Yogurtland…

 

A photograph of a cup of Yogurtland Strawberry Yogurt

We recently helped out the folks at Yogurtland and Amusement Park create their new campaign called “Top This!”, encouraging  patrons to create their own towering masterpieces. It was of course a delicious day and we had a blast exploring all kinds of delectable combinations. From the Whimsical, to the Decadent, to the Colossal… each was a challenge in its own right. But with speed and stealth (and the food stylings of Nicole Kruzick @ Belly Food Style) we captured some mouth-watering combinations that were a feast for the… well they were a feast. Head over to your nearest Yogurtland and step up to the Ultimate Toppings Challenge! We’ll be keeping an eye out to see who wins!

Photo Of Yogurtland yogurt with all kinds of delicious toppings.

Photo of an extra large cup of Yogurtland yogurt with bountiful toppings.

 

 

WHY That Photo’s Not Free!…

The Alphabet - constructed from food products that start with each respective letter.

Let’s spell it out…

I recently wrote a post on the topic of using images from the web titled “That Photo’s Not Free!…“I touched on copyright issues surrounding the practice of grabbing an image online and using it without permission from (or compensation to) the photographer who created it. After I posted the article and got great response, a colleague of mine offered up the brilliant idea of a follow-up post explaining WHY that photo IS NOT and SHOULD NOT be free.

The first and foremost reason why it SHOULD NOT be free is because once people get the idea in their minds that photos could be free, they soon start to EXPECT them all to be free from now until eternity. This is a difficult place from which to rewind.

Allow me to now lay out the case for why images should not be free, based on the investment we photographers make in both time and money to create valuable assets, assets for which the creator is due compensation. This will of course be from my personal perspective, attempting to illustrate what is necessary to stay current, and maintain a thriving commercial photography studio.

In order to create these assets, we have expenses. But before we get to the nuts and bolts of our associated costs, let’s talk about the foundation on which the photography industry is built. Education.

Some of us do indeed go through 2-4 year programs at accredited universities or community colleges in order to hone our craft. Yet, not everyone goes this traditional route. Some take the apprenticeship approach, learning on the job alongside a professional. Others are self-taught. No matter how the education happens, it involves deep investments of both time and money, and in some cases it can be upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars and many years. For all of which there is no direct compensation. Education is just one of the many “investments” we make in order to excel at our craft.

I recently read a statement that I love. It was a photographer’s response to a client who took issue with paying what was perceived to be an exorbitant amount of money for a shoot that the photographer was able to accomplish rather quickly. It went something like this: “You are not paying for how long it takes me to do the job. You are paying for the decades of experience which I have accumulated that allows me to do the job at this high level.”

Most professional photographers are people who have invested a significant number of years fine-tuning their skills, developing a style, and refining their voices. This is no small feat and is something that is ONLY compensated (monetarily) when they get a gig or sell an image.

Photo of Cowboys eating take-out Chinese Food

Most professional photographers “Test.” Testing means shooting a project for yourself for the purpose of developing or adding to your portfolio. It is both a form of self-expression and a way to show clients your “personal work.” But who PAYS for the test? The photographer does. This particular test was fairly elaborate and cost thousands of dollars.

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty… It’s sharing time.

I am going to share my personal gear list with you to demonstrate the kinds of investments a real-life photographer like me has as overhead. Every professional photographer is going to have his or her preferred gear. How much gear depends on the photographer and also the type of work they do. I don’t think I am anywhere near the high-end of the spectrum in regards to how much I own, but I do have a substantial amount of equipment. Keep in mind, this is the equipment I have now and does not reflect all of the equipment that has gone by the wayside over the years which would EASILY double my investment from the list below.

This is my current equipment investment in all its glory. I doubt this list is exhaustive and I encourage others to add their two cents. In fact, I intentionally omitted a lot of small things here and there because otherwise this post would go on almost forever.

PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT VALUE
Avenger Super Clamp, Stand Adapter, and Grip Head $75
Avenger 40″ C Stands w/ Grip Head, Ext Arm x 4 @ $175 $700
Bogen Pro Digital Geared Head 405 $350
Calument 42″ Lightdisk Kit $60
Canon EF 100mm 2.8 Macro USM Lens $475
Canon EF 16mm-35mm f2.8 Series II USM AF Lens $1,800
Canon EF 35mm-350mm AF Lens $1,790
Canon EF85mm 1.2L AF USM Lens $1,500
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III Digital Camera w/extra battery $8,250
Canon EOS 1D X Digital Camera Body $6,799
Canon Extension Tube EF25 $150
Chimera Super Pro Soft Box (Lg) $440
Chimera Super Pro Soft Box (sm) $170
Comet Grid Spot Set (3 grids) $145
Extension Cords – 50′ x 6 @ $35 $210
Gel-Stor Roll-Up $35
Gitzo Performance Rapid GT3340 L Tripod $550
GoPro Hero 3+ Black with extra battery, 2 x 32 GB Micro SD Cards, Multi Grip, Strap Mount, and Gecko Mount $675
Grip Package (various small grip items, A Clamps, Super Clamps, Studs, J-Hooks, etc.) $500
Hasselblad 120mm HC 4.0 Macro Lens $3,400
Hasselblad 28mm HCD 4.0 Lens $3,730
Hasselblad 50-110mm HC 3.5-4.5 Zoom Lens $3,500
Hasselblad 80mm HC 2.8 Lens Included w/ Camera Body
Hasselblad Battery Grip x 2 $420
Hasselblad DC Power Grip $325
Hasselblad H13mm Extension Tube $300
Hasselblad H3D-39II   39MP Camera Body $32,000
Hasselblad Pro Lens Shade V/H 6095 w/ 77mm & 95mm Mount Rings $750
Hassleblad H3D II   39MP Digital Back Included w/ Camera Body
Lensbaby Composer Pro with Canon Mount $300
Lexar High Speed Card Reader $50
Light Stands x 4 @ $45.00 $180
Lightware Strobe Head Case T4444 x 2 @ $365 $730
Lightware 50 Flip Lid Case C5042 $225
Lightware 50 Flip Lid Case C6050 $200
Lightware CARGO 32 CASE $140
Lightware CASE #1420 x 3 $1,025
Lightware MF1015 Camera Bag / Case x 2 @$269.00 $538
Lightware Tool Kit Wallet A8700 $80
Lowepro Pro Roller x200 Camera Bag $325
Magliner Gemini JR Hand Truck w/top shelf $600
Manfrotto 685B Monopod $120
Manfrotto 131DB Side Arm $100
Monitor Tray 13″ with Steadi-Cam Pin for mounting on Magliner $225
Motorola Talkabout two-way radios x 4 $200
Photek Umbrellas x 4 @ $65.00 $260
Photoflex Reflector 52″ $86
Pocket Wizard Radio Slaves x 2 (1 Transmitter / 1 Transceiver) $300
Pocket Wizard Plus III Transceiver $150
Pocket Wizard Plus X Transceiver $84
Profoto 5M Head Extension Cable $260
Profoto Acute / D4 Ring Light 330513 $750
Profoto Acute2 / D4 Strobe Head w/Zomm Reflector 2 and Cover $1,150
Profoto Acute2 / D4 Strobe Head w/Zomm Reflector 2 and Cover $1,150
Profoto Acute2 / D4 Strobe Head w/Reflector and Cover $950
Profoto Acute2 / D4 Strobe Head w/Reflector and Cover $950
Profoto Acute2 / D4 Strobe Head w/Reflector and Cover $950
Profoto Acute2 / D4 Strobe Head w/Reflector and Cover $950
Profoto D4 2400R Strobe Pack $8,250
Profoto D4 2400R Strobe Pack $8,250
Profoto SpeedRing QR $140
Profoto WideSoft Reflector for RingFlash $275
RawWorkFlow WhiBal Pocket & Studio Full Kit Bundle $150
Sand Bags (25 Lb) x 6 @ $35.00 $210
Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB CF Cards x 3 $500
Sandisk Extreme IV 2 GB CompactFlash Card x 6 @ $125 $750
Sekonic Flash Meter L-358 with RT Module $400
Smarter Tools STGP-9500EB Generator $850
Sony DSC RX1R Camera with extra batter, charger, and 2x32GB SD Cards $3,200
Speedotron Set of 4 7″ Grids $100
Tamrac 332 Tripod Padded Bag $75
Tamrac 603 Zoom Traveler Camera Bag $80
Tamrac Big Wheels Backpack Camera Case (697) $350
Tenba RS-M24 Wheeled Air Case $600
Tiffen 77mm Polarizing Filter $60
Visible Dust Full Size Pro 1.0x Bundle $200
Wescott 3515 Speed Ring $45
Wescott 4830 16×22 Soft Box $130
Wescott 7′ Parabolic Umbrella with Diffuser $125
Wescott 47″ Zepplin Parabolic with Profoto Bracket and diffuser plate $750
Westcott 42 x 72 Scrim Jim Kit (1893) $250
Sub Total / Photo Equipment $107,867
COMPUTER EQUIPMENT – Stationary
Advent Powered Speakers (x2) AV 570/570G $290
AirPort Extreme 802.11n Base Station $200
AirPort Extreme 802.11n Base Station $200
AirPort Extreme Base Station $200
APC Battery Backup XS 1500 $150
APC Battery Backup BN700MC $125
APC Battery Backup Pro 1000 $150
Apple 27″ Thunderbolt Display $1,000
Apple 27″ Thunderbolt Display $1,000
Apple iMac 27″ 3.4GHz Intel Quad Core i7, 16GB Ram, 2TB HD + 256GB SSHD, Radeon 6970M Graphics, Apple Care,Creature Speakers $3,500
Apple Mac Pro 2.7GHz 12-Core, 1TB SSHD, 32GB Ram, Dual D700 GPU, Apple Care $9,335
Cabling $750
Epson Photo Stylus R2880 w/ extra ink cartridges $1,000
Epson Stylus Pro 7800 w/8 220mml ink cartridges $4,000
Eye One Pro Spectrometer and Print Matching System $1,400
Areca ARC-8050 Thunderbolt Drive Enclosure $1,500
hp LaserJet M1522nf $500
Innovative 7500 Deluxe LCD Monitor Arm – Heavy Duty LCD Mount $300
Lacie 3TB USB 3.0 Drive $160
LaCie Rugged 1 TB Thunderbolt Drive x 3 $600
Lexar FireWire Compact FlashCard Reader $50
MGBurly8PM – Burly 8 Bay Drive Enclosure w/Port Multiplier $1,050
Seagate Barracuda Internal Drives 1TB x 12 & 2TB x 2 & 3TB x 9 $3,500
Software & Storage Media $5,000
OWC Mercury Pro Dual Drive Enclosure $300
Wacom Intuos 4 Large Tablet $500
Sub Total / Computer Equipment – Stationary $36,760
COMPUTER EQUIPMENT – Mobile
Apple iPad Air 32GB, Extra Cables, Smart Cover, and Case $850
Apple 15″ MacBook Pro 2.2GHz Intel i7 Quad Core 8GB RAM 256GB SSHD, Super Drive, HR Display w/ Apple Care $3,500
Sub Total / Computer Equipment – Mobile $4,350
Grand Total $148,977

Whew!

