Dirty Sugar's Secrets

"Keep it honest. Keep it playful."

-Dirty Sugar

Dirty Sugar creates some of my favorite photos... you pop with fun colors and lots of personality! 

Check out my exclusive interview with Co-Founder, Jason Weston (after working together on quite a few projects). 

What makes dirty sugar different from other photographers?

Our sense of play and our attention to the process. Although many people might be totally comfortable getting up on a stage and performing for thousands of people eight times a week, often when put in from of a lens, ironically it poses a much greater challenge.

We like to remind people that you can have fun, play, experiment and totally be yourself and still get great shots. In fact, having fun makes the process so much easier!


What's the story of how dirty sugar was created?

 Jason Weston, Amy Connolly and Robb Sapp (Circa 2011)

Jason Weston, Amy Connolly and Robb Sapp (Circa 2011)

Robb and I have known each other for almost 30 years, and we've known Amy for 20 years. Our friendship, our friends and our passion for all things theatrical have been a long standing foundation for what has kept us on this journey together.

Once we graduated from college (Go SU Drama!!), we all immediately headed to NYC, looking to quench our thirst for performing on Broadway and beyond!

As we settled into the performing arts community, we found ourselves often filling our free time putting on theatrics and performances for our small, fun-loving crew.

At some point, a tiny Canon ELPH point-and-shoot camera made it's way into our hands, and we started to photograph these playful moments. Eventually, invites went out to our lager circle of friends to come over to our apartments, get dressed up, and do photo shoot - all just for fun. I guess word got out, and the rest is history!

BLOG ALERT: Does Your Mother Know that studio Co-Founder, Jason Weston, once was a Dancing Queen on the B-way boards of...

Posted by dirty sugar photography on Sunday, September 13, 2015


How would you define personal branding?

Punchy, sparkly, flirty, bold and fun-loving!


How can artists help you capture their brand?

By embracing that which makes them unique - in an honest way. It's a very personal process to become aware of, understand and then LOVE all of the things that make them who they are. However, not just pulling attention for the sake of pulling attention, but knowing and understanding what makes them tick, first as a person, then as an artist.

Once they've established their personal flavor and uniqueness, they will then have a "matrix" by which to make bigger branding discussions (i.e what clothing to bring, what energy they are going for in their shots, what shows or roles they are catering towards).

You also have to be educated on the current state of the industry. Recognize the casting and marketing trends both casting directors are responding to, as well as other artists who have successfully "broken through" use, and then interpolate that according to your own brand.


How should one choose their wardrobe for a photoshoot?

Think of wardrobe as another extension of who you are. Our clothing is literally our everyday costume! It tells so much about who we are as well as our personal style and stories. I always say...

1. Keep it honest.

Don't change up your personal style for your headshot session

#PortraitRebel @joshualancedixon is just so candid-elicious! - Swirl him up, @getcreativesm !

A photo posted by dirty sugar (@dirtysugar) on

2. Keep it playful. 

Don't overthink it, trust your gut and don't be afraid of a couple bold choices.

3. Don't be afraid to tell stories with color and pattern. 

Know the color palettes that not only accent eyes, skin and hair, but also show your personal flavor. 

Blue is most certainly the hue for Madame Vice President, Paige Price #NowGoBeFabulous #PortraitRebel #SugarClubber

Posted by dirty sugar photography on Tuesday, February 16, 2016


How was your experience "Getting Creative" with Tony?

Uh-amazing and perfect!! We got everything that we were hoping for and more! Tony was so great with giving us actionable ideas and information that we have so, so much explore.

Tony's expertise is thorough, relevant and so valuable! I have and will continue to recommend him to any one looking to refine or beef up their digital marketing and branding strategy. 


What results or benefits have you experienced?

We have been able to further refine and streamline our entire social media approach, as well as implement some fresh and fun content ideas. Thanks, Tony!!

Learn more at DirtySugarPhotography.com or call 347.948.9418 to make an appointment.

Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.