Archives: Featured Company

Featured Arizona photographer: Chris Loomis

I recently discovered a very talented Phoenix and Scottsdale area photographer in a roundabout sort of way. I had stumbled across the “auctiontainer” Letitia Frye and happened to pick up on the photography on her website. Turns out it was the work of Chris Loomis, a multi-faceted photographer who has shot everything from architecture to portrait to high fashion.

[Ryan] You seem to photograph a range of subjects, from high fashion to architecture, how would you explain your personal style and approach to photography?

[Chris] I have become proficient shooting a range of subject matter (in the commercial arena) by necessity in the Phoenix area. To make a living specializing in just one area can be difficult in a particular market. That being said, I believe my portfolio/website is a comprehensive look at the subject matter I most gravitate towards and in some cases the blending of these subjects, i.e. fashion in context with architecture, etc. My style is driven by finding a relationship between my subject matter and the environment…in the case of my editorial portfolio I love illustrating through environmental portraiture, people intimately embedded in their place of work or amongst things they create…or even creating that relationship through my own sense of art direction (I art direct most of my photo shoots.) This is also how I handle my fashion photography…I’m really into high fashion/wearable art and also vintage styles. Additionally, I like to use unorthodox lighting, when appropriate, to create more drama and interest in my imagery…it is also my own personal touch. My Personal (fine art) work and Theme Park portfolio is more about capturing subtle moments candidly while traveling or through concept that are powerful and full of memory, yet still tell a story.

Chris Loomis Photography

When shooting, where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from pretty much everywhere…but I’m a total fan of surrealism and creating projects that are high concept. My background is growing up watching healthy amounts of Star Trek, weird sci-if movies, 70’s cartoons etc. I’m also very impressed by architecture…particularly mid century modern and futuristic…but I also love gothic cathedrals and even ruins…then putting a model in these places!!!

Chris Loomis Photography

I think that a lot of men don’t feel real comfortable in front of a camera. Are there some simple things men can do to get more of a “red carpet” look?

For men being photographed: DONT BE SHY….let yourself go….don’t constantly wait for direction from a photographer…they will tell you what to do when they need to push you in a certain direction. Be yourself!

Chris Loomis Photography

Contact Chris Loomis

Visit the Chris Loomis website to view his portfolios and contact him directly!

Spotlight on Fort Collins real estate development – The Exchange

Oftentimes, it seems like Denver and Boulder get all the attention when it comes to development and trendy spots, but Fort Collins is marching right along too. There has been a fair amount of activity regarding Fort Collins real estate development lately. A great example is the Exchange project – a mix of retail, restaurant, and office space slated to open in Spring 2017.

I first caught wind of the project by chatting with broker Jake Arnold, of Fort Collins based Waypoint Real Estate. Waypoint is spearheading the effort to revitalize this location. The firm is redeveloping pretty much an entire city block in Old Town where the old EZ Pawn building once stood.

The Exchange in Fort Collins takes shape with Fort Collins Real Estate Development

Notably, the development aims to create a mixed-use common space where the parking lot currently exists. “We are working with the city on a “common consumption corridor,” which will allow for drinks (alcoholic) and food to be taken into the plaza area,” says Arnold.

Looking over the present plans, I was happy to see a real nice mix of tenants. It’s looking like there will be a nice balance between retail and restaurant space. However, what caught my eye the most is the proposed large grassy space, intended to be available for lounging in the Colorado sun, hosting community events, and being an all-around great meeting spot.

Arnold went on to tell me that “…we are trying to create a place where people can enjoy a variety of vendors in one area. It should be a great place for a whole family to spend an afternoon or evening with a variety of food/wine & beer options.”

And fans of Denver’s Work & Class and Cart & Driver on Larimer Street will be pleased to learn that shipping containers may be rolled into the architecture plan. Personally, I think shipping containers offer a great aesthetic when paired with organics so I’m anxious to see what happens.

The Exchange project in Fort Collins Real Estate Development

I’m very excited to see downtown Fort Collins stretch its development legs a bit. Especially, when the intention is not merely to create a shopping center, but to establish a place for people to meet and live. Yes, that often means food and drink, but development projects that are careful to include space to sit and enjoy the outdoors are really wonderful, in my opinion.

I also hope that projects like the Exchange and Boulder’s Rayback Collective help to prove to people that the idea of a “food court” can be an awesome thing and far from what I would call a traditional North American model (i.e. food courts in shopping malls). The hawker centers of Singapore and Bangkok, for instance, are a flurry of activity and full of unique tastes and experiences.

Domestic developments like Denver’s Avanti and The Duce in Phoenix are headed in the right direction. It’s looking like the Exchange project will earn its place in the conversation.

Waypoint Real Estate

For more information on Waypoint, please visit their website here.

 

5280’s Top of the Town voting

So, it’s that time of year again. 5280 Magazine is rolling out their annual Top of the Town voting today. Results of the balloting are published in the June issue and consistently reflect the best that Denver has to offer in a range of categories.

You shouldn’t have any problem voting for the best menswear boutique, right? :). How about the other categories?

I wanted to write a quick blog post and offer up some recommendations for a handful of genres. I’ve personally worked with each of these businesses and they are run by some really amazing people who are super passionate about what they do. More importantly, they uphold the highest level of quality and attention to service. The latter I think is worth emphasizing, because in an increasingly digital world, good customer service can seem difficult to come by.

But these are just my recommendations. The important thing is to vote for the company or individual that you think has earned a spot on the list!

Top of the Town voting!

