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Photos at Nolas Underground Salon

Our friends and clients Nic, his partner Dani and newest addition Amy, make up Nolas Underground Salon. They're underneath the restaurants along North U but once you go downstairs, you're in a chic gem of a space. I would say they're the best kept secret in Ann Arbor but they're booked weeks out (I had to book a month out this time to get in with a friend)! 

With just a few precious square feet, they transport you from campus experience to coifed and pampered. Nick captured some of the highlights recently and we just go them up on the website. If you're looking for a new spring style with lots of special attention, book with the pros at Nolas! 


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Stan Malinowski: Icons of Fashion opening

Update: These photos (courtesy Jacob Wieringa) and an article about First Fridays Ypsi can be found here

Last night was our first First Fridays Ypsilanti participation and we're thrilled with the attendance and energy of the evening. Our show, Stan Malinowski: Icons of Fashion highlighted the supermodels of the late '70s and '80s and introduced everyone to an era of glamorous images pre-Photoshop.

Yen talking to a patron about the local art scene.

Yen talking to a patron about the local art scene.

First Fridays Ypsi organizer, Kayj Michelle with a friend, checking out Janice Dicksinson.

First Fridays Ypsi organizer, Kayj Michelle with a friend, checking out Janice Dicksinson.

Best dressed couple of the night. 

Best dressed couple of the night. 

Yen with community advocate and activist, D'Real Graham. 

Yen with community advocate and activist, D'Real Graham. 

The main question of the evening was, "How did you get Stan to do a show here?" There's a lineage of Chicago photographers that have worked in the commercial realm and Stan is one of them. Nick (being fresh and naive to the city), approached him for advice. Stan graciously told him stories, shared his expertise and ultimately the two of them had an exhibit in 2008 named From Fantasy to Fashion. We're so proud and appreciative of Stan's collaboration, a piece of fashion history in our studio.

Artist Ilana Houten, regal in designer threads.

Artist Ilana Houten, regal in designer threads.

Nick speaks with artist and photographer, NIKI.

Nick speaks with artist and photographer, NIKI.

Graphic designer Anne-Marie Kim of Genui Forma checks out Iman. 

Graphic designer Anne-Marie Kim of Genui Forma checks out Iman. 

9 S. Washington St.

9 S. Washington St.

Artist Jermaine Dickerson converses with a patron. 

Artist Jermaine Dickerson converses with a patron. 

Thanks to everyone that joined us! the exhibit is up through the end of April and available to view by appointment. If you're interested in price list or details on photographs available to add to your collection, give us a call at 734-929-2498 or email us. 

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Overview: David Bowie Is at MCA Chicago

Nick and I finally got to see the long-awaited exhibit, David Bowie Is, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago over the weekend. With it's varied objects, GPS headphone accompaniment (the music and sound bites changed seamlessly as you walked through galleries), and fully engaging environment of spectacle, color and oddity, I highly recommend this show. (Photography was no allowed). 

The chronological exhibit sweeps you through his early years in London, changing his name from "Davy Jones" (as it was already popularized by the member of The Monkees), to David Bowie (and later Ziggy Stardust and back to Bowie).

Trying to steer away from the existing social landscape, ("I didn't want to be a trend, I wanted to be the instigator of new ideas.") his collaborations resulted in fashion and beauty which would eclipse any standards of male attractiveness during that time. Influenced by rock, pop, jazz, punk, he created a culture through tangibles like his costumes and make up as well as intangibles, his androgynous sexuality which teen girls gravitated toward with no reservation during an era which glorified hyper masculine music figures. In one video the interviewer talks about how Stardust can afford a make up artist to paint silver on his nails while hoards of young girls are shown clamoring for the doors to the theater.

Costume by Kansai Yamamoto

Costume by Kansai Yamamoto

His journey into the pop/glam rock/psychedelic world of 1960s music is punctuated by numerous setbacks, reconfigurations and contemplation. At the height of his pseudo-identity Ziggy Stardust's success in 1973, he announced that the show would not only be the last of the tour, but the last of the band's existence. (In 1977 he made the statement "I've rocked my roll" when considering retirement). Mounted stage costumes, drawings, musings and writings, lyrics and music memorabilia are coupled with video, studio footage and interviews leaving you with a tidbit of each of Bowie's countless identities. 

