Photographer Feature: Dan Schenker (@heydanschenker)

Aerial view of manor and surrounding forest
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Once a week, we interview one of our Patrons or a photographer from our Slack community on!

We hope that you learn a new spot or new camera setup! 

Who are you, and where in New Jersey are you from?

My name is Dan Schenker, and I’m an aerial drone and event photographer from Hamburg, New Jersey. 

It’s just about as far north as you can go; drive too far and you’ll be in New York state. If we ever meet in person, you’ll probably see me with my wife and toddler, eating ice cream, or petting a dog.

Read Dan’s stories on

What are the three best spots for photography in New Jersey, and why?

I have trouble picking the best of anything, but three spots that I love to shoot are:

Pochuck Boardwalk in Glenwood, New Jersey. It makes for dynamic photos in literally every season, and on most days, it’s a nice peaceful walk surrounded by nature.

Wildwood, New Jersey. This is a town that time forgot, and its mix of mid-century modern style and lots of neon make for really fun, retro photos.

This one is kind of a cop-out, but anywhere in the air! Growing up, I felt like I’d explored every inch of my county, but through the years, changing my physical perspectives has helped me also change the less tangible one.

Learn the drone laws in New Jersey here.

What's your camera setup?

For events, I have my trusty old Canon 5D Mark III and either a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens or a 24-105mm f/4. Nothing too special there. 

In the air, I have my DJI Mavic Pro 1, though I’d love to upgrade that soon. 

For other creative perspectives, I have two main 360º cameras: the Insta360 One X and a Vuze VR Camera for 3D 360 photos.

What's your dream piece of gear? Think big!

Is it weird to choose a lens for this? Canon’s 85mm f1/2 is such a killer portrait lens. Going down a more quirky road, there’s this obscure Soviet lens manufacturer called Jupiter that made an incredible 85mm, too.

What's one bucket list photo of New Jersey you haven't gotten yet?

I’ve always wanted to shoot the cranberry bogs in the Pine Barrens! One day I’ll get down there.

Is this on your list too? We have a guide for that.

One tip for aspiring photographers?

Stop comparing yourself. You’ve chosen a hobby or profession that is judged by preference.

If you like your photos, then they’re good photos! If you don’t like them, ask yourself why, then either learn how to improve your skill to reach a point where you’re content, or throw away that thought that’s telling you that you aren’t good enough.

What's your favorite part of being a photographer?

I tend to forget that photography can be fascinating to people who simply don't want to learn more about it than the already know. I'm not going to go out and learn how to be a mechanic, so I can appreciate the talent it takes to fix a car. Seeing that positive or amazed reaction to photos that you present, either in person or online, is such an uncommon, wonderful feeling.

“Photographer Feature” is an ongoing segment featuring our Patrons and Slack community members. Contact editor Abbey Dufoe for more information.

NJspots is a growing community. By sharing you can help.

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