Henry Hertzler, an extraordinary photographer and a good friend, is joining us today to talk about his craft. If you’d like to get into photography but don’t know where to start, Henry is the man to learn from. If you’re planning a wedding or an event and need a photographer, look no further! Check out his beautiful Instagram page, or connect with him on Facebook if you want to learn more.
Sheri Yutzy: Hi Henry, welcome to Made to Create.
Henry Hertzler: It’s good to be here.
SY: Let’s get started at the beginning. Can you name a specific time or event that made you decide you wanted to be a photographer?
HH: I really can’t remember when I didn’t enjoy photography. I remember when I was a child the excitement I had to use the family (film) camera or when I got to shoot a couple of photos on a disposable camera that wasn’t quite used up. Probably one of the biggest things that made me want to continue pursuing it was when I started winning photo competitions in my lower teens. It was exciting to be making money with my photography that I could then use to upgrade my equipment.
SY: Wow, that would be encouraging to be winning competitions at that age. When did you get your first camera?
HH: I think I was 12 or 13 when I bought my first camera. Up until that point I mostly used a compact point and shoot camera my family had. I didn’t have much money and my first camera was a used Nikon point and shoot that I got with a broken battery door for about $30 on ebay. Since then I’ve upgraded as needed and now use Fujifilm X-series cameras.
SY: What photographers or artists inspire you to improve your craft?
HH: Miles Witt Boyer, Brandon Buccheri, Susan Stripling, and Chase Jarvis.
SY: How would you describe your role in capturing special moments?
HH: When it comes to weddings, I’m there not to modify the venue, people’s emotions, or anything else to make it look like something in a magazine. I’m there to document the day in the most beautiful way possible while staying out of the way and letting the authentic moments unfold. I’ll direct and offer advice as needed but I want your gallery of images to look different than anyone else’s and most of all, uniquely you. As a wedding photographer there’s so much variety in what I shoot throughout the day and the roles I fill but I really like how I’m always getting stretched in some new way and pushing my creativity to another level.
SY: Wedding photographers certainly need to be multi-faceted. I’ve always admired photographers who can do it well, like you. How does your craft draw you to worship God?
HH: I just find incredible happiness in watching and interacting with a couple who is deeply in love with each other because of their foundation in their love for God. I believe when someone loves God it will show, and most of all in my photography I love capturing people who are radiating happiness that can only come from a deep love for the one who created them.
SY: A beautiful image. What’s your dream photography project?
HH: I have a dream of someday working doing high risk photojournalism that’s for the cause of Christ and his kingdom. I don’t know if it will happen, but if I was given the opportunity chances are I’d take it.
SY: Now for the practical side. What three tips would you give to an amateur photographer who wants to improve?
- Learn to use the equipment you have. Read free information online and learn the technical aspects of light, composition, and the “exposure triangle”. Practice until there is nothing or almost nothing on your camera you don’t understand.
- Don’t buy an expensive DSLR until you’ve learned to make really impressive images with an inexpensive point and shoot or a phone. It seems like many who don’t discipline themselves to learn to use the equipment they have will invest a lot of money in a more expensive camera hoping it will make them a better photographer. Bottom line is, making images that stand out has to do with your creativity and from what I’ve seen people that haven’t pushed low end equipment to its limits and made work that stands out with that, can’t make anything much more exceptional when they spend a couple thousand on more professional gear.
- Before you invest in a more expensive camera setup do your research thoroughly and carefully. Ask advice from professional photographers, read articles online where professionals have grouped together the pros and cons of different cameras. There are many camera options out there, and it takes a lot of time to really learn what’s what, and what’s going to best fit your needs, but once you learn this you can make an educated decision of where to put your money and will be so much happier in the long run than if you simply buy the same camera that you saw your friend get.
SY: That looks like sound advice to me. Thank you so much for sharing with us!
For photographers reading this, what other tips do you have to share? Comment below.