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

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

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.

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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.

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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

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

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

 

 

 

 

“ 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 !

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The engagement session - after the proposal

The engagement session – after the proposal

The engagement session - after the proposal

The engagement session – after the proposal