Friday, September 20, 2013

Traveling once again... this time:  flying home from Miami and getting a little blogging done on the plane.  The project?  A cover an editorial spread for BeautyLook Magazine. I confess, I was a little nervous about this photo shoot and the notoriously unstable weather in South Florida this time of year.  But the sun was kind enough to smile upon us in all the right ways, and we walked away with I feel is some of the best fashion work I've ever done.

Giving credit where credit is due, I couldn't have pulled it off without the contribution of time and talent by a great team that included model Jax Turyna and hair/makeup artist Diem Angie, and wardrobe/accessories by designers Stephane St. Jaymes, Moda Muneca and Latonya Hubbard.

The photos here are just a teaser from that editorial, which will be available Oct 15.  You can visit the BeautyLook Magazine website or Facebook Fan Page for updates.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

For many years, I've received messages and calls on a regular basis from photographers and models.  I would spend hours every week just answering their questions about camera equipment, studio lighting, or how to get started in the modeling industry.  And it seemed like the same questions over and over again, but asked by different people.

So one day a light bulb went off over my head:  why not put together workshops based off these common questions and issues?  And so about 2 years ago, we hosted our first Studio Lighting & Model Photography workshop and it booked up right away.

Since then, we have offered about one dozen workshops, co-hosted by myself and professional model/actress Jax Turyna.  Our next workshop is a special offering:  shooting swimwear models at sunrise for dramatic, colorful shots like the one below.  Looking forward to it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Crazy Busy!

It's been crazy-crazy-crazy busy lately!  But I wanted to make sure I updated this blog with some of what's been going on in my world.

I had a great shoot with model & actress Abigail Michelle yesterday.  Abby needed to update her portfolio with glamour-oriented images for American Model Management Agency...

Speaking of model agencies:  I shot a full portfolio for new teen commercial/print model Emily.  This time for Kingdom Model Management in Chicago.  Here's a few images:

Chicago makeup artist Diem Angie Nguyen made her re-entrance to the world of modeling with me recently on the Chicago beaches:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Big Easy... Made Easier

I like to joke that i Phones and iPads are going to put me out of business within two years.  And yet... I love mine.  I'm the first to admit that lugging around five grand in bulky pro camera gear can make casual photography feel like another day at the office.  The iPhone has helped me keep things a little more fun, casual, and spontaneous.  

While in New Orleans this week, I had a half-hour to kill before my lifestyle model was supposed to arrive.  And I used the time for a brisk hike around the French Quarter, snapping shots of all the great old historic doors I could find in 30 minutes.  This is just a small sample below, and I swear no 2 doors in NOLA are alike.  Each one has so much history to tell, and the iPad collage app I use made it easy as 1-2-3 to put these together and posted on Facebook without all the tedious Photoshop layout work.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Of Social Media)

I recently did some spring cleaning over on my Facebook personal page  - I mean total blank slate - and erased everything.

It's a great way to reach out to large numbers of people, instantly.  I can't imagine what it would cost me to advertise in local print ads or yellow pages, compared to what I get for free on Facebook!  But I've been posting over there on a daily basis since 2009 and with thousands of image posts over the years, things were getting way too messy and needed some reorganization.  A lot of it started to look the same and a this point in my career, I want to focus on posting only my better work.  Also, my Facebook was becoming an endless stream of model images.  Yes, I love model-photography and it consumes much of my time.  But that is definitely not the only subject matter I photograph - my commercial portfolio is probably 80% food images, products, architecture, concepts, textures, and more.

There are some downsides to social media for sure.  Thanks to Facebook, we all get get our 15 minutes of fame, but some choose to spend their allotment with irrelevant image comments that clutter up the guttyworks.  When I post casting calls for models, there's always a dozen photographers who think they're being witty and original by commenting about how good they look in a thong.  Seems my well-known sarcastic sense of humor gets the best of me at times!  And sometimes I just want to post my thoughts in a public way without it turning into a private conversation taking place in a public thread.  There is a message button on Facebook for a very good reason.

(Something I've always disliked about electronic communications - email, text, Facebook posts -  is that everything reads more harsh and dramatic.  So please don't read too much into that last paragraph.)

It's not such an easy thing for a photographer to wipe out his (or her) online portfolio and re-evaluate what's treasure and what's trash.  Our images are like our kids, and even when they're bad, we want to believe in them and focus on what's good about them.  But "culling" (thinning the herd) is a great habit that should be practiced on a regular basis to keep your viewers from getting bored by clicking through endless pages of work to see something that interests them.  I find that most viewers on Facebook don't last more than a few clicks deep or whatever's scrolling by on the news feed.

So if you're a Facebook friend of mine... I do apologize for the endless posts you've seen from me the last few days.  You'll continue to see them for the rest of the week while I re-upload imagery that I feel made the final cut.  I'll leave you with a little mid-week inspiration, below....

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I like to remind myself occasionally:  where I've been, what have I accomplished, and what do I want to be doing in the future.  And travel is always at the top of my to-do list.

I used to travel quite a bit for my stock photography work... just about every state in the U.S. National Parks and nature especially hold my interest.  And looking through old images recently, I was reminded that even here in flat, corn-filled Illinois we do have our epic scenery as well... if you know where to look.  Near the very southern tip of the state, Garden of the Gods is a great day hike, easily accessible and there's great scenic picture opportunities everywhere you turn.

Garden of the Gods (Illinois State Park)
(c) Jim Jurica Photography

Hello World!

July 23... Nothing terribly special about that date, other than that it's the first day/post on this new blog.

I've been meaning to set up something like this for a while now, a place independent of my business website and Facebook page where I can mix things up a little more and talk about my photography work, as well as my thoughts and what's going on in my world.  So... here's my new blog.  :)

A little background info about me:

I'm Jim Jurica.  I'm a commercial photographer in the Chicago area.  I shoot just about everything from food to fashion, art to architecture.  I'm signed exclusively with Getty Images and iStockphoto for "stock" imagery.  I also created and write for BeautyLook Magazine, a publication for the beauty, fashion and modeling industries.

You've probably come across my work in print or online and never knew that was me behind the lens.  More often than not, I don't get credit for my handiwork... that's just the nature of my business.  But with nearly one-quarter million total copies of my photography having been sold since 2004... my pictures have made their way into everything from the national TV show Law & Order SVU to billboards for LA Tan around the Chicago area.  Lots and lots of smaller publications too.