I love Art-o-mats – the idea of retrofitting a vintage cigarette machine to sell unique pieces of small art to the masses is one of sheer brilliance. I get throughly excited every time I see one.
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.
After moving from Canada to the states when I was a kid I spent most of my life growing up around the Niagara Falls and Youngstown NY areas. I have a strange obsession with the remains of the once great tourism industry that once kept the area moving, Some of the last relics of that previous tourist boom are the motels that line the boulevard. I was out there this morning and had a chance to play with Hipstamatic on my iPhone for a bit, taking shots of some of the signs and surrounding areas.
The Bit-O-Paris motel, rooms still rented by high school kids to this day in order to throw parties.
Rapids Bowling, I remember when I lived in the area, that there was always an unusually high concentration of bowling alleys nearby.
The Bel-Aire motel, my favorite retro sign on the Boulevard.
I would venture to say that its a bad idea to buy a used car from the motel you stayed at last night.
The Niagara Falls Motel
Another roadway motel
Knights Inn, one of the more modern additions. Lacking some of the retro charm, but I still love that sign.
Another of my favorite sings from the area, the Caravan Motel.
Front of the Wagon Wheel Restaurant
The 3-Star Motel
A derelict garage at the Old Bell Aerospace Complex, Now a facility housing several manufacturing companies, I worked in the complex for years.
Another view of the Garage and unused lots nearby.
To see more of Luke’s commercial and editorial photography work please visit lukecopping.com
Fashion stylist, friend, and collaborator Molly Hoeltke needed a bio shot for an interview and profile piece thats being done on her. Heres a quick cut from those images. Molly has worked with me on a variety of projects ranging from magazine editorials to my own self directed projects for promotional images. Molly has a unique eye for combining vintage pieces with unique one of a kind contemporary designs. You may have seen her pop up once or twice in behind the scenes photos here on the blog as well.
Cyberoptix Tie Labs has long been one of my favorite designers of unique men’s accessories. Bethany Shorb runs one of the largest ecologically friendly and solvent free screen printing shops in the country, making thoughtful and bold statements in the creation of unique neckwear while minimizing any environmental impact in her hometown of Detroit, MI. Outside of her work as lead designer for Cyberoptix, Bethany has also toured the country with her experimental musical project Toybreaker and designed riveting couture fashions outside the accessories market, including the touring wardrobe for Skinny Puppy’s 2004 world tour.
I photographed several of the Cyberoptix Tie Lab designs last year for a designers feature run in an independent alternative fashion magazine. A small series of editorial images were created for the piece using one of Western New York’s most decadent and luxurious restaurants as a backdrop, it was a brilliant location to shoot Bethany’s ties in, awash in rich red velvets, dark woods, and accented with stunning collections of distinct objects ranging from avian taxidermy to a collection of rare vintage spirits. It was the perfect setting to allow some interesting vintage menswear to be infused with the punky edge and darkly intelligent tie designs that Cyberoptix provided. I knew that I had become an instant fan of Bethany’s work when I had decided on the spot to buy several of the ties she had provided for the production rather than returning them to her, most notably Raven and Gasmask, they have since become favorite pieces of my wardrobe.
I was excited when Bethany wanted to use one of the images from the original editorial, after it had initially run, on the Cyberoptix homepage to promote her ExLibris tie. The combination of her tie design laid over part of the image as well as the typography she come together to create an alluring whole, one that I was extremely happy to be a part of, especially given Bethany’s reputation as a young, popular, and passionate designer who is creating stunning yet environmentally responsible garments in a city generally held to be outside of the major fashion markets.