Happy Labor Day. I Hope Everyone has the Day Off.


I was out near Marble Falls, Texas, about an hour from Austin, to document the ground breaking of a new service center for Pedernales Electric Cooperative when I took this. We were in an out for the groundbreaking in a bit less than an hour...

The venue was a big, grassy pasture. In a few months it would be a big building dedicated to helping customers get service and also pay their bills. I arrived with the advance P.R. team, about half an hour before the executives and maybe an hour before the invited guests. We had the ritual shovels lined up next to a patch of turned over dirt so I could get photographs and someone else could get video of local elected officials and company poobahs tossing dirt in unison. Commemorating the day when another project would be launched in that county. Good for business and good for the thousands of Texans who depend on keeping the lights on (this area did not go down during the Texas Deep Freeze of 2021!!! Yay! Client!!!). 

The marketing folks had acquired a giant American flag and had the idea to suspend it between two high lift bucket trucks. It would flutter over the heads of the folks shoveling raw dirt. 

You can see by the clouds in the background that we were on the cusp of bad weather. As the guys started getting the flag positioned the wind picked up in angry little gusts and threatened to make "Old Glory" into a wicked sail. I grabbed the shot during a moment of relative calm and then moved on to some handshake and shoulder patting moments. 

We rounded everyone up, did the speeches, took the photos, grabbed the video as the wind picked up again and we could smell the fresh rain coming our way. The quick march back to the impromptu parking lots was a bit of chaos. The rain broke over us high and quick. Everyone got soaked. I said a little prayer to the photo gods beseeching them to honor the D810's reputation for ruggedness and water resistance. They answered my prayer but sent me a sign that I should cover the camera and lens with my best felt hat. Sadly, it was a goner. 

So much fun when you leave your home and go out on location to spend quality time running from a ground-breaking in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. Happily we all got our cars out of the field before the ground turned to mud and trapped us there. 

Good times. 

Crossing over into editorial work. Not a big jump...


©Kirk Tuck. All Rights Reserved.

On the way to Johnson City, just this side of Dripping Springs, Tx. there was a restaurant combined with an outdoor amphitheater that featured lots and lots of live music. The restaurant and bar did a great business on days when the amphitheater was packed with music lovers. The place was called, "The Nutty Brown Cafe." 

I'd never been there before but an advertising agency was representing a natural gas service company and they asked me to head over there and take some photos. This was a few years back. A time when every photo shoot did NOT come complete with an ad agency entourage and a little coterie of clients. In fact, I had a cursory phone conversation with one art director, got a general feel for what they wanted and arrived by myself ready to introduce myself and get a bit of collaboration going with the kitchen staff. 

The above image of the chef du jour was not in the brief and probably not at all what the final client was looking for. But that's okay. We covered the job in a traditional way with smiling servers, dedicated kitchen workers, blue flames leaping under sizzling pans filled with Texas comfort food. Lots of images of people working with gas ranges...

The cook/chef and I ended up spending an hour or so making the requisite photos. We laughed at each other's jokes. We traded war stories about being "fry cooks" (I spent a couple of years during the early part of my career cooking for the bar shift/late night at one of Austin's legendary 24 hour diner/restaurants). 

Early on I noticed the tattoo on his hands; between his knuckles. Before I did my final pack up and exit I asked him if we could do one shot with his hands out in from of him. 

I was photographing with a Nikon D810 and a 24-120mm zoom that day. I had a small Nikon flash banging into a white corner behind me. We did ten or fifteen shots and then we both had to get back to work. He needed to prep for that evening's dinner rush and I had a deadline to meet for some quick turnaround images. 

What a fun way to end a shoot.