People: Harrison Hurwitz

ImageHarrison Hurwitz is an amazing photographer and someone you should know. Check out his blog and get to know him via this interview. (and yes it is intimidating to photograph a photographer!)

Who’s behind Harrison Hurwitz Photography?
That would be myself and my wife Michelle, who has been an integral part of the business for over 8 years. I do the shooting and meet with clients. Most of the credit goes to me, although Michelle does so much behind the scenes to keep clients happy and the business rolling along. Most people have no idea the amount of time and skill that goes into producing the final result for our clients.
When did you first pick up a camera?
I think I was about 9 years old. It was a Konica 35 mm film camera. At that time, I was pretty introverted, so I never took photos of people, only pictures of plants and scenery. Now I am a people photographer. I guess I came out of my shell. 

 What’s a typical day like?
There is no such thing as a typical day, as many of my shoots are either weddings, magazine portraits, or events that must be captured whenever they occur. When I am not shooting, I am editing images, marketing the business, scouting locations, responding to inquiries, etc….. Michelle designs the wedding books we do, makes sure orders are fulfilled, works on our website, and too many other things to mention.
What do clients like best about your photos?
I think there is a naturalness to my images that people seem to like. Because I was a psychologist and then a fashion photographer in NYC, I know how to put people at ease and how to make them look their best, but in a candid way. And doing it quickly (I have an “extra gear” from living in NYC so long. Hah!).  Also, I have had the challenge of photographing several celebrities, and they typically will give you just a few minutes, so you had better be organized and be quick. I also believe in the process of “woodshedding”, where a musician used to practice by himself in the wood shed, which the best jazz musicians did to create their own, distinct sound. For me, that meant years of experimenting with various film stocks, so that my work has a unique feel to it. I have to create photos that excite me as much as they excite my clients. Otherwise, I could not do this professionally for 28 years. Most people see that my work is quite different, probably because I use films that no one else does, and I am very particular about the way my film is processed.  I have also saved some film stocks that are no longer produced.

What’s been the most surprising/funny/unexpected thing(s) to happen so far?
The rapid exodus of pro photographers from film to digital originally shocked me. It was as if film was a disease. I have an attachment to certain film stocks, to the slower process of creating images with film, and to the historical aspects of film photography. I actually don’t like to see my images instantly.  I prefer to “daydream” what they will be like, before seeing them. Of course, all my film negatives are scanned at high resolution, so we have the advantages of the digital world, but with the beauty of film.  Just in the past year, I have met some pros who are starting to shoot film again, even though it is usually in small doses. Anyway, it’s good to see that film is still here.
 Why do you do what you do? 
First, I want to share my art with others, to add beauty and interest to their lives.  I also love a challenge, and photographing people always provides challenges!  I often capture what might be called the essence of a person, although in reality we are all multifaceted.  Every shoot is a journey towards creating that essential type of image, and most people I photograph need some help along the way. Everyone was teased about their looks as a child, and some of those insecurities never go away completely. I keep up a stream of conversation, so they don’t think about their looks or feel self conscious.
 Any future goals or plans we need to know about?
A few times each year I give myself assignments. Sometimes I will go with another photographer to a location like Bisbee or Tucson for a day long shoot. I just came back from Taos, New Mexico, where I photographed some artists and old adobe ruins. Currently, I am working on a book that is a psychological inquiry about how artists and others perceive art in their lives. The participants are asked a bunch of questions about this, and I will be doing a photo portrait of some of the participants.
If you could go anywhere to take pictures, where would it be? 
That’s a tough question. I have learned that you don’t need to be in a fabulous location to produce wonderful photos. That said, the light here in Arizona is quite harsh most of the year, so I am drawn to the more northern or more humid climates. I have done some shoots in the San Juan Islands off the Washington coast, and in Seattle, where the quality of the light is softer, and it stays light until 9:30 PM in the summer.  So sweet.

If you had to pick your favorite camera to use, what would it be?
That’s easy. My favorite is my film camera, Maurice and his “brothers”. He is a Nikon FM2, which is fully manual and built like a tank (I am very hard on equipment, so I carry a spare of everything).  What I love about Maurice is that he forces me to slow down, to think about what film stock will work best in a given situation, and I also concentrate harder with film. Almost any digital camera will produce consistently good images these days.  However, great images are created in your mind, before you trip the shutter, so it rarely matters what camera you are using. 
Tell us something we don’t know about you, your company or the universe at large.  
I could live in a world with no photography, but not in one without music. The inspiration for many of my photos comes from music I listen to, especially soulful music or jazz done in the 50’s and 60’s.  Otis Redding singing “Try a Little Tenderness” still gives me chills. Other artists I love include Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Tom Rush, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Thelonious Monk, Johnny Hartman, Chet Baker, and Miles Davis have had a big effect on me.
Hometown and current city!
 I am from New York City, but I am based in Phoenix, Arizona
Harrison photographed our wedding and did our engagement shots several years ago. Here’s two of my favorites- although it is hard to choose! 

