Tag Archives: chin azzaro

We’ve been absent but we’re still here…

Yes, there’s been a long lapse in our writing but we have a pretty good excuse. We’re on maternity + paternity leave (we had a boy)! We’re still talking to the outside world and taking on new clients but just at a slower pace than usual.

In the meanwhile, see the very nice write-up we just got from 826Michigan, the coolest non-profit around benefitting kids, schools and writing.

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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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A New Attitude

How was your holiday weekend? Ours was fabulous!

We’ve been doing some minor rehaul in the design and branding department. It has become pretty apparent that we’re uber busy doing lots of things but it really comes down to two parts: art and photography (with lots of sub categories under those umbrellas). We’re happy to nail down the nitty gritty of what we do and we drew it up in a slightly new design.

This will be for our updated business card later this summer, similar to the square orientation we’ve been using all along but with pared down text. We wanted a striking aesthetic in the first two seconds we handed them out. People don’t let the fact that it’s not the standard 2″ x 3.5″ orientation throw them off. In fact, they embrace it and give us smashing reviews.

What do you think?

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Crafted Caffeine: The Espresso Bar

We had the pleasure of meeting Sandy and Foster, the owners of a new local espresso bar, aptly named The Espresso Bar, in the last couple days. My first experience there was a heavenly affogato, a delicious espresso topped with a dallop of Zingerman’s gelato. But all of their drinks are carefully crafted with keen attention to the details. There’s no rushing the experience here. And believe us, you wouldn’t want to.

From the deliberate temperature of the steamed milk (if done properly, it lends a sweetness with no need for sugar) to the thoughtful designs of the froth, a visit to The Espresso Bar is to be savored.

If you’re at Kerrytown, cross the street over to Braun Court and treat yourself. Thank you, Sandy and Foster. We’ll be back soon!

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Delicious Photography

Just a quick one today on a much loved aspect of our business for many reasons – food photos. We can’t always eat what’s stuck with toothpicks, sprayed or been sitting out for hours. But we do love scrumptious looking results. Food photography is an entire genre unlike product or editorial. Each crumb has its place and each noodle has to sit pretty. And we get to shoot some more very soon.

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Road Trip: From Here to Florida

We had ourselves a little getaway last week. Taking to the road was not quite the memory I had as a kid. Somehow the time in the car goes by in a lulling numbness while the time at the destination collapses and zips by. There were, however, some punctuated moments along the way like the breath-taking mountains in Kentucky, the luscious foliage in Georgia and the expansive blue sky in Florida. It did us a lot of good.

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Challenge: Point vs Pro | Why Do You Need A Professional Photographer Anyway?

We’ve gotten a few photo shoots under our belt since the start of the company and we have to say, we’re pretty happy with the results. From food to portraits, we’ve been able to offer a variety of takes on what the client wants while injecting our own flavor into things. Thing is, there’s still some apprehension from time to time about what it is we do, why we do it and if it’s truly that different than just picking up a camera and taking a point and shoot photo. The answer is “yes!” We don’t strive for just good enough, we want exceptional. See for yourself.

People may not always be able to voice what it is about the photo that doesn’t seem quite right until they see a proper example of how it should be done. You’re probably wondering what we shot with and why there’s such a drastic difference. The shot on the left was taken with our trusty Nikon Coolpix S4100. It’s a great camera for fun, social gatherings. But if you’re a business owner wondering why your mailers aren’t getting response or why you can’t achieve the results as we did on the right, it’s because we pack and bring an entire studio with us.

Although a point and shoot camera is good for documentation it only offers one light source from a fixed point. For the professional shots, items were lit from the side with the assistance of white bounce cards to fill and highlight, making the item more robust. Every aspect of the shoot is in a controlled environment, much like the food campaign we shot a couple weeks ago. If you’ve ever wondered about professional photography, we’re happy to answer your questions.

We look forward to working with you.

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Festifools: A Night of Creative Debauchery

Last night we ventured out to Festifools, a  “non-profit production of the STARTProject, a University of Michigan Lloyd Hall Scholars Program initiative”. From papier maché costumes to handheld luminaries and projection art, we were having a darn good time. (Please excuse the shaky camera movement and underexposed shots – we only had our point and shoot).

Fantastic shadow puppetry

A neon projector

There was a lot of costumery

We made a new friend.

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Our Latest Project: Objet D’art | One-of-a-kind art objects

We met with Sava’s Restaurant in Ann Arbor last week and we’re happy to announce that we’ll be taking over the upstairs lounge area with our art. We’ve never curated a non-gallery setting like this and we’re really excited to collaborate and match the ultra contemporary and comfy look. We got on it immediately. After a quick brainstorming session, the series Objet D’art was born. This also gave us a chance to print and frame our new series of school desk prints.

Each item is a print illustrated or photo taken by us and carefully hand matted with coordinating accessories. Whether you see one or in a grouping, we’re making an experience that we, and hopefully you, have never seen before.

We’ll be hanging things salon-style but adapted to the space to get the most beautiful effect. Since we have long spaces to cover, our groupings will be spaced out with most pieces centered at 60 inches from the ground, the professional standard for installing art.

What do you think of these? We’re looking for some feedback before the big installation takes place. Right now we’re just enjoying having “piles” of art around the studio. Soon we’ll have them in our store too. Have a great weekend!

-Y-

OBJECT D’ART – (dimensions denote frame size, shipping is extra)  5 x 7 inch : $25 and up  |  8 x 10 inch: $45 and up  |  Pairs of 8 x 10 inch: $80 and up

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A Tall Order: Commissioned Painting

You may remember that I painted a mural at Three Chairs Co. a few months ago. A wonderful family saw the piece and commissioned me to do a large-scale painting for a two story wall in their living room.

My first question was what style they wanted the painting done in: they style they had seen in the store or more painterly with broken brushstrokes, like Matisse. Their request was to paint something really modern and clean, nature-themed and balanced to the eye. I came up with a few sketches and they chose Palette A.

Being heavily design oriented, I wanted the painting to have vibrant presence. I made a few suggestions and the family opted for a 48″ x 72″ canvas, which is exactly 6 inches taller than me. This was going to be fun! Once you go over 48 inches, everything arrives by freight and a truck delivers the goods. (Luckily N was home that day to be the brawn)!

I got started immediately and used graphite to replicate the motif freehand. Then I started blocking in colors using a myriad of Liquitex Professional heavy body acrylics. Not only do they have exceptional lightfastness and thick viscosity for consistent coverage,  they  hold up well in sunlight. (I don’t ever recommend hanging oils or prints in direct sunlight but acrylic can withstand it to a certain degree).

I took some liberties with the scale of the canvas once the painting started to take form. There were negative spaces that I wanted to balance so I strayed from the original design a bit. I allowed each layer to dry completely before moving on to the next one. Here’s the piece 99% done.

Voila! What do you think?

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