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

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)
 

Marketing News Magazine, January 2017: The Year Ahead COVER!!!!

January 17, 2017 in Photography

Can we just take a moment to appreciate how GREAT John O’Brien‘s hair is????  Not only does he have great hair and give good face (I immediately thought about his eyebrows when I needed to find talent for this one!), but he is a consummate professional and truly one of my favorite collaborators!  With awesome talent in front of the camera, the coolest client and crew by my side, fueled by my favorite chef-how could a photographer ask for anything more???  Thanks so much to Marketing News Magazine for another super fun shoot!!!:) 🙂 🙂

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XOXO!!!:
Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Wardrobe Stylist: Sasha Hodges
Model: John O’Brien
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Catering: Andrea Donadio

Chicago Magazine, November 2016: Sean Connolly, ConAgra CEO

January 17, 2017 in Photography

Thanks to Chicago Magazine, we recently had the pleasure of having a little bit fun with ConAgra’s CEO, Sean Connolly, at their very cool office in the Merchandise Mart!  I was introduced to ConAgra brands very early in life; growing up, one of my first forms of “cooking” was heating up Chef Boyardee ravioli out of the can!  No offense to the original Chef Boiardi, but I’m happy to say I’ve learned a thing or two since then!;)  The same is true for ConAgra; they recently acquired Frontera foods and are now pushing brands like their Hunt’s Organic Tomatoes and Peter Pan Simply Ground Peanut Butter.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get Sean to squirt the Reddi Wip into his mouth for the shoot, but I may have a few cans here at the studio if anyone is interested!


XOXO!!!:
Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala
Retouching: Sarah Crump

 

Chicago Magazine, November 2016: The Superfan

November 3, 2016 in Photography

Woo hoo!!!! The Chicago Cubs won the world series for the first time in 108 years last night!! I think it’s fair to say that sports REALLY are not my thing, but I am one of the biggest fans of Chicago and I’m very happy for all of the fans of the Chicago Cubs!  I am especially happy for the lovely and talented Sarah Spain, a reporter on ESPN known for her love of all of the hometown Chicago teams!  I photographed this lovely super fan for Chicago Mag, and it was super fun to have her in the studio and hear all of her great stories.  Having played sports in high school and college, Sarah is an accomplished and impressive athlete in her own right, who now plays in rec leagues just for fun.  On top of that she graduated with honors (top 15% of her class!) and she is a graduate of the Second City Improv conservatory!  Sporty, smart, stunning, & a sense of humor-Sarah Spain truly is super!:)

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XOXO!!!:
Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Hair & Makeup: Jamie Tannenbaum, Chicago Makeup Artists
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!!!!!!

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

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XOXO!!!:
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!!!!!