This set of photography is very dear to me. The lovely, Denise, or Ma Danni as she is known in her hometown of Shanghai was a gracious first portrait model.  I used to work at a Marriott hotel before I dove head first into Photography and Denise and I worked together at the front desk. 

These images were created on my second day of owning the camera. Of course, I hadn’t read the manual fully, but I was itching to see what the Nikon D90 could do. The previous day, after purchasing the camera, I went to the Marriott and was parading the camera around the hotel like a kid who just got what he wanted for his birthday.  While gushing over the camera, I asked some of my coworkers if they would be willing to let me photograph them...

Denise agreed, quickly. 

We met at a small open space in downtown Stamford, CT and I just started clicking away...

There was a lot I didn’t know about the D90. Most embarrassingly, I did not know that there was an exposure meter in the viewfinder. I was shooting pretty blindly on this day, just hoping these images would be exposed correctly. All I had was my knowledge of what I refer to as the “4 basics.”

When composing images with a DSLR I mentally go through four elements in my mind: ISO, aperture, shutter speed and white balance. I use those four settings as a guideline to adjust my image if it’s not looking how I feel that it should look.

It was pretty invigorating to just get out, try, shoot, and let it fly. Denise was excited to have her photograph captured and it was a fun experience for both of us. I didn’t know how to direct her and I was focusing on the camera settings, so I would make nervous chatter somewhere between confident and clueless and it relaxed Denise.  It was here that I discovered that there is magic of photographing someone in the middle of laughing; it automatically uplifts your spirit.

I give a lot of thanks and credit to Denise for her modeling skills. We went to two locations in downtown Stamford and she remained open and willing to shoot. She would find a new way to turn her head or face. It was pretty cool how many subtle personalities she had and displayed just by smiling this way or that.

The aftermath of these images was astounding. This was the beginning of it all. I picked out a few favorite images from this set and created a Facebook note saying that I was interested in changing careers to freelance photography. The reaction to the note and images was very positive and it was an affirmation of my creativity and passion. From here, a new life began. I had the confidence to go into the world as a photographer, and hopefully this website will show you, it’s taken me to wonderful places.

If I can leave you with anything as it regards to this post and set of photography: don’t be afraid to share your passion. If it’s burning inside of you, if it’s something positive that can impact the world for the better, do it. Find a way to get it out of you and share it with the world. You won’t be disappointed.