I have always admired beautiful home and interior design photography. Not just the exquisite design of the pieces or spaces pictured but also the imagination of the photographer, stylists and the assorted other image-makers that work to make the picture appealing. A beautiful chair or any other item cannot be fully appreciated if the presentation doesn’t meet muster by failing to engage the viewer. My less than amateur attempt at photography throughout this website is a testament to that, as at times what gets me excited about a subject doesn’t always come across exactly in the final picture, but I always try. So, when I see fine photography and other creative mediums used to communicate great design and style, I pay attention.
Featured Image: 3D rendering: Stickbulb © Mayo Studios
On a recent trip to Long Island City to visit one of New York’s premier image-makers, Mayo Studios, I thought about what it takes to create that level of imagery. At Mayo, they have a long history of creating fine visual stories that captures the attention when images are often evaluated in 2.6 seconds or less, not an easy fete. Their high standards live up to the expectation of clients where obsessive attention to details and masterful execution combine to show a frozen moment in time for the viewer to wonder and marvel at the final product.
For over 60 years the image-makers at Mayo Studios have been paying attention to art of visualization in the home and interior industry starting with patriarch Louis Mayo, in a small studio on 19th Street in what was then the photography district in Manhattan. The company grew beyond its start as a photography studio in the second generation under the leadership of Mark and Sandy Mayo, solidifying the business as a permanent fixture in the market. Today the latest iteration of the company continues to move beyond its roots expanding to include Louis’ grandchildren Mickey Mayo – President and Creative Director and Toni Mayo – Executive Account Director. Mickey’s influence in the business stems from his design background, along with a creative drive. “Image-making is branding,” he says. Further, Mickey developed their 3D Visualization department, complementing Mayo’s highly regarded photography and video studio productions extending the studio’s capabilities. Toni joined Mayo Studios in 2014. With experience in the New York City Real Estate market, Toni brings a zealous approach to New Business Development. Client relationships are Toni’s foremost priority as she constantly strives to ensure that Mayo’s level of service and attention is unwavering. Mayo also rents studio space to companies from other industry sectors with the option to utilize their full-service production capabilities that includes a comprehensive prop library, photographers, stylists, carpenters, Creative Director and other support personnel in a 20,000 sq ft studio.
Some of the companies they have worked with are Knoll, Calvin Klein, Bloomingdale’s, Ralph Lauren Home, West Elm, Frette, Lultron Electronics, Kravet and Macy’s to name a few. Toni said, “The studio was designed for ultimate flexibility. By providing location-like interiors, and a specialized creative team, work produced here is transformative. The viewer should believe that images were taken in a townhouse, or a penthouse apartment, not a studio. The combination of obsessively detailed carpentry, and stylists and photographers who know how to light and dress a scene there is a reality created on set.”
Photorealistic artists like Chuck Close, Gerhard Richter and Carlos Bruscianelli ‘fool the eye’ with their works challenging you as to whether you’re viewing a photograph or a painting. This added intrigue further engages you in the conversation with the work offering yet another layer to ponder and admire about what you’re seeing. The modern version as practiced at Mayo is 3D visualization via computer technologies. “We feel very fortunate to have gotten into 3D when we did about 6 years,” said Mickey, “the technology has evolved tremendously, and computing power is allowing for very photorealistic images to be created. We are invested heavily in the infrastructure necessary to be able to do that. Our customers understand that 3D is a viable option, and we are really well positioned to help them.”
“There is 3D then there is Mayo 3D” according to Mayo’s Sales and Marketing Executive Klive D’ Farley. The near perfect execution of their rendering is the reason why they are so highly regarded in photorealistic 3D visualization. As part of the Mayo team Klive brings his first-hand design industry experience with leading brands such as Giorgio Armani Casa, Natuzzi Italia, Knoll, Conran Design, Organic Modernism, and ABC Carpet & Home. Often the point of contact with prospective clients, he cultivates new relationships as a passionate brand ambassador for the Studio. This level of experienced and knowledgeable staff along with phenomenal expertise in their craft makes it easy to see why so many major companies are among their clients.
What’s next for Mayo’s image-makers? They will be launching later this year Mansion, a virtual showhouse with its own standalone website as their first foray into the Metaverse. “Mansion will be a platform for high-end interior brands to showcase products alongside other likeminded brands”, said Mickey. The companies involved will be some they have existing relationships with including other well-established brands, all to benefit from the power of being in one place according to Toni. This new and immersive experience for their clients is yet another example of Mayo Studios’ forward thinking that continues to keep them at the forefront of the Home Industry.