Where do you work, and what is your title?
I am a partner and photographer at Bruton Stroube Studios.
How long have you been in the design industry?
18+ years (holy shit). I was at Zipatoni for over seven years, and have been at Bruton Stroube for about 11 and a half.
How did you end up in your field?
Short version: I went to school for design and dropped out to take an internship at Zipatoni. I got hired, worked there for 7 years, had a quarter-life crisis and decided to leave and either become a stuntman or photographer. I decided that photography was easier on my bones, so here I am.
Tell us about one of your most memorable projects.
Late last year I did a commercial lifestyle shoot around the world (a full lap!). I shot in 5 countries over 40 days – Argentina, Brazil, France, India and China. It’s still hard to believe that actually happened; it was an amazing experience. Learning to make people laugh at my dumb jokes through a translator was pretty interesting.
What is your favorite place in St. Louis to find inspiration?
Anywhere with my kids, where light bounces at interesting angles, and where people laugh and have real moments – that hits me every time.
Who is your design hero?
There are so many talented people out there and specifically, in this city. I love watching what falls out of their brains.
Do you have favorite music for fueling your creativity?
I use the service Rdio (similar to Spotify) for most of my music listening. I like finding new artists and my taste varies greatly, depending on my mood and the work I’m doing. I’m all over the place. My go-to playlist right now has Willie Nelson, Bhi Bhiman, Tribe Called Quest, Leon Bridges, Jungle and Jurassic 5 in it. I’m also a big fan of those mash up artists like DJ Spin, Nu Mark and Girl Talk. It’s always fun to have those going on shoots.
Tell us about a design-related book, essay, film, video or other form of media that’s important to you.
I’m an Internet junky, so I have tons of links I visit regularly. Photography, design, painting, illustration, typography, motion graphics, 3D, you name it. I love all of it.
How important is it to know what other designers are doing in your industry?
Definitely important. There are great things happening here, and everyone should be excited about that and try to keep up with it.
What advice do you have for an up-and-coming designer?
Please don’t take my job, I love it too much.
Design in St. Louis is family.