How I guarantee you will LOVE your portraits, and never ever risk spending your money on images you are not thrilled with!


Hello, I’m Dirk Dabel, photographer for Lightdances Photography and I’ve spent over 25 years working with people to get great images. Our goal is simple:


We also take pride in our no risk portrait guarantee. You never pay for portraits you are not thrilled with. That’s right,  Lightdances guarantees you will love your portraits. Not just satisfied, If not, we will redo your session at no charge. No questions asked, no hard feelings! We will also replace any product for any reason. I am that confident in what we do, my goal is your complete satisfaction.  We now offer professional hair and make-up services for all of our portrait clients should this be something you desire. Together, we will create beautiful portraits you and your loved ones will treasure for generations. While I do work closely with my associate photographers who assist me as needed 85% of the time I am the photographer who will create your images and I personally see them through retouching and final delivery. My associate photographers are very good at what they do, and have been personally selected for their artistic expertise as well as their incredible people skills.

Why use a professional photography studio? Everyone these days with a camera so it seams is now a photographer right? if someone has business cards and a website doesnt that mean they are a professional? A good question would be, “Wouldn’t you be more comfortable and have more confidence trusting your photographer with your most important portraits if they have an actual studio. Someone with years of training that has sucessfully photographed thousands of people.  Someone who has hand written testimonials from people just like you who wanted and got the best images and service possible. God forbid that you have problems with your photographer. Maybe he’ll show back up at Starbucks where you originally met.” We hear it all the time people spending a little or sometimes a lot for portraits that were less than flattering and say they wish they had hired a professional the first time and not wasted all the time and money. When you invest with us you are assured quality, no short cuts, no excuses, we deliver as promised, remember my promise above?

Portrait Planning Session
The first stage of your portrait photography experience at Lightdances Photography begins with a complimentary portrait planning session. This is our opportunity to customize and plan every detail of your photography shoot. We will discuss our different styles of photography and the appropriate clothing for your chosen style. We will plan the best way to decorate your home with personalized portrait wall art. We have different frame-sizes and photography collections which are designed with you and your home in mind. Once you have had your portrait planning session you will be fully prepared for your photography shoot and have an understanding of the investment involved.

Photography Shoot With the planning session now behind you, your photographer will have a full understanding of your goals for your portrait session. With this in mind we will set about capturing portrait images that truly reflect you and your family. We will help you and your children relax in our comfortable, modern photography studio and encourage you to express yourselves. As experienced portrait photographers we have a thorough understanding of how to make you look your best.

Portrait Design Appointment About one to two weeks after your shoot you will return for your design appointment. In the viewing gallery in our studio you will see your ideas from the planning session come alive. We carefully edit and prepare the best images and guide you through the artist suggestions. Here you’ll understand that they are not just images but a piece of art you will hand down to future generations.

Collection of photography Once your order is placed your portraits are enhanced and hand finished. Fully finished portraits are ready to collect up to two weeks after your design appointment allowing you to share, cherish and display your definitive moments captured by Lightdances Photography for years to come. This final stage completes the portrait cycle at Lightdances Photography.

Beauty, glamour, boudoir and pin-up sessions join our Facebook page at Boise Boudoir Photographers.

Feel beautiful, inside and out. If you have never liked your portraits and never thought you looked good in photos, I want to photograph you! I  believe that you are beautiful and I want to bring out the beauty in you. My beauty photography takes any woman any shape, all sizes, any age, and makes everywoman  more beautiful. We will start with a super fun professional hair and makeup session where you are pampered and treated like a star. Then I am going to pose you and show you ways to make you beautiful just being yourself. We will take the direction of this session based on your personal desires. We will not try to push you in any direction but help you select the right outfit, the right pose and the right hair and make up look with our make up artist to get a stunning collection of images. Then after your session I will edit and retouch your images to perfection.  You will love your portraits! LOVE them! Do it for yourself or for the one you love. Please take a look at our amazing transformations in our before and after Beauty portfolio.

