MAYER BROTHERS CIDER FOR M&T BANK

Garett Mayer climbing ladder in an apple orchard. Garett is the 5th generation owner of Mayer Brothers Cider Mill in the Western NY town of West Seneca. Garett, The 165 year old cider press, and surrounding orchards were photographed as part of a success stories campaign for M&T Bank, with which Mayer Brothers has been doing business for 90+ years.

I made a frantic dash to the store to buy a new pair of rain boots the night before this shoot.

We knew it was going to be a wet morning long before my team and I headed out to Gasport NY for a shoot at New Royal Orchards. The motion crew for this project had been there a few days before to shoot the broadcast component of this campaign, and it rained the whole day on their shoot. In fact, it had been raining heavily for the better part of a week (or maybe it was weeks? Hello, Western New York in the autumn!) before our pre-dawn arrival at the orchard to photograph Garett Mayer in what we thought was going to be a torrential downpour. We were suited up in new boots, rain jackets, and equipped with enough umbrellas, covers, and sandbags to keep the gear dry and in one place (because who wants to chase runaway umbrellas on a windy day?) We were ready for anything from a flood to windstorm…

…But what we got was a light drizzle and a gorgeous sunrise; however, the boots still helped with our early morning trek through the mud as we carted gear out to those perfect rows of apple trees that we had scouted at New Royal. If you can’t tell, I come from a long line of “I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it” types — here’s to being passionately in to over-preparation!

Garett Mayer standing amongst apples and trees at Royal Orchards. Garett is the 5th generation owner of Mayer Brothers Cider Mill in the Western NY town of West Seneca. Garett, The 165 year old cider press, and surrounding orchards were photographed as part of a success stories campaign for M&T Bank, with which Mayer Brothers has been doing business for 90+ years.

In the last few months of 2018 we spent several weeks working with the kick-ass team at Crowley Webb on a series of print ads for M&T Bank to accompany the commercials that were being shot by the aforementioned (and also kick-ass) film crew — you can see their spot here. We created portraits in Buffalo NY, Harrisburg PA, and Baltimore MD, that focused on successful businesses and community organizations that had strong relationships with the bank — and worked at locations that ranged from rain-soaked orchards, to funky ice cream parlors, to an NFL playing field. Some were chosen for their growth & success, some for the quirky appeal of their business, and others for their legacy & longevity in their communities.

Garett Mayer is the 5th generation owner of a cider mill and growing beverage business that’s over 165 years old. In fact, it’s one of the oldest family-owned businesses in all of New York State, and their relationship with M&T has lasted for over 90 years.

How’s that for longevity?

Garett Mayer sitting on an apple crate at New Royal Orchards in Gasport NY at sunrise. Garett is the 5th generation owner of Mayer Brothers Cider Mill in the Western NY town of West Seneca. Garett, The 165 year old cider press, and surrounding orchards were photographed as part of a success stories campaign for M&T Bank, with which Mayer Brothers has been doing business for 90+ years.

A trip to the Mayer Brothers store for fresh hot cider and donuts is a REQUIRED fall activity in Buffalo, and I’m pretty sure that autumn would actually get put on hold and Halloween delayed if the mill and store failed to open — you have to go at least once (the apple is our state fruit for a reason).

And as important tradition a visit to Mayer Brothers is for many, it’s easy to lose sight of the enormous amount of work that goes into products like cider — from planting, cultivation, and harvest to pressing & bottling. That’s why it’s so endearing to experience Garett’s connection with and deep reverence for the farmers that grow apples for Mayer Brothers in person. As we spoke with him during the shoot and in between setups he told the crew and I what qualities he’s looking for in the apples they press into cider, the relationship that he has with the orchards, how he plans to grow the business, and about his family history in the area — going back to the beginning when his great-great-grandfather bought the cider mill to serve as a place that farmers and families could bring their apple harvests to be pressed.

Garett Mayer holding an apple amongst the trees at New Royal Orchards in Gasport NY. Garett is the 5th generation owner of Mayer Brothers Cider Mill in the Western NY town of West Seneca. Garett, The 165 year old cider press, and surrounding orchards were photographed as part of a success stories campaign for M&T Bank, with which Mayer Brothers has been doing business for 90+ years.

The final ads are below, and I’ll be sharing even more stories of incredible businesses from this campaign in the coming months. This was one of the most fulfilling and fun projects for me to work on last year because the subject matter is so close to what I am interested in as a photographer (and it doesn’t hurt that the team from the agency and the client have been incredible to work with!). I’ve spent so much time documenting the journeys, struggles, and successes of unique entrepreneurs, makers, and doers in Buffalo — and now I’ve been given the opportunity to help tell those stories on a much bigger stage and in other cities across America through this project. I can’t wait to share more with you.


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.


