2020 Senior High Portraits – Find the Warrior Inside You

For your Senior Portraits why not go for Timeless … and Confident … and Freaking WOW!

Because you deserve memorable images of this milestone in your life that will be cherished for generations.

So, Are you ready? Because we can’t wait to meet you!
Dan Busler Photography – East Walpole, MA 781-352-4863

Dan Busler is the owner and principal photographer for Dan Busler Photography which specializes in portrait, live performance, event and commercial photography from their studios in East Walpole, MA and on location.

He has photographed performances by The Boston Opera Collaborative, Longy School of Music, The Extended Play Sessions and The Boston Camerata, and events for Liberty Mutual Insurance, Franciscan Children’s and Travis Roy Foundation.

His work has been published in the Improper Bostonian, Vanity Fair, People Magazine, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Classical Review, ArtsImpulse, The Boston Musical Intelligencer. Classical Scene and New York Times.

Do I have to Use the School Photographer for My Senior High Yearbook Portraits?

Do I have to use the school photographer for my Senior yearbook pictures?

The answer is yes … and no … and that depends

This is a question that I get all the time. Do you need to use the school photographer for your Senior pictures?

Well, you got a postcard in the mail with your session date and time, so I guess you have to go .. right?

Typically the answer is yes you need to use the school’s photographer if you go to a private high school and your school requires that you dress in a particular way and use the school’s photographer to ensure that all the pictures in the yearbook are exactly the same.

But the answer is also, no, if you want the additional things that a professional photographer can offer for your other Senior pictures.

Look, your private high school isn’t trying to restrict you from having epic senior pictures to remember this milestone in your life, they just don’t want you looking all goth in torn jeans and high heels in the yearbook.

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Now, for most of you out there, your public school has contracted with a national photo factory to photograph everything from kindergarten to senior portraits. And that is not a bad thing, they offer very consistent quality and their thousands of photographers across the county photograph millions of pictures each year.

I’ve known lots of photographers who have worked with the photo factories early on in their careers and some of them were and are truly great photographers.

But to be candid, the ads that I’ve seen to recruit photographers for these companies often say “no photography experience required … we’ll train you”. And if you’ve worked with a professional photographer in the past, you know that there is a lot more to a great photo session experience than just taking pictures.

But if all you want is a headshot in the yearbook, the school photographer is going to be fine.

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Although I don’t believe that portrait enhancements ( like smoothing out the skin and other enhancements – something that a professional photographer will include automatically in all the prints that you purchase ) is included in the free or possibly even in the basic purchased packages from a photo factory.

In our studio, we do offer a “Just the Essentials” package, It’s focused on giving you that one great photo for the yearbook, and you get a pile of prints included! And, it is an option that most professional photographers offer.

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There are just a few milestones in your life (and don’t forget in the lives of your Parents and guardians lives as well ).

Birth, graduation from high school when you head off to college / start a trade or a job / go into the military, and then marriage and the birth of your own kids when it all starts over again.

You’ll never be in this place again, never have this same set of friends, many of whom may have been with you since nursery school, you never have the same set of values. Probably never dress as cool as you do.

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What you will experience, and who you’ll meet after high school will most likely change your life direction.

So celebrate this milestone in your life and consider using a professional photographer for your senior session with no one watching, standing in line waiting their turn for their pictures.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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 http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

Each Event Can be Spectacular

An Event by definition is an occurrence, a happening, a phenomenon. And it’s something that may only happen once.

I photograph family, corporate and charity events. Even though there are similarities they each take a different approach.

Family events might be a weddings, family reunions or when your Child becomes a bar or bat mitzvah. It’s a blur of lots of people running and in the case of weddings, tight scheduling and yes, tension! But after the formal part, it’s a party.

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Corporate events are quite different. They’re typically formal affairs with people who may work together but really don’t know each other outside of the office trying to party, but if clients are there … then the employees are “still on the clock” … always be selling.

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Charity events are often galas with speeches, awards and dancing. Although I do photograph charity hockey/baseball/golf games each year.  And then the food and fun.

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Many people choose to hire a professional event photographer to capture their once in a lifetime events because they’re trained to see the important moments as they unfold and usually they’re not emotionally involved. Although it is true that we do cry at weddings. You would to if you were watching the Bride and Groom and all the emotion at the alter through a telephoto lens!

So when you’re tying to decide if you should have Uncle Charlie photograph your wedding or the kid from the mailroom to photograph your trade show and the Big Event Gala you’re holding in Las Vegas you may want to re-consider and let Uncle Charlie be a guest and enjoy the wedding.

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

The Wedding Day is Unique

Each wedding is unique.

It such a honor for me to learn from the couple how they met, got engaged and now are marrying. And the family dynamics .. the Parents, children, siblings along with the friends who have been so important in their lives. They all play a key role in the tone of the day.

I so admire the couples as they join together on their wedding day. To say that I am honored to be there for their “first look” , getting ready, the first dance , Parents dances, the hugs, kisses, tears and laughter … and that crazy party … well I can’t even begin to tell you how epic is .. but it’s wicked epic!

