Lifestyle Photography, Show the Love and Keep those Memories Safe

“A Day in the Life” photo session is just that. From the time you get up until you go to bed, your day is filled with life.

And as normal and regular you might think it is, there’s a heck of a lot going on. Then you add other people ( spouse, kids, friends, co-workers) and the stuff you do ( hang out, play, talk, laugh, cry, yell, play in the pool, read the paper … get interrupted, eat, feed the cat, take a walk, look at some flowers and show them to your kids, pick those flowers to bring home to your spouse, see their reaction, get a hug and kiss … you see where this is going, your life is awesome!)


OK, so now you’ve got all these epic “day in the life” pictures of your awesome life what are you going to do with them?

First, realize how nice these captured memories of this epic day will be to look at in a month. Then realize how great they will be to look at in a year and how precious they will be in 10 years ,,, and 30 years when your kids are Grandparents and in 60 years when you are gone. They are no longer nice, or normal or just snapshots, they are so precious that the album they’re in is put carefully in a special box.


I offer “day in the life” sessions and they are truly heartwarming and real and full of all the borning moments that will one day be precious memories.



Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional Portrait, Live Performance and Event photographer with studios located in the historic Hogie Bear Building – East Walpole MA 02032 By the Artist, for the Artist. 781-352-4863

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).


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)


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


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


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


Turning Your Passion into a Profession

What is your passion in life?  What is it that gets you up in the morning – you eat, breathe and sleep it, it’s where your mind goes when ever you daydream?

Is it art, acting, music, poetry, photography or maybe it’s electronics, auto mechanics or culinary or maybe it’s academics; math, science, medicine or history or maybe it’s sports

I’ll just bet that if you think back to when you were just a kid you realize that you were always doing it. Like that first time you stepped on the ice, most of the kids were holding on to a chair to get around but you were like a little bug flying around on your skates. Or you sat down at the piano and you heard the melodies that you could make just by pressing the keys you got lost in the sounds.  Or you took apart everything, just to see how the heck it worked.

It’s always fun to ask someone what they “are” .. “oh, I’m an actor .. but I’m waiting tables until I get my break” .. I’m a mechanic – I built my first car at 14 … but I’m waiting tables until …

And I know that all we see these days are articles about how you should get out of the rat race and follow your passions.  While that may be great you may also have responsibilities like kids and bills and that can have a huge impact on the viability of “passion pursuing”. So we wait until the time is right to “go for it”. And I know that our spouses and kids are our passions as well.

Well, unless someone dumps a load of cash on you, the time may never be right to start your career in fine art or open your own auto repair.  So we wait some more and we hide our passions under a bushel basket.

As a little kid I had three passions: music, photography and marketing (like “sales/marketing/advertising; although at the time I had no idea what that was).  I had a drum at six years old and I played the crap out that drum. I had a cheap film camera and I took a million bad pictures and a few good ones and I was fascinated with commercials.  I knew that I was going to be a musician by the age of six. People would ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up and I’d reply “be a drummer in a rock band” .

But then there’s that responsibility thing. Kids and bills and a car and a house and insurance and  all the rest. And we juggle it all. And we put our passions on hold. I did and I don’t regret it for one moment.

I recently saw a TED talk given by a “buttoned down” executive type on following your passions and the positive impact of doing it can have on your kids.  And I never thought of it that way. I only saw it as putting a burden on your family – you see I was working a 9 to 5 and then playing music with a band four to five nights a week for many years.

The TED talk focused on that moment when your kids come to you and ask for your support as they pursue their passions in life. And they tell you that you gave them the strength to “go for it” because they saw that you did.

Everyone is talking at you ” Go for it”,  or “don’t be a fool … you’ll fail for sure”

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Thomas A. Edison

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”    Thomas A. Edison

Entrepreneurs who are successful appear to have just been born successful, but many have a string of failures behind them. The biggest movie stars will tell you that they went on hundreds of auditions to get “discovered”.

There may never be the right time in life to restart following your passions.  Even though you may never make them your profession, they are what define you.

Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket, let your freak flag fly.


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

Boston Harbor Photography by Walpole MA Wedding Portrait Event Photographer, Dan Busler

I was aboard the Spirit of Boston cruise line recently to photograph an event and noticed a number of small sail boats at just the right angle to the setting sun to make some pretty cool shots.

This was being in the right place, at the right time, and some downtime … and my camera ! 

You .. yes You are Living History

One year ago – on “Marathon Monday” 2013 here in Boston – before we knew anything about the bombings other than they had happened, I wrote about how that day; actually each day of our lives or that matter, something “historic” was happening. Something that we will one day look back upon and think how important that event had become to us. 

It might be the first time your child puts on skates and steps on the ice, or auditions for the school play and gets a part, or tells you that they got into medical school or that they want to move to California after they graduate from college. 

I got a bit of a surprise when a short time after last year’s marathon I received a call from a Canadian TV station to ask if they could use a video and some photographs that I had taken of Martin Richards [one of those who lost their life ] at his First Communion … and I had no idea that I had met and photographed Martin. 

So in honor of Martin and as a reminder to me …Here is that post from last year:


I am writing today’s post on Monday April 15, 2013. It’s “Marathon Monday” here in Boston MA and today bombs exploded at the marathon’s finish line and forever changed history. 

I am guessing that this day will be remembered for as long as there is a Boston Marathon – and whenever people talk about the Marathon they will say, “where were you the day the bombs exploded?”

It’s that moment when we saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964, the news flash that Princess Diana or President Kennedy had been killed or the World Trade Center disaster 

Or maybe it’s the birth of your child, your Son or Daughter hitting a home run or scoring a goal or leaving for college.

During those moments did we sit back and think … “I have just witnessed history” ? 

No, of course not, it didn’t feel like history, it felt like “now”. Well maybe you did, but then you had to deal with the next historical moment in your life. 

Today, as sad as the events (which are still unfolding as I write) are – they will be history. They will change everything – nothing will ever be the same.

I can speak from experience that we need to acknowledge every small miracle in our lives. So jump out of your chair and applaud for every song at your kid’s concert, hug your best friend when you see them, kiss your Son and Daughter good-bye every time they leave the house … even in front of their friends. 

Because one day you will look back … and realize that you are living history and “You” yourself are “living history” as well.  

Dan Busler Phoptography is located just south of Boston in Walpole MA and specializes in portraits, headshot and events    781-352-4863

Boston Theatrical Event Photography by Walpole Theatrical Event Photographer, Dan Busler {EMACT Gala}

EMACT – Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theater recently held their annual a gala at Cary Hall in Lexington MA to recognize and celebrate that Community theater is alive and wonderful in America.

The best shows, actors, producers, lighting designers, and so many other categories were highlighted and received awards for their talent and hard work.