photography

2017 A Year in Review by Reuben Hernandez

According to the Weather Channel, it feels like 2°F outside in Brooklyn right now! Mamma mia! After living in NYC for nearly seven years, it still feels like a foreign concept to have to check the weather every single day. No one ever talked about the weather where I grew up in SoCal. Despite the cold, I still love it here and enjoy experiencing seasons and continual change.

And so 2017 ends on a very cold note. 2017 is also the end of American made denim; today the Cone Mills White Oak plant, the last American selvedge denim mill, sadly closes it's doors after 112 years in operation. Cone Mills White Oak denim is my favorite denim fabric, and I ordered one last pair before White Oak shuts down for good. 

As 2017 comes to a close, I look back with gratitude. My narrative short film, Maddie, premiered at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in NYC (sadly also closing it's doors for good next month) earlier this year. Maddie screened at a handful of film festivals and unexpectedly took home a few awards, including the Best Williamsburg Short Award at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival in Brooklyn last month. Maddie will screen at a few more festivals in 2018. Big thanks to everyone that came out and supported our film this year. 

Another project I enjoyed working on this year was This Is Our New York, a short spot I directed for the New York Immigration Coalition, that was broadcasted on the big screen in Times Square.

On a personal note, the major highlight of 2017 was marrying my best friend Lisa in Puglia, Italy last summer alongside our dear friends and family members. We hosted a three day celebration and were intentional about spending quality time together with our loved ones over the course of several days. Afterwards, Lisa and I road tripped, swam, and ate our way around Southern Italy for a month. It was a memorable summer to say the least! 

Photo by Nathan Smith

Photo by Nathan Smith

Grotta del Soffio, Italy

Grotta del Soffio, Italy

Grotta della Poesia Grande, Italy. One of our favorite spots.

Grotta della Poesia Grande, Italy. One of our favorite spots.

Matera, Italy

Matera, Italy

This year I really had to learn not to sweat the small things in life. Life is too short to focus on little things that really don't matter in the end. I definitely want to continue working on this in 2018 and beyond.

Next year, I will also dance much more.

I also launched a brand new website that you're looking at right now (thanks to my web guru Katherine).

Last but not least, I moved my business into a new studio this year with my friends at Skypie Studio, and have been much more productive and happier. It has been really great and invaluable to move my work life outside of the house, and constantly be surrounded by a community of creatives. I have some exciting projects that I'm looking forward to working on next year.

Much love, peace, and Happy New Year to you all.

All My Best,
Reuben

Acme Studios Llama Party by Reuben Hernandez

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Some images with Pierre, the famous llama at the Acme Studios Llama Party with our friends at Skypie Studio. Acme Studios specializes in props and set design.

Thanks Acme Studios for hosting such a fun party!

The Death of the MacBook Pro by Katherine Yaksich

I just happily returned my spec’d out Late 2016 15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for a refund because the machine just didn’t work. It started glitching after two days of use (see video above) and Apple could not fix it (they told me this after the computer was in repair for 2 weeks). To add fuel to the fire, this machine retails for nearly $5,000 (with Apple Care), which is already an absurd amount of money to pay for any laptop, especially one that lacks in many ways. The graphics issue has been widely reported by various users, and it’s obvious that Apple does not know what is causing it. The person at the genius bar told me it was the graphics card while another Apple employee based in Austin told me it was due to a faulty logic board. So which is it, Apple? 

I had really high hopes for this machine, and waited a long time for it. I was even willing to overlook all the complaints: poor battery life (yes, it’s poor), lack of legacy ports, overpriced, under spec’d for pro/power users, etc. Admittedly, I even started to grow attached to the retina screen and better speakers and really wanted to make it work. At the end of the day, this is a terrible, faulty product. It’s no surprise that Apple’s revenue is on the decline and it will only continue to decline unless they start making better products and stop ignoring their pro user base. This is actually the first time in 11 years that I have chosen not to purchase Apple (ever since I had my classic iPod), and don’t plan on purchasing another Apple product again soon, if ever.

Long story short, do not buy the late 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, or return it if it’s not too late. Buy an older 2015 MacBook Pro or even a PC, anything is better than the latest MacBook Pro (I really should have listened to Snazzy Labs, but ended up learning the hard way). It is you and I, the consumers, that hold the power as we have a choice to vote with our wallets every single day. Let’s raise hell, together, and hope for something better in the future.