So far, NOT INCLUDING all of the equipment that has come and gone over the years (Think 4 or 5 film-based camera systems and countless computers.), my investment in my career including my education and equipment stands around a quarter of a million dollars. I guess I better get out there and start getting some jobs through the door! To that end, the next step is to connect with those who would hire me and let them know I exist. And I need to have a body of work to show them that I can indeed deliver. What does that entail? Another list of expenses…

Photo of a mouse speaking into a megaphone

While “Testing” can be a drain on the pocketbook, it can often pay off in exposure. The expenses on this test were minimal (props / set and animal trainer) but they were well worth the investment. This image won a Communication Arts Award and was featured in the CA Photography Annual

Let’s talk about Monthly Expenses…

As my work is evenly split between studio shoots and location shoots, I choose not to incur the overhead of maintaining an actual physical studio. For those who do, you can expect to add $2500 – $5000+ per month in costs.

Here is a list of my on-going expenses broken down to monthly charges (even though some may be paid on an annual basis). I have not included job-related expense because those are generally charged directly to the client (e.g. talent fees, props, wardrobe, hair and make-up, locations, etc.).

Accounting & Legal fees $60
Advertising in At-Edge $665
Advertising in Workbook $575
Yodelist List Service $100
Various other web-based portfolio sites $25
eBlasts & Site tracking $450
Web Hosting / Domain Names $15
Printed Promotional Pieces $100
Competitions $35
Delivery & Postage $36
Professional Organization Dues $32
Software Subscriptions $29
Equipment Maintenance $25
Business Insurance $160
Office Expenses $95
Parking $35 (while showing portfolios etc.)
Telephone $175
Testing & Portfolio Expense $350
Travel (visiting agencies to solicit work) $675

Total = $3637 per month.

Again, this does not include ANYTHING that is related to an actual job. It also does not include employees if you need help around the office. You’ll also notice I did not include things like:

  • Rent / Mortgage
  • Car payments
  • Non-business insurances (auto, home, health, life)
  • Student loans
  • Gasoline
  • Utilities
  • Oh… food!
  • Clothing
  • Recreation / entertainment
  • Providing for a family (What?!)
  • Updated equipment
  • Business Gifts, which I send every year

These are simply “costs of doing business” and I have to pay them whether I work or not! Plus, every few years you need to factor in capital investments for new cameras and computers.

So as a professional photographer, EVERYTHING I have listed above comes out of my own pocket, out of my “photography fee“. So it becomes quite a challenge to stay in business when your “fee” for a photograph is…. ZERO.

Photo of a woman circa 1960 holding a toothbrush and toothpaste as a sales pitch

Shooting personal work is a cost of doing business. As a commercial photographer, you’ve always got to be developing new work to stay fresh in the eyes of your prospective clients. It is a necessary investment of both time and money.

Hey, we photographers are a passionate bunch and we and LOVE what we do. We CELEBRATE the fact that so many people share our passion to take photos, make beautiful imagery, and express themselves. But for the tens of thousands of us who call this our profession and our ONLY source of income, THIS is WHY that photo is not free!

Please, share your thoughts and expenses that I may have missed!

Interview with APA…

American Photographic Artists

APA – American Photographic Artists – is a national organization that supports and advocates for the elevation of industry standards and rights of photographers nationwide. Check out this recent profile they did of me.

 

That Photo’s Not Free!…

Photo of Hulopo'e Bay on the Island of Lana'i

Recently I have had a few clients and friends initiate the conversation about using photographs from the web. You know, just pulling the image off of a site and using it for your own purposes, say a Facebook post, or a blog article, or god forbid, for marketing purposes or even an ad. The average person thinks this is okay, acceptable, not illegal. Some are under the impression that as long as you are not using it for monetary gain, that it is completely allowable. It’s not any of these.

First and foremost let’s be VERY CLEAR about photographic copyright. The moment you snap a photo, it is copyrighted. And that copyright belongs to you… the author of that image. There are a few exceptions -i.e. if you are doing “work for hire” or are under contract where the contract specifically states copyright belongs to a third-party. But aside from specifically called out exceptions, when you take a photo, you are instantly the owner and copyright holder of that image.

Registering with the Copyright Office is not required to establish your copyright but it does give you added remedies should someone violate your copyright. Heather Elder has a great blog post that explores this topic really well.

So back to the title… It is illegal to use a photograph, that is not yours, without first obtaining permission from the author or licensing the image. That being said, there are a lot of photos out there that actually are free to use. One source is WikiMedia Commons, where people post their images with the intent of letting others use them for free. But the point is that you need to be sure that you are allowed to use imagery before you simply copy and post it.

