THE PIE MAKER: DAMIAN PARKER

Damien Parker, owner and lead creative of Pie Mad and the English Pork Pie Company.

The first thing I learned from Damian Parker is that pies are sexy.

He’s not the only one who thinks so either: Disney, Google, and the US Military are just some of his customers.  The Telegraph named The English Pork Pie Company the Best British Shop in the World three years in a row. Even Gordon Ramsay is a fan of Damian’s products.

Not too bad for an English expat making meat pies in South Buffalo. Continue reading “THE PIE MAKER: DAMIAN PARKER”

THE WOODWORKER: WRAFTERBUILT

Wodworker Sean Wrafter of Wrafterbuilt

A man walks into a coffee shop and sits down (at a table and chair he didn’t build – because this man is me, and I don’t know the first goddamn thing about building furniture). Soon, another man joins him (this one has an awesome beard, and though he didn’t build this particular chair and table set he most assuredly could have – though his version would have undoubtedly been far cooler and better made) and begins to speak reverently about tools in a way reminiscent of how old movie samurai speak about swords. The conversation is rife with invocations that extol the virtues of certain indigenous woods, litanies dedicated to the importance of the trades, and excited odes to furniture built from reclaimed materials. It is without a doubt one of the most stimulating and entertaining conversations I have had in weeks –  few things are as engaging as talking with someone about what they are really excited about. Continue reading “THE WOODWORKER: WRAFTERBUILT”

NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

This is the story of how one conversation, a healthy dose of dissatisfaction, and a few glasses of wine helped me decide to make a major change in my photography, how I thought about where I live, and the kind of stories that I was really interested in telling.

At the beginning of the summer I found myself afflicted with a worrisome and specific case of writers block –  I would shoot a project, but when I sat down to write about it the only things I could think of were “Here is a picture I took and I really like it” or “I shot this assignment recently for a client, the art director was super nice and brought sandwiches” basically the kind of disposable posts you have read on every photography blog, ever, in the history of everything (Okay, except for some of the really good ones like those written by John Keatley, Rodney Smith or Chris Buck – I’ll gladly read those any day), and I had gotten sick of it. I stared at blank screens for hours feeling like my brains were slowly leaking out of my eyes and that my writing skills were failing me (thankfully this mental state was contained only to my writing and did not affect my ability to take kick-ass pictures). It’s not that I didn’t like the aesthetics of the work I was producing, I just didn’t feel like these were the kind of stories that I was really having much fun telling. Continue reading “NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT”

SELFIES 3.13.2013 + A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

Self portrait of Buffalo ny professional editorial and commercial photographer Luke Copping

This is the third in a new series of monthly self-portraits that I have been working on since the New Year (inspired primarily by my girlfriend’s declaration before the holidays about my natural tendency to avoid being in pictures outside of the realm of iPhones and candid pictures at bars). I am finally starting to get a little more comfortable with the idea of being in front of the camera. Even in my day-to-day life I have noticed that I have stopped going out of my way to avoid being in pictures.

I also have an exciting announcement to make – and it is appropriate to mention it because this is likely one of the last pictures I will take in my current studio. In fact, the space was in the early stages of being packed up and stripped bare while this was taken. After months of searching, Scott Gable and I have finally found an ideal property for an expanded studio space in Buffalo’s downtown Theatre District. We are leaving the old Larkin District behind and moving to the 700 Block of Main Street. We are aiming to have the new space open and fully functional by the beginning of April. The next few weeks will be hectic as we complete renovations, pack and transport gear and fixtures from the old studio, and stay on top of  our assignments and projects, but we are excited for this change and to start working in our amazing new space – and I cannot wait to start sharing pictures as we get the studio finished. This is a really exciting time for us. Keep an eye out for more updates about the studio coming soon.

JIM HODGES

Installation Artist Jim Hodges photographed during the Albright Knox Art Gallery 150th Anniversary Gala

Last month the Albright-Knox Art Gallery celebrated its 150th Anniversary with a gala event. I was given the assignment of creating a series of portraits of select attendees of this extravagant party thrown by one of the oldest public arts organizations in the country; a mix of artists, curators, journalists, gallery donors, staff, and community supporters. Despite the torrential rain outside, the party in the gallery was lively and featured performances by the likes of Janine Antoni and Gelitin.

One of my favorite images from that night was this portrait of installation artist Jim Hodges, whose piece Look and See currently resides in the gallery’s outdoor sculpture garden.

ANATOMY AND THE HOTEL LAFAYETTE

Ali Eagen, the owner and designer of Made by Anatomy custom Clothiers and dress shop standing on the rooftop of the recently renovated Hotel Lafayette in Downtown Buffalo, NY, The Hotel, owned and restored by Rocco Termini, has quickly becoem the boutique luxury hotel of choice in Western NY.

