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Wedding cakes are no longer the big rage… it’s cupcakes…wedding cupcakes of all different flavors and designs.   The art director from Arizona Bride magazine contacted me about shooting the main image for the article “How Sweet It Is” and we discussed the creative direction for the image. We decided to go with a white, bright and open feel with lots of sexy highlights on the frosting and good deep shadows. Each bakery that was in the story brought a variety of luscious cupcakes for us to choose from…what a joy we got to shoot our cupcakes and eat them too! Arizona Bride magazine is published out of Minneapolis MN. by Tiger Oak Media.

Thanks to foodstylist Kim Krejca and art director Janet Mclaughlin.

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I recently had the opportunity to shoot a couple of environmental food projects for La Victoria Salsa with Riester Advertising. I love the process of setting up and creating the sense of a real environment in the studio…so I’ve included some behind the scenes snaps so you can see what it takes to do this kind of shoot. My thanks goes out to a fabulous client and crew: Ben Dveirin & Bill Robbins from Riester Advertising, my assistant Rick Odell, Foodstylist Kim Krejca and her assistant Jill Flewellen.

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Still life photography brings with it endless possibilities. Whenever I can grab some time to shoot personal projects I seize the time to play and experiment. The studio is full of mundane everyday objects that have character and charm. Perfect stuff for still life fun. Since we shoot a lot of food why not grab all the tools from the kitchen and create.

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I’m proud to be a part of The 26 Blocks project which opens at After Hours Gallery Friday May 7th 2010. The premise was to take 26 Phoenix photographers and 26 writers, team them up, and issue each of team a specific city block in the downtown area to document in words and images either the past, present  or future of the specified location. Basically we could do anything we wanted that would be thought provoking. My team mate was Steve Price, copywriter, poet and educator. Feel free to click on the link below to read more about the project.

http://www.26blocks.com/

The block we were given was bordered on the east and west by 3rd Street to 5th Street and on the north and south by Van Buren and Monore Streets which is the location of The Roman Catholic Diocese Of Phoenix. The results in words and photography are below…..

This is Steve’s written piece:

One Moment of Peace

By Steve Price

Here I sit in lotus position, a yogic Jew in the meditation garden of the Roman Catholic Diocese. The fountain, which consists of three small waterfalls, lulls me into stillness. A bird could perch on my shoulder, like in that statue over there of St. Francis of Assisi.

It’s the day before Passover, eight days before Easter. This morning a student of mine, Brenda, brought me a mala from India, washed in the Ganges River. It’s like a rosary except the beads are made of Rudraksh seeds, whose rough texture provides good traction for the fingers.

One of the other statues here is of Mother Theresa. Valorie, my sweetheart, is a big fan. She told me a Mother Theresa quote, which instantly became one of my favorites: “I am a pencil in the hand of God writing a love letter to the world.”

My brother Mike once joined Jews for Jesus. “King of the Jews,” he’d say. “He’s one of us.” He used to look like Jesus, with long hair that fell over his face and into his chocolate pudding.

I open my eyes: there’s a woman sitting on the adjacent bench. Occasionally we smile, but resist the temptation to converse. All we need from one another is to sit here being okay with the other person doing the same. Ambassadors of peace.

The fountain has enough power to make foam at the bottom. It reminds me of the ocean. World leaders should hold their summits at the beach.

On September 14, 1987, Pope John Paul II arrived at Sky Harbor at 8:30 a.m., St. Joe’s Hospital at 9:00, St. Mary’s Basilica at 9:40, Civic Plaza at 10:50, Saints Simon & Jude Cathedral on 27th Avenue at 12:30, lunch at 1:20 followed by a nap, then Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 4:30, Sun Devil Stadium at 6:30 and finally, retiring at Bishop O’Brien’s home at 10:00 p.m.

I think about my father, a busy real estate broker. Every so often he’d say, “Could everyone please just give me one moment of peace?” I’ve come to know how he felt. The woman is gone now, and once again I have the garden all to myself. I wish the Pope, and my father, and everyone had a turn to sit here like this, with just the water and the birds.

