Today we’d like to introduce you to Yale Gurney.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Yale. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
From directing an award-winning documentary and working in New York’s commercial film industry, to a studio camera person for a Long Island based television station. An agent for high-end digital designers to doing time in advertising, marketing, and public relations – becoming who I am today has been a long journey, to say the least.
Although these career experiences were important, I found myself dissatisfied. It was at this point I knew change was needed and the way I saw it, I was going to do what I loved or the road wasn’t going to end in the city of Oz. I was going to put all of my chips on a path in photography and create a small business plan to do it. And coming from a family of artists, writers and musicians and small business owners, I was well encouraged.
Questions was — What genre of photography would make the most sense for a proper business plan? On my next birthday, my then fiancé (now wife) and Mom split costs on a pro camera – a Canon 5D – the new career journey had begun. The only way I’d know what photographic direction would be best (for me) would be to pick the camera up and shoot. And keep shooting. So, I did. I snapped photo after photo (and a ton more), telling a story of mostly Manhattan and how I saw it – a gritty and architecturally incredible island along with some of the most culturally diverse inhabitants in the world – a true melting pot of all worlds. Months (perhaps a year) passed until my brand formed; I was a photojournalist. A storyteller from the field. Part street-photographer, part architectural. And with direction, I sprinted with it.
My little business was taking form. I needed to get my best images sold. I knew selling online would be the most efficient vehicle to do so for starters. I researched and reached out to people. People from photographers – known to not so much – to former clients to people who “knew people”. Some got back to me but most did not. But the ones who did truly paid it forward. The best advice was from noted sports photographer David Bergman; “Never be shy to show your images. Ever. Get as many eyeballs in any way possible on whatever you feel is worthy to be seen. And get published!” I translated being published to selling online. With searching, I found and a representative turned out to be what I needed as a middleman.
Target.com was one of the first online stores to take to my work and “published” I was. My pictures were printed on giclée (canvas) and I was in the wall decor biz. It was here where income happened.
Once online sales stabilized and as I shot more, my thought process expanded. I learned more about what I had the ability to shoot and what genres I was taking up interest in. I enjoyed photographing people, had a knack for catching a moment and researched photography masters from the past. So I worked my way back into the marketing arena and returned as an event photographer. I started shooting a ton of consumer-driven events for or wine and spirits companies – small to super large. That, led to other clients which led to some celebrity event work and the client list built. It built it until…I shot so much and once again, I felt the need to expand… Started working back in the film world as a unit photographer to ensure clients of my production companies’ clients (ad agencies) had the ability to see all of the behind the scenes stuff – loved it! But photography in film work was scarce in NYC (more of an LA thing) and I wasn’t willing to move so far away from home (as much as I LOVE LA!). Needed more…
I found myself shooting architecture for the largest builder of Skyscrapers in New York City and perhaps, the world. My photos were used for their marketing and advertising purposes. I was garnering more and more work from them – I was enjoying it. I found myself inside some awesome skyscrapers, working at my own pace and producing some really cool imagery. I didn’t realize how much I loved it until – and this is where my Miami era began – my wife and I moved here and my main source of work grew swiftly to architectural and interior design photography. Basically, I followed the path started in NYC and went with it as I was trained to do.
Today, architectural and interior design clients make up most of my business. These are large home builders to companies needing interiors shot or lifestyle photos used for marketing and advertising campaigns.
The future is always an open book the way I see it. But I’m focused on each moment. I’ve expanded my services to information-rich and visually dynamic virtual tours. Something pro photographers stayed far away from prior to available technology we now have access to. The best part? I have the ability to incorporate all I’ve learned and work for into one story-telling world inside of virtual reality.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Yale Gurney Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
Having done time working in the advertising, marketing, film, television and PR worlds, I’ve ultimately honed in as an interior design, architectural + lifestyle photographer for major home skyscraper builders, interior designers, architects, coffee table books, and soon on to magazines. Known for my use of available ambient light, I produce natural feel, cinematic-in-style editorial looking photos.
A New York City native and now live in the Miami, Florida area with my wife and two daughters, I have and always welcome commissions whether local, back in NYC, across the states or overseas. Anywhere really, as long as it’s a job that makes sense for both my work and the client’s needs.
On all of my photo shoots, there’s usually a lot needing to be covered and when needed, I take the lead – not only as photographer but producer, director (for lifestyle), art director, and even a semi-stylist (ideas provided, no makeup or hair messed with!).
Clients look to me as their storyteller so it’s my job to create engaging, well-thought-out & beautiful photography and all of the aforementioned jobs is simply, well, part of THE job. And I’m happy to wear the hats.
Because of my diverse experience across several fields, timely production – from shoot to edit – work to provide me with an innate ability to interact with crew, employees, talent and the final product.
I’d like to think marketing directors and magazine editors alike, work with me in confidence that all of the above will be produced as expected.
I always say I’ve been fortunate to have grown up in the incredible human laboratory, New York City.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck. I believe in making things happen by being as proactive as is feasibly possible. So you create whatever luck is.
- Website: YaleGurney.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yalegurney/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YaleGurneyPhotography/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/YaleGurney
- Other: https://yalegurneyphotography.smugmug.com