After 80, nonetheless smiling at work


Fred Marcus, who was a longtime wedding ceremony photographer in New York Metropolis, has typically stated, “As soon as the marriage is over, the images will final ceaselessly. It will likely be the identical for the relationships that we solid throughout this occasion. “

Many years later, each statements nonetheless ring true.

In January, the Fred Marcus studio celebrated its eightieth anniversary. The studio, which has at all times specialised in weddings, is likely one of the few multi-generational owned and operated images firms nonetheless thriving in New York Metropolis.

After greater than seven many years on West 72nd Road, the corporate moved to its present location on 58th Road in Columbus Circle in 2019. In doing so, they’ve packed 1000’s of pictures, digital archival volumes and created stirred reminiscences. over time.

They went from a 4,000 sq. foot house working on three completely different flooring to 2,500 toes, which have been all on one degree, making work extra cohesive for everybody. For greater than a month, they packed greater than 300 containers, containing 30 years of negatives and digital materials, most of which have been positioned in a storage unit.

They moved to the brand new house with over a dozen cameras, lighting tools, a big printer, photograph backgrounds, and over 50 albums stuffed with inventory images. The lease at their earlier location was outrageous, they stated, they usually wanted a less expensive location.

Based on household custom, in 1939, Fred Marcus was a 29-year-old escaped Holocaust survivor dwelling in Cuba. He made cash photographing households on the seaside.

“All he knew was find out how to take footage and join with individuals,” stated his son, Andy Marcus, 71, who lives on the Higher West Facet together with his spouse Judi Marcus and the studio director.

“Once I was little, I requested him why he was doing weddings. He took out the Yellow Pages and turned to business trend photographers. There have been pages of it. Then he went to see wedding ceremony photographers. Solely three or 4 have been listed. He needed to be good at one thing different individuals did not know.

Fred Marcus was 31 in 1941 when he opened his studio within the basement of a constructing on West 72nd Road. A number of years later, in an effort to maintain his 13-year-old son, Andy, out of hassle, he made him a lighting assistant on the weddings he was filming.

“Then we might alternate the used movie for a brand new movie at 2 am within the closet. We put a towel on the ground to maintain the sunshine out, ”stated Andy Marcus. “We have been speaking about marriage. It was an exquisite approach to know him.

Andy Marcus has by no means left the corporate. After graduating from faculty, he began working within the studio full time. When his father was injured in a automobile crash in 1975, Andy Marcus intervened.

“I used to be left alone to run the enterprise,” he stated. “I did not understand how to do that. I simply knew I needed to make it work. I needed him to be happy with me.

Whereas Fred Marcus spent seven months within the hospital, Andy Marcus was on the rise. The primary torch had handed.

“Once I began out, each photograph required a flash bulb. You then needed to change the movie, ”he stated. “A lot of the images you took at a marriage have been 80 to 100. When digital got here in within the early 2000s, that modified all the things. Now you can take 100 images of the bride’s footwear. “

What has not modified are the shopper’s wishes relating to what to seize.

“We’re recognized for his or her expressive and well-lit household portraits. It continues our legacy, ”stated Andy Marcus.

In 2001, Fred Marcus, then 91, handed away. Through the years, Andy Marcus has grown the enterprise, introduced new power, new concepts, elevated costs and elevated buyer base. The 80s and early 90s introduced opulence and exaggerated occasions. “The weddings have been greater, there have been extra flowers, greater teams, all the things was on steroids,” stated Andy Marcus.

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The marriage business has grown. Celebrities have grow to be clients. Immediately, common plans begin between $ 9,000 and $ 20,000, though some clients have spent over $ 150,000.

Then Andy’s son Brian Marcus, who realized the commerce the identical method his father did, joined the corporate in 2003, returning to the East Coast after faculty and a short job as an assistant. manufacturing at a movie firm in Los Angeles.

“It is a job my household has at all times been passionately hooked up to,” stated Brian Marcus, 42, who lives in Tenafly, NJ Brian Marcus, who’s now president of the corporate, took over the corporate there was two years outdated when his father began slowing down. Her father nonetheless pictures weddings, meets with purchasers, and helps with photograph choice and album design.

“Being born on this subject, I used to be already one step forward as a result of purchasers trusted me,” stated Brian Marcus. They knew I had the information and the flexibility. Then I needed to hold their belief and show myself. Every single day I work to earn the respect that my father and grandfather earned.

Immediately, with out Andy or Brian, they’ve six full-time staff. This consists of the 2 photographers who work within the studio, cowl the weddings and maintain the manufacturing. Fifteen part-time staff assist with images, video and lighting.

They’ve photographed over 30,000 weddings, touring the world to seize {couples} on movie and video. A number of the celebrities they witnessed saying ‘sure’ embody: Mary Tyler Moore and Dr Robert Levine, Billy Baldwin and Chynna Phillips, Eddie Murphy and Nicole Mitchell, Mario’s daughter and granddaughter and Matilda Cuomo, and the daughter of Senator Chuck and Iris Schumer. In addition they photographed the weddings of Donald Trump and Marla Maples, and Ivanka and Jared Kushner.

“My dad knew find out how to take a photograph. Again then, you could not take a look at what you needed to see in the event you captured the couple, the cake, or the individuals dancing. You needed to believe in your self, ”stated Andy Marcus, who added that wedding ceremony and occasion affairs might be tedious work, seven days per week.“ It is robust in your private life. You’ll be able to miss loads of weekends and holidays with your loved ones since you are documenting different individuals celebrating them. “

However it’s in these celebrations that the Marcus household have spent their lives capturing and making a generational imprint.

“Seventy years in the past Fred Marcus photographed my dad and mom’ wedding ceremony, and 46 years in the past killed mine,” stated Judy Kaufthal, 67, of the Bronx. “It was a long-term relationship. I’ve recognized all of them. They made the weddings of my three sons. Fred, who was now not working, got here to my oldest son’s wedding ceremony simply to offer him a hug. It is a particular factor.

Within the wedding ceremony business, nostalgia is all the things.

“My dad had an exquisite method with individuals. He instructed me by no means to say “smile” to somebody. Speak to them as an alternative, ”stated Andy Marcus. “He constructed relationships. Then he saved them. I did it too. Brian too. That is how we proceed to maneuver ahead. That’s why we’re nonetheless right here.

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