It’s SuperBowl Week … what a perfect time to get to know featured member John Kersten of John Kersten Photography and Kersten Sport Photography. I first noticed John’s amazing football and basketball photography on Twitter where I follow him @john_kersten. However, once I started to ask him a few questions, I found out he has a much bigger project he’s working on and it is simply amazing. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and get to know John and his work.
I asked John how long he had been a shutterbug. He replied, “ I have been photographing for 12 years. I have gotten more serious about my photography the last 4 years after my daughter was born. I purchased my first DSLR and a pro lens to keep up with her. My interest and love for college athletics led me to some freelance photography for the University of South Florida. After a few years of shooting some basketball games I was finally issued a credential to photograph their football games in 2010. The past two years has given me much needed experience. ”
I’m curious to know what John has in his photo bag. He answered, “ My bag has a Nikon D300 and a 70-200 2.8 attached to it the majority of the time. I also shoot with a 35mm 1.8 that works very well around the house and everyday life. ”
I also had to know what shutter speed he uses to get such sharp action on the field, he said a lot of these images on the blog were shot at 1/2000.
John also said, besides his daughter, he loves to photograph beach volleyball the most. “Living near Siesta Key Beach, FL has given me the opportunity to photograph some very passionate and incredible athletes competing at a sport that does not pay much at all unless you win. These athletes are traveling all over and competing because they love beach volleyball, ” said John.
So I asked John if he could go back in time, what would he tell his younger self. He replied, “I would definitely have asked my dad more questions about photography. He enjoyed shooting a lot, but I never paid attention till much later in life. I would have taken some courses when I actually had time to do so, instead of trying to learn on the fly as I am now. ”
Now the most amazing thing about John, besides his sports photography, is his personal project of photographing his daughter. So what you say? So he photographs her.every.single.day. That’s right every day he captures the giggles, the crying, the love and the changes. John said, “ My inspiration comes from my daughter. I am in the middle of a special project for her when she gets older. I have been taking an image of her everyday since she was born a little over 4 four years ago. I have no intention of stopping or breaking the streak anytime soon. She is growing up to be a very beautiful little girl and loves the camera 99 percent of the time.”
What an amazing project. Thank you for sharing.
Before I let John go, I did have to ask him his SuperBowl pick — he’s going with the NY Giants. We’ll see this Sunday if he’s right! Again, thanks John for everything and if you would like to see more of his work, you can check out his flickr stream HERE or follow him on Twitter HERE.
Deep in the heart of Texas is where you will find our next Member of the Week. We want to introduce you to the fabulous, Andrea Hughes of A Studio Productions. You’ll find Andrea’s images bright, colorful and oh so amazing. I asked her when she started photography and she said, “I was on the other side of the lens for almost 20+ years in the print business. Then, I reinvented myself and decided to go pro 7 years ago with my photography.”
So I asked her what her favorite type of photography is and she replied, “My absolute favorite subjects to photograph are high school seniors. They are free spirits and truly prepare for their shoot. They think through everything…jewelry, the shoes, the place. They will show you magazine pictures when you show up on the scene and will always say “I trust you”. I’ve gotten some of the most amazing shots through this attitude of “I trust you”. They are open to anything! ”
So where does she get her inspiration? Her answer might surprise you. She said, “My inspiration…I always pray before each photo shoot for God to see my subjects through His lens, His eyes. God has always blessed me with amazing clients that continue to support and edify my work. I feel so inspired by their words after a photo shoot. In addition, I have been so incredibly blessed to work with amazing photographers in the industry that have taught me so much. Their perspectives and insight have rocked my world.”
I asked her if she could go back in time and give herself a bit of advice what would it be? “Ok…a great question! Do not walk in a camera store and buy whatever the person says you need after talking with them for 10 minutes. It’s the worst thing I ever did. I knew I wanted to pursue this business but I had not invested in my knowledge of camera equipment, shooting in manual mode, etc.
I spent 2 years doing this off and on and finally took the jump and started investing in workshops. This decision brought my photography and equipment to a whole new level. I would highly encourage a newbie to pursue a workshop before investing in all kinds of equipment. One lens might not fit that family shoot perfectly versus another. It’s key that you fully understand your camera and lenses before buying anything, ” she said.
