PM360 recently spoke to Don Abramo, Sr. Director of Marketing at Pharming, about mastering the art of photography.

Don (top left) with his family at Hilton Head Island.

PM360: What made you decide to pick up photography?

Don Abramo: Just before the pandemic, I bought a Nikon mirrorless DSLR camera because I had an interest in photography and capturing beautiful and funny moments of life with a family of six children. When the pandemic hit, it hastened my desire to learn because my kids no longer had access to things like their yearly school pictures and photos or videos of sporting events for college recruiting purposes. Instead of being a hobby I was slowly learning about, it became something I needed to become proficient at in a relatively short period of time. Plus, other families in our neighborhood were in the same situation, so I saw it as an opportunity for me to help others too as we navigated through the pandemic.

Flowers from Don’s garden during the golden hour.

How did you approach learning this new skill?

I took some virtual classes and started watching YouTube channels of professional photographers. I wanted to learn the basics of photography, how to use different lenses, and the use of light to illuminate subjects so the best features come out. With my new knowledge, I invested in some different lenses and various lighting systems and started exploring different techniques with my kids. One of my first purchases was a professional light with a soft box and a portrait lens. I took many different kinds of pictures to practice what I was learning. Not only was it fun, but it also stretched my brain differently versus what we do every day as marketers.

Full moon on Halloween night 2020.

What skills are you still interested in learning more about?

There is so much to learn, so I’m trying to focus on one thing at a time. I’m still mastering lightning and learning additional techniques beyond just the use of a single flash. For example, I have MagMod color filters that you can put on the flash to draw things out. For instance, I bought a colored backdrop with some blue in it and when I use the blue on the speed light it helps create more depth in the photo.

Don’s youngest daughter, Genevieve.

Separately, I have taken some great photos at both of my oldest sons’ soccer games by experimenting with shutter speed. For instance, I put the shutter speed at 1/1000th and was able to capture my oldest son kicking the ball right in front of the goal before he scored.

Don’s son, James, playing high school soccer.

Besides your family and neighbors, what other subjects have you explored or would like to in the future?

Right before the pandemic, my wife and I took a trip to Hawaii. I captured photos of nature, the sunrise over the Pacific, and the different topography of Hawaii. In the future, I would love to visit Sicily. If you’ve ever looked at the topography in Sicily it’s very hilly in certain areas. It kind of reminds me of Hawaii in some respects, but it’s a place that would be a lot of fun to photograph with all the amazing scenery.

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