 

Required Reading – Back from Holiday

Back from a short but relaxing holiday in a self imposed exile from work, emails, and doing anything that wasn’t relaxing or fun. 3 days spent with my girlfriend eating barbecue, hitting some bars, and visiting family. The weekend culminated last night when we spent the evening together exploring one of Buffalo’s most beautiful waterfront parks. It’s the first time I have walked the entire length of the grounds, and found a few treasures. The first is a huge concrete slab that served as the foundation/parking lot of a former outdoor mega club. The slab is slowly being reclaimed by nature, cracking and splitting with strong plantlife coming up through the fissures.  The next was several huge blocks of white marble of granite (I couldn’t tell) laid out in a pile and nestled up in the shadow of a small green hill. It seems alien for them to be laying there in the middle of such an empty space, these cyclopean blocks of stone that just seemed so out of place, but they were laid out so beautifully. The evening ended with us eating some of Buffalo’s finest tacos. and then early to bed for me so that I could get up for an ASMP breakfast.

Heres some links that I cultivated over the weekend for you.

Luke Copping - Walking away

• The phone call is a dying art in some circles, but its still one oft he finest marketing tools around. Leslie Burns thinks so too. and her opinion is one I trust.

• Clever use of Google AdWords nets a creative a wish list job.

• Richard Branson, long touted for being a publicity hounds, says that entrepreneurs need to build for the future, and that  sometimes showy projects and stunts can be calculated experiments in disguise, not grabs for the headlines. Here are his five tips to running a successful business.

• From Ryan Freitas – 35 Lessons in 35 years

• Take your freelancing to the next level. become a thought leader and exercise some smart control and influence over your fans.

Erin McPartlan

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.

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.

lo-fi irregulars – Niagara Falls Blvd

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.

Images of the Niagara Falls Blvd Strip. By Luke Copping

The Bit-O-Paris motel, rooms still rented by high school kids to this day in order to throw parties.

Rapids Bowling centre - Luke Copping Photography

Rapids Bowling, I remember when I lived in the area, that there was always an unusually high concentration of bowling alleys nearby.

Bel-Aire motel - Luke Copping photography

The Bel-Aire motel, my favorite retro sign on the Boulevard.

motel and used cars - Luke Copping Photography

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 - Luke Copping Photography

The Niagara Falls Motel

Motel in Niagara Falls NY - Luke Copping Photography

Another roadway motel

Knights Inn - Luke Copping Photography

Knights Inn, one of the more modern additions. Lacking some of the retro charm, but I still love that sign.

Caravan Motel, Niagara Falls - Luke Copping Photography

Another of my favorite sings from the area, the Caravan Motel.

The wagon wheel restaurant - Luke Copping photography

Front of the Wagon Wheel Restaurant

3 star motel - Luke Copping Photography

The 3-Star Motel

Old Bell Facility, Derelict Garage - Luke Copping Photography

A derelict garage at the Old Bell Aerospace Complex, Now a facility housing several manufacturing companies, I worked in the complex for years.

View of airfield and Garage - Bell Facility - Luke Copping Photography

Another view of the Garage and unused lots nearby.

To see more of Luke’s commercial and editorial photography work please visit lukecopping.com

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.

Quick Questions With Smart People – Sean Armenta: Photographer

Sean Armenta is a beauty and fashion photographer from the Los Angeles area. His formidable client list includes Paul Mitchell, Wet Seal, Arden B, and Paul Frank to name a few. He has also been featured in numerous publications including Flaunt, InStyle, Vibra, Elle Germany, Sphere, and Want. Sean has a wonderful reputation on the web amongst fellow photographers, especially for his willingness to help other shooters, share advice, and answer technical questions. In addition to his active shooting schedule,  Sean regularly teaches his Prep to Post beauty photography workshops all over the country.

LC: Sean, in terms of marketing ones work,  especially within the beauty and fashion markets, what have been some of the more effective marketing techniques for you in communicating your work and point of view to your clients? What is a good starting point for those emerging photographers who are taking their first steps in getting their work in front of potential clients?

SA: I think above all your work should speak for itself and about yourself. Your work should be relevant to the industry you are trying to work in, and current to our time without being gimmicky and overly trendy. You need to keep an eye on what’s going on out there by seeing who is shooting what and why. Who is shooting a lot of covers?  Who is shooting the top campaigns?  It is more often than not a small group of 5 or so photographers who are producing the bulk of the work. You have to be able to understand why they are the flavor of the week, month, or year. This will help you determine what the industry is looking for stylistically.

In producing your portfolio, quality over quantity is the best rule to go by.  You must be able to edit your work without any personal or emotional connection to it. Needless to say much thought needs to go into your final portfolio that you will be showing potential clients, everything from layout to packaging must be considered. You must also do research on the clientele you are targeting. Is the work you are presenting relevant to their product and something their Art Buyers are looking to use?  If I am meeting with a new client, I will specifically create a customized portfolio just for them. Why would I show 20 fashion images to a cosmetics company?

When it comes to your online presence, simple really is best. You want YOUR work to stand out, not the design of your website.  It must be easy to navigate, clean and straightforward. People don’t want to spend half an hour trying to figure out how to get to your images. It does help to categorize your images into, say, Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle, Still Life, etc.  It does not help you however, to be a jack of all trades. Having one website that encompasses everything from Weddings to Fashion to Automotive to Table Top photography only shows your client that you do not know what it is you really want to shoot. Clients want to know you are great at what they specifically need, not decent at all types of photography.