I photographed designer Ali Eagen on the rooftop of the Hotel Lafayette last month for a story about the relocation of her showroom and workshop Anatomy to the newly re-opened Art Deco inspired ground floor of the Hotel Lafayette after years of residency on the Elmwood Strip.

Ali is a vibrant young entrepreneur and creative whose handmade and tailored clothing rejects mass production in favor of craftsmanship, an idea that goes hand in hand with the resurrection of the building where she has chosen to house her shop.  Anatomy had been a client of mine in the past, but this was really my first chance to work on a story with Ali herself as the subject, and I was very excited to be able to photograph her on the expansive rooftop of this great Buffalo landmark on one of the most beautiful evenings of the year.

As one of the great grand hotels of the early twentieth century, the Hotel Lafayette is steeped in stories and bits of historical significance  stretching back to the turn of the century, but buildings are often reflections of the cities they inhabit. For decades Buffalo’s downtown had been in decline as residents moved to the suburbs and the cultural and artistic core of the city moved further away from the once bustling streets of downtown. Most nights downtown was like a ghost town except for a few scattered pockets of activity. The Hotel Lafayette, once the première destination in the city, was not immune to this decline and suffered from years of falling into disrepair, ill repute, and suffering from inattentive out-of-town management – But people are starting to breathe life back into the downtown center of Buffalo as the city takes its first lumbering steps towards reinvention. As the area begins to buzz again, developer Rocco Termini has spent the last few years resurrecting the hotel into one of the most exciting new developments in Buffalo, a mixture of hotel space, retail and dining, and luxury rental units that have brought life back to a derelict block.

I am so glad to see Anatomy added to the roster of businesses that the hotel hosts – restaurants, a furniture showroom, florist, and a wonderful bakery have opened up alongside her and have made the hotel an amazing destination. I love history, I’m a total nerd for it – Nothing gets me like a good story and the fascination that comes with delving into the details and minutiae that surround it. But for this historic hotel in Buffalo, NY and residents like Ali the story that is unfolding now might be the most vibrant and important one in its long history.

 

Runway

Runway 5.0 final

Posters that were created for the BSC annual fashion event Runway – A showcase of student fashion design and textile arts. Erin Habes has done an amazing job producing this show year after year for some very talented students, often with the help of top minds in the fashion industry who donate their time to this event for the students. Each production tops the last in scope and ambition. Many of the students involved in the program were actually in studio during this shoot to observe the production of these images – so in addition to the styling/production team and talent it made for a crowded but fun set.

Runway 5.0 final

Special thanks to the team at Block Club for the poster design, all the students involved, the whole production team, and Erin Habes and Joseph Incao (Former Senior VP of Prada Retail Operations) for styling these images.

original images from the BSC Fashion Event posters

Personal Record 2.9.2012

 

Personal Record is an ongoing stream of the images I make outside of my professional career. The personal images, mobile images, outtakes, and random candid images that I take on whatever camera I happen to have handy at the time; a documentation of my day-to-day life and the things I come across that interest me visually.

I have also added a subscription feature to the blog – now you can stay updated about new posts and what is going on with my creative life via e-mail. To receive updates just add your email address to the box under Subscribe on the sidebar and voilà! you will be getting regular updates from me in no time. 


 

Superbowl Sunday was spent at a nearly empty bowling alley celebrating my friend Derek’s birthday – When you get a bunch of creatives and artists together to bowl the fez and smoking jacket  suddenly make a lot more sense. Derek was definitely the best dressed on the lanes that night.


   

My latest obsession that I discovered on Fab.com – Duke Cannon Soap. Gigantic 3/4 pound bars of soap that do without all the overly flowery /perfume smells of most soap in favor of something a little  more masculine. I love the simple design of their packaging and the Army green color of the bar.

It’s hard to beat a slogan like “Smells Like Victory”


  

Scenes from being out and about in Buffalo this week – my favorite part of which was  stopping to explore the area around Buffalo’s Historic Central Terminal


Me and Erin visited a wonderful used bookstore call Old Editions – their multiple floors of literary excitement was definitely highlighted by one of the coolest collections of old photography books and manuals I have come across yet.


Me, Aaron, And scott did a lot of work in the studio this week, namely getting the place re-organized and ready for some large productions that are right on the horizon.


A new batch of prints that are ready to be added to the photo wall.


 

A while back I received this amazing book as a gift –  My first Ten Years with The Leica by Paul Wolff – I am just now starting to be able to go through it, and I think reading it is going to dominate a good part of my weekend. This volume is barely held together at its binding and the vintage images in it are astounding.