This is not just about the very valid argument that artists make their very real living from creating their art, and by simply taking it and using it you are not just disrespecting them and their craft, you are also, quite literally, stealing from them. No different from walking in their front door while they are not home and taking their computer.  There are also legal ramifications to YOU.

More often than not, if someone sees that you are using one of their images without licensing it or obtaining permission, you will get some form of a “cease and desist” communication, requesting that you immediately stop using the image. BUT should the author choose to, they could pursue legal action and damages. It’s just not worth the risk!

This long-winded preamble brings my to the point of my post… one of the questions asked  was “How do you find out if an image is copyrighted and who the author is?”  The truth is, more often than not, this is difficult to do, but let me give you two ways to start the process. Most professional photographers will embed both their copyright and contact info within their images. I do this to every single one of my images. And if you care about preserving your copyright, you should as well. If you go to my website or to any post on my blog and pull and image off, my info will be embedded. The unfortunate part is that if, rather than “pulling” the image off the website, you do a “screen grab” of it, none of my embedded information is included in the resulting file. This is where the trouble starts. But let’s be optimistic and say you are working with a file that magically still has the embedded info. You can then open that image, either in Photoshop,

  • Open the image in Photoshop
  • Goto: File > File Info…
  • And you will see a tabbed widow:

Photoshop File Info Window

or even a simple application that comes with your operating system (“Preview” for Mac OS, “Photo Viewer” for Windows) and view the file info or IPTC data.

  • Open the File in Preview
  • Goto: Tools > Show Inspector
  • Click on the “i” tab
  • Select the “IPTC” sub-tab

(the operation should be similar in “Photo Viewer”)

Preview Window

IF the author has embedded the info and the image is not a “screen grab” then the information should be there for you.

The more likely scenario will be that these windows will show up empty.. with no info… should this be the case there is another route to pursue. Go to Google Images.

Go to google.com and click on the word “Images” in the upper right corner.

google1

In the resulting window click on the camera icon in the search box.

google2

In the pop-up window click on the “Upload an Image” tab.

google3

Then select “Choose File” and navigate to the image that you have dragged to your computer.  When you select the file, Google will find as many matching instances of that file on the web as it is able to. By investigating the search results you hopefully will be able to find the author of the image.

Whether you find them through the file’s metadata or the Google search, once you track down the author, reach out to them and ask permission to use the image. If you are not using it for commercial purposes, most will let you use it if you attribute the photo to them / give them credit, and link to their site. Hey… it’s free PR and will hopefully drive more traffic to their site! If it is for commercial purposes, try to negotiate an affordable fee that benefits both you AND the author! But don’t be offended if their price is too high… remember it cost them money to produce that fantastic image AND this is how they put food on their table!

If you are unable to track down the author and the image does not come from a site indicating that the image is free to use, DON’T USE IT, just don’t. You would not want someone taking something of yours without your permission. Don’t fall victim to the erroneous concept that just “because it’s on the web, it’s free.”

Hasselblad Masters 2016

I feel very honored to once again be included as a finalist in the Hasselblad Masters competition. The imagery included in the various categories, as you can imagine, is stunning! And to be part of such a distinguished group is truly humbling. As of today, Public Voting is now open! So check out the galleries and cast you vote for the top three in each section. My selected image is in the “Product” category and is a photo I shot for Darling Magazine – an article about Heirloom L.A.

Photo of Garden Shaved Salad - © 2014 Dana Hursey Photography

 

Hasselblad Masters Finalist 2016 Badge

Blog Post on Heirloom L.A. in Darling Magazine

Anatomy of a Burger…

We recently had a project come through, where we needed to shoot and feature a hamburger. Unfortunately several issues prohibited us from having a food stylist on set for this particular project. Consequently I was a bit disappointed with the outcome. It wasn’t that we didn’t get a nice shot, it’s just that I know how much better it COULD have been had circumstances been a bit different.

So… what did this provide? An Opportunity!! What a perfect chance to talk to one of our favorite food stylists, Stephanie Greenleigh, get a quick critique, but more interestingly get her take on what a good food stylist does and can do for any given project. And maybe get her to share a few trade secrets along the way 😉

First off here is the finished shot that sparked the conversation:
Photograph of a Juicy Hamburger with french fries in the background.And we might as well show the unretouched shot that came out of the camera as well:
Photo of a Hamburger
Stephanie and I have worked together on many occasions. Most recently we did a shoot for Dean’s Dip where she crafted, well…, some perfect burgers!
Dean's Dip Ad
Let’s dig in…

DHP: Looking at the shot we ended up with, what did they do right?

SG: They captured a realistic looking burger with “appetite appeal” in a natural setting.

DHP: What did they do wrong? / What would you do differently?

SG: I would have constructed the burger differently by building in more symmetry and stair-stepping the ingredients. I probably would have chosen a lettuce leaf that was more graceful and interesting. The top bun could have been a better fit. Redo on the cheese melt.

DHP: What is the most difficult part about styling a burger?

SG: It’s all tough. Finding the right hamburger buns, building the sandwich structure, melting the cheese and applying the condiments at the last-minute on-set. You can imagine how difficult it is keeping the lettuce and tomatoes fresh and spritzed, while melting the cheese and heating the patty!

DHP: What does a food stylist “bring to the table” in situations like these?

