Debbie Daanen | Bio
Debbie Daanen is a Professional Photographer in Appleton Wisconsin who specializes in children's portraits, senior portraits, family portraits and more.
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A Bit About Us

Debbie Daanen Photography is a local, well established studio, located on Northland Avenue, Appleton. Our studio was established over 40 years ago and our talent pool is second to none. We are a high end studio that combines both classic and contemporary styles of photography to create striking classic images with a hint of photo-journalistic flare.

With our full time photographer, Ashley Schmit and part-time help from Stacey Hill-Foy (and the occasional assistance from our very own, recently retired, Debbie Daanen), we are able to combine a variety of photographic perspectives to ensure a variety of images in a timely fashion. We take pride in our professional and exquisite customer service. We focus on one-on-one personal attention with each client’s wants and needs and guarantee your satisfaction with our services and products. With, Laurie Thern, our in-house professional photo retoucher, your artwork is guaranteed to look beautiful.  and  We use a professional portrait processing lab and stand behind the quality of our prints.

Photography is our passion and we truly believe that your final portraits will not only be treasured memories, but lasting works of art. We are always open to your ideas and would love to answer any questions you might have. With both girls having had work published, both here and abroad, we have lots of stories to share! Contact the studio to set up a consultation visit with us, or cyber stalk us on social media to get to know us better…we look forward to creating with you!

Owner / Photographer / Artist ~ Visual Storyteller
Ashley Schmit

ASHLEY SCHMIT ~ Owner / Photographer / Graphic Artist
Ashley Schmit, after graduating from UW-Whitewater in 2006, with a degree in photojournalism, is our primary full-time photographer and Debbie's partner in the business for over 20 years. Living in Appleton, with her cat, Bindi, Ashley enjoys art, music and time with friends and family in her free time. A good concert or outrageous road trip are never too far off in Ashley's weekend plans.

She and Debbie have been working side-by-side ever since Ashley's graduation from Freedom High School in 2002. She had taken ownership in the studio several years ago and the long-time partnership between Debbie and Ashley has made our talent pool unmatched. Handling office tasks and the computer graphics end of the studio, on top of the regular photography work, Ashley is the future of Debbie Daanen Photography and the future is bright. Ashley's unique style is the perfect compliment to Debbie's own unprecedented methods.

Ashley, with her artistic talents, clear eye on trends, and background in journalism, has a definite vision for the studio's future. The dynamic duo of Debbie Daanen and Ashley Schmit, make an excellent team; in and out of the camera room. Working hard to continue to grow the business, we look forward to where the path of the studio will lead.

Staff Photographer
Stacey Hill-Foy

STACEY HILL-FOY ~ Assistant Photographer
Stacey Hill-Foy is our part time help around the studio. You may have seen her behind the front desk and certainly out on the road helping with our school and sports photography division.

Stacey, like Debbie, is a Kaukauna graduate, class of 2004, and has an associates degree in photography from Madison Area Technical College; class of 2007. Since graduation, she has worked in several area studios, including her own photography business. She enjoys the photographic arts, crafts and musicals. Next to photography, dancing is her passion. Performance art pieces, spending time with family and experiencing different cultures through travel are among Stacey's other interests.

Her outgoing personally and love for children complements Ashley perfectly. With Stacey joining 'the team,' Debbie Daanen Photography has once again expanded our talent pool!

The ‘DD Road Crew’!

Shout out to our DDP Road Crew;  Laura, Barb, Amy & Katie, who make up our primary group of helpers for all our large group event shoots.  Thank you ladies for your tireless efforts and allowing us to do our thing!

Graphic Artist
Laurie Thern

LAURIE THERN ~ Image Retoucher / Graphic Artist
Laurie Thern is the magician behind the scenes here at Debbie Daanen Photography. Laurie worked for several years at Rueckl Studio as an image retoucher and office assistant, and when she became available, we scooped her up as one of our own. She has spent her entire career in photographic retouching, beginning her career in the art department of several local photographic processing labs. That means she started her retouching endeavors with a pen and ink and moved into the computer graphics of today. Basically, she is incredibly talented!

Laurie was born and raised in the Fox Valley and like many of us, is proud of her hometown roots. As a proud mother of three and an even prouder grandmother of three, Laurie enjoys her off days spending time with her family. Along with her husband, Brad, she loves to travel, and experience the fun and exciting things that the world has to offer.

With her distinct eye for detail and expertise in photographic color and retouching, Laurie has been a welcome addition to our happy-go-lucky little office!

Debbie Daanen

Recently retired, our namesake, Debbie Daanen has started to enjoy her time off. You'll still find her occasionally hanging out around the studio, as she will continue to assist the studio with the large group contract jobs we have.

With her career beginning over 40 years ago, she has earned her time off. Through the years, she has made a true name for herself, and people have come back to the studio year after year for their annual portraits because they know their finished product will be a true work of art… We are proud to call these people friends. The girl's social calendar is always booked with some event or volunteer opportunity that Debbie and Ashley have found a way to be part of.

As Debbie begins to dabble in leisure, she has been able to do some traveling to some amazing places, as well as a few extended boat trips; both of which are favorite pastimes of our girl, Deb. Most importantly she has earned the respect of her peers and the public for her creativity, customer satisfaction, tireless devotion and work ethic. As Ashley continues on with the studio and keep Debbie's legacy alive, we wish our girl all the best in retirement!