Chicago Reader, March 1st 2018: Towkio

March 7, 2018 in Photography

This shoot started with Vince Cerasani sending me one of the best texts ever, “I emailed you…Reader shoot…rapper…space suit…”!:)  I love Vince (& Jamie!!), I love the Reader, I love rap, I LOVVVVVVVE space!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I was a kid, I can remember looking through a telescope into the night sky with my dad and brother thinking about what a mystery it all was and how small we are in comparison to the universe-MIND BLOWING!  As an adult, contemplating space can really help put things in perspective.  It’s a great reminder for me that the universe is big and life is short, day to day bullshit is insignificant, and it’s important to not only put good energy out into the world connecting with people and nature but to also be thankful and appreciate for what I have.💗💗💗

One of the things I’m most thankful for is the opportunity to create these crazy images I see in my head and to do it with people I LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)  An extra shout out to my favorite beach babes Amber & Isil who didn’t let me die while I was shooting Lake Michigan shelf ice for our moonscape-WARNING this is legit dangerous!!!!  Coincidentally, one of the last times the three of us were together on this beach we fell asleep watching shooting stars. #oneoflifesbest

I digress!  Shooting Chicago’s own Towkio was AWESOME; it was a pleasure having him in the studio and he was a fantastic collaborator!  His song, 2 Da Moon, was inspiration for our alien dance party.  Check out his recent trip into space as well as his latest album WWW.!!!

If Towkio and I had our high school senior portrait taken together, I imagine it would have looked something like this!  LOL!!!:

Michigan Moonscapes:

Studio Assistants: Tom Michas, Taylor Cairns
Location Assistants: Amber Halaka, Isil Cinar
Grooming: Karen Brody (Chicago Makeup Artists)
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Alien(s): Taylor Cairns
And special thanks to Kathy Maloney!!!!!!!!:) 🙂 🙂

Ashley & Shawn: Separate Togetherness (The Engagement)

February 14, 2018 in Photography

When Ashley & Shawn shared with me the big news of their upcoming nuptials, I couldn’t wait to collaborate on fun engagement pics with the happy couple!  Ashley (knowing the way to my heart) presented me with some inspiration images, including a 1961 cover of Playboy and the concept of “Separate Togetherness”.  Add in inspiration from one of my favorite movies, Pillow Talk, a bunch of personal details pertaining to Ashley & Shawn, one of my favorite photographers, Colleen Durkin, as stylist/co-art director and the super fab hair & makeup stylings of Jezabel Carolina Rico and this is what you get!:) 🙂 🙂


Assistant & Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Styling: Colleen Durkin
Hair & Makeup: Jezabel Carolina Rico

Chicago Magazine, Democratic Candidates for Governor: November 2017, December 2017, and January 2018

January 12, 2018 in Photography

A billionaire, a Kennedy, and a mathematician all walk into a……photo studio, separately, on different days, to be photographed for Chicago Mag by yours truly!:)  It was a pleasure meeting these three gentlemen and I appreciated the opportunity to encourage the legalization of marijuana as well as voicing to them my concerns about the changing color temperatures of our cities’ street lights (and this isn’t just me trying to fix the light at your party-check out what the AMA says!).  Click on the links below to read their interviews:

Chicago Magazine’s November Issue (JB Pritzker)

Chicago Magazine’s December Issue (Chris Kennedy)

Chicago Magazine’s January Issue (Daniel Biss)


Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Grooming: Sophia Porter

Chicago Reader, December 21 2017: Hannibal Buress

December 21, 2017 in Photography

A few weeks ago Hannibal Buress came by the studio for a shoot, and he had the pleasure of sharing time with some of my favorite people!:)  The shoot was a great way to welcome Jamie Ramsay as the new Director of Photography at the Chicago Reader (HOORAY!!!!!!!!!) as well as a bittersweet farewell, as that amazing hand belongs to our special guest star, my former assistant/studio manager/zen master, Jacqueline Ayala (watch out NYC she’s coming for you!)!  Check out Hannibal’s interview as well as his upcoming show at the Lyric Opera House!

Assistants: Tom Michas, Taylor Cairns
Hand model: Jacqueline Ayala
Styling: KJ.
Grooming: Nasee Yehuda
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

Chicago Magazine, October 2017: Dr. Ruchi Gupta

October 19, 2017 in Photography

Because food sensitivity is something I personally struggle with, I was very excited when Chicago Magazine asked me to photograph food allergist Dr. Ruchi Gupta!  After watching Dr. Gupta’s super cute music video, I knew we were going to be able to create something fun and I couldn’t wait to meet her!  Special thanks to Tom & Jackie for bringing my vision of the giant peanut wall to life (LOVE YOU!!!!!) and an even bigger thanks to Chef Andy for cooking up that gorgeous red snapper!

Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
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!


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!!!!!!  💗 💗 💗 💗

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!)!!!:)

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!:)

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!!!!:)

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!!! ?