Commercial

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

Commercial: Wooden furniture and theatre seating, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Thursday November 13th, 2014 05:30 PM

Fotografia de muebles y butacasa, Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Ezcaray is a popular holiday destination attracting people thanks to its beautiful mountainous location, excellent restaurants and hotels and, at least as we head into winter, ski resort. It’s particularly well-known among people from the Basque Country and Madrid.

But it’s also internationally famous in one particular, and rather niche, commercial sector: the manufacture of quality wooden furniture and theatre / cinema seats. As you drive into the town you are flanked on both sides of the road by furniture factories which sell their wares to France, the UK, Germany and further afield.

Garcia Hermanos is one of these long-established family-run enterprises dedicated at making high quality, environmentally sustainable furniture. They asked me to photograph their extensive range of directors’ chairs, deck chairs and other models for a forthcoming catalogue.

For these commercial jobs I use a mobile studio, setting up backgrounds, and remote lighting in a corner of the factory – it’s a lot easier than bringing tons of furniture to my studio. Catalogue photography obviously requires faithful images where you can see exactly what you’re buying. But, at least in some images, I spend quite a lot of time and thought in capturing the curves, materials, beauty and sheer essence of the pieces. Their character and soul, you might say.

High-quality products made to exacting standards require high-quality photography to distinguish them from mass-produced alternatives.

Fotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografia de muebles y butacas, Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Fotografia de muebles y butacas Ezcaray, La Rioja. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Commercial photography: San Pedro Apostol Winery, Huércanos, Nájera, La Rioja, Spain

Monday September 8th, 2014 08:02 AM

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

The brief for this job was straight forward: Show the people and personalities behind San Pedro Apostol, a co-operative wine-maker based in Huércanos, near Nájera, 20km from Logroño, La Rioja. “I want the photos to reveal the love that these people put into wine making,” Sergio Fernández, of Icono Gráfico, told me in his office in Logroño. “Namely, these hands make this wine.”

San Pedro Apostol co-operative has 380 members who tend 3,000 plots around Huércanos, spreading to Nájera and towards Cenicero. It’s a highly-tuned operation that produces around 5m litres of wine a year. The co-operative’s old website and publicity photos concentrated on its profesional image, showing a modern winery full of stainless steel tanks.

But it said little about the spirit of the people involved. The plots are mostly family-owned and run. Relatives travel from across Spain to help out at key points of the year. Many plots have been in the family for generations.

We decided that I’d photograph José Domingo and his family during the growing season from early summer to harvest. I visited the annual members’ dinner, held beside the tanks in the winery, The following month I went to the village’s summer festival, meeting José Domingo’s family from Catalonia. And of course a lot of the photos concentrated on the harvest.

There are many ways to market wine and distinguish one bottle from the next. But, to me, showing the character, philosophy and dedication of those who make it trumps all others.

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Commercial wine photography, Huércanos, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Product and Commercial Pics: Neosens & The Art Company shoes, Quel, Arnedo, La Rioja, Spain

Tuesday June 24th, 2014 01:10 PM

Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org

The Art Company, based in Quel, near Arnedo, La Rioja, is one of the larger manufacturers in northern Spain and sells its classy ranges of shoes all over the world. It specialises in distinctive, high-quality, hand-made shoes. It may be a traditional product but it comes with a modern twist and this forward thinking also applies to the firm’s marketing: It invited nine bloggers from Germany, France and Spain to visit the factory in Quel and try its latest Neosens and Art collections.

The first day of the two-day trip was in Ezcaray, the idea being to show a shoe from La Rioja in one of the region’s prettiest towns. My job as photographer was to provide the bloggers with fashion photos for their websites and also take some reportage images for the company.

The next day we visited the factory in Quel, near Arnedo, in the morning and later the bloggers were given choices of colours, soles, laces and told to design their own pair of Art Company shoes.

Switching between reportage photography, where I don’t intervene with the subject, to fashion photography, where I’m constantly asking models to do this or that, was a great mental exercise for me. The fact there were nine bloggers who all needed quality shots really kept me on my toes!

The bloggers were: Estelle Segura, Chloé Gattison, Anne-Laure Pierre, Kathrin Wittich, Marie Heid, Franzeska Albredt, Cecilia Quintana, Jeffrey Herrero & Aminta.

Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org Los zapatos de The Art Company y Neosens, Quel, La Rioja | www.sturcke.org

Editorial: Two-star Michelin chef Toño Perez, Atrio, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain

Tuesday March 4th, 2014 10:57 AM

Tono Perez, two michelin-star chef, Atrio, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Morning Calm, Korean Air’s in-flight magazine, is a champion of great editorial photography and I was chuffed to bits when they asked me to photograph chef Toño Perez for the February 2014 edition (pdf). Toño and his partner José Polo set up Atrio restaurant, in Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain, in 1986. Specialising in creating exceptional dishes from fantastic local foods (this is “Jamón Iberico” country) Atrio won its first Michelin star in 1994 and added a second 10 years later.

What the Michelin stars don’t tell you is just how hospitable Toño and José are. The night before the shoot was scheduled I popped in to get a bit of a feel of the place. Although in the middle of cooking dinner, Toño immediately invited me into the kitchen and told me “mi casa, tu casa”!

So I pulled a camera out there and began snapping him at work in the kitchen, capturing what turned out to be the lead photo for the article (see below). But Toño wasn’t finished. He showed me to the best table in the restaurant – the one in the corner of the kitchen – and offered me dinner!

Tono Perez, two michelin-star chef, Atrio, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Tono Perez, two michelin-star chef, Atrio, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Tono Perez, two michelin-star chef, Atrio, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Tono Perez, two michelin-star chef, Atrio, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Tono Perez, two michelin-star chef, Atrio, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Tono Perez, two michelin-star chef, Atrio, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Tono Perez, two michelin-star chef, Atrio, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Tono Perez, two michelin-star chef, Atrio, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Tono Perez, two michelin-star chef, Atrio, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain. Photo © James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org