Meet The Photographers Who Write For Digital Photography School ~ Darlene Hildebrandt

Meet The Photographers Who Write For Digital Photography School ~ Darlene Hildebrandt

You’ve been reading their articles for months or years, have you ever wondered “Who are the photographers who write for dPS”? Today meet photographer Darlene Hildebrandt from Alberta, Canada.


1. How long have you been shooting?

I graduated from a 2 year photography program in 1988!  So over 25 years now, mostly as a professional.  I’ve been in the industry in many forms including: doing commercial studio work; had my own portrait/wedding studio for 12 years; was a trade rep for an album company and coached my photographer clients on business; some editorial work; travel photography; and the odd image sale for stock.  I’ve also done tons of art shows and sell my work in local galleries.

2. Do you have a full time job or are you a full time photographer?

I have a part-time job at a camera store, in the accounting department of all things. Mostly because I’ve done my own accounting for years and I needed something to get me out of the house after a 6 month extended RV trip around Canada and the US. Camera discounts are also a bonus, and it has connected me with teaching photography classes which I do here at the store as well as with two other local photography schools.

The photography that I do now is mostly for myself and my articles and classes.  I make most of my living teaching classes, doing private tutoring (in person and virtually using skype), leading workshops and photo tours.


3. If you had to limit yourself to one genre of photography, what would it be and why?

Tough question.  I’d have to say travel photography, which to me encompasses fine art, urban, landscape, HDR, night photography, and people.  I find joy in all those areas so I’d find it hard to pick among those.  If I had to I’d say travel photography with people.  Those are the images I find I want to see first when I download after a long trip.  But I also love night photography and HDR, both of which I teach.  Okay I can’t pick, so can I say I’d pick – “general”!

4. When did you start writing for dPS and why?

May 2012 was the date my first article was published with DPS.  I wanted to teach to a wider audience than I currently had on my own site and share my knowledge with more people.  DPS allows me to do that in a big way.  I love hearing the comments from readers who have enjoyed my articles. Seeing their resulting images after applying my tips, and hearing how excited they are about photography is why I do this.

5. What do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens?

I’m a Canon shooter, I have a 5D MarkIII.  However, not to get into a flame war here, I believe the camera is just a tool and whatever you use is just fine, be it Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony or something else.  It’s about learning how to use it and this is the right place to do that!  Not sure I have a favorite lens, but I’d say the extremes.  I love either really wide angle images, or long lens tight shots.  I tend to live in the 17-20mm and 150-200 range more so than I do in the middle.  My wide is a Tamron 17-35mm.  I also really love my 85 f1.8 for portraits.

6. What would be your number one tip to any new photographer?

Invest in education before you invest in gear.  I’ve had several students want to jump from an entry level DSLR into a full frame one, thinking that it will magically make all their photos better.  While there are some advantages of full frame (better at higher ISO, can get better shallow depth of field, etc) in my personal opinion mastering some of the other aspects of photography first will take you further. Things like getting the right exposure; what IS the right exposure; metering; controlling contrast; composition; lighting; choosing the right lens for the job; white balance; lighting; working with people; confidence; shooting in manual and RAW modes, and more.  A full frame SLR is a big investment, but I suggest you invest in yourself first.  An experienced, great photographer can do more with a crappy camera, than an inexperienced photographer can do with great camera – in my opinion.

7. What’s your next big project?

I have two projects in the works right now.  First is a virtual photography class I’m collaborating on with another photographer, still hammering out the details as I write this but by the time this is published it will likely be available.  It will be an 11 week (first one is free so you can try it out with no obligations, no money down), 15+ hour, live class which will incorporate lecture, Q&A, image reviews, and weekly assignments.  The topic is two fold – Lightroom mastery and Image mastery, so a marriage of technical (image processing) and artistic (shooting and processing).

The second is an ebook that I’ve had in my mind for a while.  It’s 75% written, now I just need to find time to finish it and process all the images.  It will feature photo tips, things I learned along the way on my 6 month RV journey to reinventing myself as a photographer, as well as inspirational images.

8. Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

My main hub is my website Her View Photography,  where you can get my FREE ebook “10 Challenges to Help you Take Better Pictures Without Buying More Gear” and find out more about my upcoming photo toursworkshops  and photography tutoring – both in person and virtual using Skype or Google Hangouts.

You can see some of my images on my portfolio site. My social media links are: FacebookGoogle PlusTwitter and Pinterest. Contact me here or by commenting on this article.







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Valerie Jardin I live and breathe in pixels! Photography is more than a passion, it's an obsession, almost an addiction. When I'm not shooting or writing, I spend my time teaching this beautiful craft during photo workshops all over the world! I am also thrilled to be an official X Photographer for Fujifilm USA. Visit my Website Follow me on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram. And listen to my Podcast!

Some Older Comments

  • Charles Lloyd February 28, 2013 10:26 am

    I agree with you completely about equipment versus education. I had a Canon 20D for years and have some of my favorites using this 20D hanging on the wall as 30"X40" crisp images. My argument was if I can shoot these images with an 8 megapixel camera why do I need to invest in a better camera? Well, I finally did, but the 20D was a good starting point.

    Darlene I do not doubt that you could use this camera and probably run circles around me versus me using my present 5D Mark II. Education is everything.

    Thanks for your articles.

  • Naomi February 25, 2013 01:55 pm

    I have been following Darlene for a couple for years now, and I have learned something new about her today! Thanks for doing this interview and being willing to share! Darlene is a great teacher and is super willing to share her hard earned knowledge and insight. Her free e-book is a GREAT resource and I have directed several people to that little gem. So, if you haven't gone to her website to get it... go now! you will NOT regret it! Photography is second nature to her, but she can still teach a very relatable way, no matter what your level ! I am sooo happy I came across your class, and will definately be taking more!

  • Darlene February 22, 2013 09:11 am

    @Amit - just go to my website and sign up, when my classes are available you'll get notice. If you want a private lesson just purchase that here

  • Darlene February 22, 2013 08:00 am

    @arturomm - not sure I understand the question? I think photography is more popular than ever, than any time in history.

    Is it "strange" - not sure what you mean by that? I don't think it's forgotten, not at all.

    If you want to sell your gear, if it's film equipment you won't get much for it, as there's little demand. If it's digital, relatively new, in good condition you can try selling it for 50-60% of what it would cost new. That's it. Most people prefer to buy new and get a warrantee.

  • ArturoMM February 22, 2013 07:44 am

    I like your photos very much, I won't miss any opporunity that I'd have to attend one of your courses.

    I have a question:

    What would you say to a enthusiast photographer when he/she is in a time when photograpy is becoming a little strange, a little forgotten, and start thinking how much would get if he/she sell all his/her equipment?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Darlene February 22, 2013 05:14 am

    Thanks for the comments I'm flattered! Keep reading my articles!

    And thanks Valerie for the interview.

  • Amit Shaw February 21, 2013 11:25 pm

    That's an awesome interview agree with Darlene, We should invest in ourself before buying any DSLR.
    Soon i am going to start photogrpahy and just reading some useful thread on DPS, Flicker and some YouTube Channel.
    Darlene i want to ask you how to take your personal online classes where should we contact?
    BTW Nice to know that you are Canon User bcz soon i will buy Canon EOS 600D . Hope that's best DSLR For Image shooting.

  • Ricardo Gomez February 21, 2013 07:04 pm

    As a new photographer, it's great to see how long-term photographers live their passion. Thank you.

  • Liz February 21, 2013 01:19 pm

    I have to say that I agree too; Amazing work, my favorite from these ones is the #1 Maritime, love it!

  • Mei Teng February 21, 2013 11:26 am

    Agree...great interview and beautiful photos.

  • ccting February 21, 2013 10:49 am

    a great article and photos.. ;D

  • February 21, 2013 09:17 am

    That sure is some beautiful night time and hdr photography.