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Discover which effect is right for you. Whether its a sweet spot of focus, a dramatic slice of focus, or a swirly bokeh, we have artistic effects for any type of photographic vision.


Get inspired by our Lensbaby Ambassadors and image galleries in our Inspiration Center. Learn everything there is to know about Lensbaby and our lens effects, from the pros who use them!

© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

It's All About the Eyes

  • 4 min read

It's All About the Eyes

Artist Interview with Denise Snyder

Denise Snyderis a photographer based in the United States who says the details are all in the eyes. We had the opportunity to interview her and learn more about her process!

Denise Snyder with Lensbaby Sol 45

Q: When did you start taking photographs?

A: I began taking photographs when my children were little to document them growing up. I discovered a real love for photography and capturing that "perfect moment". Over the years that grew into a family photography business. Several years ago I gave up my business to focus on my health and other family concerns, but continued to shoot for myself and the occasional book cover for an agency I had been signed with. I discovered that I enjoyed many other genres including wildlife and macro. My lensbabies have been a huge part of that, as I now shoot with them almost exclusively.


Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?

A: Oh wow that's like asking me to pick my favorite child! I love them all! For ease of use I would choose my Sol45, but my favorite overall look is definitely created with the edge optics. In my macro work I typically choose to work with the Velvet 56, but the Sol45 and macro filter combination works well too.

Denise Snyder with Lensbaby Sol 45

Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use Lensbaby Gear?

A: Practice. If your camera has focus peaking - use it. It makes a world of difference with manual focus lenses. Don't try to shoot wide open right away as its easier to focus with the shutter closed down a bit. Master F5.6, then gradually open up as you get better.


Q: What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?

A: I have followed so many photographers over the years, but I would say I learned the most about the technical aspects from books by Bryan Peterson, Joe McNally and Neil Van Niekerk. I also took a great class with Tiffany Kelly on macro photography that absolutely influenced how I approach that genre. The most influence on my photography, however, came from a small group of female photographers I met on a photo contest site many years ago who became my dear friends.


Denise Snyder with Lensbaby Sol 45

Q: What is the most difficult part of being a photographer?

A: Sometimes for me its just finding a subject that intrigues me.


Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer or are you self-taught? What was that journey like?

A: Mostly self-taught, but I have taken a few online classes and have been a member of several online forums where I have learned quite a bit. I also have quite a library of photography books that I re-read constantly. It's really a never ending process. There is so much to learn and every time I step into a new genre there is a learning curve, but that's half the fun.


Denise Snyder with Lensbaby

Q: What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?

A: In a portrait for me it's all about the eyes and trying to convey some emotion so I try to get to know my subject and get them comfortable in front of my lens. In my macro work I try to focus on lines and shapes and that's where I find my lensbabies really help define my style as they help me blur out anything that is not important and draw the eye to what I am trying to convey in the photograph.


Q: What inspires you most?

A: Beauty in the every day. I try to focus in on the things that we may see all the time but never really take the time to appreciate.


Q: What's your favorite quote?

A: I'm going to geek out here and give you my favorite quote from Harry Potter: "happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light". I have had a very difficult year with family deaths and illnesses, and I try to recall that qoute whenever possible.


Denise Snyder with Lensbaby

Q: What's your favorite subject to photograph?

A: People - without question my favorite subject.


Q: How would you describe your photography style?

A: That's a really hard question for me to answer. I feel like its always evolving. I can tell you that blur and shallow depth of field are a constant across nearly all of my images.


Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer?

A: Being able to show people how beautiful they are and how beautiful the world around them can be.


Q: How do you bring the best out of your models? What tips do you have?

A: Just engage with them... find common ground and talk. I probably talk too much but I find that it helps put people at ease if I am talking as I am photographing them.


Denise Snyder

I have always been an artist, and enjoy drawing, painting and creating in various mediums. My first love, however, is photography. I have been a photographer for nearly two decades, specializing in portrait, wildlife and macro photography, and my work has been published in books and magazines around the world. I live on the beautiful Jersey Shore, and can often be found wandering the beaches, camera in hand, looking for that next great shot.

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