SG: Experience. Stylists are used to dealing with constraints (product, layout, location, etc.)  —and of then of course being able to meet client needs. Also, a good sense of timing, the right tools and patience.

DHP: Are there things you CAN’T do (i.e. legally) when shooting a burger that is actually the product? And, what if anything is different if the burger is NOT the product but rather just a prop?

SG: When the product is the actual burger, you must use the client-supplied meat, and depending on the client, the buns and cheese. Most fresh ingredients and condiments can be store-bought (with the exception of proprietary sauces).

When food is featured as a prop (i.e., not the product being sold), the sky’s the limit. You can even substitute dark turkey meat for hamburger meat, and use fake pickle chips.

DHP: What is the most important tool in your styling kit

SG: Without a doubt my long-handled tweezers. Ninety percent of the time spent on set is moving  around small items without disturbing other ingredients —it’s a game of pick-up-sticks.

DHP: Is there a “secret” you are willing to share that would make this or any other food product “sing”

SG: I’m not sure this is a secret, but I would lightly brush the top bun with a small amount of oil to give it a nice sheen and look hot, and hollow out the top of the bun so that its “sits” comfortably on the top of the burger. As a final touch, I would spritz the lettuce and tomatoes with a small amount of glycerin and water to enhance the look of freshness.

DHP: How did you get started in this industry?

SG: I studied design and art history in college while running a restaurant.

My first job out of school was in textile design, which eventually led me to start a children’s clothing line.

This kind of crazy, eclectic background turned out to be a good resume for a stylist. After assisting established food stylists in the field for a couple of years, I put together a portfolio of my work and starting calling on photographers. I was lucky, my first project was a cookbook which helped expand my portfolio and gave me experience styling a variety of food —everything from appetizers to desserts.

DHP: Advice for anyone thinking about food styling as a career?

SG: Make sure your personality is compatible with working on set. I’ve seen a lot of people coming from a culinary background who are used to a fast-paced environment. Food photography is different; it’s a  “hurry up and wait” environment. Styling a bowl of cereal may take up to 4 hours, with stakeholders asking you to move a cereal flake over 1/32nd of an inch. There’s a lot of patience involved.

DHP: What is the biggest misconception about Food Stylists?

SG: That we are magicians with secret potions. 

DHP: What is involved in prepping for a job from your end?

SG: It starts with a shopping list which evolves as the pre-production layouts/boards are finalized. There are many trips to the grocery store. Some items can be purchased a couple of days ahead, others immediately before the shoot.

On the Dean’s Dip shoot, we needed to determine the exact size of the finished burger. The ad’s story was that this container was large enough to dip an entire burger into it. The challenge was that the talent needed to be able to comfortably place the burger in the container and yet it still had to be large enough to emphasize the story.

The first step was finding the perfect bun that was also the correct size – not easy!  After two days of constant searching we ended up having the buns custom-made. We then had to determine the size of the patties so that they would fit the bun properly. We experimented with the type of hamburger meat, what diameter to shape the patty to allow for shrinkage after the patty was cooked and the best cooking method to brown the meat consistently.

The tomatoes and onion were cut to size and the pickles sorted. All food and equipment was properly stored and packed, making sure everything was ready to go for an early morning call time the next day.

DHP: What questions are you sure to ask before starting production?

SG: I ask to see the updated layouts/boards, how many shots per day and will talent be involved?

Does the client have a particular way that they’d like to see to product portrayed?

Will the client supply the product? If so, how much will be sent.

What is the budget?

DHP: Budgets are tight everywhere today… I know the answer to this, but can you explain from your perspective why it is worth the additional expense to have a food stylist on set?

SG:  A chef’s main concern is that the food tastes good, a stylist’s concern is that it looks good.

Food is generally prepared differently for the camera —we focus on preserving and enhancing its shape, color and texture. 

We also understand layouts and camera angles which can be tricky for someone not used to considering these constraints, and how these things ultimately will determine how the food is presented.

We also understand the photo shoot process and what our role is within the photo team to produce a successful shoot.

 

DHP: What can a client or photographer do to elevate the aesthetic when a Stylist is simply not an option?

SG: I would imagine the photographer and client need to have a clear vision of how they would like to see the food prepared and a shared aesthetic sense.

DHP: What do you want people to know about you / your profession?

SG: It’s a creative and rewarding profession, but not always glamorous. There’s a lot of schlepping and dishwashing involved.

Stephanie is an AMAZING food stylist and you can see more of her work on her website: http://www.sgreenleigh.com

Can can also read our posts about our most recent gig together for Dean’s Dip here: Dean’s Dip
More Dean’s Dip
And Finally

And you can see us both in action in this Behind the Scenes Video from the shoot!

Darling Deals…On a Molecular Level…

So! The latest edition of Darling Magazine is hot off the press! In this issue we had a little fun photographing molecular structures made from the fruit in which the structure is most common. It was a fun play on concept and color. We shot the fruit on glass floating above a complimentary color, did a few tweaks in post, and came up with some great vibrant and graphic images! It will be interesting to read the accompanying article!

But wait! There’s More! This quarter Darling is offering a $5 off promotion! Goto: shop.darlingmagazine.org and enter promo code ISSUE12CONTRIBUTOR (that’s me!) to get your discount. If you have not seen Darling Magazine, you should! It is a super high quality “art magazine” with unique and engaging articles centered around “the art of being a woman” (their tagline).