I am so excited to be doing this amazing beauty make-over session that we also offer as a discounted double make over session so you can treat your sister, mom, daughter, best friend or significant other. This is a great experience you both will remember for the rest of your life. Stop making excuses, and yes these are private closed set sessions and no one get to see them except you if that is your desire. I promise not to put them up on the website or other internet sites.

Our popular family sessions are available at any Treasure Valley location with no extra charge. We can come to your home, or favorite home away from home, anywhere that is special to you. Not sure where you would like to be photographed? we have dozens of great suggestions and are happy to help you plan your session. We are also happy to bring our studio to your location to get those great business portraits for your website or other advertising needs. We can set up our mobile studio anywhere and provide beautiful portraits and can even print your photos on location with our state of the art equipment. Our gorgeous new studio is conveniently located at 9543 W. Emerald St. Boise ID. 83704, which allows the convenience of on-site hair stylists, make-up artists, nail techs and everything else necessary to make your session the best it can possibly be. Bring a friend or two and take advantage of our fun girls night out romantic vintage pin-up sessions . 

When you view our gallery wall prints it becomes apparent just how much fine art wall portraiture can enhance any environment.  My passion is to create something artistic, special and give a positive experience for all of those involved. It is so good to hear comments like “you made me look better than I dreamed possible” or “we simply love our family portraits” and “no one has ever taken the time to get a really great portrait for us like you have created” and “our family had such a great time”.  Nothing makes me feel  better than these kind and heartfelt words.

We have captured time for literally hundreds of special family and corporate events from weddings and family reunions as well as documenting pregnancies, babies & kids growing for high school senior pictures.  Commercially, our work has been featured in many local and national publications such as Collectible Automobile, Dolls: The Collector Magazine, Insight Magazine and others. Our VIP event coverage has included major local events such as concerts, ground breaking ceremonies, class reunions, school and preschool photography, and award ceremonies. We have also provided hundreds of images for the real estate industry with subjects ranging from single and multi-family residences to shopping centers and other large commercial  buildings.  We have also provided businesses with product and staff images for advertising and website usage. I have also enjoyed teaching photography classes and workshops since 1990 and seeing the success and brilliant work of my students is one of the great joys of my life. Ask about our photo restoration work where we will repair your precious older damaged portraits and turn them into a beautiful new work of art.

We provide medical specialty photography such as Whole Body Integumentary photography (mole mapping) for patients with a personal history or Melanoma, familial history of Melanoma , Dysplasic Nevus Syndrome, Dysplastic Nevi. This process allows patients to take a proactive measure to enable their physician to monitor and evalute more closely changes in mole behaviors. We can provide this either in our studio or on site for dermatologists in the Idaho, Wyoming and Eastern Oregon areas. Call for details.

We urge you to call us for a no obligation chat today at 371-7701. Your stories are unique and worth saving.  We’re here to help, be sure to read the letter below if you are considering a portrait session and check out our PDF files for tips and important information on Children’s and Senior portraits.

If you want to know the most important things to consider in planning a portrait please take a couple moment to read this letter from Dirk:

Dear Friend,

This site is going to give you answers to all your questions.  Whether you’re looking for a wedding photographer, or someone to photograph your family, or a photographer who can capture the essence of your child’s personality, after a few minutes browsing this site, you will know everything you need to know.

How Do You Choose The Right Photographer?  The 5 (or more) Things You DIDN’T Know To Ask:

If you’re like most people, you probably get a bit overwhelmed as you go through the Internet or Yellow-Pages and realize there are a lot of photographers to choose from. How do you decide who to go to?  Well, don’t w orry, I’m going to clue you in on the VITAL THINGS you must ask of any photographer.

No Matter Who You Decide On To Be Your Photographer, These Are Things You NEED To Know…

My goal is simple: : I want your photographs to be perfect. Therefore, regardless of whether you decide to have me create your photographs or not, I still want you to know about the things most photographers DON’T want you to know about.


