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Jay Daniel
President, Principal Photographer, and Graphic Designer

Growing up in the Bay Area, Jay attended UC Berkeley and graduated with a degree in Bacteriology. However, a career working in a hospital clinical lab was not for him, so he left in 1978 to pursue a self directed education in art and photography.


After opening his first studio in Fairfax in 1980, some of his first commercial clients were locally headquartered clients like Fireman's Fund, Fair Isaac, Auto Desk and Micro Pro. Throughout the 80’s, he also pursued and exhibited a body of critically acclaimed personal work. His work NAKED CAFE was published in American Photographer magazine in June 1986.


He continued to take assignments throughout the 90s, and went on to publish editorial/commercial photographs. Some of his work was featured in magazines such as Sunset, National Geographic, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes.

In 2004, when his children were young, Jay made the business decision to stick solely to studio photography so that he could travel less and spend more time at home with his family. This spurned the creation of Black Cat Studio, which was designed to embrace the growing technology that was quickly becoming part of the photographer’s toolkit. BCS, originally located in San Rafael, specialized in People, Products and Fine Arts. Since then, BCS has worked with artists, local corporations, and nonprofits, focusing on photography and fine art reproductions.


Recently, he has emerged as a graphic designer; assembling books, posters and record covers for well known artists. Some of these clients include Crystal Lockwood, TheArthur Wright, Mickey Hart and the Jerry Garcia Foundation.

Jay lives in Petaluma with his wife and two sons. When not working, he  usually spends time with family, volunteers in the community, and bikes through Marin county on the weekends.

Jay’s Highlights:

  • Born in Phoenix, Arizona and grew up in San Anselmo, Marin County, California.

  • 1975: graduated UC Berkeley with a BS in Bacteriology.

  • 1976: began photography studies at the College of Marin in Kentfield, CA.

  • 1979: published first image on a magazine cover called ‘Wooden Boat’.

  • 1980: opened first studio, Jay Daniel Associates, in Fairfax, CA.

  • 1985: exhibited Naked Cafe photographs at Artisan’s Gallery in Mill Valley, CA.

  • 1985-2012: 2 studio locations in San Rafael, CA.

  • 1989: photographed Oakland A’s program covers.

  • 2012: moved studio to current location in Novato,CA.

  • 1992-94: served on the faculty of UC Berkeley Extension.

  • 1996-2003: served on faculty of Academy of Art College, San Francisco.

  • 1998:  renamed Jay Daniel Associates to "Black Cat Studio”

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