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!!!!!

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

IL Meetings + Events, Spring 2016: Debbie Sharpe

March 23, 2016 in Photography

I was super excited when IL M+E asked me to photograph a woman who loves Chicago, food, and music as much as I do!:)  Debbie Sharpe has quite the resumé as a self taught rock-n-roll caterer; luckily, she also shares her amazing food with the masses through her multiple Goddess and Grocer locations as well as Feast Restaurant (I think about their wasabi mashed potatoes probably a little too much!!).  It was truly a pleasure to spend a morning with her at the G&G Bucktown location chatting, drinking (GREAT) coffee, and of course taking pictures-Debbie Sharpe is AWESOME!!!  Keep an eye out for the newest Goddess and Grocer in Andersonville, scheduled to open on March 1!!!:)

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XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala & Tom Michas 
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla

2016: A Happy Trixie New Year!!!

December 31, 2015 in Photography

It’s been said, you are supposed to spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in preparation for what you want to happen in the upcoming year.  There is nothing I want more than to spend the next year working with my favorite (& future favorite!!) creative collaborators!  Checkout this very special NYE shoot we did yesterday with one of my favorite creative babes, the ultra fabulous Trixie Mattel!!!:) 🙂 🙂  Wishing everyone the best for the new year!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOX!!!!!!!!!

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XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Brian Gladkowski & Tom Michas
Intern:  Travon Newbern
(You can’t ever have too much glitter & rhinestones) Prop Artist: Emily Franklin
Clock Fabricator/Problem Solver: Dane Larsen
Retouching: Sarah Crump

Ashley Aspiranti is moving….to the suburbs….of Virginia?!?!?!!!

September 30, 2015 in Photography

When my girlfriend Ashley told me she was going to be moving away from Chicago, she asked if I wanted to do a shoot before she (literally!) packed her bags-the answer, of course, YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!:)

I first met Ashley on the internet in 2005 when I was looking for a model for a Chicago Magazine photo shoot. At the time, she was fairly new to Chicago and her mom didn’t want her to come by my studio for a go-see fearing I might be a creepy photographer with ill intentions-LOL!!!!:)  Several years and several photo shoots later, I’m so happy to call this lovely lady a friend!  Wishing you the best in your next adventure girl-I know we will cross paths again soon!!!  XOXOXOX!!!!

XOXO!!!:
Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala 
Intern: Tom Michas 
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla

 

5th Annual Slow & Low: Chicago Community Lowrider Festival

August 11, 2015 in Fun, Photography, Video

From the moment I heard about the 5th Annual Slow & Low: Chicago Community Lowrider Festival, I was literally counting the days until I could visit this little piece of “Lisa Heaven”!!!!!!!  I’m in LOVE with the artistry, attention to detail(!!!), but most of all the engineering-I saw an El Camino FLY on Sunday (check out the video at the end of this post!)!!!  Seriously, how is this even possible?!?!?!?!?!  So many cool vintage & custom cars-my heart was exploding with joy!!!:) With 2 of my favorite ladies on my arms I got to take SOOOOO many photos!!!!  Check out some of my favorites, below.  🙂 🙂 🙂

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The 606!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 5, 2015 in Photography

THE 606 OPENS THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

I’ve literally been counting the days until Chicago’s first elevated park opens on the old Bloomingdale train line-I am SO excited!!!!!!  

This is definitely one of those “pinch myself because I must be dreaming” jobs-my heart is exploding with love for this incredible campaign!!!!!!!  Amazing project, awesome talent, the coolest clients, and THE BEST crew!!!!!!!!!  

I didn’t think it was possible, but summer in Chicago just got even better!!!  Keep your eyes peeled around town for our awesome pics-they are literally going to be everywhere!!!!  And of course, keep an eye out for me when you go visit The 606!!!!!!  

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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