I decided to go outside of our normal questions and ask her what her favorite image is of and why? This is her response.
“I was shooting a wedding during a torrential rainstorm. My clients had put a lot of faith in the fact that they could have outside pictures near this gorgeous field next to the church. When I say “torrential rainstorm”..this was an understatement. At the last hour of the wedding everyone had surrendered to the fact that the get-a-way bubble pictures were not going to happen. So, one of bride’s maids pulled out the bubbles and the kids started blowing them INSIDE the reception hall while the bride/groom were dancing. In short, My on camera flash was not syncing up with my off camera flash and I literally started to panic. I saw these bubbles surrounding the bride/groom and thought…ok, here I go. I raised my ISO to 6400 and turned off my on/camera flash. I just allowed my back light flash to trigger behind them. It turned out to be the most amazing image ever. I was in awe of the drama light that was surrounding the bubbles from the backlight. My bride/groom were utterly amazed and had it NOT RAINED…I never would have gotten this shot. It was a huge lesson for me on a wedding day. I walked away enlightened and inspired to think outside the box,” she replied.
In case you are wondering, she is a Canon shooter with enough lenses to make you blush. She also uses radio poppers to pop that light into her photos.If you would like to see more of her work you can find her on Facebook HERE. You can follow her on Twitter HERE. Or you can simply Pin her stuff by visiting her on Pinterest HERE.
Thank you Andrea – your work is divine and your positive attitude is contagious!
We are hitting the warm states this month since it’s cold here in NYC in February. This week we want to introduce you to Guillermo Quijano-Duque of Natural Touch Photography. Guillermo has been a full time photographer for six years now and calls Albuquerque, New Mexico home. Although six years doesn’t sound like a long time, he has been a photographer for 34 years. Guillermo is a native of Colombia, South America and came to the US as an exchange student in 1977. During his 20 years in the wireless industry he photographed part time after making a sales call to a wedding photography studio one day. He hit it off with the owner who trained him and showed him the business. He had the fortitude to be patient for 10 years until he was sure he could provide his customers with beautiful images and a great photographic experience.
I asked Guillermo what he loves to photograph the most. He replied, “ I love to photograph striking life moments – I prefer photos without people in them but life is ironic and made me a pretty darn good wedding photographer. I get my inspiration from my pursuit to remain a true photographer that does not rely on digital tools but strives to understand the science and art of photography more each day.”
He photographs around 60 weddings a year (that’s not a typo) and says he loves every minute of it. Guillermo said if he could give his younger self some advice when he was first starting out it would be to just go for it and start now!
So I asked Guillermo what’s in his camera bag. He said, ” Two 7d bodies and one 10d body (nostalgia), Canon 28-70 L 2.8, Canon 70-200 ISIIL 2.8, a Canon Fisheye and two 580 EXII flashes.”
With doing roughly 60 weddings a year, I had to ask him what his favorite image is that he captured. He replied, “ Of all time – I haven’t taken it yet – I have never rated one of my photos a five. But out of my wedding photos I would have to say the first photo I took of a bride and her bride’s maids during my first wedding in 2006.”
Thank you Guillermo, your work is lovely and inspiring. If you would like to see more of his work you can visit his site HERE.
Jennifer Dell is one of those photographers that just gets it… it’s about family, life and love. She is our Adoramapix Member of the week. I first spotted her work through Clickin’ Moms and asked her if she would mind sharing her story with our readers.
Jennifer owns Jennifer Dell Photography and is based out of Texas. I could tell she must have been in a warm state because of all the yummy light I see in her photography. She has been a full-time photographer for 3 years now and enjoys every step of business.
I asked Jennifer what her favorite subject to photograph was and she replied, ” I love photographing children, especially between the ages of about 9months to 6 years… they have that wonderful innocence, joy and curiosity in them that makes for fun and genuine photographs. I get my inspiration from lots of things, books, art, nature and watching my own children grow and learn. ”
One of my favorite questions to ask photographers is if you could go back in time and give your younger self some advice, what would it be? Jennifer answered, “Ohhh, that’s always a good question. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to enjoy the ride a little more, it’s not all about the final destination, but more about what you learn and how you grow over time. I’ve finally realized that I will never get to a place where I feel done, or like I’ve arrived because there is always one more goal or one more thing I want to do/achieve/create. ”
So what’s your favorite image Jennifer? “ My favorite image of all time made by another photographer, would be Henri Cartier Bresson’s Siphnos, Greece. It’s the photograph of a young girl running up the steps between white buildings in Greece. Everything about it speaks to me, the lighting the composition the fact that embraces a fleeting moment. Of my own work, my most recent favorite is a photo of my daughter dancing in a field. It’s carefree and unmistakably – her. But honestly, I feel the quote by Imogen Cunningham fits me the best when it comes to my work, ‘Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.’ Who knows, my favorite might be on my latest roll of films sitting on my desk waiting to be developed,” replied Jennifer.