Costume by  Kansai Yamamoto

Costume by Kansai Yamamoto

A few of the exhibition highlights include:

  • A view into "space" as you watch Major Tom floating to Space Oddity
  • The numerous costumes by fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto
  • A small mug shot (when Bowie was arrested for possession of marijuana) is in one of the early galleries with costumes behind glass. 
  • A few oil paintings including a self-portrait from his time in Berlin. This gallery also boasts an exceptionally seamless video installation to painted motif in the room.

Bowie's presence in pop culture also crossed into experimental films in the 1960s and later mainstream movies such as Jim Henson's film, Labyrinth and The Prestige playing Nikola Tesla. For me, the paramount of the show is the last gallery, a pumping and pulsating mix of music matched by floor-to-ceiling screenshots, some with costumes silhouetted in light and film footage. Images pan back and forth from screen to screen interchanging with room-size projections. It was a club I didn't want to leave and a refreshing contrast to the hushed movement from room to room previously.

The Prestige

The Prestige

Labyrinth

Labyrinth

Basquiat

Basquiat

The Man Who Fell to Earth

The Man Who Fell to Earth

A few quick tips:

  • Be deliberate in your direction as you wander through the rooms. There are small lines to see many of the objects and if you stand between areas, the sound will not match what you're viewing. 
  • I recommend reserving two hours to fully engage in the spectacle of the show and longer if you want to watch the entire loop of his movie clips.
  • Purchase tickets in advance as they have been selling out daily.

David Bowie Is runs through January 4, 2015. Tickets are available here


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Sawandi, the 2nd (shoot)

You remember Sawandi. We worked together back in December of last year. A truly talented and versatile young man, and I hope to work with him for years to come. 

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Opening Pairing: Anthropologie + Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design

This past Friday we attended the opening event at Anthropologie in Ann Arbor. As part of the new Arbor Hills Crossing shopping center in the middle of town, Anthro, as I like to call it, is a fashion highlight for young professional women and creatives. The company chose our alma mater, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design to receive percentage proceeds from the evening's sales. 

Nick shot some festive images for Anthropologie and the School. 

The evening was a smashing, shopping success - thanks to Anthropologie and A&D!

For fashion, commercial and event photos, call us at 734-929-2498

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A light just went off!

What kind of photographer are you? Are you a food shooter or do you take portraits? If you're a portrait photographer do you take family portraits or editorial photos? 

I get asked these questions fairly often and the best way to answer them is with a simple  "yes". I definitely have preference of subject, but when it comes to making something in front of my lens look good it's the lighting that does all the work. Once you have an understanding of how to work with light, it doesn't matter if your subject is three inches tall or life size, the lighting arrangement will be the same. 

Amelia

Amelia

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Local Beauty: Keeki Pure & Simple

We were introduced to Keeki Pure & Simple from our friends at zoey + joey.  All their products are super kid-friendly pthalate, paraben, gluten and petroleum free. Incredible, right? And to top it off, everything's made right here in Michigan and over 90% of their raw ingredients are from the USA. 

Nick shot their products for an upcoming spot on Hautelook, a part of Nordstrom's. (We'll send out a reminder when they launch!) We're so thrilled that more people will be learning about this fantastic company. Their products including water-based nail polishes, sunscreen, lip balm and yummy smelling lotions are high quality and you feel great about using them. Here are a few of the highlights from our photo shoot at their corporate office this week.

Yay for Keeki! 

 

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Contest: Senior Portrait Package

Aaahhh...memories of senior year. You take all your tests, you find out if you  "got accepted" to your first choice and of course, you plan what you're going to wear for your senior photos. What if we told you that you had a chance to win a senior portrait session unlike anyone else's? We specialize in capturing personalities in the most creative way. One lucky winner will win the full package with us. Simply go to our Facebook page or email us at info@chin-azzaro.com and tell us why you deserve to win. (Parents, you can enter your son or daughter too)! Check it out and pass it along to all the Class of 2014 seniors you know (in the Ann Arbor area). Enter now through June 30th. But if you can't wait to win and want to book your session now, see your choices below. Good luck!

