Beyond Words Is the Gospel According to Dick Patrick Studios

July 6, 2012

By Barbara Goldman

© Dick Patrick Studios

 Montage of images from award-winning "Beyond Words" project with BrandCory.

Dick Patrick is a Dallas, Texas-based, third-generation advertising food and product photographer who has owned and operated his business, Dick Patrick Studios, Inc, for almost 30 years.

Over the past two and a half decades he has been producing food, beverage and sublime still life imagery for a variety of clients to help them achieve the best in their marketing communication goals.  His clients have included such well-known names as Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Champps ,  Frito Lay Brands,  Bone Daddy’s BBQ restaurants and  Corner Bakery Cafe. His work has been featured in magazines  such as Studio Photography & Design, Photo Insider, and he has been recognized by  Communication Arts, Print Magazine, How Magazine, The Dallas Society of Visual Communications and The American Advertising Federation.

Recently Patrick took on a different kind of project, one that would nourish him creatively and emotionally, as his food photography has done for so many years for so many others. He approached long-time client Design Director Nathan Ezra Trimm  of design communications company BrandCory, who he has worked with extensively over the past seven years on accounts as Borden Dairy and Corner Bakery Café, to collaborate on his concept for “Beyond Words.”  The relationship between the two creative forces is one of mutual respect for both the art and business of advertising and design, and it was Trimm who pushed Patrick to produce something new and vital that would go beyond the traditional photographer mailer. What Patrick and Trimm came up with was a collection of inspirational images with an iconic graphic language and washes of geometric tint varnishes in each spread that resulted in a 28-page booklet. This new direction in concept and imagery earned Patrick and Trimm a gold award for  “Beyond Words”  from the 2012 Dallas Show and a silver award for a series entitled “Inspiring Body of Christ Singers.”

Growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana, Patrick was exposed to gospel music, and the passion of the singers affected him deeply. “I have always wanted to photograph a gospel choir and try and capture the pure emotion in a visual way. After capturing the images of the choir, Nathan and I got together and the concept took shape and became what it is,” says Patrick.  “Beyond Words” was produced specifically to promote Patrick’s studio in a more artistic way.  Even though name recognition can be a powerful tool, he felt that getting clients to remember his studio for quality work can be done in ways other than just showing pretty hamburger shots.

With “Beyond Words” Patrick had to have access to people who would be in the midst of expressing their most personal and spiritual emotions and thoughts.  To get this close for the time required meant gaining a tremendous amount of trust from his subjects, which created a new kind of challenge for him and his usual way of working.  “Gaining that trust was  time consuming, but well worth the effort. It took a while to convince the church we were doing this project with good intentions. To be so close to people that are expressing a very personal, emotional energy is not something to take lightly,” adds Patrick.

To capture his documentary-style portraiture, Patrick used a combination of Canon Mark III, 1ds camera bodies and a Phase One 645DF body with a Phase One P65 digital back.  The portraits of the singers contrasting with the urban details shot in the Dallas suburb of Oak Cliff provided a perfect backdrop for Trimm’s contemporary design.  Edited in Lightroom III and finished off in Photoshop CS5, Patrick used actual graphic symbols inspired by alchemists with an overlay of varied geometric tint varnishes. The elegance of geometry with a dash of chemistry and rousing spiritual energy from the gospel singers all combined to create a very unique and one might say “divine” creation for Patrick and Trimm.

“The process of working together and creating a stunning award-winning piece is a testament to the depth of the photography, the deeper meaning of the concept and a true collaboration between BrandCory and the team at Dick Patrick Studios,” says Brand Cory Creative Director Michael Cory of the joint collaboration.

For now, the “Beyond Words” images are being used only for this piece, but Patrick is exploring a limited-edition series for print and a gallery exhibition in the future.

To see more of the award-winning “Beyond Words” click here and to see more of Dick Patrick’s commercial, food and product work, see his Web site at

Beyond Words Credits
Client: Dick Patrick Studios,                                          
Agency:  BrandCory,
Creative Director:  Michael Cory
Designer:  Nathan Ezra Trimm
Copy Writer: Max Wright,
Printer: Brodnax Printing Co.,