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Commercial Photo Work

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#RunYpsi: Ypsilanti Running Co.

A few weeks ago I decided I needed to be more mindful about my physical activity (or in my case, the lack of it) and took up the friendly-paced running group at Ypsilanti Running Co. Owners Mike Nix and his wife Alison have become incredible supports and friends during the process. Recently, they hosted a pre-party for The Color Run and we had a ton of fun with selfies and a big giveaway. 

This past Sunday, they held their first fundraiser for the adoption of Frog Island at Corner Brewery. They'll be cleaning up the outer perimeter of the running track, keeping walkways clear, and renewing all the areas of the picturesque park that just needs a little love. A special IPA was brewed, a live band played, and a grand time was had by all. Check it out!

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We can't recommend YRC enough for your running, fitness and retail needs. It's a wonderful family business and we feel so lucky to be a part of their movement to get people moving and healthy. Their 1 year anniversary is this September and we're looking forward to what they have in store next. 

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The Wurst Challenge 2015

Just a couple blocks from the studio is this incredible organization called FLY Children's Art Center. And it's just like it sounds. It's a place for kids and families to let their imaginations take flight, possibilities are endless with courses in drawing, painting, theater, costumery, robotics and we're so lucky to count them as creative neighbors. 

One of their big annual fundraisers is The Wurst Challenge at The Wurst Bar, where contenders raise funds, eat LOTS of delicious sausages while dressed up in their best garb and make a name for themselves. You really can't go wrong when the thread for the event is #20feetofmeat. Yep.

Here are just a few of the momentous highlights of last night's event. 

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Client Highlight: Dreamscapes Art Studio

Last weekend we had the privilege of photographing for a new client, Dreamscapes Art Studio and owner, Dolores Graham. The studio is above bustling Main Street in Ann Arbor and receives western exposure, with fabulous light coming through the windows. Dolores offers classes for children and adults, including a holiday workshop this Friday during Midnight Madness. Check out the studio and find out more about their events on their Facebook page.

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November 2014

In the interest of saving time and filling everyone in on the things we have coming up, I'm loading our last e-blast content here. Enjoy! 


Hello! This is the first e-mail we've sent to this lovely list of people since opening our studio. As many of you know, we had the fortune of stumbling upon a perfect little storefront in downtown Ypsilanti about seven weeks ago. Yes, just seven weeks ago! 

It has an open storefront space (for photographing), an office (for art and design consulting) and dressing room/dining nook. We snatched it up and never looked back. 

And since then, some incredible things have happened. 

  1. We attended our first First Fridays Ypsilanti just earlier this month, a circuit of venues with music, art, food, happenings on the first Friday of each tolerable un-wintery month. (There's a short break after the upcoming December 5th event). You grab a map and check out all the cool places that are hosting exhibits and offering specials. It's unique, surprising and wonderful fun for the family.
  2. Our studio opened on 11/11! Even though we're not a retail space selling wares, it was a bit of a hectic day - little sleep and lots of anxiety - about all good things! It seems the years of accumulating furniture were for this space. We just didn't know it. 9 S. Washington is a pretty sweet little spot on a corridor of downtown Ypsi that seems to literally be activating (as someone called it) day by day right before our very eyes. 
  3. On 11/20, three days after we photographed this set up, it was featured in the digital version of the New York Times. In the print version there are both styled photos we took for Skandicrush, this wonderful subscription service that sends monthly boxes filled with beautiful home wares. We're so lucky to be partnered with talented entrepreneurs with such vision. 
  4. That same night we celebrated our opening with friends and locals. It was a riot. Some of the photos can be found on our Facebook page.
  5. Nick has been really involved with Ypsilanti families and students over the last year. He worked on a photography assignment that allowed him to capture almost every family in a housing community and it moved everyone involved. That's how we came up with the idea to offer $10 Holiday Family Portraits on 11/29 Small Business Saturday. There's no reason a family shouldn't have a professional photo. We want to make these important things accessible and fun for everyone. Spread the word and the cheer! Come in with friends, family, students, colleagues...or just by yourself. All the details are here. (Pompom backdrop included)
  6. Once again, we are so excited to support Art Around Town, the business enterprise benefitting participating Ypsilanti Public School art programming. We'll be selling art through preview sales on:
  • First Fridays, Dec. 5th from 5-9 pm **We'll also be offering $20 holiday portraits that evening!**
  • Auction preview and art sale on Friday, Dec. 12th from 5-9 pm
  • Winter Auction on Saturday, Dec. 13th from 6-9 pm. Prints, paintings and sculpture will be sale and we play auctioneer! Bring the family and battle over works of art!

We didn't know what we were missing until we had the studio. Now that we do, we're thrilled to share our ideas, aesthetics and fun times with all of you. You're always welcome here. 

Be well and have a very Happy Thanksgiving! 
Best,
Yen and Nick Azzaro

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Prepping for the Launch

Getting a physical space ready for ourselves is bigger and badder than other projects we've worked on. We revamped the logo to match the architectural feel of our studio - a late 19th century storefront. This is something we wouldn't normally do but the sans serif lines of our previous logo didn't match the feel of the building or the furniture and objects we're planning to decorate with. 