SeniorPortraitContest

SeniorPortraitPriceList

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Kenta: Hair Stylist, Musician, Astro

After an amazing photo shoot with friend, hair stylist and musician, Kenta, I had an opportunity for some Q and A. His band Locus can be seen and heard here.

N- How did you become a stylist?

K- After high school I was searching for a job and went in for a haircut at a local salon for my interviews. I gave such detailed order to the stylist, he said "you should become a hairstylist!" So I did. I still believe that moment was meant to be, this job is the only job I've never wanted to quit! (Kenta has been styling hair going on eleven years and currently works at Da Vinci's in downtown Ann Arbor).

N- When did you get into music?

K- The 4th grade. I really liked this girl and she played flute. I wanted to be with her in music class so I begged my ma. I only played for four months or so... At that time I was very shy about being the only boy in flute class so I converted to trumpet! Since then I've played a little tuba, guitar, and drum. My friend taught me how to DJ but I was never good in any instruments... so I highly respect people who practice instrumental music.

N- Describe your personal musical interest and your bands interest.

K- I have very broad musical interests, but grew up listening to a lot of punk, ska, rock, hip-hop, J-pop, trance, house, and techno and was never good at remembering the bands name or the song title.Band mate Ajekt (DJ/Programmer) also has a very broad interests and digs deep on all types of music. It's crazy how much he knows about the history behind a band or the songs. I call him the Wiki of Locus! He can answer most of your musical questions! Band mate Qp (Bass/Programmer) is deeply rooted in rock and J-pop and listens to everything he likes. His bass playing style is heavily influenced by what he heard in his youth. He has also produced a few Japanese Pop songs for local talents as well.

As a band all three of us comes from very different musical backgrounds. The first few years we were suffering to find a point of interest, but we're now gradually finding a solid Locus sound. We're still in search of "creating something new, something never heard before". I know its a long journey but feel like we're definitely on the right track. The energy and atmosphere Locus creates is something I've never experienced in any other music or shows.

N- Tell me about Astro.

K- I've wanted people listen to our music rather than judge us by our looks, so it was my idea to put a mask on at a show one day. I've asked the band members to wear the masks too, but we've had some clashes on this idea. Astro is like a messenger for me, he's the one who shouts my thoughts and emotions through the microphone. He's a little cocky, spiritual, and loves women. He'll do things I can't and thinks what I can't.

Thank you, Kenta for a great session and for sharing your stories. To have your own portait narrative photographed, contact us here.

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Latest Tribehaus Shoot : Three Lighting Set Ups, Three Looks

We've started shooting for Tribehaus on a regular basis and every week is an exciting chance to sharpen our creative processes. Last weekend we hit the nail on the head when we worked with model Maeve and collaborated again with make up artist Taryn Scalise of Tough Love MPD. Along with the "chief" of Tribehaus, Anna Bagozzi, the stars were in alignment because we had some of the most successful shots we've seen a long while. Don't you agree? DSC_1655standardDSC_1608standardDSC_1508standard

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A New Partnership : Tribehaus | Photo Studio Group

Sunday we shot our first of many sessions for Tribehaus, owned by entrepreneur extraordinaire Anna Bagozzi. With its eclectic and trendy inventory, Tribehaus is an online presence unlike any other offering women's fashion with plans to expand to menswear. Anna has turned the brand into an empire with her insane marketing skills. Check out her Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages.

For model shots, we required a studio space that would allow for flexibility and a seamless or cyc wall, a panel with rounded bottom corner to lend an infinite spatial quality to the images. Not only is it an incredibly brilliant concept, Photo Studio Group, is a community-based resource, offering their space and equipment at a fraction of what it typically costs. We just started our membership and we urge others to visit them as well. It's better than any other scenario we've come across during our years in commercial photography.

Every shoot depends on successful collaboration of the team. We were really lucky to have Amelia modeling. Not only does she have an incredible high fashion look, she was so personable and a breeze to work with.

No shoot is complete until you bring in hair and make up and Taryn Scalise is a master of both. She got us through two complete looks very quickly and was on hand to catch fly aways with the brush and lip stick touch ups between shots.

We can't remember the last time such a production went so seamlessly and we can't wait to do it again. In the meanwhile, support our partners and let us know if you have any questions about buying from, visiting or hiring our friends. See you next week!

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