Photography has always been an important part of my life. My father, Bob Hanson, owns and operates Harold’s Photo Experts, which has been a family business for more than 100 years. Harold’s is a specialty camera store with a focus on expert photofinishing. We print quality images, and we do it with impeccable service.
After studying business at Augustana College, I began working at Harold’s specializing in marketing and advertising. Although I’ve been around the world of photography for years and I love taking photos, I am not a professional photographer. As a mom of two young boys, I know just how hard it can be to get the right shot.
Like many people, I’m addicted to my iPhone it captures fantastic images that are easy to share and store in the cloud, and chances are good, I have it on me when a perfect photo-op shows up. In addition, dynamic apps and filters are available that help me create fun images for sharing and printing.
But there’s a down side. While the smartphones in our pockets allow us to capture special moments more often and more conveniently than ever before, the quality of the images we take is compromised. These images, while fine for viewing on a screen, are not all you need. You just can’t rely solely on your mobile devices, smartphone or point-and-shoot camera to ensure you get the images you want. For exceptionally vivid images and video, you need a quality digital single-lens reflex camera – a DSLR.
The difference between your iPhone and a DSLR is similar to the difference between walking through the snow in high heels or snow boots. While I love to wear both, boots are definitely superior in the snow. I have tried many cameras and have finally found my favorite – the Canon Rebel SL1. This camera is small, powerful and perfect for still or video. Take a look at these two images. Both are cute and important to my family and me.
Image #1 was taken with my iPhone using Instagram camera, filter and edge. I love this image and I printed it as an 8×8 metal print to display in Henry’s room.
Image #2 was taken with the Canon SL1 with an 18-135mm Canon lens. I know it sounds complicated, but I promise it’s not! The blur in the background allows you to focus on the subject; similar to the way our eyes visualize images. I printed this image in black and white and enlarged it to make a 30×30 canvas print. The high quality of the image allowed me to create a piece of art that I can display prominently in my living room.
My home has an open floor plan that makes decorating the walls somewhat difficult. While we have some vintage posters and original paintings on the walls, the only things that combine these elements nicely are photographs. I enjoy filling my home with things that I love and images that bring back memories of the most special moments in my life.
I love taking pictures, especially of my favorite subjects who are obviously cute and mostly willing to pose. I am proud of my pictures and I love to share them and allow others to enjoy them, too. I realize more each day, photography is not just what I do, it’s my passion.