RUNNING: My FAVORITE Chicago Band (!!!!!!!!!)

October 24, 2016 in Photography

On Friday, February 8th, 2013 I attended Becca Mann‘s (AWESOME) Art Show, Wane’s World: A History of “Things” at The Soccer Club Club.  It was approximately 10pm, the gallery was packed, and my conversation was halted by very loud guitar feedback demanding my attention.  An eruption of sound ensued, and the only importance was this incredible trio in the middle of the room-I felt like they were playing just for me!  I was mesmerized, elated, and I wanted more!

Running’s music is the perfect mix of noise and punk that I can also shake my hips to!:)  I have so much love for their music and I feel a special kindred in the way we think about concept and humor in our art!  In an age of over indulgent selfie culture, I TRULY appreciate a band who describes their name as “intentionally ungoogleable”.  Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present my FAVORITE Chicago band, Running!:)

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Running 💗💗💗: Jeffrey Tucholski, Matthew Hord, Alejandro Morales
Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

IL Meetings + Events, Fall 2016: Nate’s Ice

October 18, 2016 in Photography

I occasionally, ALMOST, feel bad because I LOVE my job so much!!!  On one of the hottest summer days, Jackie and I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing, the very cool, Nate Johnson of Johnson Studios Ice Sculptures for Illinois Meetings and Events Magazine!  We spent the morning at Nate’s studio near Midway, listening to punk music, chatting in between power tool motors revving, taking fun pics to share with you and SWEATING!  I was surprised to learn Nate actually likes working in the heat because it softens the edges a bit!:)  An awesome day with a super talented guy-Nate Johnson rocks!!!:)

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Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

Marketing News Magazine, September 2016: Customer Experience COVER!!!!

September 15, 2016 in Photography

We had SUCH a great time creating this cool color story for The Customer Experience COVER of Marketing News Magazine!!!:)  This was a day spent with some of my favorite people and a gorgeous girl who I’ve only been social media friends with (for four years) patiently waiting for the right project to shoot her!  Special thanks to my friend Geoff Benge (check out the AWESOME guitars he makes here!); back in July of 2012,  he suggested I photograph our very lovely and sweet model, Randi!  Sometimes these things take time!!;)  Speaking of time, big thanks to our AWESOME Art Director, Vince Cerasani, who I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating on projects with for more than 10 years (how cool is that?!?!!!)!  And MORE thanks to our INCREDIBLE hand model, Chris Martiniano; the first time this guy walked in front of my camera lens was back in 2003 as part of a Captain Morgan shoot!!!  Counting the years makes me feel grateful and appreciative-you guys rock!!!! XOXOX!!!!!!


Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Hair & Makeup:Jamie Tannenbaum, Chicago Makeup Artists
Model: Randi Dowling
Hand Model: Chris Martiniano
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

Michele Pred: My Body My Business

September 6, 2016 in Photography

A few months ago the lovely Megan Colleen McGlynn was so sweet to connect the AMAZING artist, Michele Pred, and I at a Girlsday event (thank you Megan!!!)!  I immediately fell in love with Michele’s work as I FULLY support the same feminist and pro-choice agenda!  Her current series, “Promote the General Welfare”, features vintage purses adorned with feminist themed neon text.  I suggested Ms. Pred come by the studio the next time she was in town to take some fun pics; I also wanted to get to know Michele better and hear more about her work!:)  Make sure you check out more of her art on her website:  Rumor has it the Vote purse may now be in the hands of one of our presidential candidates… something tells me its not Trump!!!:) 🙂 🙂
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Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Intern: Dolly Nguyen
Hair & Makeup: Karen Brody, Chicago Makeup Artists
Voting Booth Fabricator: Emily Franklin
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla and Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

Chicago Magazine, September 2016: Best Public Schools COVER!!!!

August 31, 2016 in Photography

Great news!!! The Best Public Schools Issue of Chicago Mag has been released…AND I shot the COVER!!!!!!!!!!:) 🙂 🙂  A dream job with a dream team; I’ve literally been counting the days until I could share it with you!!!

For this concept, CM’s Design Director, Kathy Shady, was inspired by the movie The Breakfast Club which just happens to be one of my favorite John Hughes movies (filmed in Chicagoland!!)!!  Five high school students from vastly different clique’s meet in detention, bond over their opposition to their condescending principal, and realize they actually aren’t that different from each other.  If you haven’t seen it, add it to your list!

We had a great time creating our school set in the studio; locker transport is definitely a team effort btw!  Our super rad stylist Sasha did a great job updating the looks for our own Breakfast Club, and our talent was AWESOME!!!  Before the shoot, a few even watched the movie (with adult supervision of course!) to learn the characters to get deeper into their roles.  Keep an eye on these kids, they are already Pros! 🙂 🙂 🙂  Thanks SO MUCH to an incredible cast and crew, I can’t wait for our next fun project!!!!!!!

Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas, Madeline Telford
Wardrobe/Prop Stylist Extraordinaire: Sasha Hodges
Stylist Assistant: Alisa Alig
Hair & Makeup: Jamie Tannenbaum, Chicago Makeup Artists
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla and Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Special thanks to Ross Kelly, Gustavo Donoso, and Clinton Saldana!!!!!

Teresa Córdova: Great Cities Institute

August 3, 2016 in Photography

I recently had the pleasure of photographing UIC’s Great Cities Institute Director, Teresa Córdova, who is also Professor of Urban Planning and Policy in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, and affiliate of the Departments of Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies-WOW!!!  One of the best parts of my job is meeting so many admirable and accomplished ladies!:)

Great Cities Institute is indeed pretty great; in the quest for improving the quality of life in Chicago, it’s metropolitan areas, and cities throughout the world, they use research to create solutions for urban problems.  You can learn more by visiting the lecture series on their website and they have an event coming up on September 15th, the 2016 UIC Urban forum Jobs and the Labor Force of Tomorrow: Migration, Training, Education.

Before I met Teresa Córdova I was told, “She’s very smart, you will like her!”  Both couldn’t be more true!:)  We all had a great time at the shoot; Teresa chatted with us about the awesome work Great Cities is doing, what it was like to live in the southwest, how much we all love Chicago, and she even turned us onto some great music to work to at the studio!!!  Thanks so much Teresa!!!:)


Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Intern: Bailey LeCat
Hair & Makeup: Jamie Tannenbaum, Chicago Makeup Artists
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

Chicago Lawyer Magazine, May 2016: The Women Leading Big Law

June 29, 2016 in Photography

It was such a pleasure to meet and photograph these four awesome ladies for the cover of Chicago Lawyer Magazine, each of them an equity partner in their respective firms!  Citing the CL article, “…only 22.4% of all partners among responding firms are women.”-YIKES!!!  From left to right, I present to you four very inspirational women: Kerryann Haase Minton from Micheal Best & Friedrich, Lisa Scruggs from Duane Morris, Mary Wilson from Denton, and Linda Myers from Kirkland & Ellis. With my affinity for old movies, I particularly love Linda Myers’ anecdote about watching Adam’s Rib (1949) as a kid and being inspired by Katherine Hepburn’s strong feminist lawyer character!:) To read more about these awesome ladies, check out the article here!


Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala
Intern: Dolly Nguyen
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla

Happy Father’s Day!!! (subtitle: If Trixie Mattel had daughters)

June 16, 2016 in Photography

I think it only makes sense to start out a Father’s Day blog post by telling everyone my dad is THE BEST (my mom too of course!)!  I am truly lucky to have amazing and supportive parents who constantly encourage me even when my ideas might be a little crazy!:) 🙂 🙂

Trixie Mattel/Brian Firkus and I are constantly brainstorming fun ideas for new photographs and we both wanted to honor dads this month.  The idea of shooting Brian as a non-Trixie character was too good to pass up!  After some extensive research, I found the perfect family of triplets for us to foster.  May I present Jackie, Roxy, and Dolly – 3 tough little gals that are looking better than ever after their trip to the hair salon!  Our set was inspired in part by the television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; I LOVE the details like the window frame with no window and the house plant behind it!:)  I wonder if my parents realized how much the “Neighborhood of Make-Believe” was going to influence my life!;)  Happy Father’s Day to all of the awesome dads out there (especially mine!!)!!!


Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala
Wardrobe Stylist: Sasha Hodges
Interns: Dolly Nguyen, Roxy Yang
Retouching: Jeff Whitlock

My Beyoncé Lovin’ Babes!

June 9, 2016 in Photography

A few weeks ago, some of my loveliest ladies dressed up to go see the amazing Beyoncé perform here in Chicago.  After seeing what they were planning to wear, I couldn’t help but build them a set! 💖💖💖💖💖


Retouching: Sarah Crump

Happy Trixie Easter!!!

March 25, 2016 in Photography

I think it’s pretty clear I want to spend ALL of my holidays with my favorite muse, Trixie Mattel!!!:) 🙂 🙂  I’m not sure if you have heard, but Trixie has moved to Hollywood to become an even bigger star!!!  In honor of the move, our latest shoot was inspired by vintage movie star promotional photographs combined with a little bit of creepy bunny to help celebrate the holiday!  Also, just for the record, rabbits are known to be herbivores and no baby chicks were harmed in the making of these photographs!  Hope you all have a Happy Trixie Easter!!!  XOXO!!!!

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Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Brian Gladkowski, & Tom Michas
Intern:  Travon Newbern
Prop Artist: Emily Franklin
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla