By Molly Barber
I’m competitive. My family is competitive. That’s the enviroment I was raised in. I can remember throwing darts before Christmas to see who got to open a present on Christmas Eve. I can remember everytime we went fishing having bets for the first fish, the most fish, and the biggest fish. I remember almost everyday my brother and I playing my dad at basketball. The wager being, the loser had to say the winner was better than Michael Jordan… Now this might not seem like a big deal to you but Michael Jordan was the king and to 7 year-old me, saying that my dad was better than Michael Jordan was the most blasphemous thing imaginable. I hated it. And I had to say it a lot. It wasn’t too many years after that my dad quit playing against us (quit while you’re ahead). But because of my background I understand the close, competitive relationship of the Hasty family.
I met Bruce and Gail Hasty at an art show and I knew immeditaly they had to be featured in this section of the magazine. They were too talented not to be showcased, too charasmatic not to be quoted, and too funny not to hangout with again.
I quickly learned that their daughter, Jenn, was a big part of their photo collection. “What I tell everybody is, it’s our photography- me, the wife, and the daughter. We’ve done all the photography. One of the three of us have been behind the camera on every scene that we sell. And that’s important I think.” Bruce explained, with Gail jumping right in to add, “And we compete. Father/daughter compete major.”
The Hastys like to keep tabs on which of their photos sell and the bragging rights that go along with that. But that’s not the only reason they do what they do.
In telling some stories about traveling the country and taking photos Bruce said, “A lot of people aren’t able to get out and see the things that we see, so you know, we think we are very fortunate in being able to do that. As we go into different areas of the country and what have you, you get to see all the beauty that the different areas of the country hold for you. For us it’s just looking at it and enjoying it, putting it together and letting everyone else enjoy it too.”
Bruce and Gail are the kind of people who draw you into their booth not only with amazing photography but also with the stories they have for every one of their photos. And they have some whoppers. Jenn took a beautiful photo of a bear looking into the water at some fish. Well, Bruce likes to tell the story of how she got the picture. “At one of our shows an old lady comes up to me and said ‘You let your daughter get that close to a bear?’ I told her, ‘There was an old lady standing next to her and I told my daughter if the bear hit the water, push the old lady in and run.’ She had no sense of humor and once again I got hit.” Bruce tells the story with a smile and followed up the story with, “We have fun.” And that they do.
Going over some of their photos, they showed me one of a gorgeous owl Gail photographed. “We were over in Fallon, Nevada and were having ten days of pogonip. Now if you don’t know about pogonip, it’s a frozen fog. So as the fog comes through it freezes on everything and creates a frost. A very, very, very heavy frost.” Bruce told Gail he wanted to go photograph a single tree in the pogonip. “So we go out to the wildlife area there in Fallon and on the way over I looked over at the trees and I see this owl sitting in the tree in the pogonip. I told her ‘roll your window down and shoot that owl.’ She rolled the window down and she goes, ‘I don’t see it.” So I had to point the owl out to her. I didn’t want to get out on my side and scare him out of the tree, so she finally saw him and got a shot. You can’t stage it, there’s no way you could stage that to happen.”
Not only do Bruce and Gail have different size cavnases to choose from but they also print their photos on metal and wow, do those things pop. This owl photo
just comes to life on the metal. So do the landscapes. I don’t know if it’s the reflectiveness of it or what, but the colors are so vibrant and alive on the metal surfaces.
My favorite photo they have on display is one Bruce took in Antelope Canyon out of Paige, Arizona. The Canyon is on Navajo ground and for this particular photo he and Gail were on a photography tour along with five other people. This tour blocked people off ahead and behind the tour, allowing Bruce, Gail and the others to photograph in these beautiful canyons without people walking into their shots. So Bruce and five other people have their cameras set up to shoot the canyon. Five other people were taking the same photograph Bruce was taking, only it wasn’t the same. “The five of us shot that scene. My camera was the only one that picked that up. We were told that it was a good spirit.” Bruce said.
Looking at the photo, you can see a ‘candle stick’ image but there in the middle of that ‘candle stick” is an apparition of something. “People look and they’ll say, ‘Wait something’s in there. You got someone walking in there.’ and I said, ‘No, it’s not a shadow. No one was walking there’…Nobody else had it, and I was right next to him,” Gail said attesting to the fact that no one was in the canyon except the people on the tour all trying like Bruce, to get the ‘candle stick’ image in their photos.
I am absolutely in love with this photo. I think the canyons themselves are beautiful. Throw in a little mystery and I’m sold. Bruce and Gail have a lot of amazing photographs but this was the one that really captured my interest. I’m sure they have something in their collection that will do the same for you.
Bruce and Gail spend most of their summers hitting Northern California craft fairs. If you are lucky enough to find yourself at one they are at, go hit them up. They are super talented people but for me, just talking with them was great fun.
If you find yourself not being able to wait until the summer to check out the Hasty’s awesome photography, you can find their work on their website stampedephotography.com. You can also purchase photos there if you like something you’ve seen in this article.
People are always telling Bruce he needs to put some information about the photo on the back of the pictures. “And I just tell them, ‘well look, if I went through the trouble to do that, then you wouldn’t have the opportunity to talk to me and get the explaination how this picture came about… and I don’t have enough room to put it on the back. But every picture has a story, every picture has a story.”