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City Park Studio, vintage photo

City Park Studio circa 1955

City Park Studio produces the finest portrait, wedding, and event photography in New Orleans and South Louisiana. For over thirty years, Rick Olivier has been shooting assignments for prestigious publications like the New York Times Magazine, Time, GQ, and the London Sunday Times. (If you’re an art director looking for Rick’s commercial site please go to rickolivier.com).  The City Park Studio building, located just two blocks from New Orleans historic City Park, was originally Coronna Bros Grocery.  Before supermarkets became popular each neighborhood had its own local market and the proprietors usually lived upstairs.  This vintage photo above shows the old grocery in its glorious 1955 heyday. At least one marriage was successfully proposed beneath the large elm tree in front (since long-gone). When Rick purchased the building in 1993 it had fallen into disrepair, but the layout proved ideal for a live/work space once the upstairs apartment was renovated.  The downstairs “grocery” (now the studio) didn’t get much renovating in ’93 beyond converting the former “fry kitchen” into a darkroom.  A foot of floodwater from Hurricane Katrina finally provided the impetus for renovating the studio space in 2005-2006.

Kermit Ruffins ©2010  Rick Olivier Photography

The lower wall sections were removed and repaired by local craftsman Sherman Badie with period stucco.   The walls were then sandblasted and sealed to provide a continuous natural distressed textural background, which has become a trademark-look of Rick Olivier’s portraits. Though not a traditional “daylight studio”, the space does receive magical afternoon natural light during most of the year, which Rick uses whenever possible in shots like the Kermit Ruffins portrait (L) and the portrait of Ali (R).  The studio space is a perfect laboratory for Rick to also work on manipulating light and directing subjects. His three decades of lighting experience produce a depth and subtlety in the simplest portrait that can never be achieved with trendy Photoshop plug-ins or the “special effect of the month”. He brings this quality of light to demanding locations with an extensive array of strobe gear and a mastery of the “shutter drag” technique, where ambient and artificial light are expertly combined (see the “Weddings” portfolio at left).

City Park Studio is a place where New Orleanians can have a portrait or event photographed by a true photographer, one who has dedicated his entire adult life to producing magnificent images (to see how Rick started in the business back in 1973, visit this blog).

CPS images are  for personal client use only. This means that City Park Studio photographs may be used for home display, gifts, albums, etc., but not for commercial use, which would require a written reproduction license from Rick Olivier Photography.

City Park Studio: 504-486-2040

email: rick at rickolivier.com

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