Buy: Summer Must-Haves for the Kitchen

I’m the daughter of a chef and food scientist. I live in Phoenix and am cooking/baking my way through summer. Here are some of my top tools for the summer kitchen! Enjoy!

Tovolo large ice cube mold. $5.99, on sale! at Sur La Table

 I’m trying to be healthy, but this ice-cream maker is on sale! $69.95 from Williams-Sonoma (marked down from $130, has extra bowl AND gives you a form for a free $20 WS gift card!)

 Goo Gone All Natural BBQ Grill Cleaner (enough said) from Amazon or local retailers, $5

 Garlic peeler (it works!) $5.99 on sale! at Sur la Table

 Zucchini Bread Recipe from Cooking Light. (I substitute one egg white for “egg substitute” and coconut oil for “canola oil”)

Interview and Field Trip with Juice Core!

I took a field trip. Only this trip was WAY more fun than field in grade school. Upon walking into the kitchen of Juice Core, I was confronted by a flurry of freshness in the form of fruits and vegetables. The smell of ginger, grapefruit and perhaps even mint filled the air and made me sort of……high! Not surprising since this locally owned startup creates fresh, organic juices that nourish the body and soul.

I’ve been a fan since I discovered them at the Phoenix Public Market/Farmer’s market and my love of juicing even made me purchase my own slow press juicer for home. They frequently sell out of their product and were a welcome addition to the many awesome vendors at the market.  One of the owners, Kelly Watkins let me stop in on a Friday evening when they are juicing to fulfill pre orders and day of sales for weekend farmers markets. We chatted a lot about our mutually aligning thoughts concerning food and the change regarding food and nutrition happening in America. I got to watch Kelly and  her daughter Taylor prepare produce and make juice. Boy, was I impressed. I also did a short interview with Kelly, which spotlights on this new business, its owners and why you need some juice! “In action” pictures via the slide-show that follows the interview below!

What is Juice Core?

We are a company made up of 2 mothers and 2 daughters that are beyond passionate about fresh organic juice.  We make home deliveries of 100% raw organic cold pressed juices and cleanses to your home (think milk man…but way cooler). We make amazing fruit and veggie artisan blends with the highest intention and love. (borderline compulsive)

Who is behind Juice Core?

Kelly Watkins (owner/Taylor’s mom)-Kelly was a passionate Oncology/Hospice RN for 16 years who walked away from medicine after seeing countless patients heal their bodies through juice and conscious living. She now practices Energy medicine (polarity/cranial), massage therapy and is JuiceCore’s Head Juice Artist. She’s CRAZY about the juice and even crazier about juicy living.

Patty Flanigan (owner/Katie’s mom) Patty has spent many years as a dynamic businesswoman, but has found a tranquil space in practicing yoga, juicing and living a “wakeful life.” She is passionate about producing a high quality, healthy juice and is positively joyful at having an integrity-based product that is changing peoples lives and renewing their bodies and health.

Taylor Renteria (owner) Taylor came into Juice Core naturally. She is whole and healthy foods fanatic and celebrates the results of choosing to live a “high vibration” life style. Taylor loves being a part of the shift in consciousness taking place on the planet and in our country. We consider her a front line warrior to the cause.

Katie Flanigan (owner) Katie has always gravitated towards living a life of vibrant health. She is a Yoga instructor, model and juice lunatic. Balance is at the forefront of her life, while love and gratitude are the key staples to having the real experience of being.

What’s a typical day like at Juice Core?

We arrive early to set an intention for the day. It’s a day full of gratitude and appreciation mixed with a gushing amount of love and serious hard-core physical labor. We diligently wash and prepare the produce, juice juice juice, and package and prepare the orders. Clean up usually takes an hour and half and is insane. (Imagine home juicer clean up, times a hundred)

What do customers like best about your product?

The first thing they love,  is of course, the taste and the complex layers of the flavors. The next thing we hear is “WHOA…what’s going on. I feel dramatically different.” Then next, of course, they love the home delivery aspect and the text support. (we offer new cleansers steady text support through their cleansing process with detox tips as well as side line cheering)

You’re a new company, what’s been the most surprising/funny/unexpected thing(s) to happen so far?