Healthy and un-healthy snacks respectively; Almonds dusted with cocoa powder and headcheese (totally gross to 95% of the world, but I grew up eating it and it is definitely one of my favorite sandwich fillers – then again, many people have made note of my eating habits over the years on this blog – maybe I am the weird one!)


Personal Record 1.19.2012

Personal Record is an ongoing stream of the images I make outside of my professional career. The personal images, mobile images, outtakes, and random candid images that I take on whatever camera I happen to have handy at the time; a documentation of my day-to-day life and the things I come across that interest me visually. 


 

An inside look at the personal adventures of buffalo photographer Luke Copping (4)

My refrigerator is now covered in tons of these day of the dead magnets that I found on Fab.com


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Scenes captured during my week from around the streets of Buffalo, NY.


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A whole lot of behind the scenes images from my shoot with Once Vintage


 

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A weekly trip to my favorite Pho place.


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Kyle Makrauer – caught in a snow storm and visiting the studio for a collaborative project.


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The snow finally picked up here in Buffalo, unlike the sane photographers who stayed indoors, I spent a good chunk of the morning roaming around the neighborhoods by the studio taking Instagram photos.


An inside look at the personal adventures of buffalo photographer Luke Copping (2)

I have decided that I need to buy an industrial fresh squeezed orange juice machine for my studio immediately.


Self-portraits, with and without Chops.

Block Club – Fandemonium

Cover of the block Club Fandemonium Issue
"Fandemonium," Block Club Magazine, Issue 27, Winter 2012. Images courtesy Block Club Magazine.

To live and die as a fan in a city whose sports history has earned inclusion on a Wikipedia page devoted to sports curses is no easy task, but vital fan dedication to the teams in Buffalo, NY  is palpable in the city, regardless of which sport you follow.  Most sport fanatics know the rundown  – four consecutive Superbowl losses for the Bills, zero Stanley Cup wins, and innumerable playoff letdowns for  Sabres fans. But if you look below the surface you see start to see the high points – Amazingly dedicated (often fanatical) fans, a city that is regularly in contention for the best tailgating city in the NFL, multiple championship wins by the Buffalo Bandits (and the only perfect season in NLL history), home of the best team in the WPS (The Western NY Flash) and a sports tradition that stretches far back into the city’s rich history. Fans in Buffalo are always chasing those championships, their emotions shifting with every goal, win, loss, and BS bad call.

This ebb and flow of emotions – hope, anger, joy, disappointment, elation, disbelief, shock, and every subtle variation in between – was a driving factor in telling the story of Buffalo’s sports for Block Club Magazine when they gave me the challenge of capturing what it means to be a fan in Buffalo for their Winter 2012 issue. It was a fascinating look at a community whose ravenous enthusiasm for sports has given it a resilient pride – not just in the triumphs of its team, but its failures as well. It was summed up well in the article itself with a quote from Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses (One of my favorites, I love anything that quotes some Cormac McCarthy) “Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real”

Go Sabres!

WNY Sports Fan Reaction Portraits  WNY Sports Fan Reaction Portraits WNY Sports Fan Reaction Portraits  WNY Sports Fan Reactions

Moving / Editing

Simplifying my life by editing the clutter

Simplifying my life by editing the clutterMoving blog post header

I mentioned earlier this week that I am finishing up my move across town from my downtown apartment to a townhouse in north Buffalo. It has been quite the adventure, but the benefits of moving into a new space have already had some serious benefits for me. My old apartment had the strangest layout, instead of having rooms it was essentially two long hallways that ran parallel to each other. While you might imagine a hip open floor plan, the space was narrow and long, anything but open. One hallway contained my bedroom, bathroom, and workspace. The other contained my living room and kitchen. My new house has a workspace separate from my living/sleeping areas, it has only been a few days and I already love having a dedicated space for work when I am not at the studio or on location.

The process of packing and moving motivated me to do something that had been on my goals list for a long time – to eliminate clutter, edit my belongings, and simplify a lot of stuff prior to the move. I found myself taking inventory and making a lot of decisions on what went and what stayed.

• Clothes were culled in a classic closet edit, with the remnants going to charity. Managed to cut out a lot of stuff I just hadn’t worn in years but was still holding on to.

• Office materials, old papers, forms, files, and more were scanned and archived to get rid of a lot of the paper clutter that always seemed to be obscuring my actual desk when I was working from home. Trying to keep as paperless as possible at the new place, in fact I was able to consolidate down everything down to one lean file box.

