In 1970, a 12 year old boy enthusiastically picked up the family Kodak Instamatic and started pointing it at anything. Or was it everything – hard to tell – but after only one twelve exposure cassette, he was running to the corner Drug for processing. Every photographer knows the ecstasy of repeated shutter clicks whether you’re 12 or 50. It’s an addiction.
Meandering through cities and stretches in related professions, Bruce DeBoer, now fully grown, moved – the first of five times – from his college town Rochester, NY to Boston. Eight product shooting years later, Hallmark Cards successfully recruited Bruce to manage their behemoth studio with a 2.5 million dollar budget and 23 photographers. Dry? Perhaps. But ask Bruce about his most transitory career experience and, on any given day, you’d hear, “I supervised 23 talented photographers who taught me the influence of beauty, and that there are at least 23 ways to find it. As remedial as that sounds, my skills where honed in Rochester and Boston but my discovery began there in Kansas City.”
A call from his second year college roommate, Jim Erickson, jumped his shooting career to Raleigh, NC. “That’s where my career really started. I shot in the studio while Jim traveled. We finally collaborated on a Harley Davidson catalog just prior to Jim’s move to San Francisco, which lead to Bruce opening Stone Soup Productions with young men on Erickson’s staff who didn’t want to head west”.
Maybe it was a ten year itch or Y2K, either way, Bruce sold his shares of Stone Soup Productions for a Chicago U-Stor-It garage full of studio gear. For a few years at least, that’s where it stayed as Bruce morphed into a Sr. Account Executive. “If Hallmark was my big transition, a small Chicago Ad Agency was my big education. I learned market strategy from the agency side”.
After the small Chicago agency got even smaller, Bruce moved back to Raleigh where he Joined Synthesis Creative – an internet design partnership – as their Director of Marketing. However, within another couple years, Bruce temporarily reconnected with Jim Erickson on trips through Europe and Asia where Bruce was overheard saying: “This digital stuff is really, f’ing cool, I’ve got to get back to this shooting thing.” That was the fall of ’05.
Twenty five years after that first move, enter DeBoer Works Photographic Productions. The award cabinet is full. Bruce’s name appears on countless national and regional Addy Awards, One Show Awards, a NY Festivals Gold, a B&W Spider Award, and as a National Kelly Award Finalist. He’s been published in Communication Arts, Graphis Design Annuals, Print Regional Design Annuals, AIGA Design Annuals, Creativity, Ad Age, Graphis Magazine, and Ad Week. In 2002 Bruce was selected to work on the America 24/7 project and has been a guest lecturer at the famed College of Journalism and Mass Communications at UNC Chapel Hill.
Over the years Bruce has shot with some of the most talented art directors for clients such as: Certified Angus Beef, Harley Davidson, Healthy Choice, Anheuser-Busch, Conde Naste, Duke Medicine, Cliffs Communities, Mandarin Oriental Resorts, Shell Motor Club, Amoco, Couples Resorts – Jamaica, MGM Studio 54 – Las Vegas, and Giro Sport Designs.