Deb and Mark – Their 40th Wedding Anniversary – Video

Each wedding anniversary is a milestone and a time to be celebrated.

For the life you’ve built as a couple, for the life challenges you’ve  endured as a couple and for the love you have for each other.

I met Deb at a business networking event. We started talking about the surprise party she was planning to celebrate the 40th wedding to the man who is her rock . This was going to be a cocktail party with the ladies in beautiful dresses, men in tuxedos and classic entertainment.

And I knew that Deb was going to pull it off.

Deb is the most alive person you will ever meet. With a smile that literally lights up the room. Mark is quieter and smiles broadly when he sees friends or Deb, the love of his life.

So what makes this event so special?

To be candid, all couples have their story. The life story that they have written together. With the high points, the low points and the moments that test everything.

I don’t know Deb and Mark’s whole story, just a small piece.

Both of their Sons have disabilities that require 24 hour care. So Deb and Mark haven’t taken extended vacations separately or together, ever.

This event was a tribute and a celebration of their relationship, the friends who they have relied on and the caregivers who have been with them for many years.

Here’s just a peek at the party. The entrance of the bride and (surprised ) groom, the embraces, the decorations and the pure joy on everyone’s faces as they all celebrated with Deb and Mark.

VIDEO – Deb and Mark’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

Elizabeth’s Senior Session and her Smiling Eyes

Every person I photograph has a defining look and it’s typically centered on their eyes.

It’s true what Shakespeare once wrote “Your eyes are the window to your soul ”

Now this doesn’t mean that wide eyes or small eyes or blue eyes (or what ever) really show much of anything about someone. It is what we see when we look into one’s eyes .

Happy, smiling eyes. Amazed, surprised eyes. Sad, quiet eyes. Caring, nurturing eyes. These are the emotions we see, we feel and experience when we look into someones eyes .

A photograph captures a moment and holds it there for us to see and enjoy, now and for generations to come. So it’s important that we choose the image to print which  conveys that emotion that was felt when it was taken.

Elizabeth is a 2017 senior. Her eyes smiled in every image I took during her senior portrait session. I’m looking forward to seeing the prints from the day and hearing how they brighten the mood in the room where they are hung.

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The Annual Holiday Family Photo with a new twist

As a professional photographer there are certain times of the year;  the holiday season being one of them.

It really is that most wonderful time of the year when we bring everyone together to share the love and friendship of the holiday season and take the annual Family Portrait.

This year we see a new trend; the Family (selfie) portrait. Now everybody say CHEESE ! You guys look Fabulous !

Het, if they won’t look at me, I’ll still get the shot. HA!

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Black Friday Weekend 2016 Gift Certificate Sale

This Black Friday through Cyber Monday ( November 25 – 28, 2016) we’re offering Gift Certificates for sessions and prints with savings up to 35 % off. 

A Gift Certificate to Dan Busler Photography in Walpole MA is the perfect gift for yourself, family or friends, a housewarming gift, or just for fun.

Just enter the correct coupon code when prompted during checkout to receive your discount:

$ 50.00 to $ 299.00     danholiday20  for 20% off 
$ 300.00 to $ 499.00   danholiday25  for 25% off
$ 500.00 to $ 799.00   danholiday30  for 30% off
$ 800.00 +                       danholiday35  for 35% off 

These certificates can be used toward sessions and prints. Certain restrictions apply and the certificates expire . Please call 781-352-4863 prior to placing your order with any questions.

CLICK HERE TO PLACE YOUR ORDER

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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).

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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

The Walk Down the Aisle – With Your Dad

If you’re in the planning phase for your Wedding Day you’re thinking about the venue, flowers, photography, music, food, transportation and it’s totally overwhelming isn’t it ?

That day will be one of the biggest milestones of your life when you look back. And it might also be a blur of tightly scheduled “get dressed at this time”, “be here at this time” , “cut the cake now” and then someone says “We’d like to thank you all for coming … let’s have another round of applause for the new Mr & Mrs …” and you look around and wonder what you missed in all the chaos.

After photographing so many wedding days the one thing I see that seems to get lost in the chaos is Father – Daughter time [or just insert the person here who’s been your rock] .  The one time you’re truly alone with your Dad on your Wedding Day is when you’re standing together at the venue waiting for the doors to open and walking down the aisle.

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As the doors open you see the church, all those friends and family, it is a magical moment which unfolds and develops and grows as you walk down the aisle. At first Dad is smiling and being strong. You’re holding on to him. And then you both realize how momentous this walk really is. You hold each other closer; tears of joy and pride and happiness well in your eyes as you walk slowly together. You remember all those days growing up and the times you’ve leaned on him, relied on him. And I’m doing my best to capture these moments which will never be repeated as I tear up.