Here’s the link to vote!

A note on how to vote: The reader voting (that’s you, as opposed to the editor voting) is a write-in format. That means that you’d type in something like, oh say, Bespoke Edge, for the Local Men’s Boutique category. You certainly don’t need to fill in all of the line items, just scroll through and pick your favorites!

Barber

I’ve been a loyal patron of Al’s Barbershop for something like 5 or 6 years now. In the beginning, I was frequenting the Denver barbershop in Larimer Square. When I moved to Boulder a couple years back I would go to the Boulder shop. And now that I’m back in Denver, well, you guessed it.

Simply put, Al’s a master at cutting men’s hair.

Something you probably wouldn’t know if you didn’t ask, is that Al cuts hair for a handful of models at national fashion shows. He is even a recognized speaker at industry conferences. And to have him cut your hair and listen to him explain his approach and watch what he does, you’ll soon understand that Al and his highly skilled team are the very best at what they do.

Local Jewelry Designer

I met Abby Sparks a couple years back, because well, most of us custom folks end up gravitating towards one another sooner or later!

And when Brett got engaged I decided that he deserved a pair of custom cufflinks to go with his custom suits. That’s when I had an opportunity to work one-on-one with Abby. I thought it was interesting at how similar her process is to ours, in that you can literally control every aspect of what you’re building. For us, it’s custom suits, and for her, custom jewelry.

Abby is an incredibly talented and personable woman. She has a knack for taking sketches and turning them into amazing pieces of jewelry.

I’d recommend taking a peek at our article on Brett’s custom cufflinks. It has a lot of great photos of some of her rings too.

Website: Abby Sparks Jewelry

custom cuff links abby sparks designs and 5280 top of the town

Wedding Gowns

For years now, Ron and I have known Little White Dress Bridal Shop owner Cate Malone and her daughter and business partner, Kelly Hinde. They are really wonderful people who consistently find the best in designer gowns and bring them to the mile high city.

Recommended reading: 5 style tips for grooms, an interview with Kelly Hinde

Accessories

Denver based HIM Clothing has been making some impressive menswear accessories for a while now. Several years ago I stumbled across the brand and met with cofounder, Hugh Hartigan. Now, there are a handful of people making ties in Colorado today and I’m no stranger to vintage and cotton neck wear. When I first had the chance to inspect one of HIM Clothing’s ties, the first thing I did was flip it over and look at the construction. It immediately became clear that this company knows how to make ties. They’d be a great pick for the Top of the Town accessories category.

Read the BE Featured Company blog post on HIM Clothing here.

HIM Clothing and the 5280 top of the town voting

Twenty-Five Event Management: Our interview with Liz Marcou

On a recent trip to the desert, I met with Liz Marcou, founder and owner of Twenty-Five Event Management. Liz, like myself, has a history in the corporate space, before she ventured out into the world to start her own business.

When speaking with Liz, it becomes clear very early on that she has a real passion for event planning and execution. She’s super organized, intelligent, and believe me, gets things done! I can’t recommend Liz enough for anyone in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area.

Here’s a bit about what we talked about…

[Ryan] Can you tell us a little bit about Twenty-Five Event Management? What makes your approach to event planning different?

[Liz] When people hear Twenty-Five Event Management, the next question is, “What does Twenty-Five stand for?”

February 25th, 2012 was my wedding day and inspiration behind Twenty-Five. In the months of planning my wedding, I realized I could take my professional experience of large-scale project management and apply it to wedding planning. Except wedding and event planning allows for much more creativity than corporate banking! I found a way to merge my expertise in projects with something I was extremely passionate about in wedding and event planning.

What makes our approach different is we work very hard to understand a couple’s wedding goals. For some couples the goal is to make sure their guests remember the party for a really long time and for others, it’s all about the wedding representing who they are as a couple and their families. Taking the time to genuinely understand their goals allows us to handle all the details of the wedding or event day while making sure we provide the best experience possible.

You’ve clearly planned a lot of weddings to date, what was one that really stood out and why?

This past summer I planned a wedding in the middle of July in Scottsdale, Arizona. Due to work restrictions for the couple, July was the only month they would be able to get married. The temperature on the wedding day was forecasted at 109° and everyone was coming in from out of town.

We had a lot of details to consider to make sure the guests were comfortable during the ceremony and reception. It wasn’t the heat or the challenges we had to overcome that made this stand out, it was the support from the family and friends of the bride and groom and their willingness to brave the Arizona heat to watch two people they all care about tie the knot. With 95% of the guests out of town I was so moved by the amount of people who came out for the couple!

When searching for an event planner, what are the most important qualities that a couple should be looking for?

When looking for a wedding planner there are a few qualities I would suggest as the most important. First, great listening skills are required to make sure your potential planner really hears you and takes your concerns and ideas seriously. They will be the ones responsible to make all of your wedding details come to fruition during planning and the day-of.

Second, your planner should be professional. They will take the “business” side of your wedding very seriously. There should be a planning process available to help you (and your planner) ensure your wedding is moving along and all the details are captured with precise timing.

A professional planner may also have a certification in wedding planning. Although a certificate is not required to plan a wedding, it shows that the planner has some training and is taking their wedding planning business seriously. Lastly, a great personality is an essential trait for a wedding planner to have.

When talking to a potential planner you should walk away with the feeling of “he or she totally gets us!” Just remember to always trust your instincts when selecting the right person for your wedding day or big event!

Contact

More about Liz

Email: info@25eventmanagement.com

Phone: 623-777-9997