Sacramento Bee event: Learn how to photograph like a pro

Whether snapping shots with cellphones or investing thousands of dollars in professional equipment, all photographers can produce better photos – if they focus on some simple advice.

Just in time for holiday get-togethers, Bee staff photographer Randall Benton will share secrets that pros use to create memorable imagery at “Capture the Moment,” a special workshop hosted by The Bee as part of its BeeBuzzPoints Member Appreciation Month.

The free event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at The Bee, 2100 Q St., Sacramento. Participants must register in advance at

It’s not necessarily the type or cost of the camera that makes a great photo, said Benton, who discovered his own passion for photography 40 years ago.

“Many people – especially those just getting started in photography – presume that their photos would look better if their equipment was better,” Benton said. “But a vast majority of great photos could be made with very modest equipment within the reach of the average photographer.

“In this presentation, I will reveal some simple ideas that anyone can use no matter what kind of equipment they are using,” he said. “These are the ideas that made the most dramatic improvements to my own development as a photographer. I’ll talk about getting closer (to subjects), shifting your point of view and a few other things to consider that will produce better images no matter what camera you’re holding in your hand.”

Even beginners can get good results if they follow some visual tips.

“One key suggestion that I consider every time I take photos is to include people,” he said. “I will explain how that one element can often make the difference between a dull photo and one that is really special.”

— Debbie Arrington