“How You Can Capture Your Family’s Happiest Moment, And Hold On To It Forever…”


If Your Family Is The Most Important Thing In The World To You…

If You Want A Memory You Will Cherish Forever…

If You Realize How Quickly Things Can Change…

This Information Will Be Priceless To You.

A great family experience! Dirk did a beautiful job of capturing our family in a real and wonderful setting.
-The Bullocks, Boise


Dear Friend,

Your family is changing so fast, isn’t it? Your children (and yes, they will be your “children” even when they’re married and have kids of their own) are growing up, and becoming more like adults every day.  Don’t you wish you could just “freeze time” and hold these special moments forever?

My name is Dirk Dabel, and capturing wonderful family memories is what I’ve devoted my life to. I’m a professional family photographer, but more than that, I’m just like you… I’m a family person.

We Can Stop The Clock. Memories Are The Most Valuable Thing We Own.

Can you relate to this at all? I wake up every morning and wonder where the time is going. Do you ever do that? Have you noticed that, the older you and your children get, the faster time seems to fly? I’m very lucky – I get to see my son Nick on a semi-regular basis (teenager).  He still lives at home for a few more days but now hes heading off to college how did that happen so fast?

I Would Give Just About ANYTHING IN THE WORLD To Have A Fine Family Portrait Of Nick And Me back when he was younger…

This is going to be hard to believe. I’m a professional photographer, and I only had one family photograph created of my family when my son was younger.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to go back in time, and capture those moments on film. That’s one of the reasons I became a professional photographer – I want to help other families hold on to their family memories forever, and never regret not having a family portrait done.

Throughout This Page You’ll See And Hear From Families In Idaho Who Have Had Their Lives Forever Enriched By the Lasting Memories Of Family Portraits —

— But There Were Things Even They Didn’t Know When They Started Looking For A Photographer…

If you’re at all like most of the families on this website, you probably haven’t given a lot of thought to having a family portrait created.  Don’t worry – that’s pretty normal.  You’ve got a lot of things going on in your life.  Life is busier and crazier  than ever in 2013!

Wow! I can’t stop looking at our family portraits! Thank you Dirk for these priceless memories!.” Dr Taylor Clark   Boise, ID

and family life in particular seems to be happening at an ever-accelerating pace.

5 Myths, Mistakes, And Misconceptions About Having A Family Portrait Created – The Stuff 99% Of All People In The World Don’t Know:

By visiting my website, you must at least be considering having a portrait of your family created. Well, that’s great – you will probably never make a decision that will bring you more lasting joy.  However, there are some things you NEED to know before you and your loved ones step in front of any camera.  By the time you finish reading this single webpage, you will know everything you need to know about how to have the perfect family portrait created – the one you will cherish forever!

You may feel that having a family portrait done is going to be a lot of work on your part. Well, it isn’t!  In fact, that could almost be one of the “myths or mistakes” right there. As long as you know the information on this site, it won’t be any work at all on your part.

….So, let’s jump right in!

#1 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception:
“There’s No Way To GUARANTEE I Will Love My Family Portraits.”

WRONG! Depending on who creates your family portrait, that is.  Just suppose you had a family portrait created, and your son or daughter didn’t look natural in it.  The photograph was “ok,” but it didn’t turn out spectacular.  Should you have to pay for it?  ABSOLUTELY NOT! I believe strongly that no one should ever have to pay for a photograph that isn’t PERFECT. That’s why I am the only photographer in the West Boise/Eagle area, to offer the following guarantee:

CHECK THIS OUT – A Guarantee Unlike Any You’ve Ever Heard:

If Your Family Doesn’t Look The Happiest & Best They’ve Ever Looked Together In These Photographs – If You Don’t Cry (tears of joy) When You Look At Them – You Don’t Pay Me For Them.

That’s my guarantee and personal promise to you. As far as I know, there’s no other photographer around here that will make you this super guarantee. These photographs will be completely meaningless to you unless they convey the real emotions and relationships between you and your loved ones. That’s the only real reason to have a family portrait created.

