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Ann Arbor photographer

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Exhibiting, jurying and moderating at Pop•X

Our friend Omari Rush has been really busy over the last year. He's the Curator of Public Programs at the Ann Arbor Art Center and has been producing Pop•X, an arts festival of ten pop-up pavilions in Liberty Plaza. The public square is located at the corner of Division and Liberty Streets in downtown Ann Arbor and will be transformed starting next week, into a ephemeral playground of installations and happenings. 

We were lucky enough to take part on a few different levels. During the planning stages of the festival, I got to sit in on some preliminary meetings and then jury the exhibitors. And as it turns out, Nick is one of them. I won't give too much away, but his work will speak directly to the usual inhabitants of Liberty Plaza, a group of citizens that are often marginalized for various reasons, who will be displaced during the festival. You can see his pavilion and work on opening day, October 15th through October 24th. 

I'll moderate a talk, Workspace Design, on Monday, October 19th at the Ann Arbor District Library. I'm excited to sit down and talk to a group of innovative business owners in the area including Sava Lelcaj Farah: CEO, Savco Hospitality; Shane Pliska: CEO, Planterra; and Dug Song: CEO, Duo Security. It's a free event and fascinating topic so I'm certain this will draw a crowd. 

We hope to see you there! 

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Vintage Hollywood V - Pop-Up for a Great Cause

Nick's been editing like crazy and I've been working on lots of small projects. One of which is our next pop-up. This time we're partnering with Neutral Zone for their annual fundraiser next Friday, Vintage Hollywood. In its fifth year, VH is a night of glamour (this year's theme is The Great Gatsby), food, entertainment and a great social gathering all around. Everything benefits NZ, which is an incredible teen center with a stage, music recording studio, art studio, kitchen, hang out spaces... basically everything you ever wanted when you were hanging out with your friends growing up.

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We'll be there from 7 to 9 pm photographing everyone in their best attire for a super, discounted rate of $10 each for this special night. Each participant will receive a lightly retouched and processed, digital image via email delivery. And, we'll donate a portion of the evening's proceeds to Neutral Zone. 

If you're free the night of March 7th, come out and celebrate for a great cause. Tickets are still available but they'll most likely sell out! See you there.

 

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Pop Ups: Behind the Scenes + The Next One at The Espresso Bar!

In December we had a blast with our first pop-up photo event at Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair, the awesome storefront with all things robotic and fun. It also serves as a "front" for the literacy, tutoring and publishing nonprofit, 826michigan.

Matt Lauer, one of the amazing volunteers at the Robot Supply and Repair doing what he does: fixin' things.

Matt Lauer, one of the amazing volunteers at the Robot Supply and Repair doing what he does: fixin' things.

We were so thrilled and honored when they agreed to let us hold our pop-up in their writing center and the results were colorful and lively, thanks to some stand in robots (courtesy of our talented friend Dylan Strzynski). 

Photo by Art Azzaro

Photo by Art Azzaro

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Aren't they adorable?!

Which brings us to. . . our next pop up! This time we're partnering with our friends at The Espresso Bar, where highly crafted espresso drinks are doled out by the expert hands of proprietor Sandy Bledsoe. Bring your mom, your dad, your best friend or your crush for a coffee date unlike any other. Once you're settled with your drinks, we'll get you ready for a professional portrait of the two of you.

You don't need to sign up and we're hoping that it'll be a fun-loving day of caffeine and warm fuzzies after this crazy deep freeze we've experienced. And oh, did we mention it's on Valentine's Day? :) See you there!

If you know of a venue or organization that you think would be a great partner, let us know

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Alone in 1000 Square Feet, Update

Alone in 1000 Square Feet is an ongoing project, adding one or more new photos every week. For those new to this series, there are only two guidelines: only I can be in the photo and they must all be captured in my apartment, common area or basement. Using these restrictions I've created six characters:

The Turbulent Mob Associate

The Clever Spy

The Distressed Burglar

The Afflicted War Veteran

The Flamboyant Detective

The Brilliant Psychopath

So far there's been overlap through conflict, time and chance... but everybody's still alive...

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L'Meese then and now

I've already had a stellar photo career with many great experiences. Along the way I've worked with some wonderful people. On occasion I'm lucky enough to work with the same subject at yearly intervals. Such is the case with L'Meese.

