My latest editorial for Buffalo Spree Magazine had me creating portraits of designer Pamela Nichols at Buffalo SPACE – a creative and event venue attached to Buffalo’s historic Pierce Arrow Automobile Factory. You can take a look behind the scenes of this project below to see a little of what happens on set with me and my team.
I’m thrilled to share some selections with you from my latest assignment for the always fantastic to work with Forbes Magazine. This time they sent me to Cleveland Ohio to create portraits for a story on Parker Hannifin – a nearly 100-year-old worldwide firm specializing in motion control and mechanical engineering that is in the process of disrupting their own research and development process in a really exciting way.
My first subject was Craig Maxwell – the company’s VP of technology and innovation, and the man responsible for creating the new R&D practices at Parker that allow singularly focused engineers and scientists to pursue research on their own wild projects in a program that’s part hacker space, part startup incubator, and part Shark Tank like pitch contest – a program that’s keeping the company focused on agility, adaptability, and innovation at a time when slow-moving and overly conservative companies are falling to disruptive young upstarts. The symbiosis between the company and it’s passionate and competitive engineers benefits everyone – especially those engineers to whom Parker provides significant benefit and support, as Maxwell’s ultimate aim is for them to have an ownership stake in their profoundly important creations.
My second subject for this assignment is a perfect example of Maxwell’s ideal. Ryan Farris is one of the singularly focused engineers I mentioned above – and the mind behind one of Parker’s most exciting new developments, a revolutionary wearable exoskeleton system aimed at helping people with severe spinal injuries to walk again. Aside from the healthcare application the firm is hopeful that there might be further industrial applications that they can develop as the technology evolves. Farris began work on the project while still a student at Vanderbilt University and it there that the exoskeleton caught Craig Maxwell’s attention, prompting him to bring the project in-house at Parker. Farris has been catching the attention of more than just the internal startup scene at Parker, as he was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 Young Innovators – an honor he greatly deserves as his invention should be brining real positive change to people’s lives in the next couple of years.
My portrait of my little friend Birch is on the cover of Shutterbug Magazine this month!
(This is the part where you envision me doing a dramatic and triumphant slow motion fist pump right now)
Maria Piscopo interviewed Isaac Howard, Tim Courtney, Cathy Greenblat, and myself about our work with various charities, non-profits, and volunteer organizations. It covers the ins and outs of what can go right and wrong when donating your time and work and features some of my favorite rescue dog images from the past year.
When I first started photographing dogs it was just something I was going to try for fun so I could make some portraits of my dogs for my fiancee, but it’s turned into a huge part of my business and my life over the last year as I’ve been working with both rescue animals and on advertising campaigns in the veterinary industry. I hope more photographers will start to donate their time to local shelters, as good portraits really help people connect with these animals’ personalities and greatly aid adoption efforts.
You can support and learn more about the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter here.
You can also support great organizations like notabully.org to help change minds about pit bulls and work to end breed specific discrimination.
Orchestrating one of the biggest business comebacks of the decade can be a lot to deal with, but imagine adding some major family drama, billions of dollars, and thousands of at-risk jobs into the mix and you have the recipe for Maggie Magerko’s life.
One of my most recent out-of-town assignments took me to Pittsburgh, PA for Forbes Magazine – more specifically to Eighty Four, the town from which the largest privately held building materials supplier in the country, 84 Lumber, takes its name. The job was to create a series of portraits for a stranger-than-fiction story of Maggie Magerko – the current president and owner of 84, and her father, Joe Hardy – the company’s founder. The once thriving no-frills lumber yard and building supplies chain had gone through a rough period, having had to close a large number of stores and lay off thousands of employees in order to stay afloat through a brutal housing recession that had a devastating effect on the business. An untimely investment in a resort property that soon grew to over $600 million in costs by the traditionally frugal Joe just added fuel to the fire and increased the growing tensions between father and daughter.
Despite all of this, Maggie, once at risk of bankruptcy both personally and professionally, has put it all on the line to rebuild the business, and it’s working.
This was one hell of a story to work on, and I can’t even begin to do justice to the engrossing saga the actual article is – I suggest you pick up the latest issue of Forbes (Feb 9 – 2015 edition) and check it out for yourself.