Blogs are a great way to show clients your personality and to keep them updated about your growth as an artist. Keep it professional but allow your personality to shine through. Post something about all your shoots, meetings, etc. People like to know what you are doing to advance your career.

I’m no marketing genius by any means – in fact most of my clients were acquired through word of mouth; clients referring me to other clients. The most important thing I have learned is this: Someone else talking about you is always better than you talking about yourself because it gives you validity.

LC: So many emerging photographers fall into the trap of letting their clients undervalue their work, or even worse, undervaluing their own work. How important is it for them to present their work as worthwhile and valuable to their clients? How can they not fall into the trap of letting their fears of success or failure stop them from even trying?

SA: I
just had a meeting last week with a global cosmetics company. After doing my presentation they asked what my rate would be for the campaign, so I handed them a written estimate. The long awkward silence that followed told me that my quote was above what they were prepared to pay. The VP of marketing said something I have never heard a client say, and is usually what we say to clients. She said, “This quote is outside of what our budget is, but seeing your work I understand why it is this rate. You get what you pay for, and we must be doing something wrong because we have been dissatisfied with our marketing materials.”

Never ever sell yourself short. Lowballing only shows desperation and undervalues your work. Show clients a quality of work that will elevate their brand.  Present yourself in a confident and professional manner. Show passion for what it is you do. Do research on the clients you are trying to reach out to, find out what their marketing needs are, and see what you can do to meet their needs. Photographs are the most important aspect of marketing.  It is what consumers see first and what they relate to. Photographs make people buy products.

LC: You are known for working with a reliable core support team, how important is it for photographers just  starting out to build the kind of relationships with stylists, producers, and assistants that will surround them with a team that cares as much about the final outcome of the production as a whole? What are good places from these photographers to start finding talented team members to work with.

SA: Building a core team of artists (Hair, Makeup, Styling, etc) is all important in our industry, especially during your developmental stage as a photographer. I believe that fashion and beauty photography is very much a collaborative environment. You are only as good as the people you work with. One of the most important things I learned early on was to seek out artists that were at a level above my own, and through working with those people I learned so much about the industry, and their experience elevated my work. I think we should always be in a constant state of learning, as this is the only way to grow as an artist. Team building is a huge part of what I teach at my workshops because casting the right crew is what makes or breaks the success of a shoot. I think we need to return to a sense of community with each other, and this is really the best way to seek out people to work with. Ask your peers for referrals of who they like to work with. Strive to produce the kind of work that will make other artists want to work with you.

LC: Looking back on your own career, do you remember any mistakes or lessons that you had to learn early on? If you had to guide another photographer though them in the simplest terms; what would be your top three do’s and dont’s you have learned throughout your career?

SA: I think it’s so important to be genuinely nice to everyone. No one wants to work with an asshole no matter how great their work may be. Be the person people want to work with and be around and treat people the way you would like to be treated.

DO
Take a business and marketing class
Save your money and do not rack up debt
Keep your overhead as low as possible


DON’T
Don’t sell yourself short
Don’t be afraid to take risks with your work
Don’t get comfortable with your current situation

LC: How important is it to strike a balance between ones own vision and taste and between creating a consistent and marketable visual style? should photographers be letting editors and buyers dictate their style to a great degree, or should they actively be going after the clients who they think are right for them and their preexisting look?

SA: While it is very important to be able to show your own vision while staying marketable, during the beginning of your career it is not as important as showing you are able to deliver what the client wants. I think too much emphasis is put on developing one’s own “signature style” too early in their career and they become a one-trick pony. Your work will eventually be identifiable to you because of your approach to your subject, not because of a specific “look” created by a certain lighting setup or post production effect. That, to me, is gimmicky and trendy. Don’t fall into the trap of forcing yourself to create your style which will only limit your growth as an artist and show clients your lack of versatility and flexibility.

I don’t think we should be letting editors or buyers dictate our style per se, but what you have to understand is that talent and skill only gets our foot in the door. At the end of the day we still need to deliver the needs of the client. With that said, of course we ought to seek those clients whose image matches the style of work we produce and whom we are most passionate about working with.

Required Reading

• Check out the new blog and site over at Hero Design and see some of the best hand screen printed music posters around. Created by  the team of Mark and Beth Brickey.

Nubby Twiglet recounts her first year of freelancing, applicable to anyone working in a freelance creative field. Some interesting anecdotes and important lessons.

• Post symposium thoughts from ASMP president Richard Kelly regarding the Copyright Symposium that took place in NYC this past week featuring Chase Jarvis, Jeff Sedlik, Lawrence Lessig, and others

• A collection of vintage photographs of New York from the 1940’s

• An archive of brilliant magazine cover photography and design stretching back decades and covering thousands of images at the NMCA: Magazine Cover Archive