Travelogue: ITALY – Pisa and the Square of Miracles

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Pisa, Italy is one of those places that just feels familiar whether you’ve been there or not. Iconic images of its’ leaning tower burned in our minds since childhood, it is truly a wonder to experience live and up close.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Pisa and marveled at the dramatic nature of its architecture (leaning aside). The Piazza del Miracoli (Square of Miracles) is a walled city containing several spectacular examples of Medieval European architecture—all built between 1064 and 1319—including the Duomo (Cathedral), the Baptistery and the Leaning Tower.

Climbing the tower is an adventure unto itself. A narrow stone spiral staircase ascends roughly eight stories to the top, and the tight passage is barely wide enough for one person—certainly not for the claustrophobic. Atop the tower is an incredible view of the Square and the surrounding city.

Storm clouds must have sensed me coming and positioned themselves gloomily above the landscape just as I started shooting. Special thanks to the weather for lending the mood. Enjoy!

Photography by Nick Saglimbeni. © Slickforce Inc. All rights reserved.

Limited Edition PURE MEL Collector’s Series

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This week, our beautiful and talented friend Melanie Iglesias debuted her 5th television series, MTV’s “Off the Bat”. The Slickforce team is so proud of our rapidly rising starlet, and to celebrate, we are announcing pre-orders for Part 2 of the Pure Mel collector’s poster series.

Pure Mel part 1 has consistently been one of our best-sellers in the Melanie Iglesias Store, with nearly 50% of posters sales coming from Mel’s growing female audience. It’s a look at Ms. Iglesias in a rare new and natural light, without the glitz and glam of the studio.

Order the 2 or 4 poster Pure Mel collector’s series at MelanieIglesiasStore.com and SaglimbeniStore.com!

CREDITS:
Photography by Nick Saglimbeni
Makeup by Therese Williams
Hair by Al Ingram

PROFILE: The Leading Ladies of SlickforceStudio

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Confucius famously said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” What he failed to mention, however, was how critical the people you work with are to how much you love your job. (Nice one, Confucius.) As SlickforceStudio celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, it also marks the anniversaries of two of its’ leading ladies.

Last week, photographer and retouching wizard Joyce Park celebrated her 7th year at Slickforce. I remember the day I interviewed her, I said, “We shoot a lot of women, most of them aren’t wearing many clothes. Are you okay with that?” She giggled and nodded. The next day, SlickforceStudio made its’ smartest hire in company history. She now splits her time between Post-Production Supervisor and Associate Photographer.

In May, celebrity photographer Christian Arias begins her 6th year with us. Christian began at Slickforce as an intern, straight from Brooks Institute of Photography. She quickly moved into a paid photo assistant role, and then lead assistant. Few people have worked so closely with our lighting, so it seemed a natural move to have her start shooting. When I first asked her to shoot for our studio, Christian shyly said no. As of this post, she now has more than 25 magazine and book covers under her belt, and a bundle of celebrity clients to boot.

Between them, they’ve photographed and retouched tens of thousands of images for Hollywood’s top elite. I’ve been fortunate enough to work closely with both of them over the years, and I cannot imagine our company without them. Perhaps even more impressive than their incredible work ethics are their respective characters. They are both wonderful human beings, and it is truly an honor to work in the presence of such talented artists.

Take a look at their impressive portfolios here (Christian Arias, Joyce Park). My thanks to both ladies for choosing a home at Slickforce. You are lucky indeed, if you like the people you work with. Measuring by these two superstars, I would consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth.

PHOTO: Christian and Joyce pose with Kevin Hart at their shoot for WMB 3D. Photo by Derek Eskridge for SlickforceStudio.

VIDEO: The Making of SlickforceGirl – Princess Ayanna

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The team just keeps getting stronger! In this video, travel to a remote location for a behind-the-scenes look at our SlickforceGirl shoot with the stunning Ayanna Jordan. She embraces the Indian Princess role wholeheartedly, and keeps the crew laughing along the way. My thanks to the lovely Ms. Jordan for her devotion to the SlickforceGirl campaign. Order your Limited Edition Princess Ayanna posters here. A portion of proceeds from poster sales are donated to the Breast Cancer Charities of America’s iGoPink campaign.

Photography by NICK SAGLIMBENI
Makeup by THERESE WILLIAMS
Hair by AL INGRAM
Wardrobe Styling by DIANA CHAN
Track: “Light Speed” by Peter McIsaac Music

Travelogue: ITALY – Masquerading at Venice Carnival

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This week, Carnival is being celebrated all over the world. In nearly every case, the annual five-day event ushers in a party of historic proportions. And while celebrations in Brazil and New Orleans typically involve record levels of infamous wild partying, Venice, Italy instead transforms itself into the ultimate masquerade ball.

I recently had the pleasure of experiencing Venice Carnival, and it is truly a magical experience. A feast for the eyes in every way—from giant marionette spiders in St. Mark’s Square to cobblestone alleys lined with sorcerers, enchanters, and mystics—the Venetian gala champions art and artists from the arcane to the downright creepy.

Perhaps most fascinating is that none of the celebartions’ colorful players ever break character. If costume balls are your cup of tea, mark my words, this is one you want to experience. Eyes Wide Shut has nothing on Venice.

Travelogue: INDIA – Visiting Contus in Chennai

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Over the last five years, the online presence for SlickforceStudio’s family of companies has grown dramatically. It has allowed us to connect with our clients and fans in more effective ways and reach a rapidly expanding global audience. And with the creation of those new avenues comes the need for solid servers, bug-free programming and round-the-clock technical support.

In 2008, I hired the newly founded Contus India team to help us code the SlickforceStudio website redesign. I wanted something artistic and clean for the galleries, and they came up with the fluid animated thumbnails that we still use today. (See it in action here.) Six years later, they have the been the programming backbone behind Slickforce.com, NickSaglimbeni.com, the Melanie Iglesias Store, WMB3D.com and many more. So on my recent trip to India, I knew I had to finally meet this amazing team, and personally thank them for helping us stay connected with the world.

When I arrived to the Contus offices in Chennai, I was stunned to see just how large their company has become. In 2008, they were a founding team of five. Today, they boast over 100 employees, and have expanded into app development, 3D interactivity, virtual motion and mobile optimization. The team extended wonderful hospitality to me during my visit, and it was wonderful to be able to finally meet the people we’ve worked so closely with over Skype and email these past six years. I can’t recommend them more highly, and they are an absolute pleasure to work with.

PHOTOS:
1: Managing Director Sriram Manoharan, Programming Supervisor Rajesh Ravichandran and Cheif Operating Officer Bala Murugan
2: Clockwise from bottom right – Sriram Manoharan, Balasubramaniyam Kandaswamy, Thiaghu Radhakrishnan, Amal Raj. U, Bala Murugan, Dinesh kumar Soundararajan, me.
3: The Contus team hard at work.

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