#courage #donglegate

2016 A Year in Review by Katherine Yaksich

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2016 A Year in Review

As I write this, it’s hard to believe that I’m approaching my six year anniversary of living in NYC.

2016 was an interesting year, to say the least. A lot of people can’t wait for it to be over. I learned a thing or two and some memorable experiences include:

Antarctica premiered in NYC earlier this year and screened at a handful of film festivals.

Beauty, Balance, and Grace premiered in Paris, France.

I had the opportunity to film Bono this year for a PSA for the Red Nose Day campaign. Spike Jonze randomly showed up and then thanked me for allowing him to help out. It was surreal. Bono and his crew were so gracious and kind and it was truly a pleasure to work with them. I’ve looked up to Bono for many years so it was such an honor to meet him.

This year I wrote and directed my first narrative short film, Maddie, that will premiere next year. I’m so thankful for my talented cast and crew that worked so hard on this project and gave so much. Writing is a new creative process for me, and I’ve learned that I can do it even out of necessity. It was an empowering experience to own a project completely from start to finish, and to learn firsthand that anything is possible. So many elements of this film seemed impossible and daunting at first, but we somehow pulled it off. People helped out from near and far and I’m truly grateful for all the support. We look forward to sharing Maddie on the big screen in 2017 so stay tuned for upcoming screenings.

I spent two months abroad in Europe this summer, working on post production for Maddie and recovering. Production on Maddie gave me a serious ass kicking so it was a much needed breath of fresh air to spend the summer away from NYC. 

One of my major takeaways from 2016 is that if you have a creative vision/idea that you believe in, then you just need to go for it and figure it out along the way. Some people thought that making Maddie would not be possible, but deep down I believed in my vision and was absolutely determined to see it through. I also learned a hell of a lot along the way, which will be invaluable.

See you next year.

All My Best,
Reuben


 

by Katherine Yaksich

Beautiful green eyes backstage #NYFW @costellotagliapietra @juliettedonatelli @janeiredale @milkstudios #MADEfw (at Milk Studios | New York)

Beautiful green eyes backstage #NYFW @costellotagliapietra @juliettedonatelli @janeiredale @milkstudios #MADEfw (at Milk Studios | New York)

by Katherine Yaksich

This weekend I received my first tintype portrait in the mail by photographer   @gilesclement  , and it was really special to open the box and hold it in my hand for the first time. I know this sounds cheesy, but I’m pretty sure I held my breath as I was opening the box just like a kid opening up a Christmas present. It made me realize how spoiled we’ve become in the digital age, and how we expect and demand things instantaneously all the time.   
  Tintype predates film and was widely used in the 1860’s and 1870’s, so it is quite a unique experience if you ever get the opportunity to have one taken of you. It is by far the most memorable photo that I’ve ever had taken of me, especially since I spend most of the time on the other side of the camera these days.   
  I’m obsessed with handmade crafts, and inspired by people like Giles that are able to make a living doing what they love, creating handcrafted goods that help create deep and meaningful experiences for us. I hope to give this portrait away as a gift one day and have it passed down from generation to generation.

This weekend I received my first tintype portrait in the mail by photographer @gilesclement, and it was really special to open the box and hold it in my hand for the first time. I know this sounds cheesy, but I’m pretty sure I held my breath as I was opening the box just like a kid opening up a Christmas present. It made me realize how spoiled we’ve become in the digital age, and how we expect and demand things instantaneously all the time.

Tintype predates film and was widely used in the 1860’s and 1870’s, so it is quite a unique experience if you ever get the opportunity to have one taken of you. It is by far the most memorable photo that I’ve ever had taken of me, especially since I spend most of the time on the other side of the camera these days.

I’m obsessed with handmade crafts, and inspired by people like Giles that are able to make a living doing what they love, creating handcrafted goods that help create deep and meaningful experiences for us. I hope to give this portrait away as a gift one day and have it passed down from generation to generation.

by Katherine Yaksich

This Arctic Life 
  My favorite image of my Arctic series goes out to this mother and cub, spotted from our ship from over 8 miles away by one of our naturalists. It may not look like it, but this was my most challenging photograph. We had to race over in our Zodiacs in very rough waters to get within 125 meters, and shooting at a focal length of 640 mm from a bouncing watercraft is not very ideal. Water was spraying all over us in true Arctic expedition fashion, and some cameras even stopped working after this operation.   
  According to a report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature, “  A substantial reduction in the   extent of the sea ice during the summer will   undoubtedly have a negative impact on polar   bears. Based on extremely conservative   forecasts about the future extent of the sea ice,   scientists have estimated that two thirds of the   polar bear population could become extinct by   2050. If the sea ice continues to retreat at the   speed witnessed during the last few years, the   situation will become even more critical.”

