To put it briefly, I am a photojournalist and editorial photographer at heart. Being a photojournalist gives you a license to be curious about all things. There is nothing I love better than going out on an assignment, being able to illustrate a good story, and then seeing those photos in print or on the web. Or being told by a reader that they love my work. I get an indescribable high from it every time. It's a feeling that never gets old.
Starting as a music and performance photographer, I've worked with local garage bands and cover bands to national and international artists, providing promo materials as well as live performance images. The combination of photography and live music is just so natural for me as they are both such a big part of my life. No matter what the conditions or the lighting, I will get "the shot". I love to capture that moment when a performer shows their spirit and personality. It's like magic. Capturing that energy and emotion is what it's all about for me. I can capture that moment for you, too. And for all your fans.
My music and concert work has appeared in Guitar World, Guitar Player, Guitar Edge, Musicians Friend, New York Magazine, The Orlando Sentinel, Axis Magazine, Buzz Magazine, Folio Weekly, EU Jacksonville, and several other national and local publications, as well as websites, promotional materials, and CD's. You can see a lot more of my work on my gallery site, www.franruchalskiphotographer.com or Instagram.
But it was just beginning. I started shooting all types of sports, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Giants, the Sharks, the Suns, the Armada, the Breeze, football and basketball for University of Florida, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Kansas State University as well as marathons and triathlons. I am now the Athletics Department photographer for Division I Jacksonville University and Division II Flagler College. To improve my sports shooting skills, I participated in a workshop run by one of the best sports shooters in the business, Peter Read Miller. I was able to shoot rounds 2 and 3 of March Madness when they played in Jacksonville and I've shot the NCAA Track & Field Eastern Preliminaries several times. If a major sporting event is occurring in the Jacksonville area, I am probably there. Heck, I'm there for the minor events too. The challenges and fun are just so hard to miss.
Building upon all of this, I transitioned into politics, events, and news coverage. I have photographed President Barack Obama's, Mitt Romney's, and Donald Trump's visits to Jacksonville, and the Republican Presidential Debate held at UNF among so many other things too numerous to name. Charity events I photograph include Help-Portrait, Joy To The Children, Never Quit Never Fest, the March For Life, Sisters Network Breast Cancer Symposium, Boobsapalooza and many more.
The best times I've ever had were working as a staff photojournalist for two different newspapers, The Manhattan Mercury in Manhattan, Kansas and The Daily Times in Salisbury, Maryland. I absolutely love newspaper work and would jump at the chance to do it again. It gives me the chance to do what I love on a daily basis and it presents you with challenges and stories to illustrate every single day. For me, it's the dream job. There's nothing like it. These days I freelance for several Jacksonville area publications. My photojournalism work has been picked up by the AP and showed up in papers across the country, on the web, and around the world. It has also appeared in The Jacksonville Daily Record, The Florida Times-Union, EU Jacksonville Magazine, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, The Orlando Sentinel, The St. Augustine Record, The Port Charlotte Sun-Herald, First Coast Magazine, Folio Weekly, BUZZ Magazine, and more.
I also love to provide folks like you with all types of portraiture: head shots, individual, family, corporate, environmental and studio. I have the ability to make you feel comfortable in front of my camera so you are relaxed and your personality can shine through. It's just such fun! I love creating portraits and head shots that convey something special about you. My goal is to tell your story in a way that's unique to you. I want you and the people that know you to feel I've been able to capture something in my photographs that says "this is you". And I want it to be a process that you'll enjoy and want to do again.
My latest challenge is diving into the world of video. While I see a lot of people doing it, a lot of it is pretty bad and really boring. I am learning from some of the best news storytellers in the business so that I can produce videos that people will want to watch.
One of my greatest strengths is that I figure out how to make things happen. Whether it's complicated lighting, getting access to photograph the President, or getting a group shot together, I make it happen. There's always a way, and I will find it. If I'm given an assignment, I will get it done. You can count on that. I can shoot anything. And I do it well.
I am a member of the National Press Photographers Association, Professional Photographers of America, and Nikon Professional Services. For now, I am located in the Jacksonville, Florida area, but would travel anywhere. I want to make photographs all the time. Ideally, I'd love a position as a staff photographer with a newspaper or publication again.
Need a photographer? Give me a call, 904-206-2669 or email me, Fruchalski@gmail.com and let's chat.
There are a few things about me that many ask about. The first is that I have a thing about Chuck Taylors. I wear them most of the time. I have over a dozen pairs at the present time in all different colors. The only color I don't have is black...they're just boring and so cliché. The other thing is that I wear Hawaiian shirts on Friday. It's a tradition that started many moons ago when I was living in Philly. I've been doing it a lot of years and I keep the Hawaiian Shirt Friday thing going.......just because it's fun.
Many of my photos are for sale as prints. Please inquire about any in which you may be interested
All images on this website are ©Fran Ruchalski. They may not be copied, downloaded, used or STOLEN without permission.