Photographic Craft & Connections: Sam Hurd & Dixie Dixon at Depth of Field 202304/27/2023
Sam Hurd and Dixie Dixon may target different photo markets, yet they both prioritize craft and emphasize a human connection to their subjects. In this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we get the lowdown on their respective careers in wedding photography and fashion/lifestyle assignment work as part of our coverage of B&H’s 2023 Depth of Field Conference.
Above photograph © Dixie Dixon
We start with Sam Hurd, who shares the story behind his decision to shift from photographic storyteller to craftsman. He also describes how switching to mirrorless cameras has changed his process. Sam’s superpower is his inventive Ring of Fire technique for creative flare, and we discuss this in depth, while also touching on everything from image quality and lens design to the promise of AI-generating tools and the elements that get lost in the exchange.
After a break, we chat with Nikon Ambassador Dixie Dixon, who describes how making a connection with your subjects begins with detailed research well before the shoot day. She regales us with tales from major advertising projects, including how her efforts to get a release for a Ford Mustang led her to the company’s CEO. Get a first alert on her next book project and hear how her recent forays into video and directing tv commercials earned her a coveted advertising award.
Guests: Sam Hurd and Dixie Dixon
- 2:24: The story behind Hurd’s shift from storyteller to craftsman.
- 5:58: The evolution of Hurd’s work from 2019 to today, visually and process-wise.
- 8:36: Sam Hurd’s Ring of Fire technique for creative flare and lighting artifacts.
- 13:37: Hurd’s assessment of AI-generating tools and the possibility this suggests for rendering an image anew to change details and elements.
- 16:05: Recreating the discipline of shooting with film, and the tactile experience of different cameras and formats.
- 20:30: Episode Break
- 21:10: Transform your portraits into high fashion works of art by making a connection with your subjects and putting them at ease.
- 24:45: The impact of social media and live castings on model selection and distinctions between advertising and editorial shoots.
- 31:21: Shooting photos for the new Nikon 85mm f/1.2 lens and Dixon’s obsession with the 105mm focal length.
- 36:53: Making the switch from DSLR to mirrorless… plus bull riding!
- 41:22: Dixon’s newest adventures in video and directing commercial campaigns.
Sam Hurd started out as a political news and celebrity portrait photographer, in Washington, DC. He was quickly drawn to wedding photography as a way to promote more inventive ideas. Hurd focuses on photographic techniques that are deceptively simple but have the potential to transform difficult or uninspiring shooting environments into unique creative visions. According to Hurd: “My style is distinct, a result of both my unrelenting commitment to my craft and complete trust from clients who commission me.”
Dixie Dixon is an internationally renowned fashion, lifestyle, and commercial advertising photographer and film director, based in Dallas, Texas. She has spent the past decade bringing creative visions to life for brands, ad agencies, fashion, and commercial clients worldwide. As a full-service production company, she and her team deliver infectious energy to every set in the creation of spirited campaigns mixed with a touch of soulful realism.
Sam Hurd Website: https://www.samhurdphotography.com
Sam Hurd Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamthesam
Sam Hurd Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samhurdphotography
Sam Hurd Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamthesam
Sam Hurd Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/samhurd
Dixie Dixon Website: https://www.dixiedixon.com/
Dixie Dixon Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamdixiedixon
Dixie Dixon Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dixiedixonphoto
Dixie Dixon Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamDIXIEDIXON
Dixie Dixon Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/iamdixiedixon
Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: Jill Waterman
Senior Producer: Mike Weinstein
Executive Producer: Yermy Weiss
Editorial Director: Shawn C Steiner