This Arctic Life

My favorite image of my Arctic series goes out to this mother and cub, spotted from our ship from over 8 miles away by one of our naturalists. It may not look like it, but this was my most challenging photograph. We had to race over in our Zodiacs in very rough waters to get within 125 meters, and shooting at a focal length of 640 mm from a bouncing watercraft is not very ideal. Water was spraying all over us in true Arctic expedition fashion, and some cameras even stopped working after this operation. 

According to a report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature, “A substantial reduction in the extent of the sea ice during the summer will undoubtedly have a negative impact on polar bears. Based on extremely conservative forecasts about the future extent of the sea ice, scientists have estimated that two thirds of the polar bear population could become extinct by 2050. If the sea ice continues to retreat at the speed witnessed during the last few years, the situation will become even more critical.”

by Katherine Yaksich

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This Arctic Life

We spotted blue whales in the Arctic at 2:30 am near the bow of our ship! Blue whales are the largest animal known to have ever lived on earth, and are much larger than the largest dinosaur. They can weigh up to 200 tons or 400,000 pounds and are currently classified as an endangered species. 

by Katherine Yaksich

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Beauty, Balance, and Grace

Last month, my team and I were on a rooftop with some NYC Ballet dancers.

Photos by Jen Trahan for Reuben Hernandez Studios, © 2014 Reuben Hernandez Studios. All rights reserved.

http://reubenhernandez.com
http://twitter.com/reubenhernandez

by Katherine Yaksich

Photo by Evan Burgher - In honor of parkour class, here’s a photo of me exactly 4 years ago on my last day working at Oakley, after quitting my job to pursue a creative career in NYC. The decision to quit my job has been one of the most significant and rewarding decisions I have ever made. If you’re unhappy with your life, I hope you find the courage to break free and do what you love. 
 Here’s an excerpt from my farewell email that I wrote to my coworkers on March 26th, 2010 with teary eyes: “Everything, even the best things in life, must come to an end at some point. I’ve decided to pursue a creative career full time, at least for now. I’ve always been a creative person and it’s not a life that we choose for ourselves in the words of Barbara Streisand. It is a difficult path, but it is who I am and what makes me come alive. I can stay up all night on a work night working on a project or play music until the early hours of the morning and even wake up before the sun comes up to take pictures. So next Friday, I will hop on a plane bound for NY, South Africa, and Mozambique to embark on a new adventure, travel for 9 months, and film a documentary about the human experience. I will also have the opportunity to take a road trip across the states, which has been a long time dream of mine. Afterwards, I will move to NY which is something that I’ve always wanted to do at some point in my life. I’m really going for it and taking a leap of faith.” 
 The last 4 years have been absolutely incredible, and I have never looked back. 

Photo by Evan Burgher - In honor of parkour class, here’s a photo of me exactly 4 years ago on my last day working at Oakley, after quitting my job to pursue a creative career in NYC. The decision to quit my job has been one of the most significant and rewarding decisions I have ever made. If you’re unhappy with your life, I hope you find the courage to break free and do what you love.

Here’s an excerpt from my farewell email that I wrote to my coworkers on March 26th, 2010 with teary eyes: “Everything, even the best things in life, must come to an end at some point. I’ve decided to pursue a creative career full time, at least for now. I’ve always been a creative person and it’s not a life that we choose for ourselves in the words of Barbara Streisand. It is a difficult path, but it is who I am and what makes me come alive. I can stay up all night on a work night working on a project or play music until the early hours of the morning and even wake up before the sun comes up to take pictures. So next Friday, I will hop on a plane bound for NY, South Africa, and Mozambique to embark on a new adventure, travel for 9 months, and film a documentary about the human experience. I will also have the opportunity to take a road trip across the states, which has been a long time dream of mine. Afterwards, I will move to NY which is something that I’ve always wanted to do at some point in my life. I’m really going for it and taking a leap of faith.”

The last 4 years have been absolutely incredible, and I have never looked back. 

by Katherine Yaksich

Women Are Heroes  
  One of my first photo assignments was in Santa Ana, El Salvador for OneSight, a charity dedicated to providing free vision care for underprivileged people around the world. This woman was one of our 18,691 patients and this image portrays her as an empowered, beautiful, happy, and courageous mother. 