You can also follow Darling Magazine on:
Twitter: @darlingmag
Facebook: www.facebook.com/darlingmagazine
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/darlingmagazine

Also, check out some of the past work we have done for them!
Issue 8
Issue 9
Issue 10
Issue 11

Photo of blueberries creating a molecular structure. Photography of Yellow Cherry Tomatoes in the shape of a molecular structure Photograph of grapes laid out to illustrate a molecular structure Darling-Issue-12-Cover

Another Cookbook…(cont.)

So here are a few more images from our recent cookbook project. We tried to use as much natural light as possible, with a few accents of course. The theme of these shots were soup’s, and congee bowls. While we have pretty much wrapped this project , we have just started yet another cookbook, so hopefully we’ll be able to share some of that imagery with you later this year. Thanks again to Nicole Kruzick of Belly Food Style for making everything look so yummy!

Photo of a bowl of congee with carrots beans and ginger on top. Photograph of Oatmeal in a cup with apples, pears, nuts and dates sprinkled on top. Photo of a pot of Apple and Spice infused tea. Photo of a rice bowl with chicken meat and vegetables on top.

Another Cookbook…

We have been working on a variety of projects lately that have been a bit “hush-hush”, one of them is a cookbook. While we are not able to say anything about the cookbook itself, we ARE able to share some of the images we have done for it! We’ll post a few today and some more next week, but the shoot has gone super smoothly and we are pretty pleased with the finished images… styled by the lovely Nicole Kruzick / Belly Food Style.

Photo of a bowl of Congee with Tea Eggs and Red Sauerkraut Photo of a bowl of Spinach Soup - Photo of a bowl of Chicken Soup Photo of a bowl of Chicken Congee

Rosatello Wines

We just wrapped another project with the great folks at High Wide & Handsome. This time it was for Rosatello Wines. It was a fun project to be a part of as we were producing the print portion of a multimedia campaign. We actually do this a lot, working in tandem with a film crew to make the most efficient use of talent, location, and crew. While it would seem that it might be chaotic, the production was smooth and easy, and given that we had to produce a print ad and a 30 second spot in one day, that is saying something! The key is working TOGETHER. Having done this many times before, I have certainly seen my share of crews working against each other, which has never made sense to me. We are working for the same client and most of the time through the same agency.. all headed toward the same goal. So to have anything other than a mutually supportive attitude is counter productive. But I digress… THIS set was easy, relaxed, super productive and lighthearted! The clients even got into the spirit … which is always Fun!

Photo of two women enjoying Rosatello Wine in a backyard setting Photo of two women having fun "behind the scenes" at a photo shoot.

(I LOVE when clients have have a blast on set!)

 

 

 

Getting into the Habit…

We’ve recently started working with the folks at The Habit Burger Grill. Our projects have been very early morning productions as we are shooting in actual restaurant locations and we have to get everything done and be wrapped out in time for them to open for lunch. We have mostly been shooting new menu items, so we get to check out their latest offerings right as they are introduced. The weird part is having your mouth water for a juicy burger at  8:30 in the morning! Hop over to your local Habit and see what’s new on the menu! (it will probably be one of our photos!)

Photos of various menu items from The Habit Burger Grill

 

Darling Magazine – Issue 11

We have had the great fortune to work with the amazing folks at Darling Magazine for the past year! In the latest Issue that released this week we have three spreads! One article is on Spring Salads and share three delectable recipes. The other is about Pencils of Promise, a charitable organization striving to ensure a quality education for all children regardless of where they are born. Check out these articles and all the other great features in the latest issue of Darling Magazine!

Photo of hand with knife chopping though golden colored fruit

 

Photo of fruits and vegetables painted gold

 

Photo of many small pencils placed in the shape of a Large Pencil

 

Cover of Darling Magazine Issue 11

Canning & Cookies for Darling Magazine

The latest issue of Darling Magazine is out and we have two feature articles in this issue! The first is on cookies and we shot some beautifully hand decorated cookies by Bethany Wiseman of Batch Please Cookies. Bethany does intricate custom cookies that you would be more likely to want to frame than eat (but they’re so tasty you have to eat them too!) It’s like having art in your tummy! There are five delicious recipes that accompany the article, so that should be incentive enough to seek out this issue!

The second article is on canning / preserving. This article had a little mix of everything… a little fashion, a little beauty, a little humor, a little food.. and again… Recipes to be had!

Check out both articles in Issue No.10 of Darling Magazine. And Look for us in Issue No.11 as well!

Batch Please Cookies, Shot by Dana Hursey Photography

 

Close-up image of a hand decorated cookie on powdered sugar. © 2014 Dana Hursey Photography

 

Fashion image of a woman dropping a jar of preserved fruit. © 2014 Dana Hursey Photography

 

Fashion image of woman with jars of preserved fruit. © 2014 Dana Hursey Photography

 

Image of broken jar of preserved plums. © 2014 Dana Hursey Photography

 

Images of preserves on a shelf. © 2014 Dana Hursey Photography

 

Cover of Darling Magazine

The Thanksgiving Feast is Ready ….

Now what you ask? ENJOY!
That is what we are about to do… take a little time off, sit back, relax and feast. We have much to be thankful for and we’re going to take the opportunity to do so and share it with friends and family! We hope your Thanksgiving Holiday is filled with Family, Friends, Love, and Sharing! See ya on the other side, just in time for the NEXT holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo of Thanksgiving Feast.

