Commercial photography: Portraits of interior designer Alvaro Sordo in Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country, Spain

Tuesday March 3rd, 2015 07:00 AM

Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country

The photographic brief for this commercial job immediately had me hooked! Alvaro Sordo is a top interior designer based in Galdakao, Bizkaia, Basque Country, just outside Bilbao. However, instead of asking me to produce images of commercial interiors and family homes he’s worked on, he wanted portraits that showed his professional approach with his clients. Portraits that transmit his philosophy of close working relationships, collaboration, communication, his personal integrity and sensitivity. Like me Alvaro knows that an excellent client relationship leads to fantastic results.

So we met up with Alvaro Garrido, the Michelin star chef of Bilbao’s Restaurante Mina and his wife Lara. I wanted an image that was dominated by bonhomie and that showed something of the beautiful interior of the restaurant Alvaro had created. In truth, my job wasn’t that complicated: I set up a remote flash, blended it into the the ambient light and let them get on with it…

Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country Commercial and editorial professional photographer in Restaurante Mina, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Basque Country

Destination wedding: Vero & Carlos, Tondonia Winery, Haro, La Rioja, Spain

Thursday January 29th, 2015 11:00 AM

Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Bodegas Tondonia, in Haro, La Rioja, produces some of Spain’s most special wines. Last year, when Falstaff magazine sent me to photograph Restaurante Can Roca, Tondonia was among the wines they served at lunch afterwards.

Family-run for generations, the beautiful winery breathes history: the century old black and white pictures on the walls; the massive wooden wine vats, the mould growing on the underground tunnels’ walls, the uniquely beautiful glass walled gallery overlooking the courtyard.…

It was Vero’s dream to marry here ever since she visited Haro. When a couple marry a long way from home – they live in Barcelona – it’s really important for the photographer to show the destination. So apart from the obvious shots in front of a big Tondonia sign, I’m always keeping an eye out for details: a barrel in the background or anything else that provides narrative.

This was a small wedding for family and friends with the team from La Vieja Bodega, in nearby Casalarreina, providing an excellent lunch. Simple, informal and happy in a beautiful winery – a fantastic day.

Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org 1Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

 

Commercial photography: A special place to stay, Hotel Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Wednesday January 14th, 2015 04:48 PM

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The Echaurren gastronomic hotel in Ezcaray, La Rioja, has been in the same family for five generations, gradually building up a reputation as a very special place to eat and stay in northern Spain. But that doesn’t mean it rests on its laurels.

In the four years I’ve been living in Ezcaray, its Portal restaurant has gained first one and then a second Michelin star.

Despite the tricky economic times in Spain, the Echaurren has also been investing in a programme of renovating its bedrooms, and recently joined the Relais & Chateaux association of luxury hotels. Quite simple the family wants their guests to have the time of their lives when they visit.

Ferran Fisas’ photographic brief for the new website was simple: Show the enjoyment and happiness of staying at the hotel; that it’s a special place where people of all ages can relax in style. In essence produce images that show a gastronomic hotel that gets the balance just right between quality, fun, tradition and modernity.

Echaurren Hotel, La Rioja, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Echaurren Hotel, La Rioja, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Echaurren Hotel, La Rioja, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Echaurren Hotel, La Rioja, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Echaurren Hotel, La Rioja, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Echaurren Hotel, La Rioja, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Echaurren Hotel, La Rioja, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Echaurren Hotel, La Rioja, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Echaurren Hotel, La Rioja, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Echaurren Hotel, La Rioja, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Commercial & Wedding: My favourite photos of 2014

Monday December 22nd, 2014 10:05 AM

Commercial and Portrait Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

I’ve taken around 50,000 photos this year and I’ve been looking back over some of them trying to work out which ones I like best. To be honest, I keep changing my mind about my favourites perhaps because I can see faults in all of them; things that I’ll try to do better in 2015. That said, all of them are good examples of photos with personality: a fusion of the subjects’ and my own.

The above photo shows Francis Paniego, a two star Michelin chef who’s reached national and international fame with the Portal de Echaurren restaurant but, somehow, still finds himself being having to put up with the attention of his elder brother. The next is of the Roca brothers of the world-famous Cellar de Can Roca and this time I wanted to show Joan, the elder brother, as the responsible one while his younger siblings have all the fun.

The third photo, of Toño Perez in Atrio restaurant, is pure photojournalism: I touched nothing and directed nothing; it’s just him at work in his kitchen.

The next couple of photos are good examples of how I try to add elegance, style and life to group shots. I like the product shots of the cocktails and the plate of vegetables because they challenged me technically. They’re good examples of how I went to the shoot with an idea in my mind and worked out how to light it. And then I had to be quick: the whipped cream in the right-hand cocktail and the steam on the vegetables lasted for only a few seconds.

The wedding shots are all about capturing beautiful, tender, elegant moments in life in a really authentic way. And finally there are some wine shots because I think so often commercial photography fails to transmit the passion of the people who devote their lives to their work.

Happy holidays!!

Food and Portrait Photographer, Catalonia, Spain | www.sturcke.orgFood and Portrait Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.orgCommercial and Portrait Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org1405Commercial_Photographer_La_Rioja_Spain_Sturcke_0003Commercial and Portrait Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.orgCommercial and Cocktail Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.orgCommercial and Food Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.orgWedding and Portrait Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.orgWedding and Portrait Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.orgCommercial and Portrait Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.orgCommercial wine and Portrait Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.orgWine and Portrait Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.orgCommercial and Portrait Photographer, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Wedding: Maite & Aitor, Santo Domingo Cathedral & Hotel Los Agustinos, Haro, La Rioja, Spain

Wednesday December 3rd, 2014 08:00 AM

Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Before her wedding in Santo Domingo Cathedral and Hotel Los Agustinos in Haro, La Rioja, Maite had asked me to keep an eye out for her three-year-old niece, Alba.

As a photojournalist, I’m always following the light and the action and there’s a large chunk of spontaneity in the images. But as a professional wedding photographer it’s important to make sure key family members and guests feature in the photos. I always ask couples for a list of key people.

I like it when children are on that list. Alba is only likely to remember the wedding through the photos and hopefully she’ll be able to get the vibe of how fun the day was. I like to take photos for future generations. Maybe Maite and Aitor will have children one day and they too will be able to feel how happy we were on that autumn day in 2014.

Last week I was at a photographic conference in Sevilla and among those talking was the US photojournalist Tyler Wirken. Tyler, widely regarded as among the best wedding photographers in the world, said the following:

“The photos I make on a wedding day are not for the bride and groom. They are for people that don’t yet exist.”

Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.orgWedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.orgWedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.orgWedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.orgWedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.orgWedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding / Boda en Santo Domingo y Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org