SPREE TURNS 50

Portrait created for Spree 50th Anniversary Issue

Buffalo Spree celebrated their 50th anniversary this year, and I was honored to shoot a fun little happy birthday story to help commemorate this longstanding local magazine. Of course, It’s not a birthday unless there’s a cake (or three), so we called in some help from a few of the city’s best bakers and cake shops to help the team at Spree kick off their golden jubilee with a little style. And yes, the cast, crew, and myself absolutely devoured those cakes as soon as the shoot was done.

Portrait created for Spree 50th Anniversary IssuePortrait created for Spree 50th Anniversary Issue

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CHAE HAWK OF TEAM RADIO

Rapper Chat Hawk of Buffalo Hip Hop Collective Team Radio

Why aren’t you listening to Chae Hawk right now? This Buffalo NY based rap cinema artist and founder of hip hop collective TeamRadio has been producing some of the best progressive hip hop to ever come out of WNY. Be sure to check out Dance Party for The Heavy Hearted on his website (especially his track Chin Ups featuring another past subject of mine  – Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die.)

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The Patron – Frits Abell

Frits Abell is an entrepreneur and patron of the arts who is the driving force behind WNY's Echo Arts fair.

The founder of both the Echo Art Fair and the Buffalo Expat Network (not to mention countless other ventures). Frits Abell is a guy who likes to make things happen – usually from a position of equal footing in both the arts and business worlds. A figure of growing importance in the revitalization of Buffalo, I was lucky to be able to spend a little time with this developer and arts patron in studio a few weeks back.

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Coffee Time!

New Luke Copping Photography Coffee Mugs

Well… maybe not for me since I gave up drinking coffee a few months back (and most of my crew will tell you the last thing I need is something to make me more hyperactive). But now guests to my studio, my production team, and a few very lucky clients & friends all get to quaff their caffeinated beverages of choice from these badass new mugs that feature photographic processes both contemporary and vintage that Shauna Haider of We Are Branch designed for me.

And while I may not drink coffee out of mine anymore, it’s also great for sipping a post-shoot bourbon out of – purists be damned!

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The Guitarist – Mick Hayes

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Mick Hayes .

Guitar slinging, soul, blues, and rock singing badass Mick Hayes is the subject of one of my most recent shoots!

It’s always a treat to get to photograph someone who has shared stages and billing with stars like Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Steve Vai, and Los Lonely Boys, and I’ve been lucky these past few years to work with Mick on a bunch of still and motion projects the include the release video and cover art of his most recent album.

More than that, I’ve had the pleasure of actually seeing the man play a few times, and it’s a revelatory experience to see live. Mick can play, sing, and put on one hello of a show. His astounding stage presence, steeped in the influence of his musical roots and coupled with his raw enthusiasm and skillful playing , is one of the reasons he’s endorsed by brands like Hammond  and Knaggs Guitars.

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GORDON GRONKOWSKI FOR KIPLINGER’S

Gordon Gronkowski, father of NFL Players Rob and Glenn Gronkowski short for Kiplinger's Personal Finance

We’ve all heard the horror stories of professional athletes who burn through their money and are left with nothing at the end of their careers due to poor financial planning.

Thankfully, that’s a fate the likely won’t be an issue for NFL players Rob and Glenn Gronkowski due to the money management lessons instilled in them by their father Gordon. Papa Gronkowski taught his boys (and three other professional athlete sons) smart financial planning skills that have seen to it that the NFL stars are making smart decisions about their future (in fact Rob has not spent a single cent of his NFL income since 2010 and lives solely off of his endorsements)

From an assignment that ran in the October 2016 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

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LAURA CASAMENTO FOR UTICA COLLEGE

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I’ve recently added Utica College as a client – and I’m happy to share that my first collaboration with the school was to capture an important moment in its history, the installation of Laura Casemento as the first woman to be named president in the school’s 70 year history.

My team and I traveled to Utica for a few days this summer to create a series of portraits of Laura that range from her official presidential portrait to moments that capture her embracing the academic and athletic spirit of the school. Being that students had yet to arrive for the start of the year, we basically had the run of the campus and access to pretty much anywhere we wanted to shoot.

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JASON WOOD FOR BUFFALO SPREE

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As Buffalo’s first Nickel City Drink cocktail festival comes to an end I thought it appropriate to share this portrait of one of the event’s organizers, Jason Wood, that I recently shot on assignment for Buffalo Spree Magazine. (But really, is there ever an inappropriate time to celebrate amazing cocktails and those that make them?)

A WNY transplant originaly form Michigan, Jason is a motorcycle enthusiast, musician (formerly of metal core bands Still Remains and It Dies Today), and currently serves as the manager at Vera Pizzeria – the bar that many feel served as the catalyst of Buffalo’s growing craft cocktail movement and its rapid expansion over the past few years. Since stepping out from behind the microphone and getting behind the bar full time this multitalented bartender has become a tireless advocate for quality spirits and thoughtful recipes that excite those tired of Buffalo’s mass market beer and shot dominated bar scene.

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BUREAU

Elliott Douglas for Bureau Custom Menswear in Buffalo NY

A sneak peek of one of the images I’ve been working on with Bureau for their upcoming 2016/2017 lookbook and promotions. This amazing custom menswear shop in Buffalo has been helping this city dress better (including yours truly – Joseph and Jon made the suit I got married in last year) for the last few years and I’m so happy to be working with them on this project. As you may remember Bureau was one of the small businesses featured in my Rust Belt entrepreneurs series and I am thrilled to see how they have grown since they first opened their doors.

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LES AMIS FENCING CLUB

Christine Gallisdorfer of Buffalo Les Amis Fencing ClubJodi Hamann of Les Amis fencing Club

Christine Gallisdorfer and Jodi Hamann of Les Amis Fencing Club – a member-owned and non-profit training club in Buffalo NY that has been offering classes and camaraderie to those interested in the sport since 1982.

Competitive fencers themselves, Christine and Jodi serves as the treasurer of the club and shares her experience as an instructor to the club’s intermediate students, while Jodi teachers the beginner level classes.

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