High School Sports Photos

Well... it's that time of the year again, High School Sports are in full swing.  I am happy to announce I have been approved to be a MaxPreps Photographer for the 2017-2018 season.  

Feel free to reach out to me directly if you would like me to photograph a specific game or player.  I am available to cover most of the Rio Gande Valley and Laredo, but it would be best to reach out to me a minimum of 1 week in advance.  I am available with next day notice for Schools between McAllen to Roma.

Last year was my first year shooting as a freelance photographer for MaxPreps, and galleries for the 2016-2017 season are still available for viewing as well as digital downloads purchases, starting at only $7.99.  Did you know that MaxPreps is not only about sports photography? It's a place to find out game scores, individual player stats and video clips. If you have never visited MaxPreps.com I encourage you to visit the page today and register to become a member.  IT'S FREE! Even better, download the MaxPreps App, on Andorid or iOS, for live updates and to receive notifications as photo galleries are added for your favorite teams.  The apps also allow any coach or individual member to upload up to the minute scores, photos and videos for any game. 


Event Photography for Clients & Photographers

Do you need to book an Event Photographer?  Are you an Event Photographer looking for events to cover?

Read More

Checkout the New Website Updates!

Well... It sure has been a long, yet exciting, month for MagallonPhotography.com!

Let me explain why I have not had time to update my blog.  In the last month, in addition to shooting for my personal clients, I have also started shooting for MaxPreps.com and Jolesch Enterprises.  Both of these new ventures have opened up a lot of new doors and have kept me really busy on the weekends.  

If you attend a Sports or Marching Band event, keep your eyes open for me, I may be on the sidelines capturing images of the event.  Depending on the event, photos will be made available via: MagallonPhotography.com, MaxPreps.com or the Jolesch Enterprises website (link above).  Visit my website Events Galleries page for updates of new photos added to MagallonPhotography.com.  In the near future, you will be able to submit requests for me to attend specific sporting events via the MaxPreps website.

Follow me on:  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumbler to be notified when new event photos have been uploaded.

Did I mention, new portfolio galleries have also been added to the website?  Click here to see what's new!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope to see y'all in the near future.

Take care, 

Mario Magallon

Photo Promo Ends September 16th

Are you part of a High School Mariachi or Folkorico group? If you are a performer, director or school representative, you will want to read this.

I am offering a concert package from now till September 16th. I guarantee you will not want to miss out on this offer.


-$400 per concert up to 2 hours coverage
-Includes 200 digital photos of performance
-Includes unlimited printing rights on size and quantity, for private use
-Includes social media rights

This comes out to only $2 per high quality digital photo!

Wait! There is more. If you would like to purchase unrestricted rights, for each of the photos in your package, your cost is only an additional $1 per photo.

In other words, for as little as $3 per high quality digital photo you can have unlimited use of all photos included in your package.

Want more photos? You will also have the option to upgrade your package, adding additional photos for only $2* per each additional photo. 


Reach out to me, Mario Magallon, at 956-648-0064, or by email, no later than September 16th 2016 to check for available dates. I will book for the entire 2016-2017 school year during this time. *Call for details.

I am also available for travel outside of the Rio Grande Valley!


Quarterly Blog? - How about a promo rate?


Seems like my weekly blog has turned into a Quarterly Blog.  Geezzz.  As you can probably guess, I have been pretty busy with photo sessions and traveling for my full time job.  I find time to update my social media but struggle finding time to update my blog on a regular basis.  None the less, here I am with a quick photo update and a special offer.


First, the special offer. During the month of August, I will be running a special with limited slots available.

Here is the offer:  $100 = 30 minute mini-session, up to 3 people, 3 digital files with printing rights.  

I will only book 1 session per day M-F.

To book session: 

  1. Contact me by email, phone or Facebook
  2. Payment & contract due minimum of 1 week in advance (Cash, Check and Credit Cards accepted)
  3. Client selects 1 of 3 locations available
  4.  Show up and have fun!


Now on to the photo update.  Here is a small gallery of photos I have created over the last few months.


2016 UIL Mariachi Competition - Region 15

Click here to view the Events Gallery page; then click on the UIL 2016 Mariachi Competition link.

I finally finished processing digital negatives for the 2016 Region 15 UIL Mariachi Competition hosted at La Joya High School on 2-27-16.

The following high school mariachi groups, from South Texas, were represented at this event:

  • Roma
  • Hidalgo
  • RGC: La Grulla 
  • Mission Veterans 
  • PSJA Southwest
  • Edinburg Robert Vela
  • PSJA
  • Valley View
  • Roma - Varsity
  • Rio Grande City
  • McAllen Memorial
  • La Joya Juarez Lincoln
  • Edinburg Economedes
  • McAllen Nikki Rowe
  • Edingburg
  • PSJA Memorial
  • PSJA North
  • Edinburg North
  • La Joya
  • La Joya Palmview
  • McAllen

Each school is listed in the order of appearance.  The first few photos of the gallery are panoramas of different groups, the panoramas are followed by multiple photos of each mariachi.  Groups are pictured in the same order as listed above.

