Andrew Coppa

About

Born in Bath Beach Brooklyn where I still reside to this day across the street from my childhood home where my parents still live. I now have a family of my own including my wife Antoinette, son William, and daughter Andréa.

1969

Started obsessively drawing characters from “Saturday Night Fever”, “Grease”, and “Star Wars”.

1977-1978

Used 8mm camera to make multiple horror films with my friends usually I was the killer à la “Jason” or “Michael Myers” murdering my friends. Someone had to do it

1981

I graduated elementary school from St. Finbar’s in Brooklyn, then started Xavier High School in Manhattan.

1983

Really got into Heavy Metal (I regularly saw shows at hard rock club L’amours in Brooklyn) and Disco (at the time Clubs and Bars allowed underage kids with no problem) and drawing my favorite musicians Rob Halford, Madonna, and Ozzy.

1984

Graduated Xavier, Started Villanova University in Pennsylvania (Pretty campus but not a good fit for me).

1987

Transferred to Stony Brook University in Long Island (Better fit but still not for me).

1988

During summers and winter breaks was hired as a “set mover” for family friend Paul Cohen who owned and operated SilvaCone studios in NYC. (It was pure charity since I knew nothing other than how to lift heavy objects when I started but I became friends with the photographers and eventually learned to assist and shoot for them).

1989

Transferred to School of Visual Arts in Manhattan (Photography major, I finally found my place in the world).

1990

Took the first Photoshop class ever offered in any college in the country and it only had six students in the class. No one knew anything about it but I was instantly amazed and hooked, especially when I saw that I could draw on a picture in a computer with the ability to undo a mistake.

1990

Airbrushed a mural on “Lundy’ Brothers Restaurant” in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn. (A lot of the elements of the film “Grease” were worked into it).

1993

Graduated School of Visual Arts (So I went to college for 7 years which means I should be a Physician or something that justifies that much time, but I only have a BA and my dad who was paying wanted to kill me but it actually all worked out in the end).

1994

Was a PA at R/Greenberg associates (Great place, I made a lot of contacts there, still friends with some).

1994-1995

Started a photo retouching / restoration business in my parents’ basement. I learned a lot and worked like a dog but at the end of the day I needed to make more money than neighborhood people were willing to pay to fix up damaged photos of family members who had recently died.

1995-1997

Worked at Shoot Digital for professional photographers and Advertising agencies, (I learned a ton about high end boutique retouching, started doing a lot of Mark Seliger resale retouching work).

1997-1999

Founded Vis Vitae Studios with my business partner Marc Cohen (son of Paul Cohen mentioned above) specializing in boutique retouching (Our Dads’ were in the army together in the 1960’s, our families stayed close through the years and he had experience working for his dad then later himself so it was a good match).

1999

Opened doors and officially started doing business on Oct 1, 1999 (This is exactly one week before my 30th Birthday on Oct 8th).

1999

In August 2000 named as one of nine “Top creative pros” on the cover of “MacAddict Magazine” alongside Moby, Michael Kamen and other artists who used Macs in their creation process. I was also interviewed for the issue where I discussed a number of topics dealing with the latest software, technology, industry trends as well as retouching lessons and tips.

2000

We bought a new Leaf Cantare digital camera. (It really wasn’t great quality yet but we knew it would get better soon and it was instant gratification, unlike drum scanning chromes on our Tango after waiting to get film back from a lab which you hope hadn’t developed it improperly).

2000

Started getting involved with Healthcare Advertising agencies for Retouching, as well as Photo and Video shoots as a Photographer and Director.

2001

One of the co-founders and co-funders of “Perception” a NYC based design studio for TV and Film with some former PA’s from R/Greenberg associates (see 1994 notes above).

2001

Start shooting Celebrities, Reality TV stars, and musicians for cover shoots and inside spreads for “In Touch Magazine”, “Star”, “OK” and “Life and Style”.

2002

Leaf 22 camera back comes out which is a massive improvement. I start shooting, combining images, retouching and color correcting low res in real time during shoots so clients can see how a shoot was coming together and the directions in which I can push it. The impact this leap in technology had was as vast as comparing a rotary phone to an iphone.

2003

My son William is born.

2003

Got into CGI and started directing projects that are 3D with heavy use of Maya and incorporating into Video and still projects.

2003

Befriended “Apprentice” star Omarosa. Shot her dozens of times through the years as well as made a short film starring her “Soul Sistahs”. I can be seen briefly on two episodes of “The Apprentice” in 2008 and in 2013 Shooting and retouching her and her team during competition.

2004

Co-Founded and co-funded White Honey with business partners Heather Miele and Marc Cohen. White Honey specializes in Photography, Video, Retouching and 3D for the beauty and cosmetics industries.

2008

My daughter Andréa is born.

2009

Shot models for stills and video for new Stuart Weitzman e-commerce sight launch.

2010

Was seen on “Good Morning America” segment shooting Mackenzie Philips.

2010

Was on “The Real Housewives of New York” TV episode seen shooting Ramona Singer (Go to “Behind the Scenes” on my site to view).

2010

Shot Dyrenium drug campaign which was a MedAdNews finalist for “Best Professional Campaign”.

2011

Started sculpting (First live nudes with clay and classic techniques then digital with modern techniques go under “Fun” on my site to view).

2011

Shot “Combivent” drug campaign which won multiple “Trailblazer Awards”.

2012

Started shooting Video in 4K with Black Magic Camera.

2013

Continuing to learn and grow…

2015
Andrew Coppa