Tag Archives: Ann Arbor photography

Alone in 1000 Square Feet, Update

Alone in 1000 Square Feet is an ongoing project, adding one or more new photos every week.

For those new to this series, there are only two guidelines: only I can be in the photo and they must all be captured in my apartment, common area or basement. Using these restrictions I’ve created six characters:

The Turbulent Mob Associate

The Clever Spy

The Distressed Burglar

The Afflicted War Veteran

The Flamboyant Detective

The Brilliant Psychopath

So far there’s been overlap through conflict, time and chance… but everybody’s still alive…

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Tchunlo, MI

Tchunlo is a town like many in Michigan that will never fully recover after its collapse. Unlike most, however, it wasn’t just an economical downfall; it was also a plant meltdown.

Growth has come to a halt and although it’s winter the sky carries an odd hue. It hasn’t sat dormant long enough to resemble a post apocalyptic landscape and its former life is apparent. A worn basketball court. An empty park.

Due to contamination it’s unfit for anybody to spend extended time there. What’s interesting is the one population that’s not only remained, but grown: crows.

Scientists haven’t had sufficient time for their studies to show significant results, but the current plan involves a year of monitoring. In the meantime this town is yet another reminder of our impact on nature and how delicate life is.

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L’Meese then and now

I’ve already had a stellar photo career with many great experiences. Along the way I’ve worked with some wonderful people. On occasion I’m lucky enough to work with the same subject at yearly intervals. Such is the case with L’Meese.

I first worked with her in 2008 when I exhibited in a two-person show with renowned fashion photographer Stan Malinowski in Chicago. From Fantasy to Fashion drew an incredible crowd of collectors and I was proud to show my interpretation of fashion photography with Stan’s photographs for such publications as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Playboy. From Janice Dickinson to Iman in Valentino’s atelier, it was a smashing success. More of Stan’s work can be seen here.

Catalog page from the exhibit. Images by Stan Malinowski.

Catalog page from the exhibit. Images by Nick Azzaro.

From left, Stan Malinowski taking a picture while I look on with Victor Skrebneski and his colleague. Photo by Art Azzaro.

I showed new work, inspired by Stan’s big budget shoots of yesteryear. L’Meese’s portrait below was included in the exhibit.

I recently had the chance to work with L’Meese again, this time in Ann Arbor. The only thing that’s changed is her elevated level of experience.

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Nia Sees the Light.

Nia is a model that’s well ahead of the game and a fabulous person to work with. That’s what allowed us to be more creative during our shoot. Not only did she own the in studio strobe sets with her many looks, but she handled daylight and lengthy fluorescent bulb exposures with the same style and grace.

Below are two looks from two different strobe sets:

In the sun, she shines:

Even a one second exposure. No problem:

Thank you, Nia.

 

 

 

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Alone in 1000 Square Feet, Set 1

It was 6:56pm on the evening of August 15 when the flamboyant detective understood this was no ordinary murder scene.

At the same time across town the afflicted war veteran was having realizations of his own…

While his friend, the turbulent mob associate, was in the middle of a very important business deal.

The details from that transaction made no difference to the occupant of the residence one house to the south. The distressed burglar was hard at work, reaping what he could as his window was closing fast…

But not as fast as the clever spy’s.

“What’s the hurry”, said the brilliant psychopath to himself in the mirror of an apartment he had entered only once before.

The following day was spent analyzing images and materials taken from the gruesome display by the flamboyant detective.

And breakfast was ruined for two nameless thugs by an unannounced visit from the turbulent mob associate.

But the thugs had it easy compared to the clever spy, who withstood a night of interrogation and still maintained his cover.

Another day, another “…fuck it”, said the afflicted war veteran.

“50/50.” No matter how prepared, the distressed burglar knows there’s a fifty-fifty chance things could go wrong during any break in.

“Are you certain get the fuck out of here are the last words you’d ever like to say?” asked the brilliant psychopath.

A broken vase. A sideways chair. That was the extent of the mess made when the clever spy broke free and overtook his captors.

The minutes felt like hours as the flamboyant detective tried to comprehend what had taken place in the crimson apartment. “Could a human have done this?”

Some have no conscience.

Others remember all too well.

Some like to talk.

Others prefer the quiet.

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Studio Lighting Tips

There are two studio lighting setups that tend to appear in ads today. By no means are they new, but they’ll never go out of style. Both place the model on a white background, but the first only uses one light, causing a shadow and making the background go gray, while the other uses three lights creating an “infinity” look. Below are diagrams and samples of how to achieve each.

Simple, one light setup.

The result.

Three light setup, removing the environment.

The result.

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A New Partnership : Tribehaus | Photo Studio Group

Sunday we shot our first of many sessions for Tribehaus, owned by entrepreneur extraordinaire Anna Bagozzi. With its eclectic and trendy inventory, Tribehaus is an online presence unlike any other offering women’s fashion with plans to expand to menswear. Anna has turned the brand into an empire with her insane marketing skills. Check out her Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages.

For model shots, we required a studio space that would allow for flexibility and a seamless or cyc wall, a panel with rounded bottom corner to lend an infinite spatial quality to the images. Not only is it an incredibly brilliant concept, Photo Studio Group, is a community-based resource, offering their space and equipment at a fraction of what it typically costs. We just started our membership and we urge others to visit them as well. It’s better than any other scenario we’ve come across during our years in commercial photography.

Image: Photo Studio Group

Every shoot depends on successful collaboration of the team. We were really lucky to have Amelia modeling. Not only does she have an incredible high fashion look, she was so personable and a breeze to work with.

No shoot is complete until you bring in hair and make up and Taryn Scalise is a master of both. She got us through two complete looks very quickly and was on hand to catch fly aways with the brush and lip stick touch ups between shots.

Amelia and Anna going over logistics on the set.

Anna from Tribehaus, Nick from Chin-Azzaro and Taryn from Tough Love MPD

We can’t remember the last time such a production went so seamlessly and we can’t wait to do it again. In the meanwhile, support our partners and let us know if you have any questions about buying from, visiting or hiring our friends. See you next week!

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Where’s the Beef

We love food, and this post marks the beginning of how we’ll show it. Once every two weeks (or more) we’ll highlight a favorite food, giving us a chance to share some great recipes as well as showcase some amazing eateries.

Below are two different favorites: barbecued beef ribs and potato skins.

Beef ribs can be found in most grocery stores with the refrigerated meats. I begin with a dry rub that includes brown sugar, dill, garlic and more. Then I stand the ribs up in a slow cooker with about an inch of water at the bottom. Then I wait six or more hours… When they’re ready I have two options: pull the meat off the bone or BBQ them and throw them in the oven for twenty minutes at 400˚. Enjoy!

Potato skins are simple! Begin with a bag of potatoes, clean them and halve them. Bake them for two to three hours at 300˚. When they’re soft and cool, scoop out the center to make “boats”. Next, clean and dice your favorite vegetables. We chose bell pepper, onion, tomato, broccoli and… bacon! Start filling the potato skins with your selections, cover them all with cheese and bake them for twenty to thirty minutes at 350˚. Buon appetito!

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Alone in 1000 Square Feet

It’s important to stay busy, but it’s also important to have fun. I recently began a series of images involving six different characters. Over time their stories will grow and conflict.

The guidelines are simple: only I can be in the image and it must be shot in my apartment, common area or basement. The techniques, however, are limitless.

I present: the brilliant psychopath, the afflicted war veteran, the clever spy, the distressed burglar, the turbulent mob associate and the flamboyant detective.

We can do the same for you. Contact us for more information.

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