Zoo Time: Commercial Shoot in Prison for Rapper DeLaZoo

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So you think my more than decade-long corporate office experience only benefited my business skills and ethics? A part of it led me to prison.

Let’s bring some clarity: the sentenced service was to conduct a commercial shoot, and the prison is now abandoned. I worked there twice already, once for my Gothic Rennaisance pals’ sick commercial shoot, and another time for an engaged couple (they are rad and one of them is a photographer). I also brought 12-year-old girls there once for a quick “bring-your-kids-to-work” type of tour. So you see it’s not too bad, although illegal and unsighty.

Some may know that I worked at Forest Laboratories for 11 years prior to quitting to become a full-time photographer and wholly devote myself to running Zorz Studios. I stay in touch with many of the former co-workers and one of them approached me with this project for a young recording artist DeLaZoo who was flown from the Chicago area. He is a young rapper featured in the video below (not appropriate for children!) and more on his YouTube channel.

YouTube player


The location was chosen by the production team from several options. I learned during the preparation that only an emotionally neutral image was needed to work into with the vexing backdrop so I had to be easy on my expressive posing and fervor. 🙂


Check out this behind-the-scene shot from Instagram for a better idea of the workplace:

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.

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