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The First Dance

The First Look

 

Click the link below to see even more !

The Wedding Day     A look at it from getting ready to that crazy reception !

 

Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional photographer who specializes in Portrait, Live Performance and Events. Studios located in Walpole MA. By the Artist, for the Artist. 781-352-4863 http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Bushel or Your Pictures in a Drawer

Since the beginning of photography … heck, since the beginning of visual art, the product that was produced was tangible. A cave drawing, a image drawn in the sand, a painting or a photograph.

And what did you do if you wanted another copy? You took a picture of it or had an artist create another one.

But digital photography changed all of that. Today we have gigabytes of pictures on our phones and terabytes of pictures on external hard drives in a safe or a desk drawer. And as a method of safe keeping for these precious memories it is an incredible bit of technology . It is now possible to share our pictures with millions of people, seconds after the event happens.

But is also possible that these precious memories will just remain in cyber space for ever. Like a Facebook or Twitter post to only be replaced by the next thing that comes along.

The walls of my home (and photography studio for that matter) are covered with photographic prints.  In wood, metal, acrylic, canvas and fine art papers. Some of the images are perfectly posed and others are just fun memories … snapshots.

And everyone of them is perfect. I can pass by them for a few days and barely notice them and then one day, an image will catch my eye and it just stops me in my tracks as I remember the day it was taken or the person it was taken of.

Photography is art and it belongs on your wall or desk. Albums of photographs make perfect gifts when placed open in an easel. Each day (or when we feel the need ) we turn the page in the album and have a whole new piece of art to display and help us remember and rejoice how much we have in our lives.

The people we love, the people we’ve lost and the people we see everyday .. our kid’s  concerts and sporting events, Grandma’s birthday party, the day you spent running and laughing together at the beach, the day you fell in love with that new baby of yours … along side those perfectly posed portraits make up the art gallery in our homes that will will last for generations.

But only if you make prints.

 

Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional photographer who specializes in Portrait, Live Performance and Events.  Studios located in the historic Hogie Bear Building – Walpole MA. By the Artist, for the Artist. 781-352-4863  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).

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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)

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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

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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

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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

 

Always Look Behind You – Especially If You’re a Photographer

Photographers (meaning both professional and well, everyone) typically capture what’s in front of them – portraits, landscapes, wildlife, candids. Because that’s what we wanted to photograph.

But when you think about it, isn’t there also something going on behind you?  Think about it, you’re at the beach with the family and the kids are playing in the water, it’s a great fun family shot, so we grab it. But when you remember to turn around we see so much more – one of the other kids sleeping or reading a book or picking their nose .. or what ever and we never get that shot. … because we just don’t think to turn around.

As an event photographer I’ve learned that there is something interesting happening everywhere. So I am constantly scanning the room for people talking, laughing, dancing romancing, posing, taking selfies.

In this shot I had posed the Bride and three of her friends for a “buddy pose”.  As usual, I had a large group of cell phone photographers behind me!

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After I got my shot I noticed that the Bride and her friends continued to pose for the cell phone bunch, so I ran around and took this shot from behind them.

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This is the shot that became more popular. It’s more unusual, more artistic and more interesting. For me seeing their arms around each other is an expression of their love and friendship.

So just remember, if you only photograph what’s in front of you or what’s normal, you’ll miss everything else that is happening behind you, in the other room, around the corner and over the next hill.

And never, ever, no matter what, put your camera (cell phones included) away until you’re sure that no one is going to do something interesting or you’ll miss an epic shot. (I should know, I’ve missed a million epic shots because I wasn’t ready). In other words .. you must have your camera ready at all times !

 

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

 

 

 

 

Into the Woods with Depth of Field

Depth of field refers to how much of what you are focusing on is in focus. So if you are photographing 20 people in a family group you want the front row and the back row in focus.

The way this is achieved is by using the aperture setting on your camera.  This can be set in either manual (typically the letter M on your camera) or aperture priority mode.

The larger the aperture setting number the more of the group will be in focus.  The area of “in focus” is both in front of and behind where you are setting your focus. Typically you will focus on the center of the group. So if there are three rows of people in your group, focus on the center row.

If your taking a picture of a landscape or the woods, you may want to focus at the half way point in the scene. Or you can get real creative and focus closer or further away. This will make some objects more or less in focus.

In these images I set my camera with a 85mm 1.8 lens attached (on a tripod in manual mode )  to F22 – this is the longest depth of focus I could get and set the ISO to 1600.  Then all I had to do was set the shutter speed so that I got the look (meaning correct exposure) for the scene. In most of these the shutter speed was about 1/30 of a second.

 

Now a few tidbits:

I set the ISO to 1600 after  deciding that I didn’t want to use a shutter speed lower than          1/25 of a second. That was the ISO setting that I needed to keep the shutter speed in that range.
When photographing a snowy scene you should over expose a little bit – so most of these images looked over exposed on my in-camera meter. If I were using a handheld light meter I would have used the camera setting that it gave me
Th exposure triangle – Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO work together to give you the freedom to create great photos.

Dan Busler is a professional photographer based in Walpole MA