It’s no secret that New Jersey is home to countless artists. Many of these creators are inspired by a passion for art that drives them to create; no matter if it’s in the kitchen, a pottery studio, or even their garage. Our series, I HeART New Jersey, celebrates these amazing artists. This month, we’re featuring some of the best NJ photographers.
These creators perfect their craft and sell their wares out of their own boutiques; often through the power of the internet or even in local markets. This time around, we’re focusing on artists who make magic with cameras of all kinds. These photographers create everything from family heirlooms to bird’s eye views of the Jersey Shore and so much more. With this in mind, it’s time to meet some of the best photographers in NJ.
Jenna and Bobby Lazar of After Rain
Creating “functional art” since 2015, Jenna and Bobby Lazar of After Rain bring vivid photographs into every day items. Jenna’s love of digital photography inspires her to capture jaw dropping landscapes and beautiful architecture both locally and abroad. The husband and wife team feel that photographs connect us to our past; moreover, they can remind us who we are and how far we’ve come.
A few years after opening their business, Jenna and Bobby took a big step forward; moving their operation out of their home and into a workshop/studio in Asbury Park. However, the creative duo were hit by a cyber attack just months later, in November 2018. As a result, they closed their business, Epoch Trading Post, and opened under a new name, After Rain. Although terrifying, the Lazars now know just how resilient they are. After all, there’s always a rainbow after the rain.
What makes After Rain unique is what they do with photos in their studio (nothing is outsourced). The Lazars can print pictures on ceramic, wood, stainless steel, glass and slate. For example, they create coasters, flasks, cutting boards, wine stoppers, mugs, backpacks, passport cases and more.
For more information on After Rain, visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook and Etsy. Their workshop is open to the public by appointment only, email email@example.com to schedule a visit.
Vanessa Maestri of Armadillo Tintype
Vanessa Maestri of Armadillo Tintype doesn’t actually consider herself a photographer. But one look at the images she captures will have you convinced otherwise. Maestri works with the 160-year-old processes of Collodionist and Tintypist. Each image is made one by one, by hand, and can’t be reproduced. The end result is a very pure, tangible image that can last centuries with proper care – the perfect family heirloom.
Maestri first learned the process of Wet Plate Collodion in 2015 at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. She then continued her education at The Center for Alternative Photography, Penumbra Foundation in New York City. Despite, or maybe because of, the intricacies of the process, the results of Maestri’s work are true pieces of art.
Maestri not only shoots portraits in her studio, but also loves to bring the process out in the field. Of course, this comes with its own unique challenges, but the “great unknown” always gets her excited. When speaking about her work, Maestri compares it to “making art and history together.”
Claudia Chloe Masco of Claudia Chloe
If you visit the Jersey Shore during the summer, you may or may not take notice of aircraft flying overhead; unless of course, someone was hanging out of a helicopter taking pictures. That someone would be Claudia Chloe Masco, who loves photographing the bright and intense colors of the bustling shoreline. Her photos showcase the Jersey Shore from a unique perspective, giving locals and visitors alike a new appreciation for the coastline.
Masco’s photography degree comes from Monmouth University. While at Monmouth, she learned how to professionally print her work. Before even graduating, Masco took her first flight in Miami and opened her business later that summer.
Since opening her business in 2015, Masco’s aerial photography portfolio has expanded to include the entire New Jersey coastline. Additionally, outside of NJ her work encompasses Miami, Saint Petersburg (Florida) and Puerto Rico. When not in the air, she works out of a home studio in Asbury Park. Her selection of prints are available in a number of local stores as well as online.
To see more of the best artists in New Jersey, visit I HeART New Jersey: The Complete Series.
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © After Rain
Addition Photos (in Order) Courtesy:
Jenna and Bobby Lazar / After Rain
Vanessa Maestri / Armadillo Tintype
Claudia Chloe Masco / Claudia Chloe