We have had many things! I think it’s pretty funny that the very first purchase we made for the business was for a 1960’s vintage trailer in dire need of a restoration. We had the fantasy of it being our mobile event-juicing baby.  That was a year ago and we still have it (and are still awaiting a restoration).

Why do you do what you do?

We are here to create an integrity based healing juice.  We are meticulous about our produce selection (always 100% organic) as well as making juices with balanced healing properties. We honor the natural cycles of our planet and create our menu accordingly. It’s our intention to support people in their self-healing by helping them return to a whole foods, healthy clean way of nourishing their bodies.

You deliver? Tell us more!

We deliver all cleanses and weekly juice packages (minimum of 4 juices) to the greater Phoenix Metro area. Customers also have the choice to pick up their order at the weekly Scottsdale or Downtown Phoenix Farmers markets.

Any plans to expand?

Yes! We are in the process of opening our first storefront in Scottsdale with plans to open smaller grab n’ go stores in Downtown and the East Valley.

If you had to pick a favorite product, what is it?

Hands down our favorite juice is Mother Earth, our signature blend. It has nearly 7 pounds of produce per pint bottle (kale, romaine, spinach, cucumber, celery, parsley, fennel, green apple, ginger and lemon). It is a powerful detoxifier, alkalizer and sends your energy through the roof! (we call it super hero liquid) We also LOVE our little 4 oz Soul Shots superfood elixirs that utilize the potency of flower essences by Lotus Wei! So delicious!

Tell us something we don’t know about you, your company or the universe at large.

We are 4 inseparable women who love each other deeply. We are here to hold space for each customer,  no matter where they are in their journey of health. (Raw foods extraordinaire to cheeto, Twinkie eaters) We strongly believe you are the food you put in your body and that it’s your birth-right to live a vibrant, healthy happy life.

Finally: Name, hometown and current city!

Kelly Watkins- Alamogordo, New Mexico. Currently Downtown Phoenix

Patty Flanigan- Spokane, Washington. Currently Scottsdale, Arizona

Taylor Renteria- Alamogordo, New Mexico. Currently Downtown Phoenix

Katie Flanigan- Phoenix, Arizona. Currently Phoenix, Arizona

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~be sure to fan Juice Core on Facebook!

See: “And the Land Grew Quiet” at the Phoenix Art Museum


Time is running out to see “And the Land Grew Quiet: New Work by Matthew Moore,” which closes June 10! This short-term site specific installation combines two of my favorite things, art and farming. While I don’t consider my urban flock, garden and fruit tree to be a “farm,” I come from a long line of former farmers and have a deep respect for farming. Back to the artist. Matt Moore grew up in Arizona and is the last of four generation to farm here. (Don’t worry- he’s got an excellent career path in film-making, art-making and owner of Combine here in Phoenix. He is also a father and husband.)

Sad as the farming situation is, Matt is making the best of the situation with his latest work. I could go on about the themes of food, suburbanization, the economy etc that this exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum touches on……or you could go and see it yourself or Google the few reviews that have been done on the show. Either way, it is bound to make you think and experience the space at the museum in a new way. There’s a catalog for the show coming soon and that will contain essays from both the artists and the curator. The show has been in the works since 2009, so its worth spending some time to see it! Matt’s work can also be purchase at Lisa Sette Gallery!



In the past year or so, I’ve discovered Urban Yoga. Although I’ve mastered headstand, handstand and crow pose….. I’m not this good:

Urban Yoga at One Lexington in midtown Phoenix is great. I love the 6:30 a.m. sunrise class and the bathrooms/showers make it easy to jet to work afterwards…or stop by Lux like I do.


Check out some pic and then I highly suggest you come to some classes. I like that they have many classes outside of work hours- some studios cater to the mommy crowd and that doesn’t jive with me. The studio is clean and the classes aren’t super crowded! Urban Yoga is highly recommended.

Urban Wood Goods

Urban Wood Goods is one of my favorite Etsy shops, that I’m sharing at the risk that one of you will “scoop” me out of many future purchases. The shop features pretty affordable- industrial, yet modern- reclaimed wood tables, desks, and even picnic tables!  Be sure to check them out on etsy.

A Better “Pink”

The Tutu Project is by a “friend of a friend” and its wonderful. I could go into detail, but click on the image to learn more. Its more fun that way and besides, I know you’re intrigued.  You can see more images (in urban settings and non urban settings) and even donate to the cause and receive a print by the artist. You’ll see what I mean by “a better ‘pink’.”