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.





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

“ I do ” – A Photographer’s Guide to Photographing the Wedding Proposal

“ His heart jumps in to his throat – The whole world stops as he drops to one knee and looks up into the eyes of his beautiful bride-to-be”

The proposal

The proposal

Photographing a wedding proposal is one of the coolest things a photographer can do. The tension, the mystery, the “cloak and dagger” … and then there’s the profuse sweating by the guy/girl who’s doing the proposing !

So, the first thing I do after I’m asked is acknowledge how cool they are for asking me . HA! Then immediately calm their nerves and let them know that I’m the expert in capturing this moment which can never be repeated so that they can have it forever. And all they need to worry about is “Putting a Ring on it” and not throwing up all over their soon to be fiance of course.

The Chase - before the proposal

The Chase – following them before the proposal

So, what goes into photographing a wedding proposal ?  Preparation – that’s what

Being Prepared for all the Scenarios … and there are a million of them !

You’re going to draw a crowd if you’re hiding in the bushes … or you might start a parade behind you if you’re following the couple and taking pictures . Yes, it’s happened just about every time that I’ve photographed a proposal. So I’ve got to be prepared to quietly and politely tell my followers to “go away”

What if some knuckle head yells “Hey … is he gonna propose?? “ (before he’s ready to .. propose)   They’re in public … so anything can happen. I remind the future groom that if this happens that he can still drop to one knee and get cracking with the proposal just as if the “knuckle head outburst” was a part of his plan. It will be a good story for the groom’s wedding day toast anyway.

He wants to propose during a romantic dinner in a crowded restaurant.  Logistics and planning are king here. You’ll need a clear line of sight to the couple of course. No waiters walking in front of you. No guests from other tables standing in front of you to applaud. No one running up to you and grabbing your camera saying “you can’t photograph in here!!” So they have to make sure that their table is reserved well in advance. And figure out (clear it with the management) where you’re going to be. Hiding in a closet? Sitting at the bar? Sitting at an adjacent table? Simple details maybe, but like I said – Logistics ! So you’ll want to arrive at the venue early, speak with the restaurant manager and make sure that everything is in place, including you.

He wants to propose at a family gathering – It’s not so much logistics in this case as it is keeping the family members from standing in front of you with their “big fancy cameras” . One way is to not tell anyone that the proposal is going to happen. Because I can promise you that if everyone knows that someone’s not going to be able to keep the secret and the bride will find out. And by the way – why are you there at their family cookout anyway ? Are you a long lost cousin ? One of the waitstaff ? Are you serving drinks? I suggest that you have a good cover story and bring someone you know with you so that you can interact with them until “the moment of proposal”

OK – He’s proposed and she’s accepted – how long do you wait to go up to the couple ? If they’re alone on the street or in a restaurant you should usually keep photographing until the groom-to-be calls you over. This could be a long time as the couple shares some private time … or it could be right away . At this point it’s an Engagement session with lots of kissing, walking through the park and ring shots. Happy day ! If it’s at a family gathering then treat it like a party and photograph all the well wishers and the crazy party which will certainly break out.

The Chase - before the proposal

The Chase – following the couple with your parade behind you before the proposal

Reasons you may want to have a written agreement and payment in advance: – some of these may make you smile … but once again – you’re preparing for all outcomes

The most obvious reason is so that all the details are documented and so that the groom-to-be doesn’t need to worry about paying you that day.

And then there’s the other reasons:

What if she doesn’t accept his proposal ? Not your fault and you deserve to be paid in full. But what do you do after she turns him down? Typically you need to keep photographing from a distance as they talk – you see it’s easier to delete the photos that you take and that they may never want to see than it is to create the photos that you didn’t take and they will wonder why you didn’t . There is a chance that she will still accept the proposal after a few minutes. No matter what – you do not just walk away without trying to speak with the groom-to-be. Even if it is just to quickly say good-bye.

The groom decides not to propose that day – Not your fault and you deserve to be paid in full. But you can certainly offer to reschedule for a day that you are free,

The groom couldn’t contain himself and proposes before the agreed upon place and time – If it’s still logistically possible – you can meet them and just have a nice engagement session.

Photographing a proposal session requires that you are part sleuth and part photographer. But mostly you need to be prepared. Assure the groom-to-be that you’ll be there and all he needs to do … is propose !

Now, who wants to come along on my next undercover operation?

Here’s a look at the proposal as it unfolded 

The Chase - before the proposal

The Chase – Following, ducking in doorways, creating a parade behind me , before the proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

The proposal

A bit of laughter after the proposal - he's still holding the ring

A bit of laughter after the proposal – he’s still holding the ring

She accepts ! The proposal

She accepts ! The proposal – he’s still holding the ring

She accepts ! The proposal

She accepts ! The proposal and he’s still holding the ring !

The ring is on her finger - after the proposal

Finally the ring is on her finger

Now it’s time to let let them know that you’ve been there and ‘let’s have that engagement session”  – that is if you can get their attention !


The engagement session - after the proposal

The engagement session – after the proposal

The engagement session - after the proposal

The engagement session – after the proposal

Walpole Theatrical Photography By Walpole Theatrical Photographer, Dan Busler {Laughter on the 23rd Floor}

For those of us who have wondered what it must be like in the “writers room” of a sitcom or SNL .. or, well the list goes on … 

The Walpole Footlighters gave us a little look when they presented Laughter on the 23rd Floor. And after seeing it I must say that it’s a lot more serious and crazy and funny that I had ever imagined !

These characters are real “characters” to be sure. Just take a look!

The cast …
and crew !

Boston Executive Portrait Photography by Walpole MA Executive Portrait Photographer, Dan Busler {Chestnut Hill Realty Village Green Plainville MA}

Chestnut Hill Realty’s Village Green in Plainville MA is an Award winning property. 

I had the opportunity to stop by recently to photograph the official portrait of the management and staff … and the beautiful award of course ! … 

I love photographing bright and shinny awards . 


As the year comes to a close

As the year comes to a close – I remind myself that I didn’t choose to be a photographer (or a musician for that matter) – I was drawn to it. 

And you might feel the same about what you do in life. At least, I hope that you do.

Sometimes the moments of our lives rush by us so fast and it’s all that we can do to just “live in the moment” .  Our memories blur and soon, begin to fade away.  But a photograph waits patiently, it lets us catch up and see, hold, experience and enjoy all of those precious moments that we might otherwise have missed.

So take a photograph of all the moments in your life. The small events, the major events and even the sad ones. 

For years I was a bit embarrassed and hid the fact that I loved looking into my client’s eyes and seeing what I consider, the truth.

It wasn’t until I saw this quote from Annie Leibovitz that I realized that I wasn’t alone …  “A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”

So as this year comes to a close – I thank God for how lucky I am to be a photographer. 

Boston First Communion Photography by Walpole First Communion Photographer, Dan Busler

First Communion Day is filled with kids … kids just being “kids” – laughing and dancing and fooling around. 
But the transformation we see as they enter the church into children experiencing a milestone in their lives is amazing.


A "Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show" Moment, Dan Busler Photography

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?”

The odd thing is that I had planned to write a blog post with this title yesterday. Mainly because over this past week-end I had photographed a 100th birthday party. Hearing about all the history that Fred (the birthday boy) had seen made me realize all the history that I had seen.  

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, it didn’t feel like history, it felt like “now”. 

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.

Please acknowledge every small miracle in your life. 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 everytime they leave the house … even in front of their friends

Because you are living history.