So, if FOR ANY REASON you feel that the photographs I create for you are anything less than perfect – if you don’t actually cry when I show them to you for the first time, you don’t pay me for them. It’s that simple.

Dirk did an excellent job working with our family, and the portraits were excellent. “We are very satisfied!
-Jeff& Cheryl Schrader
Eagle ID.

Obviously, I’m totally confident that the portraits I create of you and your family will be well beyond anything you imagine.  I believe completely that these photographs will become your most prized possessions – that, if your house were on fire, you would grab them on the way out of your burning home.  This is not arrogance. I can’t stand arrogance. No, this is a complete belief in my abilities to capture natural, real emotions and family relationships on film unlike anyone else.  That’s what I’ve devoted my life to, and that’s why I can’t wait to photograph your family for you.

So, To Restate, Here’s My Fantastic DOUBLE GUARANTEE:

If you are not THRILLED with your photographs – if you are dissatisfied for ANY reason at all, I will do two things for you:

1st – At NO CHARGE, I will photograph your family again, and make sure that anything that wasn’t perfect is fixed, without you paying another cent.

2nd – If I am absolutely unable to thrill you – if I’m unable to create a photograph that you feel you will cherish forever, I will refund EVERY PENNY you invested in them.  You don’t pay for your photographs unless you love them beyond expression!

If I don’t end up being your photographer, make ABSOLUTELY SURE your photographer offers this strong of a guarantee. If they are good, they should back up their work by taking all the risk off of you.

#2 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception:
“All Family Portraits Are Created Equal.”

INCORRECT.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  If you’re at all like most people, you’ve probably had this question going through your mind:  “How do I choose the right photographer?” In fact, you may even have thought of someone in your family – an uncle, a grandparent, even a friend – who is a bit of an amateur photographer.  Why not just have those people create the photograph of your family?

Question:  “Just Suppose Someone Were To Create The Perfect Family Portrait – One Where You And Your Loved Ones Looked Better Than Ever, Happier Than Ever – A Portrait That Meant The World To You – What Would That Be Worth?”

No price tag can be put on your family’s memories. They are and always will be priceless.  So, why would you ever want to gamble with those memories?  It’s just a question of whether you believe a portrait of your family could really mean that much to you.

If you were sick, and had to go to a doctor, would you want the “cheapest” doctor, or the best one?  You probably own a pair of scissors right? But when it comes down to it, we want someone cutting our hair that has the knowledge and will make us look great. It’s the same thing with your family’s memories.  You can certainly find a cheaper photographer in town.  But there are other things to consider than just price…

The Photographer You Choose Should Care About YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR MEMORIES, Not Just About “Making A Buck” Off You.

I pride myself on becoming a family friend of every family I photograph.  I’ve even had some clients invite me to their houses for holiday parties and such. You see, I didn’t get into photography to get rich.  I managed a large department store and while I learned tons about customer service and how to gain and keep satisfied customers. I CHOSE to become a professional family photographer because this is my love.  Why did I make that career choice? Because I finally realized that all the money in the world meant nothing to me if I didn’t feel like I was making a difference.

I Realized That Memories Were Priceless – That There Was No More Noble Or Wonderful Profession Than To Become A “Memory Giver.”

I didn’t become a photographer because I liked to take pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the “art” of photography, but that’s NOT the reason I first picked up a camera.

I lost my father at an early age, then a brother and a sister. I started to realize life can be short but loved ones and memories live on in portraits. Early in my career, I created portraits of my family members together when ever possible. I cherish those photographs – they mean the world to me.

I’ve never had portraits of myself that I loved-but I do now! Wonderful portraits! Will be back for more! I would recommend Lightdances to anyone! Very Artistic.  I am very happy and would recommend Dirk to everyone I know. Ashley & Shagay Gregory

When I look at my portraits of family members who have passed away, I realize photography is priceless.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like not to have portraits in my home which  I look at it every single day – they are among my most prized possessions.

I Only Wish I Had A Photograph Of All Of Us Together.  That Would Be One Of The Most Priceless Things I Own.