So enquiry minds want to know Jennnifer, what’s in your bag of tricks? She said, “ I have a gripped Nikon D700, F5, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 105mm 2.8, 135mm 2.0DC, SB-900, some rolls of Portra 400 and Ilford HP5 and my sekonic light meter all in my Ona bag. ”
“I was completely taken aback when I saw my shot as the winner—a bird shot. Never in a million years did I think a picture of birds would win this contest–but I was secretly hoping! “- Dennis Davenport – Winner of the Adoramapix Your Best Shot of 2011 Contest.
Serious hobbyist, Dennis Davenport beat 2200 plus entries and four rounds of judging by professionals and peers to become the first winner of Adoramapix’s Your Best Shot Contest. His work was chosen because of his technical skills in the heat of the moment. Obviously, this photo wasn’t staged or planned. I was able to talk to Dennis a little more about his hobby, his life and most importantly.. what led up to this amazing shot.
I asked Dennis to give us some insight into his beginnings as a photographer. He replied, ” I’m a serious hobbyist who enjoys trying to improve with every shot — although not always successful! I’ve owned an SLR camera since the early 1970′s so I’ve dabbled in photography most of my life. I became serious about bird photography in late 2006. I got my first DSLR in 2005–a Canon XT.”
Dennis owns and operates Dennis Davenport Photography out of Oregon. He is a retired accountant (retired in early 2007) and has been shooting wildlife ever since (with a camera!). He says he really enjoys the hobby and is lucky to have three different national wildlife refuges within 40 minutes of his home. Ridgefield NWR in southwest Washington state is considered his home base where he visits most often.
So I asked Dennis to give us more background about his picture titled “The Dance”. He answered, “ This coming together of the two birds happened very quickly and unexpectedly. A second before the shot was taken, the younger bird, on the left, was actually perched at the top of a snag. (The snag is out of the image to the left). I was shooting the perched bird through brush and tree branches about 100 feet away, so my visibility was just the perched bird. Suddenly the perched bird got agitated and faced toward the left side of my viewfinder, which I had my eye up to at this point. Once I noticed the agitation from the perched bird, I started shooting frames not knowing the other (mature) eagle was flying in from the left. Through the viewfinder I’m seeing this other bird arrive and I did my best to keep the lens on the action as the two come off the perch to the right. All this happened within 2 seconds and the birds were out of my view obscured by more tree branches. The bottom of this photo is the true bottom of the frame. The top of the photo is cropped by me in editing to give the shot a little better balance and composition. I wanted to include the wingtips at the top of the shot but it put the birds’ head too low in the photo. I was too close to the action to get both birds fully in the shot with their wings extended. I am fortunate to have gotten what I did. ”
I asked if he wouldn’t mind sharing that first shot. Here it is.
Dennis said, ” The perched shot and the flight shot were taken 2 seconds apart. Exif data on this shot is 1/2500 sec, f5.6, ISO400, Canon 400mm f5.6L prime lens, Canon 7D. I was approximately 100 feet from the birds; the birds were about 80 feet in the air. Shot was taken at 9:33 am Feb. 1, 2011, with the sun at my back and from inside my truck with a bean bag for stability. The perch the younger eagle was originally on is one of my favorites to shoot and a refuge favorite for many raptors, especially eagles. While some think that eagles are fighting when they observe this behavior, it’s my understanding that the birds are actually performing an elaborate courting ritual in the air. I usually see this behavior at much higher altitudes than the encounter I witnessed.”
Congratulations again Dennis and thank you for your amazing work and your amazing spirit. We’ll see you again in 2012. By the way, Dennis chose the Canon 7d. If you would like to see more of Dennis’ work you can click HERE.