Click here to view the Events Gallery page; then click on the UIL 2016 Mariachi Competition link.

Here are a few samples from this event.


Taking the show on the road...

My most recent session took me to a High School located in the city of McAllen Texas.  I was contacted by Mr. Alex Treviño, who happens to be a member of, Latin Grammy Nominated Mariachi Los Arrieros, and also the Mariachi Director of McAllen High School's Mariachi Oro.  The Mariachi Program at McAllen High School started back in 1988, but had some challenges at one point and was virtually non existent for almost 12 years.  Things began to change when Alex took over the program, approximately 7 years ago. With the support of parents and dedicated students the program has gotten back on it's feet.  Since the time Alex became part of the program, he has lead Mariachi Oro to win 3 State Championship Titles at mariachi competitions.  Also, 2016 is the first year the University Interscholastic League recognized Mariachi Music as a UIL qualified event; and hosted the first ever State Mariachi Competition for all high school devisions. Mariachi Oro swept the UIL competition with all three judges awarding them a division 1 rating, which is the highest rating a group can achieve as such a competition.

During my phone discussion with Alex, he informed me that his group of talented young high school performers were recently invited to take their show on the road.  They have an opportunity to perform at a large event to be hosted in Los Ángeles California.  The problem? Raising money to make it all happen.  This is why Alex was contacting me and how I ended up at McAllen High School.  Alex had seen some of my Sponsor Poster work in the past and he figured it could be a good way for his students to raise the money needed. For some of his students this once in a life time opportunity and I am honored they selected me, out of many available photographers, to get the job done for them.

During my photo session with his students we took many individual photos as well as one group photo.  Each member of Mariachi Oro has had an individual Sponsor Poster custom designed by me.  Each of them are now currently seeking Sponsors to help them reach their financial goals to make this trip a reality.  Every generous sponsor, that is able to make a monitory donation, will receive a Sponsor Poster in exchange for their donation.  The posters are provided so each sponsor may display their support of Mariachi Oro.  

Please see the slide show below for samples of the Sponsor Posters.

For more information on Mariachi Oro, or If you would like to sponsor one of these talented performers, please reach out to the following points of contact:

Mariachi Director - Alex Treviño:

  • email: aletrevino@mcallenisd.net

Parent Booster President - Sujey López

  • email: veejay.lopez@gmail.com
  • phone: 956-533-3930

Parent Booster Vice-President - Betty Rodríguez

  • email: jrodriguez006@rgv.rr.com
  • phone: 956-624-9492

This one is over due.

Hey Everyone,

Sorry I have not update my blog in the last two months.  A funny thing happen... I got busy with photography.  "Well of course Mario! You are a photographer." Well, yes, but I am also a Full Time Regional Service Supervisor for a major mobile phone company.  Photography is a passion that I am able to satisfy on the weekends by shooting sessions of: couples, families, children, sports teams, action sports, weddings, quinceaneras and much more...  My weekdays have been taken up the last couple of year by traveling to West Texas and New Mexico, for my full time job.  So, as you can imagine, when I work in my home area I spend my weekday evenings with my family.  Recently, late January to more precise, the mobile company I work for went through some major structure changes; for many in our company this meant they no longer had a job, for others like myself, this meant a new boss and a new area to cover.  When the new areas were announced my area shrunk down to only South Texas, my home area.  I don't know how long I will support South Texas only, with out the need for extensive travel... BUT I'LL TAKE IT!

Staying in my home area for my full time job has allowed me to take on additional photography opportunities in the evenings.  As a result I have been busy with both capturing and editing photos more than ever.

I would like to thank everyone that has stopped by to check for updates and to everyone that follows me on social media.  All the compliments and kind words about my work are truly motivating.  I hope my passion for photography will some day grow into something I can do full time allowing me to always work from my South Texas Home.

I leave you with a few photos I have created over the two months.  Feel free to leave questions or comments below or reach out to me via email or social media.

Parents Night basketball photo by: Peter Magallon (my 8 year old son)

Introducing Oliver!

On December 17th 2015, my brother Christopher and his wife Holly became the proud parents of their second child, Oliver Morgan Magallon.  Two days later I received a phone call from my brother asking, "When can we take photos of Oliver?!?".  I had been waiting for this call since the day I found out they were having baby number two.  Oliver was delivered in good health 1 month before his due date, and was able to come home a few days later.  I was anxious to schedule a photo session; unfortunately, I had 3 other obligations for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  But as soon as Tuesday came around I, along with my wife and children, were off to photography my new nephew.