Women Are Heroes

One of my first photo assignments was in Santa Ana, El Salvador for OneSight, a charity dedicated to providing free vision care for underprivileged people around the world. This woman was one of our 18,691 patients and this image portrays her as an empowered, beautiful, happy, and courageous mother. 

by Katherine Yaksich

“We use old machines, we take our time, and we love what we do.” 
 Huge thanks and shout out to   Raleigh Workshop  , for taking such great care of me. Not only do they make the best jeans (I’ve been searching for years), but they have some of the best customer service I have ever experienced and will take great care of you. All of their jeans are handmade in small batches, with the highest level of craftsmanship and extraordinary attention to detail. Each pair is signed and numbered, made from the finest selvedge denim from Cone Mills’ White Oak plant. Every pair of jeans tell a story, and I can’t wait to break this raw selvedge pair in this summer in the Arctic!

“We use old machines, we take our time, and we love what we do.”

Huge thanks and shout out to Raleigh Workshop, for taking such great care of me. Not only do they make the best jeans (I’ve been searching for years), but they have some of the best customer service I have ever experienced and will take great care of you. All of their jeans are handmade in small batches, with the highest level of craftsmanship and extraordinary attention to detail. Each pair is signed and numbered, made from the finest selvedge denim from Cone Mills’ White Oak plant. Every pair of jeans tell a story, and I can’t wait to break this raw selvedge pair in this summer in the Arctic!

by Katherine Yaksich

I woke up at 7 am and nearly froze my fingers off taking this self portrait this morning in Central Park, hence the mean look. It took quite a bit of patience waiting for the mall to clear out and enduring the cold to get this shot. I also wanted to show off my merino wool scarf, that I commissioned   Gretchen Kreutz   to make for me after searching for a bright orange knit scarf for a year. She’s a freelance knitwear designer for Rag & Bone and has mad skills!  
 merino wool knit scarf by gretchen kreutz  rag & bone boots  sandro top  raleigh workshop denim 
 Equipment used: Manfrotto tripod with video fluid head, Canon 5D mark III, 24 - 70 f2.8L II lens, intervalometer, down jacket and lambswool gloves for warmth in between shots. 
 Part of my ongoing Self Portrait Series

I woke up at 7 am and nearly froze my fingers off taking this self portrait this morning in Central Park, hence the mean look. It took quite a bit of patience waiting for the mall to clear out and enduring the cold to get this shot. I also wanted to show off my merino wool scarf, that I commissioned Gretchen Kreutz to make for me after searching for a bright orange knit scarf for a year. She’s a freelance knitwear designer for Rag & Bone and has mad skills! 

merino wool knit scarf by gretchen kreutz
rag & bone boots
sandro top
raleigh workshop denim

Equipment used: Manfrotto tripod with video fluid head, Canon 5D mark III, 24 - 70 f2.8L II lens, intervalometer, down jacket and lambswool gloves for warmth in between shots.

Part of my ongoing Self Portrait Series

by Katherine Yaksich

A photo of JR during the first day pasting at the NYC Ballet. It has been an absolute blast documenting such a prolific and influential artist. The second night of the NYC Ballet Art Series featuring JR is this Friday, February 7th. The art exhibition is open to the public  from 10 - 5   until February 8th.

A photo of JR during the first day pasting at the NYC Ballet. It has been an absolute blast documenting such a prolific and influential artist. The second night of the NYC Ballet Art Series featuring JR is this Friday, February 7th. The art exhibition is open to the public from 10 - 5 until February 8th.

by Katherine Yaksich

I took this photograph in Mozambique on a drive to South Africa. Their eyes tell a deep rooted story, and I was curious about the Chinese characters on the side of their truck. “The Chinese are building things in exchange for mining rights, timber rights, fishing rights, and these are absolutely bad deals.” - Jim LaFleur, senior economist for Mozambique’s largest business association. “China is very clear about what it wants from Africa. Africa has absolutely no idea what it wants from China.” - Lucy Corkin, Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University  
  Image   © Reuben Hernandez

I took this photograph in Mozambique on a drive to South Africa. Their eyes tell a deep rooted story, and I was curious about the Chinese characters on the side of their truck. “The Chinese are building things in exchange for mining rights, timber rights, fishing rights, and these are absolutely bad deals.” - Jim LaFleur, senior economist for Mozambique’s largest business association. “China is very clear about what it wants from Africa. Africa has absolutely no idea what it wants from China.” - Lucy Corkin, Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University

Image © Reuben Hernandez