Thanksgiving Already?…

Wow! Just Wow! What a whirlwind! It feels like we were just here! Well, no sense in fighting it, and there’s never a bad time to be thankful! So as we push headlong into this holiday season we hope that you have plenty to be thankful for and that you are able to take some time to reflect on the good and brush away anything that’s not! But don’t relax too much! The year is not over yet! There is still much to do and plenty of time to do it! So enjoy THIS holiday and keep the spirit!

Photo of a woman holding a platter with a perfectly prepared turkey on it.

International Photography Awards

We received a couple of Honorable Mentions in this years IPA’s (International Photography Awards)! It is always so great to be included with such a distinguish group of professionals and we love the winning imagery this year! So much talent out there! Thanks so much to the judges for including two of our images in the mix!

Photograph of a woman in 1940's attire holding a martini and throwing her head back in laughter. Photograph of a Mercedes Benz 280SL Convertible driving across the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena CA at sunset.

We All Want To Be Heard…

Toshiba knows this. The great team at LehmanMillet asked us to help them illustrate that fact in our latest photo shoot. This new campaign, directed at the medical industry, is geared towards making sure that the professionals that use Toshiba Medical Products know that Toshiba is listening to them and incorporating their input! In a simple and graphic way we represented the various constituencies that utilize Toshiba products and “Gave Them a Voice”!

Side profile photo of a male in a business suit holding out a voice bubble.

And Finally…

Photograph of woman using celery to scoop up large amounts of Dean's Dip

Here is the third ad from our recent shoot for Dean’s Dip with High, Wide & Handsome. This image was a bit of a challenge as it was shot on location in Los Angeles at the height of summer (it was literally one of the hottest days of the year) and in the midst of our lovely drought. The responsible homeowners of the cool (looking, not temperature) location we were shooting at had pulled back on their watering so as to conserve. That however made for some unfortunately yellow grass and background. What came to the rescue was the extensive background library we keep in-house. I am ALWAYS shooting grass, skies, and textures of all types so as to have a healthy arsenal for just such circumstances. We had been shooting into some bamboo that was fairly burnt on the tips and of course the grass was none-to-happy either. So instead we ended up stripping in some heathy Ficus and dropping in a bit of grass from Versailles, no… really! That is royal French grass you’re looking at! So if you see me out there pointing my camera at what looks like nothing, it’s probably something… like grass.

 

More Dean’s Dip…

As the new campaign rolls out, here is another image from out recent shoot for Dean’s Dip. We shot the whole campaign at a really cool mid-century modern home in Pacific Palisades, CA. It gave us some great variety for living room, kitchen and outdoor spaces. In addition to a great client and agency (see our last post) we had a great crew, including Arpen Productions, Stacy Quackenbush on prop & wardrobe styling, Stephanie Daniel on hair & make-up and Stephanie Greenleigh doing food styling! All simply Amazing!

Photo of a guy holding a chip with a HUGE scoop of Dean's Dip on it

Dean’s Dip….

We recently completed a project for Dean’s Dip and the campaign has just launched. It was two fun-filled days of wacky and over the top expressions to illustrate how some folks are SERIOUS about their dipping! We got the opportunity to work with the great creatives over at L.A. based High, Wide & Handsome as well as the wonderful folks at Dean’s Dip. The whole project, from casting to completion kept a smile on my face and we had an amazing crew and cast of characters! Keep an eye out for additional shots from the campaign or check out the “Behind the Scenes” video from the shoot!

Photo of woman dipping a hamburger into a tub of Dean's Dip

 

Exact Sciences…

LAST year we did a photo shoot for a “hush-hush” product and at the time we were not allowed to share about it (because it was “hush-hush”!) But now the cat is out of the bag so we can talk about how much fun we had! It was a great couple of days where we were looking for energy and excitement from our talent about the new product. We also had the opportunity to work with some GREAT gymnasts who performed some amazing feats in front of the lens! We have already posted a “behind the scenes” video of the shoot. But also wanted to share some of the finished imagery as well!

One of the (many) incredible things about this profession (okay TWO) are 1.) The GREAT people you get the chance to work with (and this shoot was no exception!). The Agency folks at LehmanMillet and the Client (Exact Sciences) were all SO GREAT!  and 2.) The fun and different stuff you get to do every day, just makes this one of the best professions out there!

Thanks to everyone involved in this production! From client to agency to cast and crew. It was ALMOST too much fun to be paid for!

Photos of excited people - © 2013 Dana Hursey Photography

Darling Magazine and Heirloom L.A.

Check out the latest edition of Darling Magazine! We photographed an article on “Food as Art” featuring recipes from Heirloom L.A. – a boutique catering company in Los Angeles. Executive Chef – Matt Poley – did the styling in what was a very impromptu decision on look and style. It was fun and challenging to work “in the moment” and we were very happy with the results. There are a lot of other great articles in this high-end, BEAUTIFULLY PRINTED publication, so get your hands on an issue!

 

Photo of Garden Shaved Salad - © 2014 Dana Hursey Photography Cover of issue 9 of Darling Magazine

City of Arts and Sciences….

