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Members Spotlight – Nelson Santos Photography

Members Spotlight - Nelson Santos Photography


Where in the world are you based? Where is the most exciting location you have shot at?

Based out of USA. Most exciting place so far was a wedding at an old theater.

When did you set up your photography business and what genres of photography do you shoot?

Set up in 2018, focused on weddings and other event photography.

What would you say has been your most memorable photography job and why?

Oh this is hard ... some are memorable for good, some for bad reasons ... but i will shortly share one that started horrible and ended great:

Wedding in NYC, bride is late with hair and make up by 2 hrs ... groomsmen get stuck in the hotel elevator, had to wait for fire department ... bride has to get out of the dress and go down 12 flights of stairs ... has a "small" breakdown ... In the end, we turned the energy way up and had an amazing party.

This wedding always reminds me that there are things that are totally out of our control, and if we let those things affect us, it can ruin your day ... but if you can make the best out of it, it will all be a "fun" story to tell and you will laugh about it.

What is your all time favourite photograph you have taken and why? 

This is hard to decide ... but there is 1 picture that comes to mind all the time, which i will share. There is nothing fancy about this shot, just a moment with the bride, her grandmother, and the mom (3 generations), during getting ready ... but here is what makes it special:

This was one of the last pictures the bride has with her grandmother as she passed away during the wedding reception, just about 8 hours after this picture was taken. The crazy thing was that because hair and makeup were late, the bride almost skipped on this moment of having them all by the dress.

I knew the grandmother has been transported to the hospital on an ambulance during reception, and the groom told me that although no one had told the bride how serious it was, there was a chance she would not make it pass today. Two days later i get a message from the bride asking if i had any pictures i could share of her grandmother as she was preparing her funeral ... i couldn't help myself but to cry as i was looking through the images of her and her grandmother, but i was extremely happy to know she had these images to cherish.

Reveal one thing you keep in your camera bag that people may not expect to be there. Why is it there?

A few clear and very thin plastic bags that i "borrowed" from the local grocery store ... i use them to cover cameras and flashes so i can shoot in the rain

What is the biggest reason you like using off camera flash?

Flash gives the opportunity to control and "shape" scenes and subjects in a more creative and cinematic way

What is the best part/biggest benefit of being a Flash Masters member?

It pushes me to keep creating, innovating, and learning. Its a great source of inspiration!

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone starting out on their flash photography journey, what would it be? 

Well ... i got to say this ... if you are starting with flash photography, make sure you observe and understand natural light, and know how to use it. One of the biggest challenges with flash photography is controlling the "natural/existing/available" light so that it complements the "flash" being added.

There are severals ways of using flash photography. As much as I love flash photography, I don't like for my images to look "flashy". For my style, I most of the times aim to have my flash look more like a possible "natural/existing/available" light that could be on the scene.

My goal is that my "flash photos" don't become about "the flash"

Thank you so much Nelson! We are so insanely proud to have you as a member of the Flash Masters community. If you would like to see more of Nelson's work (we wouldn't blame you) you can check out their profile here! 

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