Based in New York City, Mayo Studios is a premier creative production studio specializing in photography, 3D visualization and video for Home Product and Lifestyle brands. Their in-house production team consists of photographers, producers, set-designers, carpenters, stylists, and post-production specialists.
We are very much excited to share our interview with Mayo Studios. Keep reading for more amazing facts about this fabulous studio.
Production Paradise: It’s clear from your work that your studio specializes in home and lifestyle photography. How did this focus come about?
Mayo Studios: It started in 1955 when my grandfather, Lou Mayo, began photographing furniture in the showrooms of NYC and Chicago. He built a studio on 19th Street in Manhattan to accommodate his growing business. The staff photographed draperies, tablecloths, chandeliers, and bedding on simple studio room sets. This is how Mayo Studios developed its reputation and specialization.
Production Paradise: Wow… 65 years. Tell us about how the studio evolved.
Mayo Studios: As the studio grew in the 80s and 90s, my parents, Mark and Sandy Mayo expanded the studio client list tremendously, serving major retailers, manufacturers and designers including Macy’s, Martha Stewart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, Kravet, Ralph Lauren and WestPoint Home.
I joined the studio in 2007. With my background in design and branding, we have become a resource for lifestyle brands producing imagery and video for advertising, social media, and e-commerce. My sister, Toni Mayo, brings years of sales experience to Mayo’s account management and business development efforts.
Production Paradise: Tell us a little about your team.
Mayo Studios: Our team consists of art directors, carpenters, prop stylists, soft stylists, photographers, 3D artists, and post-production specialists all under one roof. Everyone here brings years of experience in their unique craft.
Production Paradise: What new techniques or technologies have you explored in recent years?
Mayo Studios: In 2015, we brought 3D visualization artists and necessary hardware in house. This specialization offers exciting possibilities for both existing clients and new audiences. We have developed workflows enabling us to create exceptionally photo-real images that are accurately and artfully rendered. 3D animation offers yet another dimension.
Production Paradise: Describe your studio setting.
Mayo Studios: Our 20,000 square foot studio is based in Long Island City NY, just a few minutes from midtown Manhattan. We have massive windows throughout that flood the space with natural light. We also enjoy a 180-degree view of the surrounding urban landscape.
In-studio, we build sets to accommodate multiple productions (photo and video) at one time. With advance notice, custom sets can be designed and built as well. The studio offers an extensive in-house prop and furniture collection, freight elevator, and loading dock. There are conference and lounge areas for our clients. Our fully equipped studio kitchen is available for food styling and as an environment to shoot food and lifestyle productions.
Production Paradise: Which recent photo campaign exemplifies your specialization?
Mayo Studio: We were recently engaged by SIJO Home to create images for their website launch. SIJO promotes the concept of a mindful home by embracing harmony, health, and happiness.
From Pre-Production to Post, each phase of this project was carefully planned to ensure that the images were on-brand. In Pre-Production, the Model Casting was focused on finding talent with a down-to-earth look.
Warm paint tones were chosen and applied to the walls of our House sets to best complement SIJO’s products. Furnishings selected were organic and minimal to represent an uncluttered lifestyle and the bed styling was soft and lived-in. Our photographers created lighting that felt warm and natural. Hair and makeup were kept simple to be consistent with the overall aesthetic.
We were so pleased with the cohesive set of images that came from this production— all in support of the SIJO brand voice.
Production Paradise: How have you integrated motion into your capabilities?
Mayo Studios: We have been producing video increasingly in recent years. One prime example: We developed a branded content video series, “Inspirations in Design”, with Metropolis Magazine for Benjamin Moore. The video captures the experiences of three renowned New York-based designers specifying and using Benjamin Moore’s Century interior paint.
It was important for the videos to feel authentic so we aimed to capture conversations rather than interviews. We worked with the team at Metropolis to tell three stories.
Mayo was responsible for the full production from planning, location-scouting and storyboarding to art direction, videography and editing through the approval process. The videos were showcased on the Metropolis and Benjamin Moore Century websites.
Client: Metropolis – Benjamin Moore
Production Paradise: Tell us a little about a recent 3D project you’ve worked on.
Mayo studio: Mayo Studios also specializes in photo-realistic 3D Visualization. Our 65 years of photographic experience informs our implementation of this sophisticated, image-making process.
We created a Dream Kitchen series showcasing Bertazzoni appliances. Materials including marble, stainless steel, wood, and glass were accurately and artistically rendered. The appliances were featured in a highly refined kitchen environment from varying perspectives. The indoor and outdoor lighting was thoughtfully considered and rendered to achieve the desired ambiance. An animated tour was also created which offered another dimension bringing the 3D project to life.
Production Paradise: What do you think has contributed to Mayo’s longevity and success?
Mayo Studio: My grandfather was deeply inspired by Hollywood film production and he applied this passion to product photography by offering his clients an inspired approach.
The drive for excellence continues at Mayo today. Our team truly cares about the work and we are fanatics about details. This comes through at every level of our process. We believe we add a level of thoughtfulness to each project we take on. This is what keeps us going through the decades.
We would like to thank Mayo Studios for taking the time to speak with us. If you want to read more about the studio, don’t forget to check their latest feature in our New York Showcase or check out their member page.