On a side note ~ I’m no stranger to shooting in cold weather, being the strapping and tough snow loving Canadian that I am, but this one was a little chilly even by my standards. I’m super thankful that I had the foresight to invest in some quality winter gear just before shooting outdoors in a lumber yard in the middle of a Pittsburgh winter.
I love shooting for Alternative Press magazine. I’ve gotten to work with some great up-and-coming acts while on assignment for them, and I’ve always been appreciative of the freedom that Creative Director Christopher Benton has given in letting me explore some different takes on many of these artists. Even though I spend a lot of my time these days working for agencies and corporate clients on more commercial fare, shooting for AP is appealing to me because of the energy and excitement that I get from working with these bands – something raw that stirs up the remnants of the music obsessed geek in me who spent a lot of his youth hanging out in dirty basements at house shows and road-tripping all over the northeast to see bands who never seemed to make it to Buffalo. Continue reading “ON ASSIGNMENT: WHITECHAPEL’S PHIL BOZEMAN FOR ALTERNATIVE PRESS”
In June, Phoenix Focus reached out to me to photograph University of Phoenix alum Nadine Streleski-Flanders for their fall 2014 issue. Nadine is the Director of Clinical Education for non-profit health care provider Kaleida Health in Western New York. It’s a great story about how her return to school to further her knowledge of nursing, business, and education catalyzed an unexpected career turn that found her in a new role at Kaleida – one that was created specifically to make use of her unique combination of skills. Continue reading “ON ASSIGNMENT: NADINE STRELESKI FLANDERS FOR PHOENIX FOCUS”
James Hickey was the second subject that I was asked to photograph by Spree Magazine for their special feature on Buffalo NY’s most beautiful and fascinating people. James is a master hairstylist by day, painter by night, and a full-time father who works in two creative fields. The image above is my favorite from that day’s series of portraits.
This was one of those rare projects where I had the pleasure of knowing my subject before being given an assignment to photograph them. James and I have known each other for a few years through mutual friends in the Western New York creative community. Most of the time on assignments like these I am working with people who I have met just moments before, so it is quite a different experience when I am photographing someone I know – it is a little easier to slip into that really great rapport with a subject that leads to creating some really interesting images.
MFE magazine called me up last month about a project, and I was pretty excited when I found out I would be heading to Rochester, NY to photograph Ed Pettinella – the CEO of Home Properties Inc. for the cover of their April issue. I went to college in Rochester and lived in the city for years, so any assignment that takes me there always presents me with a great chance to see some old friends and visit some of my favorite old haunts, and this trip gave me the opportunity to photograph a very interesting and very funny subject.
As the leader of the Home Properties team since 2004, Ed has focused on rehabilitating and repurposing older, run down buildings into higher income rental properties – a strategy that has allowed the company to consistently outperform its peers. Ed was an enthusiastic and affable subject who kept me and the crew laughing throughout the day-long shoot at the Home Properties headquarters, both trading jokes with us and sharing his thoughts on his company and business philosophy while we photographed him in his offices and on the building’s rooftop terrace overlooking Rochester (a seriously amazing view). This was a great day on assignment – the shoot went wonderfully, we had a great subject, an awesome location, and we even capped the day off with a fun crew dinner at one of my favorite places in Rochester – Dinosaur BBQ (I can’t wait until the new Buffalo location opens right around the corner from my studio).
The images above are tears from both the cover and the interior feature, while the one below is one of my personal favorite outtakes from the portraits we made on the building’s terrace.
Read the full MFE feature on Ed here.
A few months back, towards the end of 2012, I got a call from Christopher Benton at Alternative Press to photograph two of the bands that were playing that year’s AP Tour, and to be part of the cover project that the magazine was creating for the issue. There were five bands slated for the cover, and all of them were touring in different parts of the world in the months leading up to the release of the tour issue. Ultimately, myself and two other photographers (Jonathan Weiner and Kane Hibberd) had to capture the lead singers of Glass Cloud, Miss May I, Like Moths to Flames, The Ghost Inside, and The Amity Affliction at different times, in different locations, and coordinate our different styles to create a coherent vibe for the cover. It was a fun challenge.
