Chicago Magazine, August 2017: Jason Benetti

September 14, 2017 in Photography

Thanks to a VERY busy summer, I’m a little behind in blogging, but I couldn’t pass up telling you Jason Benetti is a very cool guy and it was such a pleasure shooting him for Chicago Magazine!:)  The day we shot was one of those sweltering 90+ degree days with lots of humidity and intermittent torrential downpours-but we had sun and blue sky at all of the right times!!!  From the moment we met, Jason was cracking jokes and I knew this was going to be a fun shoot regardless of the weather!  Contrary to popular belief, I actually have a TINY bit of White Sox knowledge (thanks Robbie V.!), but once I learned Mr. Benetti was from the Homewood-Flossmoor area-all I really wanted to talk to him about was the AWESOME pizza from the original Aurelio’s (the old oven and extra crispy is THE BEST!!!)!:)

XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Intern: Samantha Lare Presser
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

Marketing News Magazine, June 2017: The 2017 AMA Gold Top 50 Report

June 2, 2017 in Photography

Gold on gold on gold!!!  We are definitely still finding glitter and sequins around the studio after this one; every time I see the little twinkle of light, it just reminds me how much I love shooting with Vince for Marketing News Magazine and collaborating with my AMAZING team!  Can we just take an extra moment to admire those gorgeous hands and that awesome cake?  The AMA Gold Top 50 Report is a list of the top 50 revenue-generating market research firms in the US; previously called the Honomichl report, I feel super lucky our cover story was after the name change!:)  Check out our super fun pics below!

 

XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Model: Sarah Uchison
Food Stylist/Caterer Extraordinaire/She Does It ALL!: Andrea Donadio
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

Chicago Magazine, May 2017: Samantha Irby

May 22, 2017 in Photography

Would you believe this is my THIRD photo shoot with the AWESOME Samantha Irby for Chicago Magazine?!?!!!  I feel pretty lucky every time the phone rings with a job, but this one in particular!!!  I can’t rave about Samantha enough; her blog, Bitches Gotta Eat, and her most recent book, We are Never Meeting in Real Lifeare both LOL funny and MUST READS!!!!!  The first two times I photographed her in 2013, Sam and I were both experiencing pretty severe physical pain-it’s funny how empathy for pain can immediately make you feel connected to someone.  During both of those shoots, Samantha made me smile and laugh so much I almost forgot how I really just wanted to lay on the floor and cry; laughter is truly some of the best medicine!!!

Fast forward to April 2017, when Chicago Mag asked if I would drive to Michigan to photograph her-it was the perfect opportunity to ask two of my favorite babes (Andrea Donadio & Jacqueline Ayala) to roadtrip to Kalamazoo to photograph Samantha & then drive just a little further to visit Mom and Dad Predko!  So awesome to share my childhood home complete with Mom Predko’s famous margaritas and a little middle school nostalgia (thanks to Nick Gavrilides & Josh Lane for our awesome meal at Gracie’s!).  But let’s get back to Samantha Irby!!!! Did you hear she now has a development deal with FX for a series inspired by her book Meaty, and Abbi Jacobson from Broad City <swoon!> is one of the executive producers?!!!!!!  I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!  💗 💗 💗 💗

XOXO!!!:
Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala
Makeup: TaBetha Morrison
Driver/Favorite Roadtrip Partner: Andrea Donadio
Retouching: Sarah Crump

Trixie Mattel & Brian Firkus: Two Birds

May 2, 2017 in Photography

Today is a very exciting day for country music!  Currently, my collection includes legends such as Dolly, Johnny, Hank (1 & 3), Patsy, and Loretta; as of today, Brian & Trixie join these master crooners!!!!!!!  I am SOOOO excited to promote the release of drag legend Trixie Mattel/Brian Firkus‘s FANTASTIC new album, Two Birds, now available on iTunes!!!!!!  As always, it was such a pleasure collaborating with the AMAZING Trixie on this super fun conceptual shoot!  Inspiration for the album art was drawn from 60s and 70s country albums with a little bit of “Green Acres” thrown in there too (so in love with those sets & Eva Gabor <sigh>!!!). Trixie is the kind of client I throw out all the stops for-this includes taking a machete to the park, asking the ex-husband for a favor, and bringing into the studio tall grass (I’m highly allergic to) with fragile fuzzy plumes that shed EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!  Don’t worry, I survived and I’m thrilled with our collaboration; check out our awesome new pics below and go give the album a listen!:)

XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Intern: Jiaqi Li
Prop Assist: Amber Halaka
Fence: Emotive Reclaim, check out Rob’s AWESOME work here: website and Instagram
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Special thanks: Robbie Vasquez III

Marketing News Magazine, April/May 2017: The Human Side of Social Media

April 27, 2017 in Photography

This super fun photo illustration is brought to you with many thanks to one of our favorite editorial clients, Marketing News Magazine!  When the amazing Vince emails me with a project and describes it as “weird/fun/I’m excited”, the only response could be YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We had such a fun time creating and piecing together all of the different elements for this one-make sure to also click play on the animation!  An awesome day filled with some of my favorite people (including the best leg and hand models in town!) and fueled with only the BEST food!!!!!  Please bring me more of your weird and fun-I’M EXCITED!!!!!!!!!:)

XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Costume Designer: Amber Halaka
My favorite hand model: Chris Martiniano
Snapchat model/the best legs in town: Jacqueline Ayala
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Catering: Andrea (OMG the risotto!!!!) Donadio 

