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Donald Jin Photography

Hello everyone! Don here from Donald Jin Photography.  Let me start with a big “thank you” to Basic Invite for inviting me to be featured on their blog.  It's a great honor to be paired with such a great company.  I am a portrait photographer based out of Boston.  Though I enjoy all genre of photography, my passion lies with photographing people.  Unlike any other types of photography, portraits allow me the opportunity to interact and build a rapport with my clients.  Through this process, I get a glimpse of their personalities, quirks, and what makes them unique.

Having met and photographed hundreds, if not thousands of people, I can attest that every person is truly unique and possess beauty unlike anyone else. It’s my job as a photographer to “see” that uniqueness and capture it through my camera.  It’s a tall order, but that’s what makes portrait photography so interesting and different than any other genre.

With the proliferation of affordable and highly advanced digital cameras and smartphones, everyone, including uncle Bob and auntie Jane are now capable of producing great looking selfies and portraits. In order to stand out from this crowd and be a "professional" in this oversaturated and over-photographed market, I realized I need to offer something more, something not easily achievable by amateurs regardless of the equipment.  For me, that “something” is a carefully crafted photograph, an image that is made, not taken.  It is developed through taking time to understanding the subject, thoughtful posing, controlling expressions, and managing light.

People often talk about having a “photographic style.” I would say my style has evolved, perhaps matured and hopefully improved over the past twenty somewhat years.   My mantra in photography has been boiled down to three ingredients: simplicity, uniqueness and lighting.


A wise man once said “keep it simple, stupid.” This man was indeed wise and spoke the truth.  I try to keep my composition, backgrounds, color, and lighting as simple as possible and keep all other element to a minimum.  After all, in portrait photography, there is only one subject that matters.  Everything else is a distraction.


Everyone is indeed unique and possess a personality and beauty that is their own. That uniqueness and beauty can be manifested through a crooked smile, a shy giggle, maybe a coy look in the eyes.  For me, the process of working with a client to bring out their personality and capture it in a portrait is the real joy of portrait photography.


Not all light shines equally. Light can be hard or soft, vary by color, intensity and depending on the angle and time of day, it effects the overall mood of the photograph.  Without a doubt, light is the single most complex but also the most important ingredient in a photograph.  Chasing after the best light is a lot of work.  It entails scheduling your shoot at the right time, selecting the right location, hauling strobes and reflectors back and forth but this is what separates a professional portrait from what comes out of Uncle’s Bob’s camera.  Not all clients may appreciate or even understand all the work that goes into making a portrait, but the end results should speak for themselves.

To find out more about Donald Jin Photography or to see more of his amazing portraits, please check out his website or follow his social media.




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