LEO CHAN

Portrait of Leo Chan

Leo Chan owns way more neckties than I do (an impressive feat given that I regularly shoot for a tie designer and have accumulated a respectable collection of my own over the years). So when he turned up at the studio for this portrait assignment a few weeks ago I was not at all surprised when he started unpacking an immaculately curated selection of neckwear alongside some other great pieces from his own wardrobe. Even though we put several of those ties to more prominent use in other portraits that day, it was this sportier and more colorful look that I really ended up loving. There is something about that hard red gelled light coming from camera right and the red warmup jacket that really works for me in the above shot, and the style transitioned nicely to the black and white variation below (and of course I think that the warmup jacket/tie combo is frightfully under-appreciated.)

This production was a long time coming. Leo and I had talked about working on a project together for some time prior to this, but it seemed our scheduling never worked out —thankfully on this assignment the stars aligned correctly and my team and I were able to create several interesting portraits of him.

B+W portrait of Leo Chan

Kathryn Jakubowski's Winning Designs

Images from Kathryn Jakowbowski's winning student collection

Back in April I served as one of the judges for BSC’s Runway 5.0 event, an extravagantly produced demonstration of student designs from the school’s Fashion Technology program. Organized by Erin Habes, the event grows in scope every year and It was fantastic to be involved with it again. One of the highlights of the event is the unveiling of the senior collections that the students spend months developing – and the prizes for the winner this year included scholarships for them to further their education as well as an opportunity to have their winning collection photographed. This is one of my favorite community events that I donate time to every year because of the immense efforts the students from this school put into their creations for the judging panel, which this year included myself as well as industry leaders from companies like New Era, Victoria’s Secret, Aeropostale, and more.

The very deserving winner this year was Kathryn Jakubowski, a senior designer whose  collection was a favorite among the judges, which is impressive given the tough competition she was up against from some of the other students. These are just a few of the images that I am working on for Kathryn, who also received a $2000 scholarship and is now interning with Ali Eagen from Made by Anatomy as she furthers her design education. Congratulations Kathryn!.

Images from Kathryn Jakowbowski's winning student collection

Ways to Make A Mess

Off the plane from all the color and noise of Vegas and right into the studio for this beauty assignment – Clouds of pigment were flying during a fun session that found my subjects Holli and Hillary covered in color by the time they left – Holli liked the result so much that she decided to wear it home after the production wrapped.

Maybe it is all the bright lights and neon of Vegas having an affect on me, but I want to drown myself in color lately.

  Hillary Snyder with colorful face  

Models: Holli Arnold + Hillary Snyder

Makeup: Nicole Barry

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

Papercut Magazine

papercut magazine lead image

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.

Marie Vaccarello wearing Once Vintage collection

 

Once Vintage

There has been a long-standing collaboration between Marie Vaccarello and I – we started working together when she was just starting her career as a model and I was returning from my long self-imposed exile from the photography business to begin shooting again with a fresh start.  We have been lucky enough to work on some great projects together and have had clients send us on some pretty cool adventures. From the earliest days of shooting in my basement before I moved back into a studio, to rooftop productions on downtown buildings high above the street, legendary historical structures, and even in the remains of crumbling churches we have been lucky enough to continue to push each other to constantly be better at what each of us does. I love to work with Marie because in many ways she serves as a reminder of just how far I have come from a time when I almost gave up. Every now and then I go back and look at all the work we have created together throughout the years to see how much we have both grown as artists.

Most recently we came together to create some images for another friend of ours – stylist, curator, and designer Molly Hoeltke. Molly and I have worked on many editorial and commercial assignments together (more than a few with Marie), but recently Molly also launched her new fashion collection – Once Vintage, a sustainable fashion reuse project that brings together her eye for one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and impeccable garment construction skills. Molly recreates past treasures by updating them with a modern aesthetic edge – both reducing waste and creating truly unique garments for her buyers.

Makeup: Stephanie Signorelli

Hair: Jessica A. Tozzo

Lydia Dominick

NBC television personality Lydia Dominick

Television personality Lydia Dominick has been in front of my camera many times over the years so much so that we have become regular creative collaborators on a variety of projects that she is involved with in her local community and good friends as well. When it came time for Lydia to update her personal portraits for her media and online needs I wanted to create something a little more refined and formal that the images we had created in the past. A selection of gorgeous gowns and a cameo appearance by model and actor Adam Varga were perfect compliments to Lydia’s always glamorous presence.

NBC television personality Lydia Dominick NBC television personality Lydia Dominick 

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

Quick Cuts – Vaunt

Vaunt

Vaunt was in town briefly for a shoot with Auxiliary Magazine. I was glad to have a chance, albeit in an extremely limited window of time, to work with her in the few scant minutes of light we had left. It was a simple casual and fun shoot which resulted in a very rewarding image.

Sarah Shriver and Bryan Vomit

Sarah Shriver and Bryan Vomit

I am coming off the tail end of an extremely prolific week of shooting, ill be leaking a ton of new images out here on the blog over the next few weeks. I spent friday out and about with Zach Rose photographing the awesome alternative style icons Bryan Vomit and Sarah Shriver. An absolutely fun and heavy metal fueled shoot that left them covered in the styling secrets of the week: food coloring and cornstarch. These two were just a blast to shoot with, I can’t wait to work with them again. I loved working with such extreme styling in such a natural environment, creating an interesting juxtaposition that highlights their unique looks.

Bryan Vomit

Sarah Shriver

Required Reading

• 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

A Dozen Pink Baloons – Quick Cuts

Nick Butlak Photographed by Luke Copping

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.

Nick Butlak Photographed by Luke Copping

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.

Nick Butlak Photographed by Luke Copping

A Busy Week

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.

Behind the Scenes: Ties and Glasses for Auxiliary Magazine

Selection of Ties from Cyberoptix Tie Labs

A range of ties provided by the wonderful Bethany Shorb of Cyberoptix Tie Labs, I plan on getting a few of these designs for myself. I’m a little bit in love with the chartreuse and pink lotus tie.

Lauren Mentkowski getting hair done

Our wonderful model; Lauren. Who was a savior on this particular shoot.

April Grigajtis

Hairstylist April Grigajtis will blow you away.

Lauren on set

Lauren Getting her final styling right before stepping in front of the lens.

Molly and Zach

Molly and Zach – Masters of interpretive dance.