We set up in my brothers living room with a small portable back drop, soft boxes, speedlites and wireless triggers. Using this set up, along with my Nifty Fifty 50mm Lens and a Canon DSLR, I was able to make the following images for them.  

Please help me in welcoming Oliver in to the world by leaving a comment below.

#RGVHOOPS Lady Lobos vs Lady Mustangs

The Palmview Lady Lobos Basketball team hosted their District Opener vs McAllen Memorial's Lady Mustangs on 12-15-15.  This game was expected to be a good one and it did not disappoint.  Both teams were back and forth with a strong show of defense not allowing the other team to score, resulting in a low scoring 1st quarter; the battle for buckets continued through to the end of the first half, ending with a 12-12 tie. Both teams were very determined to put up some points in the second half staying neck and neck throughout the entire half.  In the end the Lady Lobos finished 3 points shy of tying up the the game, giving them their first district loss of 38-35.

I would like to introduce you to the 2015-1016 Lady Lobos:

Here are some photos from the District Opener vs the Lady Mustangs:

McAllen Holiday Parade 2015

If you were like me, you found yourself at the 2nd Annual McAllen Holiday Parade yesterday.  Yesterday's Parade and Concert was a spectacular event.  Being present was a wonderful experience for all that attended, whether in the stands or seated along Bicentennial Blvd.  For those lucky enough to be at field level, it was really exciting!  I was one of the few lucky people to make it down to field level.  While there I was able to feel the energy of everyone around around me.  The roaring of the crowd was incredible and something I hope to experience again in my life time.

I would like to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all the sponsors and participants that made this event possible.  A special thanks also goes out Sprint, one of the major sponsors of this event. I have personally been employed by Sprint for the last 19 years; it makes me happy to see the company I work for getting involved with community events like these.  I expect we will see more community involvement from Sprint in the near future as well. 

Below you will find a few images captured at last nights activities.

To see more images, or purchase a personal use license for one of my images, head over to the Event Galleries section of my website; then click on the, McAllen Holiday Parade 2015 link.


Photo Tip - Freezing Motion for Low Light Action

As many of you may already know, not only do I enjoy creating images, I also enjoy discussing and teaching others about photography and I conduct face to face training sessions.  As a matter a fact, I have a group face to face session coming up very soon. If you are interested in participating, please reach out to me for more details. 

I have met many people that purchase a camera, with full manual controls,  that leave settings untouched and are forever stuck in auto mode.  There is nothing wrong with this if a camera is producing images with a look and feel that you like.  But more often that not, the images are not as good as you hoped they would be when you first made your purchase.  Then there are others that do their best to learn, either by watching videos or reading a book, but have limited success because the are not learning the basics first. Most times than not this group of people will hit a wall of discouragement, resulting in a camera that is not used as much as originally planned when it was purchased.  Of course, there are a rare few out there that pick up a camera and are "naturals", not because the were born with it but because they have grasped the 3 basic components of exposure: Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO.

The truth is, anyone can shoot in manual mode and produce better images by learning the 3 basic basics of exposure. These 3 components are often referred to as the Exposure Triangle and have independent control over the amount of light your camera sees when you make a photo.  Shutter Speed controls the speed at which the shutter opens and closes; which controls the amount of light that reaches the sensor by limiting the amount of time it is open.  This has a direct affect on a the cameras ability to freeze or show motion (also know as motion blur).  The Aperture setting controls the aperture (opening) of the blades within a lens.  The higher the F-Number the smaller the aperture and the lower the F-Number the larger the aperture.  A wider aperture will allow more light in at a time, relative to the shutter speed, and also controls a Depth of Field (DOF) in the resulting image.  DOF is the distance of area that is in focus, measured from front to back or back to front.  A wider aperture will give you a shallower DOF and a narrower aperture will give you a deeper DOF.  Lastly, we have ISO, ISO controls the camera sensors sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO setting the more sensitive it is too light.  But something to keep in mind is this, the higher ISO you use the more digital noise you will introduce to your final image.  Because of the digital noise side effect higher ISO settings introduce, lower ISO settings are usually preferred, by most photographers, to help obtain the cleanest image possible.  Below is a diagram to help illustrate the Exposure Triangle.

When all 3 components of exposure are properly balance you will have a correct exposure.  To know if you have a correct exposure you will need to use a light meeter. Fortunately for us, all modern manual cameras have a built in light meeter that looks similar to the image below.  When your settings are correct you will see a meeter reading of "0" when pointing your camera at your subject.  If your meeter does not read "0" then you are either over or under exposing for your subject, and one of the 3 components will need to be adjusted to balance out the reading.