Time is the one thing that none of us have enough of.  It’s the one thing that money can’t buy.  It’s the one thing that we all would give just about anything for.  Through photography, we can hold on to the moments in our lives that we wish could last forever.  And, if it’s done correctly, these same photographs can become almost like works of art that we display in our homes for everyone to see and share.

Don’t Make The Decision As To Who Will Photograph Your Family Until You Chat With Me. There Are Things You’ll Want To Ask The Photographers…

  There’s no cost, and no obligation to just chat with me, and it will make the whole difference as to how great your portraits will look.  Simply call me by phone at 208.371.7701, just to chat.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to try to “sell you” on working with me. I’m already very busy, and I don’t need to pressure anyone to work with me as a photographer. I’ll just talk to you about your portraits, and help you discover what your photographs could be like.

If you decide to have me create your portraits – great.  If not, no problem.

#3 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception:
“Family Portraits Have To Be Created In A Professional Studio – And They Have To Look Boring.”

If you’re like most people, when you think of a PROFESSIONAL family portrait, you think of all of you gathered in front of a “painted background” in a photography studio, posed unnaturally, and all saying “cheese” as the photographer snaps the picture.  Now, is that something any family will cherish for a lifetime?  maybe, but there are otheroptions to consider to capture your family relationships – your family’s love.

Picture instead: All of you gathered in your favorite room in your home.  Or outside on the new deck you just had built.  Or in your backyard by the Oak trees that give your yard so much character.  All of you are dressed in clothes the photographer helped you choose – clothing that conveys your individual personalities, but still looks great together.

If you wish to do your portrait session in our studio our newly designed studio is one of the most comfortable studios in the state of Idaho. We are blessed to have a great location with on site hair and makeup artists in a suite that is designed more like a home than a business. You will love the difference this makes. We don’t ever rush you in and out. This truely is VIP treatment.

Well, that’s what makes all the difference, and that’s what I will do for you.

And This is SO Important:  All Of You Feel Totally Comfortable In Front Of The Camera!

Do you know ANYONE who feels totally comfortable in front of a camera?  I’ll bet you don’t. I don’t. Nearly everyone I’ve ever met tells me the same thing: “I never look natural in pictures.”  The last thing you want is a photograph where you or your family members have that fake “posed” look on your face.

That’s why it’s so important that you feel very natural and comfortable with your photographer.  Just think of how great your family would look if your best friend was creating the photograph.  They would all look so happy and natural! I take pride in developing very close relationships with all my clients, and their entire family.

Plus, I understand the “psychology” of photography.  Learning the technical aspects – what lenses to use, what lighting looks best, how clothing adds and subtracts weight in a portrait – all of those things were only the tip of the iceberg.  Without being able to make each and every one of your family members look and feel comfortable (and natural) in a portrait, all those technical things would amount to nothing.

You’ll NEVER hear me utter the words “say cheese.”

That’s a surefire way of getting expressions that look totally fake and unnatural. No – a great photographer knows that, in order to get a great expression from a subject, you need to get to know that subject a bit – to know what will make them smile naturally.  That’s what I do, and I love it!  I will get to know your whole family so well, and they will feel so comfortable with me, that their expressions will be perfect every time.

#4 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception:
“There’s No One To Help Me Make Choices About Clothing, Hair, Makeup, Location, etc…”

Okay, normally you would be right thinking that. However, I pride myself in being different. I’m going to help you with all of those things, WHETHER I’M YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER OR NOT!

My Years Of Experience Photographing Families – Yours FREE – Without Any Obligation.

Okay, by now you are probably considering having a family portrait created. You may even be considering choosing me as your photographer – but I don’t want you to make that decision just yet.

No matter who creates your photographs for you, you will need to make some decisions. What clothing should your family wear? Where should this photograph be created? How heavy should the makeup be on the ladies in the photograph? There are a number of things to think about, and I will walk you through all of them personally.


Pick up the phone, and call my studio 208-371-7701.