We have just returned from a weeklong, whirlwind, multi-city trip. Along the way, one of the stops was Valencia, Spain. While there, we had just enough time to check out La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Wow! What an amazing complex! Unfortunately, the hour at which we were there, the entire complex was basically closed, so that meant exterior exploration only… 🙁   But it was still SO MUCH FUN to wander the complex and shoot some imagery! I would have loved to have been able to stay longer and fully experience the facility in its entirety, but alas, I may just need to schedule another trip. If you are ever in Valencia, this is something I would not miss!

Here are just a few of the images we captured:

Photo of La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, ©2014 Dana Hursey PhotographyPhoto of Palau de les Arts, ©2014 Dana Hursey PhotographyPhoto of La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, ©2014 Dana Hursey PhotographyPhoto of Palau de les Arts, ©2014 Dana Hursey PhotographyPhoto of Palau de les Arts, ©2014 Dana Hursey PhotographyPhoto of Hemisfèric, ©2014 Dana Hursey PhotographyPhoto of La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, ©2014 Dana Hursey Photography

Mumm’s been the Word….

Late last year we did a VERY fun shoot and have been excited to share the results. However, the product we did the shoot for had not been released to the general public and we were under NDA’s (Non Disclosure Agreements) until the official product launch. Well, just this past week the client was finally able to launch and so we’re thrilled to be able to start sharing some of the imagery! We’ll do that in the coming weeks.. but first, since we are in BTS (Behind the Scenes) mode already….

Behind the Scenes Video with Dana Hursey Photography

Another Fun Shoot!…

We are just wrapping up post-production on a shoot we did for Dean’s Dip. What a fun couple of days! Despite being the hottest days in Malibu in recent history, we enjoyed the hospitality of our location, and had a wonderfully smooth production! Client, Agency, Crew… ALL Fantastic. We are looking forward to sharing the final results but in the meantime here is a little Behind the Scenes Action!

Behind the Scenes video of Dana Hursey Photography shooting Dean's Dip

Sodano & Kubin

From another one of our shoots at Nikita Restaurant on the coast in Malibu California, Executive Chef Salvatore Sodano & Sommelier Rene-Nicole Kubin. Teaming up to create the perfect pairing of food & wine. Throw in the spectacular vistas and you’ve got a dinning experience that’s hard to beat!

Photo of Executive Chef Salvatore Sodano and SommelierRrenee-Nicole Kubin at Nikita Malibu

Club Lana’i

Okay, … one last post from our Hawaii excursion. On our final scouting day on Lana’i we took UTV’s (Utility Task Vehicles) to the back side of the island. We traversed the Munro Trail (in the rain) and went down a remote trail that even the locals were balking at – especially given the wet conditions. This took us to Naha Beach which we shared a panoramic photo of in our last post (center photo). From there we traveled up to Club Lana’i. Now deserted, the location was a day resort, where folks from Maui would come to “get away”. It is really quite beautiful. There are talks from the new ownership on the island to potentially revitalize the resort or repurpose the area into some other type of destination. But while we were there is was easy to imagine the run down structures in their more glorious days. A fun weekend destination more for locals and those “in-the-know” than for the average tourist. If you ever make it to Lana’i it is worth the trip on a beautiful day (which it could be there, even if it is raining in Lana’i City). And there is a much easier route to get there than the one we took, with some other points of interest along the way! Any local can point you in the right direction! Aloha!

Photo of the shoreline of Club Lana'i from the pier.

Doesn’t Do It Justice!

When we were on a recent scouting trip to Hawaii, we took the opportunity to shoot a few Super High Resolution Panoramics. I always enjoy being able to do this when the opportunity presents itself! The only drawback is that it is so hard to appreciate the grandeur of the scenes on the web. There is just not enough screen real estate to be able to show all of the subtleties and spectacular detail. The images below get as large as 2GB in file size and are equivalent to an image that would come out of an imaginary 250 megapixel camera! We have pretty large displays in the studio and even those only start to show the massive amounts of detail we get! So enjoy these teeny tiny versions and imagine yourself in these amazing locations!

DH_503-0190-Edit DH_503-0480-Edit DH_497-0093-Pano

Darling Magazine

We recently did a shoot for Darling Magazine. I have to admit that I had not heard of the publication, until they called. The article we did was on essential oils.. the shoot got a little messy, in a good way!  Darling is a quarterly magazine and SUPER high quality. At the shoot the photo editor brought a copy of the then current issue and I was REALLY impressed with the paper, printing and just overall presentation. It really is a very refined publication. This last Sunday we went to the launch party for this issue down in the industrial area of east L.A.. It was a fun evening of drinks, music, socializing and people watching! But check out Darling Magazine, it really is something special!

Photograph of orange oil pouring onto an orange slice.

 

Darling-Issue-8-Free-Digital-Mock-800_1024x1024

 

 

It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts…

We just did a shoot last week for one of the largest technology companies in the world, based here in Southern California. Something that came as a bit of a surprise as we were doing it was how many people confessed they had never seen the inside of a computer hard disk drive. We deal with a LOT of HDD’s these days because of the volumes of data we produce, and the need to have a lot of redundancy for our image archives.

It was a great reminder that just because you experience something on a regular basis, does not mean it is commonplace for ANYONE else. So share the things you know about and ask others about their passions! Little wonders can be found everywhere, let’s discover them together!

Detail Photograph of the inside of a hard disk drive.

 

Photograph of the inside of a hard disk drive.