David Fox is the owner of Fox Creative Consulting in Tucson, Ariz. and got his start in photography at the age of 13 after flexing his negotiating skills and convincing his parents to let him buy a camera. He’s been working in the creative field – in one way or another – ever since. He spent 10 years as director of photography at Bernstein-Rein Advertising in Kansas City, where, he says, “I was surrounded by some of the most talented people I have ever met and was lucky enough to work with some of the world’s biggest brands.”
My first camera was…
A Canon AE1 that I purchased at the age of 13 by talking my mom and dad into letting me spend my bar mitzvah money. They were both very supportive of my photography interest.
I got started in food and architectural photography…
I began shooting food as producer and then creative photo director for Farmland Foods, a client we worked with at Bernstein-Rein Advertising. As far as architecture, I think I have always been shooting buildings or parts of them ever since I was a kid. With architecture, if it requires a tripod, then I’m not the right guy.
I wanted to become a photographer because…
One of my friends’ older brothers, who I always thought was the coolest guy, was really into photography and I wanted to be like him.
My first paying photography job was…
I’m not sure I can even remember my first paying photography job it was so long ago, but I was more excited about selling my first fine art photo from one of my gallery shows back in 2005.
I would describe my style or shooting philosophy as…
Very simple, “don’t let your images smell like a photographer.” By that I mean, I don’t create images that smell of lighting or production. I think too many photographers get caught up in the technical aspect and miss out on creating an emotion with their images.
Some of my industry role models are…because…
I have been very fortunate to hire some of the industry greats in my previous job as director of photography. Some that stand out are Thomas Heinser, Jim Erickson, Nick Verdros, Michael Regnier, and Ron Berg. While I learned a lot about photography from many great photographers, I give most of the credit to my success to all the designers that transformed my images into award winning design pieces.
If I could choose one dream gig, it would be…
Shooting for one of the travel magazines as long as the story was about an exotic location and nice hotel. I love to travel and explore.
Before I got started in the industry, I wish somebody had told me…
I was so focused on becoming a commercial photographer that I wish somebody had told me to take a wider approach. By this I mean photojournalism and fine art photography. I think they serve as a great foundation for becoming a good commercial photographer.
One thing NO ONE could have ever prepared me for is…
Dealing with wacky clients. You just have to experience them all on your own and figure out the best way to give them what they need while not compromising your images.
My favorite piece of gear is…
Anything Canon Elph. Nick Vedros introduced me to my first 2mp Elph years ago and I think I have burned through at least a dozen of them since. I have shot jobs using just point and shoot cameras and love the results, however my Canon 24mm 1.4 L Lens is a close second. I like to keep all of my gear very simple and light.
When I shoot, my gear usually includes…
A Canon 5d Mark II and either my 24mm 1.4, 50mm 1.2, or 135mm 2.0. I also use a Canon S90 but that takes some practice.
You recently work on the Fox Restaurant Concepts’ website re-launch. What were some of the challenges you faced while shooting for a company that has so many brands?
With 12 brands at Fox Restaurant Concepts, I wanted to make sure that the website photos didn’t look like one photographer did all of the work. The ad agency wanted to keep the amount of images per concept very limited. How do you get a feeling for the restaurant in only a few images? Plus, I was working with my brother and he tends to change his mind a lot.
How did you overcome these challenges?
You overcome most of your challenges in photography by just producing great images. Sometimes, even if it’s not exactly what the client was looking for, a great image can be the creative inspiration needed for taking an idea even further than expected.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
If you can pre-visualize the results of your photos in your head before you start shooting, then this will help you take the right path to a successful shoot.
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