Fishing Holes

One of the best ways to create interesting images is to go to an interesting place and wait for your subject to enter the frame. Another, often more enticing method is to go where there are a lot of people. On the one hand, you have a lot of subjects to choose from. On the other, it can be difficult to make a good image with multiple subjects in the frame.

Shooting in crowded areas is a great way to ensure tons of opportunities. I liken crowded areas to a good fishing hole. Sure, there are probably other photographers who know your spot, but what’s important is to have a list of favorite places to go back to over time.

I have many fishing holes, one is the St. John’s neighborhood. There are frequent street events, people walking about and interesting subjects. One visit to St. Johns was last year, during a parade, and I kept seeing this guy, who seemed to be the star of the show, the grand master of the parade. I’m not sure what his role was, but he popped up everywhere I was. Then, after milling around the street vendors for about an hour, he appeared here.  He was just standing there and the crowd sort of parted perfectly framing him for my shot. I took this one frame, which was the only one of him I took that day, despite seeing him multiple times.

Untitled - By Ryan Katsanes

Untitled - By Ryan Katsanes

Street photography can be a lot like fishing. You have your favorite spots, and sometimes they pay off while others you strike out. Sometimes you just need to go to your fishing hole, and that provides plenty of satisfaction, whether you catch something or not.

Be Ready

Usually when you hit the streets with your camera you’re purposefully ready. Your camera is on, it’s set to or close to the settings you need and you’re on the hunt for a scene. Other times you’re just out and about and you happen to have your camera with you. This image is a mix of the two. I had met up with a good friend of mine for coffee and catch up time, then we decided to walk down to Pioneer Square to see if there was any photographic action.

En route to the general area, we came across this scene at one of our Benson Bubblers. I was not actively looking for a shot, but definitely recognized there was one here. In all of about 2 seconds I flipped the camera on as I raised it to my face and made this shot. I particularly like how the dog is looking in, as well the man on the left is looking in to the scene. These young men were presumably adventurers (wanderers, perhaps homeless) who were there to get their water bottles filled up for the day ahead.

‘Eff Love’ by Ryan Katsanes

‘Eff Love’ by Ryan Katsanes

Had I not known my camera well, bonded with it in such a way that photographers do that you don’t have to think much about settings, I might have missed this opportunity. I can honestly say this shot was made instinctually, they aren’t always, but when they are you know it and you know you got something good. It’s a lesson we all learn eventually. The sooner we do the better, so we can be out there blending into the street and making great shots.

How to Instantly Make Better Family Photos

As a photographer, I often take notice of people in public who are making images of their kids. Whether it’s at the zoo, a park, or on the street, really anywhere, there’s a common mistake made when parents are taking pictures of their young ones. If you’re “guilty” of what I’m about to describe, then hopefully today is the day you begin making much more interesting pictures!

Our kids are short, right? They also move fast! We are generally tall, or taller than our kids, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them too. Most non-photographers stand stationary and take pictures of their kids from our eye level. Better to get a picture than none at all right? If you want to take your family photos to the next level, then get you and your camera at your kid’s eye level! Better yet, just a hair below their eye level. We see our kids from our eye level all the time, but that angle works against us in photography. You will immediately start creating better images if you get down to their level, I guarantee it.

Sometimes, this means getting down on your belly, especially if they’re sitting or laying down. Immerse yourself in their world, make images, and ultimately capture memories. Your friends and family will appreciate the extra effort forever.

When I make family portraits for my clients, I end up getting dirty. I’m up, I’m down, I’m really down, and then I get silly. I am perfectly willing to embarrass myself to make a good image even better. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons people hire me!

Welcome to Katsanes Photography

Very soon I will release the first “real” blog post here.  Before that, I wanted to take a moment to welcome you to Katsanes Photography.  Katsanes Photography is a blend of lifestyle portrait photography and related services, and educational experiences around both general and street photography.  Soon, I will also begin releasing videos regarding both sides of my business, and I hope to create blog content that is of value to you. 

In various stages of my life, my natural inclination has been to teach.  It started when I worked at and managed an aquarium shop where I was an expert on coral reef aquariums as well as fresh and salt water animals.  I landed my first two IT jobs based on my customer service skills and willingness to help anyone and everyone be successful at keeping their aquariums.  Particularly in my 2nd IT job (that came about from the aquarium shop) as a systems engineer, I was habitually learning the various aspects of IT and teaching/training my colleagues as best I could.  I tend to engross myself in the subject that has my attention, and then I try to teach anyone who has a shared interest. 

Today, and for about the past 15 years, I do this with photography.  The great thing about that from my perspective is that there are far more people in the world who are either interested in photography, want to make better images of their friends and families, or want to learn how to better use the tools they have.  I plan on helping people with this blog, and in-person, as much as possible. 

My first blog post will arrive very soon, and will be available to subscribe via Apple News, your favorite RSS reader, or read the posts right here on my website. 

Thanks very much for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy what’s to come!