With all that behind us, the title of this blog post is "Freezing Motion for Low Light Action". Where is the low light tip in all of this you ask?  Well, for the tip to make sense you must first understand the 3 basics components of exposure; and now that you have a better understanding of exposure, here is today's Photo Tip.

When shooting low light action photos you must first ask yourself two questions:

1. What shutter speed to I need to freeze motion?

Different types of action call for different Shutter Speeds to freeze motion, the final Shutter Speed dialed in will be based on how fast the action is that you are trying to freeze.  The faster the action is the faster your Shutter Speed needs to be. For example, I know from experience, a youth softball game will need a minimum shutter speed of 1/500 of a second to freeze the action. If you are capturing action that is slower then your Shutter Speed setting can be set slower. Once you have decided what shutter speed you are going use you need to ask your self the following question.

2. What is more important to me, DOF or Low Digital Noise?

For me the answer is almost always Low Digital Noise.  So with that said, I will open my Aperture up as wide as possible, typically that would be f2.8 for me.  Although, not everyone has a lens like mine, so for you f3.5 or f5.6 may be the widest setting you have available.  By opening up the Aperture as much as possible, this will allow you to select the lowest possible ISO.  Unfortunately, at this point, I can not tell you what ISO setting to use.  Why? Simply because I don't know what gear you are using and settings will vary depending on the gear you have available to you.  But the answer is very simple: beging rolling your ISO up from its lowest setting, typically 100 on most camera, while pointing your camera at your subject.  Once your meeter reading reads "0" your camera is properly exposed.  Well... sort of.  Meters can sometimes be fooled by by your subject or scene behind your subject, but we will leave that topic for another day.  In the mean time make your first photo capture, if your photo is underexposed (too dark) roll the ISO up a little more, if it is overexposed (too bright) then roll it down.

And there you have it.  A simple photo tip to improve your Low Light Action Photos.  I leave you with some sample photos, captured at a night under low light conditions, at a Boys and Girls Club Youth Softball game.


Please reach out to me if you would like to learn more about how to use your camera and what all the other buttons do.  You can contact me directly via the contract page or via one of the social media outlets listed below.  Feedback on this, and other blog posts, is greatly appreciated, please take time to comment below. Let me know what your favorite type of blog posts are.

As always, thanks for stopping by.


Family Session at The Pump House

This past Sunday I meet with the Saycocie Family because Mr. & Mrs. Saycocie decided it was time to take some new family photos. While they were at it, they also wanted to have some couples photos made to celebrate their up coming 15 year wedding anniversary.  

When Maricarmen, Mrs. Saycocie, first contacted me she had a vague idea of the style of photos she wanted made and was not 100% sure where she wanted the session to be held.  What she did know was, she wanted them made outdoors and not in a studio.  Once Maricarmen informed me of the date she would like to have her family session, I knew immediately where we would shoot it. I informed Maricarmen that I already had another photo session scheduled for the date she was requesting, but I would still be able to accommodate her family if they could meet me, at The Old Hidalgo Pump House, at least 2 hours before my other session began.  My plan was to meet with my other client here already, so why not kill two birds with one stone.

The Pump House, located in Hidalgo Texas, is a wonderful location that provides photographers with many photo opportunities.  When I arrived with my assistant we were the only photography team present, but that did not last long.  By the time the Saycocie Family had arrived the Pump House grounds were teaming with photographers.  A one point I counted 8 different sessions happening at the same time.  The good news, the Pump House grounds are large enough that photographers could not possibly get in each others way.

We utilized over 10 spots as back drops and still had angles and corners that went unexplored.  All in all, we had a good time and came back with some great images. 

Thank you Mr. & Mrs Saycocie for having me as your photographer, it was truly a pleasure.  I wish you both a Happy Anniversary and hope our paths meet again.

What? No backdrop?

I am a HUGE FAN of HSS, High Speed Sync.  What is HHS you ask?  HSS is a photography technique, in which a photographer is able to shoot photos using flash at faster shutter speeds than the typical flash sync speed.  Still confused?  It's ok, it took me a while to get it too.  Basically what that mean is, I can make a background dark, even if there the lights are on in a room; the only thing that is visible in the photo will be anything that is hit with the camera flash.

When I use this technique in front of clients for the first time, they are usually shocked that I am not using a backdrop.  Most of the time they think I am crazy, especially because backgrounds are usually cluttered with things you typically would not want in a photo.  For example, today I had a photo session, for the Cesar Chavez Middle School - Jewelettes Drill Team, in the background were the following: teachers desk, book shelves, drinking fountain and some other junk that was just on the floor.  The results?  Well just take a look at this photo and you be the judge.

Feel free to comment below and share MagallonPhotography.com.  If you would like to learn to shoot HSS feel free to reach out to me for private lessons.  In the mean time, keep those cameras clicking and thanks for stopping by my blog.

BTS Photo by Claudia Magallon