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

Chicago Magazine, April 2017: Sandra Delgado

April 6, 2017 in Photography

Chicago Magazine, I hope you know how much I love you, because I REALLY REALLY do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)  Thanks so much for asking me to photograph the extremely lovely and multi-talented Sandra Delgado who wrote and is starring in the play La Havana Madrid at the Steppenwolf, April 14-May 21, 2017.  Based on a Caribbean nightclub her parents used to visit in Chicago in the 1960’s and featuring a live band, seeing this play is high on my to do list!  Big thanks to fellow photographer, Joel Maisonet, for letting us borrow his mic! And an even bigger thanks to Kami Bremyer for gifting me the super fab barkcloth fabric SEVERAL years ago, I was just waiting for the perfect shoot!!!  XOXO!!!!!!

XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Intern: Jiaqi Li
Hair & Makeup: Unwana Rose, Chicago Makeup Artists
Wardrobe Stylist: Elsa Hiltner (also the costume designer for La Havana Madrid!!)
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Special Thanks!!: Kami Bremyer, Joel Maisonet
 

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!!!!!!!)

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)
 

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)
 

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!!!!!

Chicago Magazine, December 2015: Joseph Wright, King Cannabis

December 3, 2015 in Photography

Medical marijuana is officially available in Illinois!!!!!  HOORAY!!!!!!!!!  I was very excited when Chicago Magazine asked me to photograph Joseph Wright, the Director of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (and even more excited when I found out he is a young handsome lawyer with a super sharp suit!).  Also very intelligent, he appears to have a bright political future.  The thing I liked most about Joseph Wright: his passion for his job and excitement about helping people!  There is nothing cooler than getting to work with people that love what they do!:)

…Unfortunately, the list of approved conditions is very small, but this is the start of legislation I truly believe will assist and benefit so many people!!!!  If you’re interested – you can petition the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board mcpp.illinois.gov to recommend conditions to the state’s director of public health (can we all do this please????!!!!).   You can visit my site if you want to see more of the fun photos I love to make, and stay tuned for more!!! 🙂 

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

Chicago Magazine, September 2015: Dreamy David Cerda

September 17, 2015 in Photography

A special thank you to Martha Williams and Jacqueline Cantu from Chicago Magazine for creating a match made in heaven by asking me to photograph the INCREDIBLY talented David Cerda of Hell in a Handbag Productions!!!  I have been a fan of Cerda’s work for years; a playwright and actor, Cerda is co-founder and Artistic Director of HIAH Productions (and have you seen his band The Joans??????!!!!?!?!?)!  When we spoke on the phone the first time, I immediately felt like we were old friends, talking about our mutual admiration for each others work (!!!) and our mutual love of works from Hitchcock, Joan Crawford, and John Waters.  Part of my “homework” for this shoot was to watch Joan Crawford in Strait-Jacket (SO GOOD!!!!) as well as the inspiration for this shoot and Cerda’s newest tribute play, The Crate from the 1982 film Creepshow.  This led to a super fun trip to Death Studios in Indiana (on the back of a motorcycle!) to pick up a reproduction mask of Fluffy (The Cratebeast-originally created by Tom Savini) and hang out with master mask maker Jeff Death-thanks for the tip Scott Jenkins!!  Did I mention all of this is my job?!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂  The day of the shoot Cerda brought with him another incredible talent, Lolly Extract, to help bring Fluffy to life-you can see them both in Scream, Queen, SCREAM! opening on Thursday September 24th-I seriously can’t wait!!!!!

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XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala & Brian Gladkowski
Intern: Tom Michas 
The Cratebeast mask: Death Studios
Costume & severed heads: Chicago Costume Thanks Courtland!!:)
Inside the Cratebeast: Lolly Extract
Wig Stylist: Muffy Fishbasket
The Thor of Predko Studio (Lightning Bolt Creator): Dane Larsen
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla

Chicago Magazine, August 2015: Chicago Human Rhythm Project

August 21, 2015 in Photography

It was an absolute pleasure working with artistic director & founder of Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Lane Alexander, and three of his INCREDIBLY talented dancers (Néstor Corona, Zada Cheeks, and Maggie Doyle) for our recent shoot for Chicago Magazine!!!  It was a special treat for us to spend the afternoon with them in the studio; check out a few of our pics below and see them perform live at the Chicago Dancing Festival August 25-29th!!

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XOXO!!!:
Assistant & Master Flower Creator: Jacqueline Ayala
Interns: Tom Michas & Rachel Nurmi
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla