural History Museum.
A life-changing trip to Sweden-
In 2020, Dani quit her job at Natural History Museum, London; at that time, she was fed up with city life.
She travelled to Sweden to try photography of nature for four months before starting a PhD; she chose to do photography to relax, as it has been her hobby.
Dani wanted to photograph something epic, in snow; she stumbled across Conny Lundström on Instagram and requested him to allow her to come and photograph golden eagles.
So, in March 2020, she joined Conny’s ‘Wild Shots Sweden’ for an apprenticeship as a Photo Assistant in Skellefteå, Västerbotten, Sweden.
Dani photographed eagles, goshawk, fox, and squirrels.
Thanks to the cute squirrels, she fell in love with wildlife photography and decided to become a full-time wildlife photographer.
Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, she was stuck in Sweden for six months.
So, Dani spent her time in a Swedish village, which had just 20 residents, most of whom were elderly; during that time, she encountered more wildlife, especially squirrels, than people.
This was a sharp contrast to her life in London where she used to work at the Natural History Museum and see thousands of people every day; she found the solitude in Sweden to be therapeutic.
Befriending squirrels & becoming a content creator-
While living in Sweden, Dani was surrounded by forests and got connected to wildlife.
As soon as she arrived in Sweden, she started photographing squirrels around the house; not having television and good internet also brought her closer to nature.
Initially, photographing squirrels wasn’t easy as they are shy creatures and wouldn’t come down from the trees in her presence.
So, Dani used to create camera traps, cameras with motion sensors which automatically clicks photos on detecting motion, to photograph squirrels.
Eventually, as she spent time in the forest and started feeding the squirrels, they started trusting her and recognizing her call.
They started approaching Dani and thanks to this, she was able to do various photography projects with squirrels.
She started caring for and feeding four baby red squirrels after they lost their mother, she was hit by a car; she named the baby squirrels Baby Pear, Baby Moomin, Cheburashka and Little Flame.
During the first week, Dani started filming the baby squirrels for their audio clips.
Thanks to the cute squeaking noises of a 7-week-old red squirrel, she decided to post it on Twitter.
So, on 23 June 2020, Dani posted it on Twitter; this video became viral and garnered more than 16 million views; thanks to this, her follower count increased from 2K to 30K in just a couple of days.
This video was shared by John Boyega; more than 200K people shared the video.
Even though Dani started her YouTube channel, ‘Dani Connor Wild’ on 4 July 2008, she published her first video, ‘A Week of Wildlife Photography on Skomer Island: Puffins, Manx shearwater!’ only on 2 June 2019.
On 20 February 2021, she published ‘I rescued four baby red squirrels [The Squirrels & Me];’ this is the first viral video of her channel which accrued more than a couple million views.
Thanks to the success of this video, Dani gained a lot of subscribers, and she started focusing more on her videos than photography with an intention of becoming a full-time YouTuber; she dropped her plan of pursuing a PhD.
Becoming successful; her earning sources & gear-
As of September 2023, Dani has 118K subscribers on her YouTube channel and 126K followers on Instagram.
She earns through a variety of sources like advertisements and Super Thanks on her YouTube channel, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.
Dani also accepts donations on Patreon and sells merchandise through her website.
Unlike traditional wildlife photographers, she doesn’t sell photos to magazines, instead she showcases her photography in her videos and sells her photography products to her audience.
Her goal with her social media channels is to engage people, especially young people with nature.
Dani is in a relationship with Juan.
He hails from Mexico and helps in filming her.
Dani bought a house in wild Sweden for $30K.
She lives in Northern Sweden.
Some interesting facts about Dani-
- Squirrels are her favourite animals; the baby squirrels kickstarted her photography and YouTube careers.
- Her bucket list includes travelling to Iceland, Antarctica, and Japan.
- Dani travels all around the world for filming and photographing wildlife.
- She loves items of natural history and specimens.
- In 2022, Dani travelled to Hornøya island in Arctic Norway, home to thousands of seabirds.
- Upon travelling to Peruvian Amazonia, she got a flesh-eating botfly in her neck which she later removed.
- Dani loves cooking and making up recipes.
- Her favourite places in the United States are Alaska and Yellowstone National Park.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Dani Connor?
Share with me in the comment section below.
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