Even if it’s after business hours, still call right now. I’ve got an answering machine that is just waiting to cheerfully take your message, and I’ll personally call you back so we can chat.  Just let me know when is a good time to call you back. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to “pressure” you at all into working with me.  Plus, there’s no cost at all for us just to chat.

When you call, we’ll chat briefly about the things you need to know. I’ll tell you a bit about me. I’ll answer all your questions about how to prepare for a family portrait. It won’t be a long call, but it will be one of the most important calls you make.

#5 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception:
“There’s No Rush To Have A Family Portrait Created Right Now.”

You know how things are. If you don’t pick up the phone right now, and at least call me to chat about your family portrait, you will probably get swamped with other things, and forget all about it.  Then, before you know it, a year – two years – five years have gone by. How different will your family be then?

You see, time is ticking…. and it’s never going to stop.

First, Your Child Takes His or Her First Step. Next, Learns To Ride A Bike. Later, Gets A Driver’s License.  Graduates From High School. Gets Married.  Starts A Family Of His or Her Own.

These are precious times, and although things will change, this moment never has to slip from your fingers.

Don’t put this off.  You know how life is. We put things off, and before we know it, everything has changed.  If your life is half as crazy as mine is, year after year you find yourself frustrated at the things you wanted to do, and never got done.  A family portrait is something you deserve.

Plus, You Will Save 50% By Acting Right Now!

Just suppose you call my studio and chat with me.  Just suppose you decide you would like me to be your photographer.  As long as you are one of the first 9 PEOPLE each month to call me (for your FREE chat), I will send you a 50% OFF certificate in the mail that will allow you to deduct 50% off the creation of your family portrait!

What does that mean? All you do is call me to chat. I’ll answer all your questions about family photography. I’ll send you your 50% off certificate. If you decide to have your family portrait created by me, you may use this certificate to save 50% off the creation of your images!  It’s that simple!

“A Family Story – How A Husband’s Love For His devoted wife lives on a through her portrait…”

A while back, I was visiting the home someone very close to me with whom I had done a portrait session several years ago. He took me into his family room and showed me the portrait of his wife on the wall and said “Dirk I want to say thank you so, so much for this portrait” “I look at it every day and it reconnects me to my beautiful wife that passed away 9 years ago”.

Life is so terribly short. But, at the same time, life is such a wonderful gift.  And the memories we keep of these moments with our family will last forever.

Why Your Family Portrait Will Become More Valuable To You Than Anything Else In Your Home:

Do you have a photograph of your family that, if you were running from your burning home, would be the one thing you save (other than your family members, of course) on the way out?

Now, I’m not talking about a “snapshot” that was taken during a family outing on the Fourth Of July.  I’m talking about a wonderful photograph, created by a professional photographer, that not only captures your family’s true bonds and relationships, but also does so in a way that you’d be proud to display openly in your home for the rest of your life.

It’s Not Too Late. This Moment, Right Now, Can Be Held Onto For The Rest Of Your Life – For You To Share With Family And Friends.

You don’t have to make a big decision right now. You don’t have to choose your photographer – you don’t even have to decide that now is the time for your family portrait. Just take one small step toward holding onto your family’s happiest moments RIGHT NOW.

Just Call My Studio, And We’ll Chat. And, Remember, If You Decide You Want Me To Create Your Family Portrait, Save 50% Off Its Creation.  It’s All Up To You

Once again, call me now at my studio number 208-371-7701, and you can call any time. If I don’t answer, just leave your name and number at the beep, and I’ll call you back. If you’re thinking of this family photograph as a GIFT FOR SOMEONE, let me know, so when I call back, I only ask for you, and don’t spoil the surprise!

The Perfect Family Portrait Is Only One Phone Call Away…

Make the call now. It will be a call you will be glad you made for the rest of your life. I look forward to hearing from you.


A. Dirk Dabel

P.S. – Remember, call me just to chat, and if you’re one of the first 9 people each month to do so, I will send you a certificate for 50% off the creation of your family portraits! There’s no cost, and no obligation for this chat.