We had the good fortune of connecting with Tracy + David and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tracy + David, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind our success and the success of our brand is that we know what is important to us, and we use this as a guide in nearly every area of our business. By knowing ourselves, and understanding what we truly care about, it makes it easier to stay on target. It gives us clarity when we need to make difficult decisions about where we are going, what clients to pursue, what projects to pursue, and how we want to run our business. As a result, we create work that we are excited about, and feel deeply connected to what we do. This results in the best possible outcomes for our clients, and we remain passionate and energized.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Making a living through photography, or any artistic field for that matter, is never an easy journey and we feel fortunate every day that we can make a living doing what we love. We met while working as staff photographers at a newspaper in South Florida, with a stop in Cleveland, Ohio, before landing in Southern California and working together as a husband and wife team of commercial photographers/directors. Our journalism background gave us the ability to relate to people and to find and think deeply about stories as photojournalists, but we also have the flexibility and skills to conceptualize and direct as commercial photographers. As two equally experienced photographers, we often shoot simultaneously, capturing many more angles and images from a situation than a single photographer could capture alone. We live a very active and outdoorsy lifestyle, and our work reflects that. To that end, we use our work to inspire others to get outside, travel, live healthfully, and to care about the planet. We work with a broad range of clients, but particularly love working with clients that share that mission.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We might start by catching a sunrise at Huntington Beach, where we have witnessed so many spectacular, quiet, and peaceful mornings. We love exploring and finding new places, so we’d find a fun restaurant for breakfast in the Abbot Kinney area of West LA – there are so many great restaurants there with a perfect SoCal vibe. Next we’d head to Venice Beach to take in the views and walk off our breakfast. We’ve never been to the La Brea Tar Pits, but have always wanted to check it out, so we could head there. We’d want to free up part of a day to visit The Getty Museum and then perhaps the National History Museum. We might head to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market as well one morning, or find a different one in the city (depending on the day of the week), and pick up some incredible seasonal fruits and vegetables to grill at home for a dinner outside together. We’d find a morning for a hike or run at Griffith Park or in Malibu.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We are extremely thankful for all of the love, support, and encouragement we’ve received along our journey, and wouldn’t be where we are without it all. My (Tracy’s) dad has been an incredible source of support and wisdom for us throughout the years. A business owner himself, he’s been a constant source of advice, insight, and inspiration, frequently putting aside his work to help us with ours when we’ve encountered challenges. He has always worked tirelessly, ethically, and purposefully, always putting his clients first, and instilled similar values in us as we’ve navigated the growth of our business. When we’ve had moments (especially early on) of not knowing where we were going or how we’d get there, he has always known how to guide us and given us the confidence to proceed. We owe so much of our success to him. We’ve also worked with some fantastic photography consultants and editors through the years, who have helped us hone our vision and understand our potential. And we’ve been members of some wonderful professional organizations and groups – American Photographic Artists, American Society of Media Photographers, and Workbook – that have supported us in many ways, from helping to get our work seen, to supplying us with education and inspiration.
Tracy Boulian and David Ahntholz, Tracy + David Stills and Motion