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Arizona Cardinals running back Chris “Beanie” Wells is the new spokesperson for the sub shop Blimpie. We recently had the opportunity to photograph him for the introduction of their new healthy menu. We were asked to produce all new photography for their  promotional and  advertising needs.

We’ve shot a handful of celebrities and this shoot was amazing, Beanie gave us four hours to accomplish the shot list we had to produce. Generally when shooing these types of portraits we can count on getting a mere 20 minutes if we’re lucky. To say the least he was very patient and the consummate professional!

Kate Unger from Kahala Corp contacted the studio and we discussed the creative strategy along with Robb Penney of 602 Design.

The wonderful crew that made the shoot “swing”…Kate, Robb, Robert, Gidget, Allyson, Ron, Nola, Madison, and the rest of the support team.

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I started the blog thing back in November of 2009. I’ve been trying to figure out the meaning behind my efforts and have decided that these posts are simply about photography and my pursuit to make images and ultimately share all this stuff with you. There’s satisfaction in shooting for no particular reason other then exercising my eye and feeling joy. The samples below are from some of my most recent ventures out of the studio.

Photographer Imogene Cunningham was once asked, “What is your favorite photograph?” she replied, “The photograph I haven’t taken yet.” I can certainly agree with that!

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I love personal assignments especially when I travel. On a recent trip to Los Angeles I decided to take my Canon G9 point and shoot with me so I could do grab shots. I decided that I would shoot from the hip without looking through the camera and walk around the crowded streets of downtown L.A. and let whatever happens, happen. The people making their way from here to there weren’t aware of me or what I was doing they probably thought, why is this guy covering his crotch with his camera! I waited until I got back to Phoenix to edit the shoot. I was surprised to see the bizarre arrangements of the people and their expressions. While doing the edit I thought that it would be fun to combine some of these images in a way that was as random as they were shot. Below is a sample of the outcome of my assignment.

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Item #1. It’s fun and easy. Now is the time to become a facebook fan of Rick Gayle Studio. I will be posting information about my own work, the work of others and special projects. There’s a link to my all time favorite photographer Irving Penn who has been my inspiration since I picked up my first camera. Check out the video about Chicago photographer Dennis Manarchy’s “American Portrait” project. All you have to do to become a fan is click on this link and this information and much more will be at your finger tips….http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Rick-Gayle-Studio-Commercial-Photographer/314717546369?ref=ts

Item #2. I’ve been asked to participate in an exciting project created by writer Joey Parks. The project involves 26 photographers and 26 writers. In short each photographer is paired up with a writer and each team is assigned one of 26 city blocks to document in anyway we see fit….but it must be rooted in its past, present or the plans for its future….. In Joey’s words: 26 Blocks is unique art project based on the concept of children’s A – Z building blocks. Words, sentences, and stories can all be built one block – one letter – at a time. Downtown Phoenix is like this. Each city block contains its own stories, sentences and words. They’re built by those who came before, who inhabit that block now and who will do something on that block in the future. Sometimes we need the perspective of another person to see the stories those blocks contain. 26 Blocks fuses the insights of 26 photographers, 26 writers and a sculptor/painter to reveal to us 26 Blocks of downtown Phoenix – in a way we may not have seen it before.

There will an exhibit at After Hours Gallery to be announced….

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I was asked to participate in a portrait project for Flashes of Hope. It’s a nonprofit organization that changes the way children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses see themselves through the gift of photography and raises money for pediatric cancer research.

The portraits help the children feel better about their changing appearances by celebrating it. We went to Phoenix Childrens Hospital and set up our equipment in a small waiting area. The beauty of the project was that the kids could bring any friend or family member they wanted into the shoot to be photographed. Each child received prints for their family and friends. It was amazing to see the positive attitudes the children had in the face of their potential future. It was a sobering and joyful experience.

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Well it is 2010 and I thought I would start the year out with a personal project. Who doesn’t like bread? They say that” bread is the staff of life”. I’m not sure that’s true. Anyway, shoot what you love and I love bread so check out the shots.



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