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In this Canon Explorers of Light Q&A series, we interview several professional photographers who are a part of Canon’s Explorers of Light program.
The Explorers of Light Program, running since 1995, boasts some incredibly talented photographers. These photographers have spent years honing their craft, and influence and educate other photographers of all levels – something, we at dPS, can respect and relate to.
In this Canon Explorers of Light Q&A series, we interview photographers Bob Davis. He shares his experience and gives tips to upcoming photographers.
I was inspired by my father, who always had a camera or movie camera within arms-reach. Growing up, I played with Polaroid, where you had to coat the photographs and mount them onto the cardboard included with the pack of instant film. Also, all kinds of Kodak cameras, 126, 110, and Disc cameras.
I became addicted to captured moments and anything that caught my eye, and I was on a first-name basis with the one-hour lab in the Jewel near my home.
Once I got into high school, I took my first photography class. Mrs. Morrison encouraged my passion for documenting everyday moments. She said to me, “you can make a living in photography as a photojournalist!”
That was it; I knew my life’s calling.
I joined the school newspaper and yearbook, had a front-row seat to current events, and in my senior year, I won the National Honor Society Scholarship in Photojournalism and subsequently attended Columbia College in Chicago.
Simultaneously, a small newspaper, The Daily Southtown Economist, hired me. Eventually, work took up all my time. I decided to leave college and work full time, setting my sights on a position at the Chicago Sun-Times, working alongside John H. White, Pulitzer Prize winner in feature photography. I realized my dreams in 1989 when I was hired full time at the Chicago Sun-Times, where I was a staff photographer covering daily news until 2004.
My first camera purchase was a Canon AT1 with a 50mm 1.4 lens, 28mm 2.8, and a 200mm 2.8 lens, which fueled my passion for photography in high school.
Eventually, I had the Canon AT1 modified to accept the highspeed motor drive that would allow for five frames per second. I was pursuing sports photography, and the local weekly newspaper, The Star, hired me as a freelancer to photograph the local football team who were heading to State. Score!
I am a lifelong Canon user, and I’m blessed to be a part of The Canon Explorers of Light Educational Program. I purchased my own Canon EOS 1D digital camera. I love Canon color and glass period!
I use the RF 28-70 f2.0, RF 50mm f1.2, EF 16-35 f2.8 vIII, EF 24-70 f2.8 vII, EF 70-200 f2.8 IS vII, 100-400 f4.5 5.6 vII, 300 f2.8 vII, 1.4x vIII, 2x vIII and 10-600EX RT Speedlites. I love the speed and low light focus capability of both the EOS 1DX MIII and EOS R full-frame mirrorless bodies. There’s no situation I cannot cover with these cameras.
I love capturing real authentic moments and fashion-inspired portraits. I would call our style timeless and classic with an editorial twist. Currently, I practice in wedding, portraits, and wildlife photography.
Honestly, being a lifelong photojournalist, there isn’t much I haven’t covered in my career, so I’m prepared for anything.
I’ve photographed every president since Ronald Reagan and captured the most exclusive events for A-list celebrities. I love photographing the once-in-a-lifetime moments that unfold at weddings and special events.
I love weddings and events, but I’m transitioning into destination wildlife, travel photography, and workshops. Photography is a powerful medium to tell stories and share a message. I want our wildlife and destination work to inspire people to think and be grateful for the abundance of beauty that surrounds us and that we need to be stewards of our planet and environment!
Practice, practice, practice! I learned from Michael Jordan while covering his many NBA championships that before every game, he would be on the floor before anyone else and practice the basics. He was ready and confident, so when the moment came for the big shots, he was prepared. I still practice and push myself to be green and growing, and always be prepared no matter the assignment.
My cameras have always been a passport, allowing me a front seat to history. While at the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper for 14 years, I covered countless historic events, such as presidential elections, Michael Jordan’s entire career with the Chicago Bulls, many faiths, celebrations, and rituals. I’ve traveled around the world for weddings and human-interest stories for nonprofit organizations.
I have since moved on from the newspaper industry. Now, I have created an endeavor with my wife, Dawn Davis – Bob & Dawn Davis Photography & Design.
Our client list reads like a “Who’s Who” of entertainment’s elite. We had the honor of photographing A-list weddings such as Eva Longoria & Tony Parker’s wedding in Paris, Salma Hayek & François-Henri Pinault’s wedding in Italy, La La Vazquez & Carmelo Anthony’s TV wedding in New York, Tracey Edmonds & Eddie Murphy’s wedding in Bora Bora, ABC’s TV show The Bachelorette Ashley’s wedding to J.P. in California, along with many other fabulous events with Oprah Winfrey.
I was commissioned to work on the book America 24/7, which was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show and was a New York Times Best Seller.
Our work has been featured in publications such as People, OK, O Magazine, InStyle, Inside Weddings, Town & Country, Munaluchi, Grace Ormonde, Modern Luxury Brides, and dozens of others.
I am honored to be a member of the Canon Explorers of Light, Westcott Top Pro Elite, and SanDisk Extreme Team. Dawn and I are the authors of two books, Lights Camera Capture, and We’re Engaged!
I am happily married to my wife, Dawn, and together we have two beautiful children, Bobby and Alli.