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Jay Maisel Studio Tour

I’m friends with Jay Maisel’s Studio Manager, not by coincidence. Jay Maisel is one of my favorite photographers and I’ve blogged about him before.

Here’s a video produced by the Santa Fe Workshops that really shows off some of his best images and captures some of his nuggets of wisdom. It’s really inspiring to me and I think you’ll enjoy it too.

Anyway, my buddy John is the studio manager for Jay and I was lucky enough to get the private tour of his 6 story bank building in Manhattan and got a few minutes to chat about image making with the master himself. Very cool!

Jay bought this building in 1966 and has lived/worked there ever since. It’s 6 stories and has a really big vault in the basement. Each floor has a purpose. First floor is the studio. Second and third is a gallery of his work. Fourth and fifth are his tinkering workshop where each room has a specific purpose, such as “round things” and “tools”. He lives on the sixth floor with his wife and daughter. He also has a great rooftop view, but we didn’t get to go up there.

Here I am with the photography students from Portfolio Center sitting on the stoop of 190 Bowery. (photo credit goes to Tim Redman.)

John explaining something.

Jerry looking at an archived slide on the light table.

Since it’s a bank building, there are safes and vaults and that’s where the archived slides are stored… that’s a really thick door!

Above is Jay, John, and Jerry. All three are amazing and I look up to each of them!


Paul and Evan exploring some of the stuff.

This is John and I, looking into a cool mirror. It gives you a ‘true’ reflection. Check out the word canon on my camera to see what I mean.

I left feeling very inspired. His work is amazing and really reminded me of why I got into photography in the first place. Photography school gave me the ability to create a great shot. Jay taught me how to find a great shot. Big difference in philosophy and something I’m currently struggling with as I try to put together my new image portfolio.