By: Jonathan Baca, Senior Reporter | Photo By: Jonathan Gamboa, Production Manager
Computer Information major Jose Pedraza said he recently opened Zay Studios on the west side as a one-stop shop for photography, video and music recording.
Family photos, head shots, music videos, documentaries, and music recordings are all services offered at the studio, said Pedraza.
“I saw other people being successful in this tough economy, and I thought I could do that too,” said Pedraza.
Pedraza said he recently moved to Albuquerque from Hobbs, NM, where he had a successful recording studio business. He was doing well with a new job at Intel when he was suddenly laid off and decided it was the right time to open his own business again, he said.
“I had a successful business in Hobbs,” he said. “So I said, ‘I still got most of the equipment, why don’t we give it a try here?’”
Zay Studios is unique because of the variety of services available, he said. A phot o g r a phy and video studio with green screen, a recording studio with an electronic drum set and soundproof recording booth, and all the computers and software needed to edit, mix, master and produce are available in his studio, he said.
In the photography studio, Zay Studios offers professional quality holiday cards and family portraits, with optional touch-up work and special effects, said Pedraza.
For musicians, Pedraza said he can record, mix and master anything the customer wants. For hip hop artists, customers can either bring beats they have made themselves or purchase original music tracks from Pedraza. Once the lyrics are recorded he can mix the tracks and even help customers mass produce their own CDs.
“Anything you want, we’ll find a way to do it,” he said.
Zay Studios also produces video documentaries; a service Pedraza said is unique. He got the idea when his girlfriend graduated high school. He filmed family and friends in front of a green screen, where they shared memories and advice for the graduate, he said. He then edited them together and produced a DVD that could be given out as a gift. He said he feels it creates a unique family record that is perfect for weddings, graduations and holidays, or for people who want to preserve their family history on tape.
“It’s easier than other videos, and it is more powerful because it is so personal,” he said.
He credits his strong work ethic to his childhood, when he often worked in the fields near his home from dawn to dusk to help his single mother, said Pedraza.
“Compared to that, this is really nothing,” he said.
He said that starting a small business in today’s economy is risky and difficult, but that he enjoys the challenge.
“Nobody knows me and there is more competition here. But for me, I have the idea, so I have to do it,” he said.
The idea grew so he rented an office space and set up shop. Since then he has focused on spreading the word about the wide array of services he provides, said Pedraza. He said he advertises anywhere he can, even handing out brochures outside supermarkets.
Pedraza said he feels that staying optimistic and learning from his mistakes have been the secrets to his success.
“You always have to try something to get anywhere. I’ve had some tough times, lost everything; you just have to stay positive and climb the ladder back up again,” he said.
Zay Studios can be contacted at 933-9297. Students and employees can ask about the CNM discount.