In this series of blog posts we are introducing people who are speaking at and attending Inspire 2013. We are delighted to introduce Jerome Braga who is the owner of Studio1923 and specializes in wedding and family photography. Jerome will be will be teaching a technical class called Real Meaning of "In Camera

"Know Your Weapon"

I think at least twice a week someone is asking me how I got into photography.  Its probably a common question all professional photographers get.  Perhaps its the wonder and illusion that the job is somehow supernatural, spiritual, liberating, rewarding, easy, relaxing….  ha.

In my family, as a child of a photographer and sibling to a few aspiring photographers, I think I had always been intrigued.  For my high school graduation present from my parents, I chose to break the Portuguese time honored tradition of receiving a gift of gold, (usually in the form of a gold cross and chain) for that of the newest SLR which had been released that summer featuring automatic focusing.  Can you imagine a camera that focuses automatically?!!!!  Anyway with that camera in hand I attended countless beach parties, spring breaks, nights out with friends, solitary photo sessions at sunrise,  etc.

High school photography class got me most interested in the creative aspect of the art form.  Worm's Eye View, as well as Bird's Eye View; not only peaked my interest as a class project, but constantly drives me to think differently and push the limits of the camera's ability.

I remember my first shooting job, filling the role of the 3rd shooter for a wedding; and telling the lead photographer's that I was so frustrated.   I was frustrated because I felt I was "better than the camera was allowing me to be…"  I remember the conversation so vividly because it has always stuck with me and that feeling kind of always is with me too.   I'm constantly forcing myself to work on a different aspect of the camera's menu system and abilities.

I've taken my father's self timer portraits to an entirely different level these days by diving into my camera and working my own family portraits with sequenced timed photos capturing my unaware daughters in a fit of laughter and play.   The following movie was the sequence of photos I took this summer of my family playing in Cape Cod with the hopes of getting a new wall canvas out of the shoot.

Here is the resulting family photo we got from this sequence.

To say I'm obsessed with the camera's functions and how it relates to something I can create as an image is an understatement.   Here is what I can be found trying to capture during a lightning storm.

Knowing your camera's abilities buried deep down in that menu of yours can help you not only achieve what your mind has envisioned, but actually inspire you to create images you didn't even think of before because you didn't know the camera could do that.  "Know Your Weapon" and approach your shots differently.