“You have to provide a state-of-the-art facility that people want to come back to,” he says. “I’m in the fortunate position of owning my studio, so I can put money into it and not worry about not getting it back when the five-year lease runs out. I have a bit of a luxury here from that perspective.”
Burda also took a chance on location, looking at the “bones” of the place and how he envisioned the area possibly booming. “We were just in the right place at the right time, in an area no one wanted to be in in New York City,” he recalls. “In the last five years it’s changed tremendously. The street is safe at night now. When we got here in the mid-‘90s, I would walk clients to the corner to make them feel safe so they would come back again!”
These days, Burda is considering branching out. “I wouldn’t mind getting involved in car photography—it’s almost the same thing as cosmetics, a giant, shiny surface that becomes your playground on a much higher scale,” he says.
“Plus, cars are a bit of a passion for me. And you can photograph anything you’re passionate about.”
For more Burda images, visit www.rickburda.com