To celebrate our opening, we're having an awesome photo session giveaway! Go to our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages to enter! There's 4 chances per person to win. 

Our first day of business is 11/11 - come by and say "hello!" 

 

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 The key! 

The key! 

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We're Getting a Space!

I still can't believe it happened because everything happened so quickly but...we signed a lease on a studio today! A couple months ago it didn't even seem feasible but things literally just came down to timing and luck. Nick and I had looked at storefront retail space in downtown Ypsilanti a few weeks ago. It was a large main room with great light (facing the west), a square shaped office and a makeshift "kitchen" area with bathroom. There was storage in the back and was sandwiched between an existing business and a promising one doing a build-out next door. Then we were told it wasn't available. I'm not going to lie. We sulked. And sulked. 

We didn't talk about it but I'm sure we both thought about it.

Then, a week later Nick got a call and BAM! Just like that, we were back in the game. We did some research, figured out the timing and now we're the proud tenants of 9 S. Washington Street starting November 1st!!! We decided opening day would be 11/11 so if you come by before that we'll be in shambles and running around looking for furniture and cleaning. We will be a mess, but would love to meet you if you're in the neighborhood and want to stop by to say "hello." 

We're so excited to be part of the growing Ypsi scene and we can't wait to show everyone what we have in store. We'll be part photography (and teaching) studio, art space and consulting office. For now, we have limited hours (Tues - Fri, 9 am to 3:30 pm) but will take appointments as they come in. 

Thank you to everyone that has given us advice, good vibes, praise, encouragement and your general and monetary support over the last three years. We couldn't have done this without you. Please come see us soon!

 

 Opening day is Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 from 9 am to 3:30 pm

Opening day is Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 from 9 am to 3:30 pm


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Seattle in a Few Snapshots

Nick traveled to Seattle a couple weeks ago for a photo shoot. He had a bit of time to explore the city from land and sea and caught some beautiful night shots off the commuter ferry too. 

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Detroit Bakery Visits

Nick visited three bakeries in and around Detroit last week and he came home with delicious goodies, digital and edible. The bakeries: Chilango's, La Gloria and MexicanTown Bakery each have their own specialty pan dulce (sweet bread) and cookies so there was a lot to sample, 

This is part of a growing project between Nick and our friend, professor at Stamps School of Art & Design, Nick Tobier. This is not the first time they've collaborated and I can't wait to see what the delicious future holds! 

Chilango's: 5427 Vernor Hwy

La Gloria Bakery: 3345 Bagley Ave.

MexicanTown Bakery: 4300 Vernor Hwy

 Fresh loaves at Chilango's

Fresh loaves at Chilango's

 Caramel churros!!

Caramel churros!!

 Baker at work at La Gloria

Baker at work at La Gloria

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 Tres leches cake at MexicanTown Bakery

Tres leches cake at MexicanTown Bakery

 Sugary sweet pink pan dulce

Sugary sweet pink pan dulce

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Dunc's Mill: Truly Handcrafted Premium Rum

It's been a really big summer for us, work and play-wise. We just returned from a road trip to Vermont for a family reunion on my aunt and uncle's property. Besides the log cabin they built with friends and various "huts" and buildings sprinkled throughout the mountains, the distillery where my uncle produces his rum is about 100 yards from the house.

Dunc's Mill is not only a premium product that we've been able to enjoy occasionally, (it has exclusive distribution along the east coast), everything about it is truly handmade, from the steeped elderflower in simple syrup for the Elderflower Rum to the carefully poured wax to seal each bottle.

We had the opportunity to drink some very special reserve rum (not for sale) and bring it to market where we watched my uncle interacting with the public, educating them about the process and ingredients. There are three rums: Elderflower, Maple and Backwoods Reserve. We recommend the Mayflower, 1 part Elderflower, 1 part Maple, splash of soda and a lime wedge.

We are proud to count Dunc's Mill as our latest client. We'll be producing marketing materials and photography. If you're ever traveling through Vermont, shoot him an email and tell my uncle we sent you. It's a truly magical experience. Cheers.

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Day 07 | 08

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 Got to stop by where we were married for a quick cup of coffee #Lovely

Got to stop by where we were married for a quick cup of coffee #Lovely

 Visited dad for lunch

Visited dad for lunch

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 Some of the best sushi we've ever had #Purdue #Maru

Some of the best sushi we've ever had #Purdue #Maru

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Day 05 | 06

I didn't have the energy to take or post many photos for the day we traveled to Chicago because it took us over 7 hours (including lunch in Kalamazoo) when it should've taken us closer to 5. Construction traffic was harrowing so we actually left 94 and took Michigan Avenue (12) for a while, going through Steel country in Indiana along the Lake.  

Yesterday was the first day on the shoot and it was much better. The dual building project Nick is shooting is beautiful and historic. 

 

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 Green roof next to the grilling area, facing south

Green roof next to the grilling area, facing south

 

 Bridge on the 16th floor, connecting the two buildings 

Bridge on the 16th floor, connecting the two buildings 

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