Chicago Magazine, April 2017: Sandra Delgado

April 6, 2017 in Photography

Chicago Magazine, I hope you know how much I love you, because I REALLY REALLY do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)  Thanks so much for asking me to photograph the extremely lovely and multi-talented Sandra Delgado who wrote and is starring in the play La Havana Madrid at the Steppenwolf, April 14-May 21, 2017.  Based on a Caribbean nightclub her parents used to visit in Chicago in the 1960’s and featuring a live band, seeing this play is high on my to do list!  Big thanks to fellow photographer, Joel Maisonet, for letting us borrow his mic! And an even bigger thanks to Kami Bremyer for gifting me the super fab barkcloth fabric SEVERAL years ago, I was just waiting for the perfect shoot!!!  XOXO!!!!!!

XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Intern: Jiaqi Li
Hair & Makeup: Unwana Rose, Chicago Makeup Artists
Wardrobe Stylist: Elsa Hiltner (also the costume designer for La Havana Madrid!!)
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Special Thanks!!: Kami Bremyer, Joel Maisonet
 

IL Meetings + Events, Winter 2017: Alpana Singh

April 4, 2017 in Photography

The first time I photographed Alpana Singh was in 2004 as part of an annual report for WTTW, Channel 11; I was already a fan as she was a local celebrity as the host of Check Please! and a restaurant rockstar as the sommelier of Everest, receiving acknowledgements for becoming the youngest woman to achieve the rank of Master Sommelier (a test with a success rate of 1-3%)! <Applause!!!>  I was thrilled when Illinois Meetings and Events gave me another opportunity to photograph her 13 years later!:)  She has since added to her list of credits former Director of Wine and Spirits for the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (no wonder they always had such good wine!), a book, several awards, and most recently she has become a restaurateur opening her third restaurant, Terra and Vine, last fall in Evanston.  Throughout, she has also made time to give to numerous charities-does this awesome lady ever sleep??????  Thanks Alpana for a super fun shoot, hope to see you again in 13 years (or less!)!!!:)

XOXO!!!:
Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

Chicago Magazine, March 2017: Amy Dickinson

March 23, 2017 in Photography

Unfortunately we weren’t able to travel to advice columnist Amy Dickinson‘s rural upstate NY home for our recent Chicago Magazine shoot, so we created a little rural NY in the studio! Our set was made complete with a few very satisfying small details, like our amazing stylist Amber Halaka finding a giant creamer just like the one one Amy’s mailbox actually sits in!!!!???  Special thanks to Rob Christopher from Emotive Reclaim for letting us borrow his fence (make sure to check out his website and Instagram, he makes very cool stuff) and to Nick Lippert for connecting us (Nick also makes very cool stuff)!!!!!!!!!!!!  Our day in the studio with Amy was quite lovely and the perfect escapism/”pick me up” to counter balance the thoughts and feelings we were having on Inauguration Day-how could we have picked anyone better to spend our day with than “Ask Amy”?  Amy Dickinson is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!:) 🙂 🙂  Pick up her latest book, “Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home”, here!:)

 
XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Wardrobe and Prop Stylist: Amber Halaka
Hair & Makeup: Unwana Rose, Chicago Makeup Artists
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Fence: Emotive Reclaim
Amy’s Awesome Eyewear: Labrabbit Optics (thank you Coyote!!!!!!!)

Marketing News Magazine, February 2017: The Analytics Issue COVER featuring Kelsey Conner!!!!!

February 7, 2017 in Photography

I have to admit, it NEVER gets old seeing my work on another magazine cover, ESPECIALLY when the cover woman is someone I like as much as as this AWESOME lady (who just happens to be a marketing professional!)!!!!!! It was a little tough negotiating with Kelsey’s agent, but luckily I was able to offer a few extra perks like a special dinner cooked by my favorite chef/Kelsey’s former boss (thank you Andrea!) complete with pink champagne (to compliment the set of course!) as well as unlimited hugs and adoration (we love you Kelsey!!!!!!!!!!!!)!!!! Special thanks to Vince Cerasani for all the time spent creating our letters (not composited btw!!!) and Marketing News Magazine for another REALLY fun shoot!:) I’m happy to say we’ve been on a roll with fantastic cover ladies and there are more to come!!!!:)

XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Wardrobe Stylist: Jacqueline Ayala, Pink Blouse: Joan Predko (my original Woman as Hero!)
Model and Hair & Makeup: Kelsey Conner
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Catering: Andrea Donadio
Special Thanks to Asha Spencer for standing while she worked for 2 days while we borrowed her chair!!! ?

Chicago Magazine, February 2017: 50 Best Bars Cover!!!!

February 2, 2017 in Photography

WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANOTHER Chicago Magazine cover!!!! How did we get so lucky?!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂  We had a super fun day playing dress up with the incredibly lovely and sweet mixologist Julia Momose, formerly of Green River!  At the end of the shoot, we even had a chance to break out our special pink elephant glasses when Julia offered to make us all one of her signature cocktails!:)  Julia has yet to announce her next endeavors but we will be sure to be watching her twitter and instagram for the moment she does!

XOXO!!!:
Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Wardrobe Stylist: Sasha Hodges
Makeup: David Grant
Hair: Caitlin Krenz, Factor Chosen Artist Division
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)