So as a Dad who has walked his own Daughter down the aisle … and who doesn’t remember a single step of that walk, I’d like to suggest that you also add some time to that crazy busy wedding day planning schedule to hang out alone with your Dad the night before the wedding and not try to squeeze it in that morning .. when bridesmaids and florists and photographers and wedding planners all want your attention.

That way  you can both privately share with each other how happy you are that this day has come and also spend a moment remembering your lives together and not have to do it as you’re walking down the aisle. But bring a whole box of tissues …

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The Groom – smiling at the sight of his Bride

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The hand off – Both Dad and Groom smile as it all becomes real

 

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

Bokeh – It’s all a Blur to me

Focusing on the subject is typically what we do to create a nice photograph. But by doing something very simple we can have only the subject in tack sharp focus and the background a “creamy .. dreamy” out of focus. This is called bokeh – which is the Japanese word for blur.

Bokeh is the amount of what’s in focus behind the subject. It’s directly related to depth of focus (DOF) which is what’s in focus both in front of and behind the subject. . With a shallow DOF you can have the subject’s eye in focus – but not their ear, with a deep DOF you can have 200 people in a group photo (basically) in focus.

But I’m focusing on how you can achieve a portrait which is more pleasing because you’ve focused on the subject(s) and blurred the background using a simple camera setting.

In almost every case the amount of bokeh you achieve is controlled by the aperture setting on your camera.  Aperture is how far the lens opens when you push the shutter.

The larger the aperture number you choose the less light enters through the lens. This results in a deep DOF and and less bokeh.  Which means that the smaller the aperture number you choose the more light will enter through the lens, the DOF is shallower and that creamy … dreamy blurred background is achieved.

The easiest way to get a nice bokeh is to set your camera’s aperture to the smallest number it will allow ( it will typically be something like F4 or F2.8). But you’re going to have to take the leap and photograph in either manual (the letter M on the camera’s dial) or aperture priority mode ( the letter A or AV on the camera’s dial). If your camera doesn’t have a dial, just look for these settings in the camera’s menu.

OK, so let’s say that the smallest aperture your camera will allow is F4, or maybe you have a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera with removable lenses and you have a lens with a F1.2 lowest aperture … pop quiz !  Which aperture will give you the best bokeh?

Here’s two scenarios – you’re photographing one person and you’re photographing nine people (three people in three rows) – but you want a pleasing bokeh in both pictures.  The aperture setting you choose is going to be based first on how deep the subject is (DOF) and then on achieving the best bokeh possible. (subject in focus is the first priority).

The one person portrait is easy. Set the camera to the smallest aperture setting and that will help you determine the required shutter speed and ISO you need to get a correctly exposed picture. ( See my post on “The Exposure Triangle” if you want a description of how to do this  https://danbusler.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/the-exposure-triangle/ )

The nine person group in three rows is a bit different. The group will be about 3 feet deep, so the DOF needs to be at least three feet.  F8 is a great starting point for this group photo. Just remember to always focus on the center point of what you want to be in focus – in this case it will be the center row of people. Take the shot and see if everyone in the group is focus, is the background blurry? If not try a smaller aperture number or  move back (increase the distance between you and the subject) and zoom in a bit.

Here are some examples of how using a large aperture ( like F32) increases DOF and how using a smaller aperture (like F2.8) produces a shallower DOF and better bokeh

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 70mm at F32 and focusing on the number 1. All the numbers are in focus, including the fence in the background. No bokeh here.

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens zoomed in to 200mm at F32 and focusing on the number 1. Just zooming in has added a little bokeh to the other numbers.

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 70mm at F32 and focusing on the number 2. ( Focusing on the middle row) Everything looks basically in focus, including the fence in the background

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 200mm at F32 and focusing on the number 2. Everything is basically in focus, but the other numbers are a little blurry, so there a little bokeh

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 70mm at F2.8 and focusing on the number 2. You can see that the other two signs are a bit out of focus. But were not zoomed in, so more of the  scene appears to be in focus

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 200mm at F2.8 and focusing on the number 2. Only the subject is in focus and there is a good bokeh. This shows how DOF is how much of what’s in front of and what’s behind the subject is in focus.

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 70mm at F2.8 and focusing on the number 1. Only the subject is in focus, the fence is a bit blurred. But this is not great bokeh.

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Canon 70-200mm zoom lens set to 200mm at F2.8 and focusing on the number 1. Only the subject is in focus and there is a great bokeh. This would be a close up single person portrait setting

Note: If I had used a lens with a F1.2 aperture the bokeh would have been even better.

 

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