The Business Headshot – Be Ready with Three Looks – Dan Busler Photography

Today everyone searches the net for everything they want; A restaurant, a movie, a car … their plumber, lawyer, real estate agent .. virtually everything and everyone.

And they’ll often choose the restaurant based on the pictures they see of the building, neighborhood and  menu .. and this is before they look at the prices. The same often goes for their financial planner as well. Does this person look trustworthy, approachable and confident ?

Sometimes – You’re just a can of peas :   You’re in the supermarket and you need a can of peas, but you don’t know any of the brands they sell, you look at the labels and choose by the picture (or the price).  You have never tasted the peas in the can you’ve chosen, but you still buy a can on the strength of the beautiful, perfectly lit, wonderful healthy green color of those peas on the label. And they may end up being the best darned peas that have ever grown or not.

And that is the position that your potential clients are in when they are surfing the net looking for someone who does what you do. So the headshot you post needs to get you the type of clients you want ..  your target audience.

But “I’m not a can of peas” you say. Yes that’s true,  they can’t taste the peas before buying them, but they can talk to you to to ask questions regarding your pricing, background and references. They key is to get them to call you and not the other person.

“Serving Suggestions” :  Back to our peas. Peas are a side dish, but when the vendor is smart they put a serving suggestion on the back of the can; add chicken, noodles and a cream soup and you have a casserole. Not just a side dish – these are Multi purpose peas. So you buy two cans of peas.

And  that brings me to why I suggest at least three looks for my executive headshot clients; formal, welcoming and casual.

AlanHesseTrpPose

The business headshot (not to be confused with the business portrait) is often a formal professional pose (possibly a serious expression) appropriate for the staff page of the website. It is the first or main image that you want your clients to see.

“Do you have anything else?”  also know as “Serving Suggestions”

But there will be times when the “buttoned up” look may not be appropriate. When it might look too formal for the content of the page. This might be a professional blog page, or your professional social media pages. Here you may want a welcoming look; a smile or working at your desk or standing in your warehouse or beside your truck.

And then there is the poster image for a “business casual” speaking engagement, or when your hosting a golf tournament or for a newspaper article about the charity work your firm is doing. Here you may be in a polo shirt or laughing or standing in a park.

SteveRaiaTrpPose

If you don’t have these professionally photographed additional images available they may take a phone picture of you and use that.  As a professional you need to have these images ready to offer and control the images of you that are used to represent your business.

ToddChipTrpPoseJacqTayTrpPose

Potential clients are searching for you. Let’s give them images that stop them when they see yours.

 

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

 

The Boston Marathon – It’s So Much More than a Race – Video

For the past few years I’ve had the honor to photograph the Boston Marathon for Travis Roy Foundation. Each year dedicated supporters of the foundation run the 26 mile 385 yard course and I am there to get some images of them as they pass the 25 mile point where Travis waits on the sideline to greet them, cheer them on and inspire them.

This year marked the 120th Boston Marathon.  By the time I started photographing the race, the elite runners had already passed and had won the race hours before. As exciting as seeing those first runners pass is, I find the next wave of runners to be more exciting.

Yes, it’s their costumes or banners or the fact that they are not running to be the fastest that makes them most interesting to me. They run up the sidelines and slap hands with the cheering crowds, some cry when they see family and friends because they are of course so happy to see them, but also because they are proud of their achievement. Often they are running in support of a charity or a cause.

And then there are the iconic runners, they are survivors of the marathon bombing or in wheelchairs or now older, they have run the marathon for many years.

26.2 miles is a test of endurance, a show of support for a charity, a chance to experience a legendary event. It is much more than a race.

I shot hundreds of images of the runners, here are just a few.

TravisMara041816-7348

TravisMara041816-7295-Edit

TravisMara041816-7224

TravisMara041816-7519

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

The First Look – Must it be at the Alter ?

Weddings are all about tradition. The white dress, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. And never may the bride and groom see each other before the wedding.

In some cultures it is traditional for the bride and groom to not even meet .. at all before they meet at the alter.

Like this case;  I recently photographed a man from India (here at my studio near Boston MA) who was looking for a wife. The process as he explained it was much like the dating sites we have here in the states. He puts his pictures (and family background, work and financial information) on a site and the Parents (of his potential bride) look through this site for the perfect man for their Daughter to marry.   I’m guessing that the girls are also looking through the site and bookmarking their favorites. Easing the tradition a bit!

I agree that  waiting until that magical moment when the doors to the church open, a beautiful angelic glow washes over the bride as she walks down the aisle .. seeing the eyes of her groom fill with tears of love and joy as he first sees his bride in that wedding dress does produce some pretty darned epic images.