These shots of Chris Roetter (Like Moths to Flames) and Jerry Roush (Glass Cloud) were part of those cover sessions – though originally conceived solely to be part of the final composite I wanted to present these images of the two frontmen as standalone portraits. I photographed Jerry and the rest of Glass Cloud first, at that time I was completely unaware that I would be photographing Like Moths to Flames just a few weeks later when their tour came through Buffalo. Normally I would not tackle two subjects for the same client with such a similar approach, but because these acts were coming together for the cover it required something of a unified approach to the studio portraits from both sessions, and though chronologically shot about a month apart I was stylistically able to treat this duo of images as through they were shot the same day.
In late January I got a call from the staff at Buffalo Spree Magazine to be part of a special project they were planning for their April issue. This was my first assignment working with the editorial team from Spree and they tasked me with photographing several subjects for a feature on Buffalo’s most beautiful/fascinating people.
Here’s a look at the cover featuring television personality Lydia Dominick I shot for the issue. I’ll be sharing a few of the interior features in the coming weeks.
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.
Kyle Makrauer and I recently collaborated on an online feature for Papercut Magazine that delved deeper into Molly Hoeltke’s reclaimed fashion concept label Once Vintage – a design label I have shot with before. I very rarely find myself collaborating with another photographer in such a direct way as I did on this shoot, but Kyle and I wanted to try it as an experiment.
Below is a small gallery of my contribution to the project, you can see the rest of the images including those shot by Kyle on Papercut’s web feature.
Lots of projects getting wrapped up, and lots of new ones starting. I have some new work in this month’s issue of Black Enterprise Magazine covering SLR Contracting and its President, Sundra Ryce, as a follow up to the company’s presence in the Black Enterprise 100 issue last month.
In addition to the images that ran in the feature, here are a few added portraits from that day’s shoot.
• Jake Garn discusses the importance of falling in love with what you do
• For all the up and coming photographers out there. I cannot suggest strongly enough that you pick up Leslie Burns new book Business Basics for the Successful Commercial Photographer
• Tim Ferris discusses Seth Godin’s move away from traditional publishing. While mainly aimed at writers it is an interesting discussion on the evolution of new media channels. And I certainly think there are lessons that can be learned in this article by photographers and other creatives.
• My friend Meagan Hendrickson, the fashion editor of Auxiliary Magazine, loves Elvis. So much so that on the anniversary of Elvis’ death earlier this month she ran a blog piece on the necessity of Elvis’ glasses as an important fashion accessory. …. staring me.
• Justin Colt’s East/West Cross Country project is a must see.
• Drowned in Sound has this great Mixcloud up right now, 25 Tracks: A Dubstep Chronology. Simply my favorite new soundtrack in the studio and when doing post work. Check out some of the sounds below, but make sure to stop by Drowned in Sound and read the excellent analysis of this mix.
• I Found this Via Gala Darling’s site, and it is an interesting read. I have been a lifelong insomniac, sleeping very little most nights, a lot of these tips have been around for quite some time and work with marginal effectiveness, but I’m intrigued by tailoring my diet to include more sleep inducing foods. I’ll be looking into this notion more as the weeks go by. Especially since I seem to be having a tougher time than normal sleeping
• ASMP – Strictly Business – A New Path
I have been continuing my collaboration with artist Nick Butlak that we stared on a few months ago. This collection of images is from our second session shooting together, its comprised of the some shots taken in a more natural setting but still juxtaposed against his use of man made and artificial materials combined with strong, candy tinted colors. The balloons on this shoot were a force to be reckoned with. It was a slightly more windy day than we had anticipated, and by slightly more windy, I meant that Nick was being dragged too and from by the balloons for the duration of the shoot. Even I was getting knocked around by them. We learned to be very conscious of the wind direction very quickly.
Other than the wind though, we were lucky to have absolutely gorgeous light and scenery on that afternoon to serve as a backdrop for Nick. These images will be for a number of promotional purposes and as part of the modeling/performance side of Nick’s artistic endeavors.
Its been a hectic week here, just got back from a couple hard days on a set. But I’ve got a chance to catch up on a lot of new work that still needs to go through post production. Keep an eye out for new promo images of artist Nick Butlak that are coming shortly. Some new tutorials, and more news on a bunch of upcoming projects that are starting next week.
Auxiliary Mag just published their June issue which includes an editorial series by me as well as the monthly beauty column I photograph. heres some quick cuts from that editorial, titled Outré. I worked closely with stylist Molly Hoeltke, who created these looks from a combination of ultra modern swimwear and vintage lingerie culled from several design houses.
More work can be seen at lukecopping.com