• Old furniture (some of which I had since college) was deleted, especially the old busted couches that had essentially become Frankenstein’s over the years as they were broken and rebuilt. I am working now on tuning up my workspace and living areas keep things cleaner and leaner. I was also able to travel a lot lighter during the move.

• I even got a chance to revisit and edit some of my notebooks that I jot shoot and project ideas down in, copying the ones I was still really passionate about over into new files and editing down some of the older ones that I had lost my taste for.

So many things were cut, edited, given away, tossed, and repurposed – aside from the obvious benefits of having less stuff physically to bog me down, I have also found that I mentally I have become a lot more agile the past few days. trimming that fat has let given me a lot more focus as I realized that all the clutter and chaos that can build up in our lives was often distracting me and keeping me off task.

I think that taking stock of your clutter, both physically and mentally is a great goal, and often a necessary one for creatives. It lets us clear out the excess baggage that can often get in the way of us generating and following through with new ideas. How many times have you intended to take on a task or start a new project only to get delayed because there was some sort of perceived mental or physical clutter that in the way of you getting to your destination? Make it a point to lighten your load a few time a year in the name of simplicity and sanity.

Speaking of editing and refining, I have made some substantial changes to lukecopping.com the last few days. New work has been added, old work has been culled, and some other elements have been twisted up, mixed around, and spit back out in new updated forms. My online portfolio totally leveled up.

Personal Record 11.24.2011

Personal Record is an ongoing stream of the images I make outside of my professional career. The personal images, mobile images, outtakes, and  random candid images that I take on whatever camera I happen to have handy at the time; a documentation of my day-to-day life and the things I come across that interest me visually.


Night time, out with the dogs, is a brief peaceful time in the otherwise chaotic days as of late. I am going to miss the fall weather as it starts to get colder and we progress into another of Buffalo’s famous hell-winters. Though, I am excited to be able to shoot in the snow again.


London – our friends Nick and Jason’s dog – during a recent dinner party. You may have seen Nick make appearances on my blog in the past, both in our photographic collaborations as well as in mentions of his amazing skills as a painter.


I’m getting ready to move in a few days, here is a little preview of the new house/office. It will be quite the change for me not to be living downtown after all these  years, but I cannot wait to get into it and start to build a more ideal work/live space for myself. First thing on the docket is finding a new office chair – mine broke last week resulting in me doing an olympic caliber backflip right out of it and onto my back as the balance point suddenly shifted.


Me on the morning I turned thirty.


Breakfast at Towne Restaurant, I was always fascinated by their giant sky lit back dining room – It has always seemed oddly modern for a greek diner.


 

The Paws of the beast.


For my thirtieth birthday dinner Erin surprised me by conspiring with Steven Gedra from Bistro Europa to create an amazing surprise meal for me. I think Steve is the finest chef working in Western NY these days, and this menu did not disappoint – a veritable feast of Pork and Seafood that was made even more interesting by the fact that Erin had never eaten pork or shellfish before.


Scenes from my birthday party. Starting it off with this batch of cupcakes created by my friend Jessica featuring cutouts from a recent project by Scott Gable that I made a cameo appearance in. I promise you these were very chocolatey and very delicious.

And to prove what a design nerd I am, A picture of me with Sarah, Melanie, and Meagan – full on RGB hair colors.


Right back to work with the team a few days later, on set for a small editorial piece we are working on.


A series of monitor captures taken with Instagram, I have become fascinated with taking digital images of already digital images, there is something very interesting about the various qualities of light and color that translate from device to device, not to mention the extra layers of pattern and noise that happened with this technique. I am currently collection some of the thousands of mobile images that I took over the past year to put together into a small limited edition poster for the holidays.


Working on a small personal project with Jessica (of cupcake fame) and Emaleigh earlier this week, I just cannot get enough of this last mobile image of her with her face mask on.


 

ASMP Best of 2011

ASMP best of 2011 splash image

ASMP best of 2011 splash image

I cannot even begin to say how surprised and honored I was to find out recently that my project from earlier this year – Pigment – had been selected to be one of twenty projects featured in the American Society Of Media Photographers Best of 2011 Collection. ASMP conducted a pretty in-depth interview with me about the project, my work, and what it’s like to be part of a growing community of talented photographers and creatives working in the border city of Buffalo, NY. I am so proud to be featured among many other incredible projects like Jenna Close & John Held’s revolutionary remote control aerial photography, B. Proud’s fantastic series on long-term same-sex couples, and Barbara Kinney’s coverage of women affected by Alzheimer’s.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of the pigment series, and everyone else I have been lucky enough to collaborate with over the years.

Read the full interview with me here.

