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!

XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)

Trixie Mattel & Brian Firkus: Two Birds

May 2, 2017 in Photography

Today is a very exciting day for country music!  Currently, my collection includes legends such as Dolly, Johnny, Hank (1 & 3), Patsy, and Loretta; as of today, Brian & Trixie join these master crooners!!!!!!!  I am SOOOO excited to promote the release of drag legend Trixie Mattel/Brian Firkus‘s FANTASTIC new album, Two Birds, now available on iTunes!!!!!!  As always, it was such a pleasure collaborating with the AMAZING Trixie on this super fun conceptual shoot!  Inspiration for the album art was drawn from 60s and 70s country albums with a little bit of “Green Acres” thrown in there too (so in love with those sets & Eva Gabor <sigh>!!!). Trixie is the kind of client I throw out all the stops for-this includes taking a machete to the park, asking the ex-husband for a favor, and bringing into the studio tall grass (I’m highly allergic to) with fragile fuzzy plumes that shed EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!  Don’t worry, I survived and I’m thrilled with our collaboration; check out our awesome new pics below and go give the album a listen!:)

XOXO!!!:
Assistants: Jacqueline Ayala, Tom Michas
Intern: Jiaqi Li
Prop Assist: Amber Halaka
Fence: Emotive Reclaim, check out Rob’s AWESOME work here: website and Instagram
Retouching: Tom Michas (Tomikiss)
Special thanks: Robbie Vasquez III

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
 

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!!!!!!!)

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)
 

IL Meetings + Events, Fall 2016: Nate’s Ice

October 18, 2016 in Photography

I occasionally, ALMOST, feel bad because I LOVE my job so much!!!  On one of the hottest summer days, Jackie and I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing, the very cool, Nate Johnson of Johnson Studios Ice Sculptures for Illinois Meetings and Events Magazine!  We spent the morning at Nate’s studio near Midway, listening to punk music, chatting in between power tool motors revving, taking fun pics to share with you and SWEATING!  I was surprised to learn Nate actually likes working in the heat because it softens the edges a bit!:)  An awesome day with a super talented guy-Nate Johnson rocks!!!:)

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XOXO!!!:
Assistant: Jacqueline Ayala
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: http://michelepred.com.  Rumor has it the Vote purse may now be in the hands of one of our presidential candidates… something tells me its not Trump!!!:) 🙂 🙂

 

XOXO!!!:
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)