Our Lives Magazine, January 2015: Brian Firkus, the creator of Trixie Mattel

February 26, 2015 in Photography

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)  Trixie is going to be on TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)  This Monday, March 2nd on Logo TV you can watch Trixie compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 7)!!!!!!:)

Patrick Farabaugh, of Our Lives Magazine, literally made my day when he sent the email asking if I was interested in photographing the fabulous, Trixie Mattel!!!  Brian Firkus is the creator of Trixie and a photographer’s dream: model, hair & makeup artist, and costume designer all in one!  We talked about incorporating Brian’s hair & makeup talents into our concept which made me think about the Barbie Stylin’ Head I always wanted as a kid-my parents never bought me one because they knew I would have immediately chopped the hair off and cried!  The Doll Collector image was inspired by my Great Aunt Alda who used to display her collection of dolls in her bedroom, just out of my reach from me and my scissors!:)

♥♥♥!!!!!!!!!!!

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XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Brian Gladkowski, Angela Mata Moriarity
Stylist: Sasha Hodges
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla

Love for Trixie Mattel!!!♥♥♥♥♥

February 13, 2015 in Photography

I LOVE Trixie Mattel!!!

The moment I saw the first pic of Trixie, it was truly love at first sight!  Special thanks to our matchmaker, Patrick Farabaugh from Our Lives Magazine who set us up on our first date (keep an eye out for a TBT post soon!)!  During our first phone conversation my love just grew stronger; we talked about the color pink, Barbies, the 60’s, Jayne Mansfield, Miss Yvonne, dressing up, and having fun!  Talk about making my heart beat faster!!!:)

For Valentine’s Day, there was nothing I wanted more than to shower my lovely muse with handmade gifts of love which now I can share with you!  A VERY special thank you to my Valentine’s Day collaborators, most notably our amazing box artist, Emily Franklin, and the man of too many talents to list, Brian Gladkowski!

Starting on March 2nd, you can watch (and cheer on!!!) Trixie competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 7)-be sure to watch!!!!!!!!!:)

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XOXO!!!:
Man who does it all!: Brian Gladkowski
Handmade Box Artist: Emily Franklin
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla
Special thanks to: Sarah Crump, Jacqueline Ayala, Grace Allen, Angela Mata, Gonzalo Guzman & Bob Paulson

Chicago Magazine, November 2014: Suey Park

January 8, 2015 in Photography

One of the things I love most about my job is the opportunity to meet awesome and inspiring people!  I was super excited when Chicago Mag asked me to photograph internet activist, Suey Park!  After some extensive google stalking, we knew Ms. Park was going to be intelligent, informed and passionate.  At the shoot we learned on top of all of that, she is also funny, playful, and sweet!:)   Suey Park rocks!!!:)  Follow her on twitter @suey_park!

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XOXO!!!:
Assistant: Brian Gladkowski
Intern: Angela Mata
Hair & Makeup: Karen Brody
Bird Maker: Sarah Crump
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla

Halloween #3: The Raven-ess

November 6, 2014 in Photography

Last year we didn’t get to celebrate Halloween quite as much as I would like, but this year I think we are doing a pretty solid job!  It helps to have super cool friends who create AWESOME costumes and a crew who likes playing with trees and lights as much as I do!!!:)  Maybe Al Jourgensen said it best: (Everyday Is) Halloween!:)

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XOXO!!!:
Raven: Misha Shebesta
Costume: Misha Shebesta
Assistant: Brian Gladkowski
Intern: Angela Mata
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla
Catering: Bob Paulson

HALLOWEEN!!!!: Kokorokoko Style :)

October 31, 2014 in Photography

Here at the studio, we kicked off our Halloween celebration with one of my favorite Chicago stores, Kokorokoko, where you can find the COOLEST 80’s & 90’s vintage wear*!!:) Celebrate with Koko tonight at The Hideout’s Halloween 80’s party!

*Crow and Wusthof knife not included;)

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XOXO!!!:
Wardrobe: Kokorokoko
Stylist: Sasha Hodges
Models: Jo Cøntrol & Daniella DeLuna
Makeup: Jo Cøntrol & Daniella DeLuna
Assistant: Brian Gladkowski
Intern: Angela Mata
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla

Baphomet: Devil dude

October 31, 2014 in Behind the Scenes, Photography

My friend, Chris Martiniano, asked if I would be interested in photographing his Halloween costume; I OF COURSE said YES!!!:)  I may have nightmares later, but I think it was worth it!:)

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 XOXO!!!:
Baphomet: Chris Martiniano
Stylist: Sasha Hodges
Assistants: Brian Gladkowski & Grace Allen
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla
Special thanks ♥ ♥ ♥ to our fellow scavenger Nicolette Meyer & to Bob Paulson for craft service!!