But to be candid,  it is at that moment when for the couple their love and commitment becomes real. And what they’d like to say to each other , at that moment, a milestone in their lives together which will never – ever be experienced again can’t be said because  they are standing in front of family, friends, co-workers, the clergy and some guy they hired to sing an aria.

It’s still epic, don’t get me wrong.

JessJarKel-9616

I always propose an alternative. When the couple meet some where secluded,  15 minutes before the ceremony begins for a “first look” . The bride walks up behind the groom, taps him on the shoulder, he turns and sees his bride for the first time in her dress, her perfect makeup and hair and she sees her groom. They share a moment, a dance, a laugh, a kiss, quiet conversation. All the things that most won’t do standing at the alter in front of the masses. It is epic and it is magical every time.

allieMike102315-4468allieMike102315-4473allieMike102315-4476allieMike102315-4480allieMike102315-4485allieMike102315-4488allieMike102315-4489allieMike102315-4492

Does a first look ruin everything? The beautiful scene as the doors to the church open and that angel walks down the aisle?  The tears of joy in the eyes of the bride, her Dad, their family and friends  and in the groom ? The beautiful moment when the Dad presents his Daughter to the groom ? The moment when the bride and groom hold hands at the alter ? Not as far I’ve seen – I believe that it makes the ceremony better, But that’s just me.

It is key that the first look be known to very few people … it’s just the bride, the groom and their photographer … with a zoom lens. You see, my job is to capture the moments which can never be recreated, never repeated so that my clients can have them to enjoy for generations to come.

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

Is it Procrastination or Just Good Planning ? Dan Busler Photography – Video

I’ve been planning to write this post on procrastination for some time now, but I kept putting it off. But something always caught my attention on my way to write it and I just ended up doing that other thing instead. 

I was born in mid-March, smack dab between the Ides of March and St Patrick’s Day, so I am a Pisces. They (meaning Google) say that I’m a dreamer … (but I’m not the only one),  easily distracted, live in a fantasy land, I’m totally scattered,  and I won’t face reality. Many who know me are nodding “yes” as they read this. My family loves me for who I am .. well, I think that they do anyway. And my fellow  Pisces are agreeing .. “yea, that’s me”.

Does this make us procrastinators?   Well we certainly appear that way. Maybe we’re just good planners … always sitting and thinking ( aka “daydreaming”) .. looking at it from all angles, weighing the options, summing up our findings and preparing to move forward with the best course of action ….

OK, yea, we’re procrastinators.

So this brings me to the Procrastinator Fix … lists .  If I don’t have a list, nothing gets done.  And I don’t mean a “to do list” , that’s for normal people , this has got to be a running list of all the things that I see that need to be done.

Here’s how it works – each morning  you’d write down what you want to get done that  day, number them in order of importance and then you can get out of bed. ( this is the normal part .. like a normal person would do).  Then as the Pisces mind starts to run you see a million other things that you see that have to do right that second.

Well, unless it’s pick up a sock and put it in the hamper, put all these random tasks  you’ve just thought up on the list and start as you had planned on the most important task .. the one that you marked as number one .. before you got out of bed.  Sure you can re-number your tasks to include these new tasks, but don’t just do them as you think of them. … Because you might just be .. Procrastinating. Or attention .. challenged. It’s probably a little of both.

I plan on taking my own advice, one day, if I could only stop putting it off.

Dan Busler is a professional photographer specializing on portrait, performance and event photography and camera basics instructor with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. Examples of his work can be seen at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

 

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

Dragging Your Flash Can Be Enlighting !

The light from your camera’s flash travels a further than you might think. So why is the background pitch black in some of your photos and nicely lit in other photos that you photograph?

Now before we go any further, I am referring to photographing in an environment where the background is not brightly lit by the sun or room lights, but there is still some sort of lighting (sunset, buildings, table lights) . So think of when you photograph indoors at a church or party or when outside at dusk and you want to have some of the room or background behind your subject lit. 

First let’s look at two things:

  • What controls the light on your subject ?
  • What controls the light behind your subject ?

It is after all the same light from your flash – but it’s two different settings in your camera which controls it.

For those of you who use the automatic setting on your camera you are basically letting the camera make all the decisions for you regarding how the subject and background will be lit.

If you want to better control this there are three main setting that you can make

  • Aperture – this is how much the shutter opens
  • Shutter Speed – this is how long the shutter is open
  • ISO  – this is the speed of the film (although in a digital camera it controls how sensitive the camera’s digital sensor is to light.

A light meter is a device you see the  photographer hold in front of the subject and then test the flash. The meter tells the photographer approximately how to set their camera for a correct exposure.

OK, so let’s say that the meter  says that the light on the subject is perfect at ISO 100, 100/sec (shutter speed) and F8.  You set your camera to those settings and take the shot. The subject looks great, but the background is pitch black.

The technique to allow you to extend how much of the background is lit is called “dragging the shutter”.  It simply means setting the shutter speed to a slower speed (try 50/sec) , allowing the shutter to stay open longer and the camera’s sensor sees more of what is behind your subject.

Aperture controls the light on your subject and shutter speed controls the light seen behind the subject. So we didn’t change the aperture, we changed the shutter speed.

But you don’t have a flash meter !  OK, you’ll have to do a bit of trial and error. Give this  a try. Set the aperture to f8 and 100/sec and take a flash picture. If the subject looks great you now know the correct aperture setting.  If the subject is too bright just change the aperture to a larger number .. like F11 and take another picture.

The next step is to set the shutter speed so that the background is lit the way you want it.  If it’s too dark at 100/sec, go to a smaller number like 50/sec More of the background will be lit because the lens is open longer and it’s “seeing” a bit of the ambient light (filtered sunlight, table lights) . To make the background darker do the opposite and set the shutter speed to 200/sec and like magic the background will be darker.

So let’s start you with lighting the subject and a bit of what’s behind them by dragging the shutter .. OK?  You do that and your photography will be take a huge leap. OH YEA!

Here are some examples of dragging the shutter – in every picture the aperture is F5 – which correctly lit the subject (the sign).

WalDrag030716-2573

This shot was done at an aperture of F5 and a shutter speed of 200/second – the background is almost black ( and and when I shot this there was filtered sunlight on the background)

WalDrag030716-2574

This shot was done at an aperture of F5 and a shutter speed of 100/second – Half the shutter speed of the picture above – The background is a tiny bit brighter , but still too dark

WalDrag030716-2575

This shot was done at an aperture of F5 and a shutter speed of 50/second – This is half the shutter speed of the picture above – but remember, the aperture has remained F5. The background is even brighter

WalDrag030716-2576

This shot was done at an aperture of F5 and a shutter speed of 25/second – the background is very bright, but because of this slow shutter speed it is best to use a tripod.

 

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. He also offers camera instruction for the new DSLR user. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

 

Adams Farm – Walpole MA – Dan Busler Photography -Video

Adams Farm is a well known area in my town just south of Boston MA where families, kids and (leashed) dogs can run,  play, hike, cross country ski and explore. It’s full of wide open fields and well laid out paths through beautiful woods.

Here’s an overview from the Adams Farm website:

“The Adams Farm property includes approximately 365 acres of town-owned land, additional acreage held in adjacent land conservation trusts, and land owned by the New England Forestry Foundation and the Norfolk County Agricultural School, for a total of over 700 acres open to the public for low-impact recreation”

There is a butterfly garden with a special section along the back fence devoted to milkweed to provide a habitat for monarch butterflies. Although I was there in March 2016 .. so everything was kind of brown 

But soon the grass will sprout and the birds will be singing and the butterflies will be .. doing what they do.

If you want a peaceful place – this is it.

 

AdamsF030616-2437

Families walk the fields and paths at Adams Farm

AdamsF030616-2482

The paths into the woods are clearly marked and so peaceful

AdamsF030616-2524

The bench at the far side of the field

AdamsF030616-2527

The plaque on the bench

AdamsF030616-2483

The view from the bench

AdamsF030616-2541-Edit

The signs are right to the point – if the dog poops .. you have to clean it up ! HA!

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

What story do your pictures tell?

Every vacation, school concert, awards ceremony , religious  event or family get together … we take pictures. Sometimes they’re funny or blurry or maybe they’re incredibly solemn. But everyone of them may one day be priceless.

The subject of these pictures are of course … the people in them. Actually it might be your cat or car or cow .. but they’re the subjects of the picture.

One way to improve these images is to include the environment. You’re at the fair, show the ferris wheel in the background, at the Grand Canyon or in Paris step back / zoom out  and show the place. It adds to the story that your pictures tell. You were there, you experienced it and you captured a picture of how cool it was.

StefColl081615-8190

The engagement session – after the proposal

But then there are times when you can add some interest or value by including a sign or something that helps explain the picture.

Your spouse or child is speaking or performing  at an event – show the crowd, signage, the massive room. If we only get that close up shot we soon forget how epic the night was.

Choir 2

 

And then there’s theater – the sets, the signage, the costumes and the performance.

Zooming out allows us to see complimentary staging and props that add to the picture of the actor(s).

NorHiPara022116-1866NorHiPara022116-1805

Of course we all zoom in for that portrait, but there is more to the picture that you may also want to capture.

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com