Lucas Huey is a man of many talents. Carpentry and photography to name a couple (which is probably why we had an instant connection :) I caught up with Lucas as he was traveling the southwest earlier this month to ask him a few questions about his photography career, living in beautiful Monterey, CA, and starting The Headshot Factory.
Take a look through Lucas' portfolio.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from/live, how'd you get into photography?
I’m Lucas Huey. I grew up in the farm fields of Central California. I am married to the raddest most beautiful woman in the world. She knows how important it is for me to be creative and lets me be me. We have two dogs, a 15 year old daughter and spend as much time outdoors as humanly possible. I like to drink brown liquids and eat greasy burgers. I try not to take things to serious except for when it needs to be. I went to art school in Washington, where I got a BFA in Graphic Design with a minor in Photography. Right now, I live on the beach. Our studio is in Monterey, California, 45 min to the heart of Big Sur & 2 hours from Downtown SF. As a little kid, I would go visit my grandparents in San Diego. My grandfather would let me play with his 1964 Pentax Spotmatic camera. Later, he gifted me that very camera. Thats’ really who gave me the push & addiction, my Grandfather. Once I got pretty good with that camera he then gave me a medium formant TLR, which I still use to this day. After I graduated from college, he gave me a darkroom, which is awesome! While going to school, I worked for a fashion photographer, sweeping the studio, changing the developer tanks and just helping out with studio busy work. He taught me a lot on being a studio photographer, told me “Always have a code and stay humble.” The big thing that he instilled in me is that photography doesn’t happen overnight. I was shooting film up until 2013 which is when I started shooting more studio work and took a 2 year break from landscape.
Q: What does a typical working day look like for you?
A typical day for me is different from most. Part of the time I'm working from home, then I’ll move to location, then to the studio. Usually I’m up early. Mondays, Saturdays & Sundays I’m up before 6 working on business marketing, creating graphics, writing my blog posts for the week/ month. Rest of the week & Saturday afternoons are my shooting days, either photographing commercial fashion, food, products and/or local landscapes. I do a lot of stylized shoots. We have scheduled 3 stylized bridal shoots for the next couple months for publication. If I don’t have shoots scheduled, I’m editing.
Q: You've worked as a carpenter at a framing studio so you've spent plenty of time around artwork. How do you think about presenting your photographs? How do you select your final images you are going to offer to clients or for your own home?
Yes, working in a framing studio really helped with knowing how to present my artwork. I tend to choose timeless frames, staying away from the more modern look. For my paper prints, I use 8 ply rag over mat with a 1/4” reveal around the images that is mounted on a 4 ply rag with a matching mat & museum grade non glare glass. It’s worth the investment. I encourage all my clients to go this route. Each of my pieces are finished with a sticker and signed on the dust cover. I do pull an Edward Weston and sign my mounted images low so the over mat covers it. It’s not about my signature being seen. It’s about the artwork! I also offer Plexi-Mount, where the image is face mounted directly to the museum acrylic. These enable me to print big and don’t have the over matting. I love my panoramics! There is something about seeing a huge print like Yosemite, Big Sur or the back country. Choosing final images for my clients or even my own home requires my wife’s assistance. She rates and flags the images through her eyes. Then I do another rate and flag looking at close details, then she will rate and flag what I have chosen. There is a lot of culling so that we get quality images that have all the great elements of design, movement, contrast and shadow detail.
Q: I've visited the Monterey Peninsula before and it seems like it's an amazing place to live as a nature photographer. Where are your go-to spots if you're looking to shoot landscapes.
It is a pretty rad place to live. Most go to spots are south, Big Sur Area, but you don’t have to go far. Journey to one of the many beaches, sit on a rock and you just may witness a bunch of hump back whales breaching or dolphins playing. At night, we get some pretty rad views of the Milky Way. Stack that with a long exposure and you can get some pretty wild images.
Q: In addition to landscapes you photograph a lot of people. The idea for the headshot factory that you've started is brilliant. Tell us about getting that off the ground.
The Headshot Factory stemmed from networking on LinkedIn. I was shocked with the professionals that had terrible profile pictures. I don’t think on a “professional” platform, you should have a blurry cell phone photo. So, with that thought, The Headshot Factory was born. We go into banks, real estate offices, Dr. offices, set up the backdrop & take a few shots. It’s one price. It’s quick.
Q: I read on your website that you have a goal of photographing a sunrise in Yosemite and a sunset on the coast in the same day. Have you reached your goal yet!???
This goal came from my wife. She wanted to see the sunrise in Yosemite, hitting all the weirdness of California, and drive to watch the sunset eating fish and chips in Half Moon Bay. Now, you may think this would be easy especially since Half Moon Bay is around 5 hours from Yosemite. Here is how Northern California works: When it’s warm and sunny in the mountains, it is cold and foggy on the beach. When its nice and warm with epic sunsets on the beach, we still have snow in the high country. We have a 3 day window in Oct where the roads are open to get the sunrise and be able to get a pretty amazing sunset. Long story short not quite yet. The planning is key on this one. We have had the goal for around 2 years, watching the patterns so we get it just right.
Find more of Lucas' work here or follow him on Instagram.