Instagram Influencer Spotlight On: Danna Peña @dannapena

1) Tell us a little about yourself. What are you doing now and where do you come from?

I’m named after the late Princess Diana (bless her), but I go by my nickname Danna (which oddly means ‘husband’ in Japanese). Born, raised and based in sunny Manila, I’m a freelance writer who runs a travel blog on the side. I worked in corporate for two fruitful years but decided to give freelancing a shot since I figured it would suit the lifestyle I’ve been wanting to live: flexible, laid-back and nomadic. I’ve been freelancing full-time for almost a year now and I’ve been loving it.

2) What are your topics of interest? What do you post on Instagram the most?

Ask me three things I see myself doing for my entire life and it would be to write, take photos and travel. I always immerse myself in literature, films and music. With the media I consume, I’m inclined to psychology-related themes. Visit my Instagram and you’ll find mostly travel photos with some portraits here and there. I love nature – beaches, mountains, waterfalls, caves – and it definitely shows on my feed. Most of my photos were taken during my travels around the Philippines, too.

3) How did your Instagram name come about?

I’m not one to make puns or something witty out of my name and use these as usernames. It’s just @dannapena straight up, but of course, lacking the ‘ñ’ because life is hard like that. You would not believe all the possible real life troubles that arise from having an ‘ñ’ in your surname, let me tell you!

4) What are some apps you use to edit your photos? Share with us your photo-editing routine!

I use VSCO and/or Adobe Lightroom. I experiment with both apps but lately I’ve been finding that I can’t seem to get the colors I want with just one app. It tempts me to create my own Lightroom presets and maybe some time in the future, I’d probably have my own! We’ll see.

5) Any Instagrammers whom you really like? Which Instagrammer inspires you the most?

I love @somewheremag for curating a feed of delicious colors with a somewhat dark and brooding atmosphere. They post a nice mix of travel, landscape, portrait and urban shots. For travel photography, I love @reneeroaming’s work. Style-wise, I like @matildadjerf and @jeannedamas. For movie stills and pop culture references, @wrong__generation and @eyesneverliechico. Oh, and I love seeing updates from @little_wifey who is an amazing collage artist.

6) If there’s one thing your fellow Instagrammers just gotta try now, what’s it gonna be?

To not constantly check who likes your photos.

7) What’s your favorite part about being an influencer?

I guess connecting with like-minded people and being able to share what I love in hopes of my viewers getting something fruitful or positive out of it.

8) What are some of your top tips to brands for running campaigns? How do you maintain authenticity?

Many influencers are pressured to conform to certain aesthetics, trends and types of posts just to score more brands. In some cases, this makes the quality of the influencer’s posts suffer. People nowadays are enlightened enough to be able tell whether or not an influencer is being authentic to his or her own voice. So to brands, it’s all about making sure the influencer is a perfect fit for what they stand for. Integrity-wise, it’s better to collaborate with an influencer who will really buy your product rather than an influencer who says yes to just about every brand offer they get. People are more aware now and would rather listen to an influencer who truly believes in the brands they work with.

9) What would your advice be on the importance of quality and original content?

Never think that the number of likes and followers you have are directly proportionate to the quality of your content. Unfortunately, there is a lot of quality content out there that goes unnoticed – factors such as network and timing affect this. It’s just the way it works. Your main focus should be doing what you love to do and being satisfied with the type of content you put out there. As for originality, I do believe in experimentation and learning from other people’s styles, so I’m not very anal about it in its purest sense. By all means, experiment, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to create something that speaks out to you.

10) What do you like best about partnering with brands?

To me, partnering with brands is all about showing my friends and followers great products that can potentially benefit their lives, too.


  • Art
  • Film, Music & Books
  • Nature & Outdoors
  • Photography
  • Travel



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