VAN GOGH! VAN GOGH! VAN GOGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 11, 2014 in Photography

A few weeks ago, when a friend of mine asked me to photograph his original Van Gogh watercolor painting, my immediate reply was, “Yes!” but what I was really thinking was, “YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) :) :)”

It was a pleasure and an honor to cradle a REAL Van Gogh in my arms before gently hanging it on the studio wall and clicking the shutter!:)  I am incredibly thankful to have a profession that not only allows me the opportunity to create and collaborate with amazing people but also provides incredible life experiences like this one!  I truly have the coolest job in the world!!!!!:) :) :)

The painting, Head of a Peasant Woman, 1884-1885, watercolour, cm 27 x 20 x63 can be seen at the Palazzo Reale, in Milan, October 18th, 2014-March 8, 2015.

Van Gogh, Head of a Paesant Woman, 1884-1885, watercolour, cm 27 x 20 x63

Special thanks to my new intern, Grace Allen (or Grace Kelly as we affectionately call her around here!) for helping out!:)Predko_VanGogh_90614_30606_Blog2

 

Brian Azzarello is AWESOME!!!!!!!

April 22, 2014 in Photography

So, for Christmas my parents gave me a Wonder Woman snuggie… :)

Actually it’s not a snuggie, it’s a “Comfy Throw, The Blanket With Sleeves”.  I’m not quite sure how I feel about blankets with sleeves, but my love of Wonder Woman started at a very young age!!  I used to be the very proud owner of Wonder Woman Underoos which I would wear while watching the WW TV show starring the incredibly beautiful Lynda Carter <swoon!>.  But enough about me, I really want to tell you how super awesome Brian Azzarello is!:)

Brian Azzarello gets paid to write comic books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  More specifically, he’s currently writing the new series Wonder Woman for DC Comics!!!!!  OMG!!!!!!:)  This is definitely high in ranking for coolest job in the world!!!:)  I first had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Azzarello back in 2008 thanks to Crain’s Chicago Business and his love of baseball.  I have to admit I was a little nervous when I presented the concept to him, luckily I was able to woo him with the promise of fun and fancy beer!   This is our 3rd (and by far the best!) shoot we’ve done together-I hope you like it too!:)  If you are in Chicago, go say hi to Brian this weekend, April 25-27 2014, he will be signing autographs and speaking on some panels at C2E2-bring your snuggie!

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XOXO!!!:
Stylist: Sasha Hodges (be sure to also check out her AWESOME store Kokorokoko!!!)
Assistant: Brian Gladkowski
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla
Great Gift Givers: Mom and Dad Predko
 
 

 

The Original Instagram (The Captive Audience)

March 25, 2014 in Photography

I was incredibly excited when ProGear Rental asked me to test out the new Phase One IQ 250 digital back!:) FINALLY a medium format capture system that works well with high ISOs!!!:)  I promptly called one of my favorite collaborators, the incredibly talented hair & makeup artist, Martina Sykes, to get together for concepting.  Brainstorming low-light situations, Martina said something about a projector which immediately made me think of my slide projector collection (yes, I did say collection!).  As a kid, I used to entertain/bore/torture my friends by making them watch slideshows of family photos.  Slideshows were kind of like the original Instagram-a place to gather your friends and force them to watch photos of a tropical paradise while enduring a horrendous snowstorm, endless selfies (yes, there were self timers back in the day!), twenty photos in a row of the same thing, baby’s first everything, pet butts, tails, and blurs because either your shutter speed or your trigger finger were slow, etc. etc.  Did I mention, I LOVE slideshows AND Instagram?!!!:) ♥♥♥

A special thank you to Doug Sperling at ProGear, Sage Reed for giving me that amazing black dress with rhinestones (sorry it’s hard to see under that amazing white fur!), as well as my AMAZING cast and crew!!!  I am truly honored to work with so many talented people who are also my friends!:)
XOXO!!!!!!!:
 
Cast:
The World Traveler: Suzanne Pride
Audience (l to r):
John T. O’Brien (hire this handsome fella!!!!!)
Tomislav Anton Schiller
Carla Kessler (hire this lovely lady too!!!  If you are lucky she may even play the ukelele for you!!!!!!!)
Demian Nájera
Delilah Moreno
 
Crew:
Assistants: Brian Gladkowski & Emily Franklin
Digital Tech: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla & Sarah Crump
Stylist: Melanie Francis
Hair & Makeup: Martina Sykes & Cindy Shute
 
**Slideshow photographs in the mirror: Courtesy of James Predko (circa 1982) If you were friends with me in the 80’s you may recognize these!;)
 
THANK YOU Mom and Dad Predko for not only sending me all of those slide carousels for the shoot but for consistently encouraging my love of photography from a very early age!  Best Mom & Dad EVER!!!!!!:)
 

Chicago Magazine, March 2014: Marcus Gardley

March 7, 2014 in Photography

Our recent time spent with Marcus Gardley was much too short!  This guy IS GREAT!!!:)  This handsome man is not only a super talented poet & playwright, he is super sweet too!:)  His play, The Gospel of Lovingkindness, is playing at Victory Gardens Theater until March 30,2014-go check it out!!!  Thank you Chicago Magazine for another fantastic assignment!!!:)

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XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Brian Gladkowski & Lauren Butterfield
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla