Hello World,

I’m Dal, I’m a professional photographer for thephototeam.co.uk, I’ve been asked to write for our company blog for the openphotobooths.co.uk website, and if I am honest, I’ve never been very good at writing, hence why I have always gone by the phrase ‘a picture paints a thousand words’…

I suppose a good place as any is to write about what has brought me to this point in my life, well at least the photography aspect…
I have been taking pictures ever since I can remember, I think I acquired this from my father, when I was little, my dad was always taking pictures of me and my sisters, whether it be around the house, or when we was out and about, but back then it was a really big deal, especially as pictures were not shared digitally as they are now (no facebook, no instagram, no social media of any sort, come to think of it there was no internet!), cameras of the past didn’t have a preview screen on the rear of the camera. You took the pictures, waited for the roll of film to finish, and then sent it off for processing, you have to appreciate there could be a number of weeks before you actually saw the pictures you had taken, over time things speeded up, but when I was younger, it seem to take ages.

For those of you old enough to remember, I’m sure you will remember the days of only looking at pictures in a printed format. For me it was always nice receiving the pictures from the High Street Pharmacy or Grocery Store (sounds really strange writing that down, but as strange as it sounds this was where most people use to develop their pictures), we all use to gather around as a family and go through each and every picture in meticulous detail, it was a really lovely and interesting experience, I have many a fond memory of laughing and cringing with my family at the pictures that had been taken, especially as often was the case you had completely forgotten the pictures you had taken, there was a nice surprise element to it all, it was quality family time, sharing, commenting, critiquing and discussing.
This is very different to the instant world we live in now, let’s be honest 99% of the population walks around with a fairly decent camera in their pocket every day, every moment, the introduction of camera phones has changed everything, you can take pictures on your smartphone and share it with the world in an instant, the only difference is most people have become use to only looking at digital pictures. When I am photographing at an event where we have the Open Photo Booth set up, people often tell me it is really nice to see an actual print and often say how long it has been since they looked at a proper printed picture. When I was a child, I would never of thought or even imagined such a thing like a smartphone would have been possible, let alone actually happened, simply ingenious.

So I finally got my hands on my dad’s camera when I was in my teens, it was Yashica camera, with changeable lenses, and a separate flash, something similar to this.

For those that won’t remember, you have to bear in mind at this time, most other people were using point and shoot cameras, and auto zoom focus was slowly being introduced.
I was very happy with my dad’s old camera, it was hard to use at first as everything was manual, including the focusing, I distinctively remember the two yellow squares through the view finder that you had to bring together in a precise manner, or the shot would come out blurred.
This is where my journey began, where I started to develop the skills of a photographer, at a very early stage the pressure of working with a camera where everything was manual, and every single shot had to count, rolls of film came in various sizes, either 12, 24 or 36, yes, can you believe that? Only 12, 24 or 36 pictures at any given time.
I remember really budgeting with which pictures I really wanted to take, and culturing my camera skills to ensure I did everything to ensure the shot turned out how I really would like it to, and then hope for the best, as I would have to wait to process the pictures to see if I had captured the shot I was aiming for.
Over time my photography skills developed, and I got to a point where I made every single click of the camera count. I eventually moved with the times and transferred over to digital…
However, I do miss the old days of photography, there was something raw about the whole process, the not knowing, but I truly believe this is where I developed the passion for photography. All the skills and experience I gained when I was younger have all been put to good use working as a professional photographer for The Photo Team, and I really believe the time spent in my teenage years helped me to ensure I captured great pictures for all the clients I have worked for, but to be fair even now, I never stop learning, but I think that’s photography…
When I see less experienced photographers taking pictures, I always think this element maybe missing. I often see them snapping away frantically hoping to get that ‘Money shot’… No limitations of how many pictures can be taken, especially with the way digital memory cards have developed, they could take thousands of images in an instant, I remember the first digital camera I had, it could only take between 80-100 pictures before the memory card was full, I used to think that was amazing, as it was a significant improvement on the 12, 24 or 36 exposures you could take with the old film roll cameras.
I do believe this journey has contributed significantly to my skill development as a photographer, especially the way I frame a shot before I actually take the picture, old habits die hard I suppose…

My camera of choice is now a Nikon D4s.

I bring all these skills with me when I work for The Photo Team, whether it’s taking pictures at conferences or at corporate events, or working with the Open Photo Booth aspect of The Photo Team.
I really love taking pictures of people, I find people interesting and intriguing, I love capturing every little facet of detail, whether its a big smile or a frown or even a tear. When it comes to the Open Photo Booth I think this can really be seen in the pictures I have taken, I always try to capture different styles of pictures, pushing boundaries, I always try and take people out of their comfort zone, I am proud of the results I have achieved so far, do you think the pictures speak for themselves?

 

A lovely picture of a couple with great chemistry, they wanted a picture with that little something special, mystery and intrigue…

 

This picture was taken at a Christmas party, a Christmas works party to be precise, where the Open Photo Booth was set up, this group wanted something different from the normal group picture, so I created this dynamic picture, they loved the picture, and it is still one of my favorite pictures of a group, could they be the next Eastenders family? Just maybe.

 

Believe it or not this picture was taken in one shot, no posing, no effort, this young lady just walked into the booth and struck a pose, one shot, one frame, that’s all that was needed…

 

Tell me what you think? I’m always happy to hear what real people have to say…

 

I will continue this story on another day, I hope you have enjoyed reading this short article, and has given you a small insight in to my experience as a photographer.

 

Best wishes

 

Dal

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