Personal Record 8.25.2011

Personal Record is a new regular Thursday feature here on my blog, an ongoing stream of the images I make outside of my professional career. The personal images, mobile images, outtakes, and  random candid images that I take on my iPhone, my X100, my 5D MKII or whatever other camera I happen to have handy at the time; a documentation of my day-to-day life and the things I come across that interest me visually.


 Bryan "Vomit" Gunsell - Artist, musician, designer

Bryan came by the studio session late last week for a portrait session where I made this iPhone image.


Fuji Finepix x100

My new Fuji x100, which has become my constant companion, arrived last Friday after much anticipation.


Luke Copping and Erin McPartlan in Newmarket Ontario

I spent a good chunk of the weekend  in Canada at my cousin’s wedding. This is mine and Erin’s ubiquitous post-getting-ready mirror shot.

My Mother - Dianne Copping

My mother Dianne at the wedding.

The Candy bar spread at my cousins wedding

The bride and groom had arranged for a rather extensive and colorful candy bar.

Luke Copping wearing a cyberoptix tie

At dinner, wearing one of my favorite ties from Cyberoptix.

My Uncle (and my mother's twin brother) David Gale

My uncle Dave (my mother’s twin brother).


A lot of new print promos going out this week. You can get a more in depth look at them on Nubby Twiglet’s site, where Nubby featured them earlier this week.


saying I saw written on the wall at my gym

Written on the chalkboard at my gym this week,


asparagus, goat cheese, and hot chile quiche

A seriously yum piece of the asparagus, goat cheese, and hot chile quiche I came across this week.


Emily Tronetti at a shoot at Victory Studios

I helped my intern Emily out on a project this week as her “assistant”.  She put together a great production and It was so nice to lend a hand and see her creative process in action. Emily is highly creative and motivated. Hopefully I will be able to share some of the images she created during this shoot with you soon.

Guy Williams Gane at a shoot at Victory Studios

Guy William Gane III, at my studio waiting for hair and makeup prior to Emily’s shoot.

Some quick images I did of the crew from Emily's shoot

The whole team from Emily’s production. Clockwise from top left: Maureen Olson Urbaniak, Guy William Gane III, Paige Carson, and Emily Tronetti.

A mobile image of emily tronetti via instagram.

Emily on location.

Guy William game on locations

A little black and white action with Guy during some downtime on location.

Paige Carson on location

Another black and white image during a break in shooting, this time featuring Paige.

instagram image of Paige carson with flowers

Paige and flowers – via Instagram.


My girlfriend's niece, Trinity.

My girlfriend’s family stopped by the studio to have some family portraits taken while her niece Trinity was visiting from the west coast. Trinity and Mr. Bunny decided to steal the show.


Ted's HotDogs

One last batch of Ted’s hot dogs on a rainy night as the summer winds down.

Loganberry at teds otdogs

Loganberry, a serious Buffalo beverage that I have become sadly addicted to since relocating from Canada. A must have with Ted’s dogs.


 Spending time with our dogs, Kasha and Kemper

Relaxing in the backyard with Kasha and Kemper as the weather gets cooler and a little more pleasant.


Lauren Ashley Rogers' Winning Runway Collection

Marie Cover

lauren ashley rogers header

A few months ago Lauren Ashley Rogers was named as the winner in Buffalo State College’s annual runway showcase and competition, Runway 4.0, an event headed by my friend Erin Habes. As part of the winner’s prize package, Erin and I collaborated to develop a series of images for the young designer that she can use as she moves forward with her education and career. I am so happy to be able to help a young local student and designer who is working in this new fashion-conscious culture that Buffalo seems to be developing, thanks in great part to people like Erin Habes. Here are a few images from her collection,

Lydia Dominick wearing Lauren Ashley Rogers

“Roger’s spring collection wrangles the chaotic energy of the world with a simplistic approach to neutral color blocking, framed nicely with dark swipes of black, grey and snow leopard print. The intense shades feel fresh once again.” ~ Erin Habes 

Marie wearing Lauren Ashley Rogers

“The photo shoot was a huge success and a brilliant collaboration of creative talent, Buffalo State College and myself are so grateful to Luke for giving a young designer the opportunity to learn and absorb a wealth of experience through the building of her lookbook.”  ~ Erin Habes 

Marie Wearing Lauren Ashley Rogers

Beth and Jason's Engagement Party

Dungaree Dolly and Jason's Engagement Photos

My friends Beth (from dungareedolly.com) and Jason (from the Royal Crowns) had their amazing engagement party over the weekend and I got a chance to take this über adorable engagement photograph of them as an engagement gift that really shows off this wonderful couple’s unique style. Congratulations you two!