I first worked with her in 2008 when I exhibited in a two-person show with renowned fashion photographer Stan Malinowski in Chicago. From Fantasy to Fashion drew an incredible crowd of collectors and I was proud to show my interpretation of fashion photography with Stan's photographs for such publications as Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and Playboy. From Janice Dickinson to Iman in Valentino's atelier, it was a smashing success. More of Stan's work can be seen here.

I showed new work, inspired by Stan's big budget shoots of yesteryear. L'Meese's portrait below was included in the exhibit.

I recently had the chance to work with L'Meese again, this time in Ann Arbor. The only thing that's changed is her elevated level of experience.

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Nia Sees the Light.

Nia is a model that's well ahead of the game and a fabulous person to work with. That's what allowed us to be more creative during our shoot. Not only did she own the in studio strobe sets with her many looks, but she handled daylight and lengthy fluorescent bulb exposures with the same style and grace. Below are two looks from two different strobe sets:

In the sun, she shines:

Even a one second exposure. No problem:

Thank you, Nia.

 

 

 

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Alone in 1000 Square Feet, Set 1

It was 6:56pm on the evening of August 15 when the flamboyant detective understood this was no ordinary murder scene.

At the same time across town the afflicted war veteran was having realizations of his own...

While his friend, the turbulent mob associate, was in the middle of a very important business deal.

The details from that transaction made no difference to the occupant of the residence one house to the south. The distressed burglar was hard at work, reaping what he could as his window was closing fast...

But not as fast as the clever spy's.

"What's the hurry", said the brilliant psychopath to himself in the mirror of an apartment he had entered only once before.

The following day was spent analyzing images and materials taken from the gruesome display by the flamboyant detective.

And breakfast was ruined for two nameless thugs by an unannounced visit from the turbulent mob associate.

But the thugs had it easy compared to the clever spy, who withstood a night of interrogation and still maintained his cover.

Another day, another "...fuck it", said the afflicted war veteran.

"50/50." No matter how prepared, the distressed burglar knows there's a fifty-fifty chance things could go wrong during any break in.

"Are you certain get the fuck out of here are the last words you'd ever like to say?" asked the brilliant psychopath.

A broken vase. A sideways chair. That was the extent of the mess made when the clever spy broke free and overtook his captors.

The minutes felt like hours as the flamboyant detective tried to comprehend what had taken place in the crimson apartment. "Could a human have done this?"

Some have no conscience.

Others remember all too well.

Some like to talk.

Others prefer the quiet.

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Studio Lighting Tips

There are two studio lighting setups that tend to appear in ads today. By no means are they new, but they'll never go out of style. Both place the model on a white background, but the first only uses one light, causing a shadow and making the background go gray, while the other uses three lights creating an "infinity" look. Below are diagrams and samples of how to achieve each.

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Where's the Beef

We love food, and this post marks the beginning of how we'll show it. Once every two weeks (or more) we'll highlight a favorite food, giving us a chance to share some great recipes as well as showcase some amazing eateries. Below are two different favorites: barbecued beef ribs and potato skins.

Beef ribs can be found in most grocery stores with the refrigerated meats. I begin with a dry rub that includes brown sugar, dill, garlic and more. Then I stand the ribs up in a slow cooker with about an inch of water at the bottom. Then I wait six or more hours... When they're ready I have two options: pull the meat off the bone or BBQ them and throw them in the oven for twenty minutes at 400˚. Enjoy!

Potato skins are simple! Begin with a bag of potatoes, clean them and halve them. Bake them for two to three hours at 300˚. When they're soft and cool, scoop out the center to make "boats". Next, clean and dice your favorite vegetables. We chose bell pepper, onion, tomato, broccoli and... bacon! Start filling the potato skins with your selections, cover them all with cheese and bake them for twenty to thirty minutes at 350˚. Buon appetito!

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Shots in the Dark

The other night while hunting werewolves I managed to snap a few street scenes. Although the pursuit proved uneventful, I was satisfied with the images. I strongly recommend everyone else get out there to shoot and capitalize on the warm nights before the cold gets here. Please let me know where I can see your work. --N

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