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, 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)

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!

Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Wardrobe Stylist: Sasha Hodges
Makeup: David Grant
Hair: Caitlin Krenz, Factor Chosen Artist Division
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

Michele Pred: My Body My Business

September 6, 2016 in Photography

A few months ago the lovely Megan Colleen McGlynn was so sweet to connect the AMAZING artist, Michele Pred, and I at a Girlsday event (thank you Megan!!!)!  I immediately fell in love with Michele’s work as I FULLY support the same feminist and pro-choice agenda!  Her current series, “Promote the General Welfare”, features vintage purses adorned with feminist themed neon text.  I suggested Ms. Pred come by the studio the next time she was in town to take some fun pics; I also wanted to get to know Michele better and hear more about her work!:)  Make sure you check out more of her art on her website:  Rumor has it the Vote purse may now be in the hands of one of our presidential candidates… something tells me its not Trump!!!:) 🙂 🙂


Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Intern: Dolly Nguyen
Hair & Makeup: Karen Brody, Chicago Makeup Artists
Voting Booth Fabricator: Emily Franklin
Retouching: Sami (with a ♥ over the i) Hylla and Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

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!!!:)


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