Two and a half years ago, a Jersey City blogger by the name of Lynn Hazan started her blog, ChicpeaJC. She was covering everything that was in Jersey City, including things I didn’t knew about which was impressive considering I grew up in Jersey City. Her blog came out in May 2014 and two months later I had discovered her blog.
I remembered going up to her during the Sixth Borough Market while she was out with her family. This was also the time that I was really getting into photography, so I was out and about taking photos of the market when I saw her.
I was shy at first to approach her since she was out with her family and I didn’t want to be rude, but I ended up saying hello anyways. I had admire all the work Lynn had done up to that point and it was great telling her how much I enjoyed her blog.
Two and a half years later, Lynn and ChicpeaJC has grown tremendously as now almost everyone in the city knows about the blog. It went from one blogger with Lynn to her having her own team running ChicpeaJC daily. I also kept in touch with Lynn over the years, spotting her at some events in Jersey City including the Downtown Street Fair.
Recently, the ChicpeaJC team (ChicpeaHQ) moved into a loft and new headquarters call CP5tudio (CP5) that includes a photo studio. On February 4, 2017, Lynn and her team invited all the local artists, photographers, writers, digital influencers and other creatives to CP5 to check out the studio. I was one of the invites to check out the magnificent studio. Here’s a photography tour of CP5.
At CP5, there are a few great artworks on the walls including these two magnificent murals. In the left side of the frame is the fame rapper, Biggie Smalls, with his famous lyric “It was All a Dream”. The mural was created by SUE. On the far right side of the frame is a mural featuring a Hamsa, which is a sign of protection that provides defense against the evil eye. The mural was created by Swati Rastogi. I took several shots of these murals, but I also wanted to get both murals in the same shot without cutting off Biggie’s crown. After a few shots, this was the best result © 2017 Angel Ortiz Jr. Photography
There are some restaurants and cafes in Jersey City that really deck out their restrooms with art. CP5, though not a restaurant, took this idea and really took the art bathroom to the next level. Out of all the photos I took the bathroom, this was my favorite one. I really like the “Love is…” quote repeating down the wall while getting the other artworks in the background. “Love is…” almost takes up most of the frame, but I include the “I love NJ Jersey City” quote as well to give its time in the spotlight too. There’s so much love in one restroom alone. © 2017 Angel Ortiz Jr. Photography
As mentioned earlier, plenty of artists were invited to the opening of CP5. Plenty of people showed up and I enjoyed the lively conversations going around. That’s something I always enjoy capturing at events. So, I went with the wideshot showing off as many people as possible, exchanging conversations and information while getting the nice brick wall with #CHICPEAHQ balloons hanging on it. I also wanted to show off CP5’s photo studio setup. © 2017 Angel Ortiz Jr. Photography
As a photographer, I normally go out photography outings on my own and normally don’t see other photographers in action. That wasn’t the case at CP5 as plenty of photographers were on hand at the opening including Juan, shown here taking photos of models. Juan is a photographer and intern for ChicpeaJC as I took photos of him at work. It’s surreal, yet cool to take photos of a photographer while they’re taking photos. It was a good way to show off the CP5 photo studio set up at work. © 2017 Angel Ortiz Jr. Photography
Of course, I had to include Lynn Hazan herself in this article. She stepped into the photo studio to show off her gift: a ChicpeaHQ New Jersey license plate key-holder. She wasn’t staying there long so I took as many photos as possible along with other photographers. This one came out the best as I captured Lynn perfectly pointing at her gift and showing off her brand. It was great getting her in the center of the shot, though I wish I gave her some more head room. © 2017 Angel Ortiz Jr. Photography
As more people arrived at the CP5 studio opening event, I captured more people engaging in conversations again. In this shot, though, I wanted to show off this wall pillar in which many people drew and wrote plenty of congratulations for the ChicpeaHQ team. I decided to combine the congratulations pillar to the crowd in the same shot. This was a great away to show off more of the studio. Also, I liked the “BOO” drawing on the wall. © 2017 Angel Ortiz Jr. Photography
It was a fun day checking out ChicpeaHQ new headquarters as CP5 is will be a phenomenal place for many photographers and other creatives to test and show off their skills. CP5 doors are now open via appointment for the use of its studio. To rent out their studio, just visit the CP5 site here: http://www.chicpeajc.com/cp5tudio/
I tested out the photo studio myself with a few models that came by the CP5 opening. You can read about that in this article!
It’s great to have seen Lynn and her blog, ChicpeaJC, grow over the few years and I look forward to seeing her succeed and get bigger over the next few years!
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