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?

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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.


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.

New Site, New Blog

Well, here it is! 

My website has been updated with a new look. I never thought putting together an online portfolio would be such a challenge.  

I was asking myself, "What categories should I make for my portfolios?"   I thought to myself, "Maybe I will show off some celebration photos, pet photography, how about landscape and seascape photos... then there are product photos and fun project photos... oh and macro photos of insects. Wait, what about the flower photos and star photos... OH NO! I have too many categories to showcase."  Finally it came down to this, I simply asked myself what photos have I created that people love the most. I realized that it is not the ones of places that I have visited, things that I have seen or new photography techniques that I have learned.  No, none of those.  The photos that seem to get the most emotion from people that view my work or the photos of the people themselves.  So with that in mind, my online portfolio is all based on people and the things they love and the things that define who they are.

Once that decision was made, the biggest challenge came in the form of choosing what photos to post up.  Can you imagine sorting through over 40,000 images taken over several years, then trying to narrow it down to no more that 15 per portfolio category?  Well that is what I just wrapped up.  It was tough and time consuming, but I think I am now showing some of my best work of people.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the images I have selected, so feel free to comment below.

As you can tell, another addition to my page is this very blog that you are currently reading.  I plan on updating my blog a minimum of once per week to let everyone know what projects I am working on, which may or may not be people photography. I also post up tips and tricks on how to learn photography.

So, come back to MagallonPhotography.com for more blog entries.  Share what you see here to your social media pages and reach out to me if you ever have any questions.

Take care and thanks for stopping by.