Guest post on “Beyond the Studio”

•September 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Today my post is a little off normal thread and more thoughful as I spend some time thinking about my art and what keeps me motivated. Probably something artists should muse on, if only to themselves, more often. But this particular incident was afforded to me by a friend and fellow artist, Frank Juarez. I have known and occasionally collaborated with Frank for more than a decade. He is one of the more motivated and connected artists I know, and rivals or exceeds me in the busy department. His latest endeavor is to connect artists all over the country by sharing a diverse collection of ideas and tips through guest posts on the blog Beyond the Studio. So, when Frank asked me to guest post on this blog it seemed like the perfect opportunity to spend some time thinking about what keeps me moving forward. I thought I would share with my readers a link to the post here, as the practice of experimentation is something I try to apply to art and life.


Engagement Session: Lauren & Adam

•September 22, 2010 • 2 Comments

Happy to share the latest slideshow from an Engagement Session with Lauren and Adam, a couple I met through the alumni association of one of my major departments at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. The two of them met while attending there and even shared their engagement on the steps of Voorhees Hall. I’m so happy to be able to share in this year of their lives as they plan for their wedding, and make a deeper connection with fellow alumni.

Though the wedding will be in southeast Wisconsin, we did their engagement shoot in some more abstract locations in Chicago. It turned out beautifully, even with a small location snag. I had a loading dock area all eyed-up for a nice gritty industrial contrast, only to find the area occupied by a pile of pillows and blankets when we arrived that hadn’t been there when I scouted it earlier in the week. Luckily there were a couple other backdrops in walking distance I had also scouted, so we quickly changed course. I guess that is one of the possible hiccups when shooting in the city. It didn’t even phase my good natured bride-and groom-to-be, and I feel like some of my favorites from the day came from that graffiti wall we shot near just after changing course. With a couple that happy to be together and that nimble in circumstance, they will be well prepared to face the chaos of a wedding day… and life.

Lauren and Adam, thanks for a great shoot! Hope you enjoy the photos.

Newborn photos: Cooper Stanley

•July 26, 2010 • 1 Comment

It’s an amazing experience when the people you know and love start growing their families. Can hardly believe sometimes that we are starting to raise our own little people. When did we become adults? I’m looking forward to documenting this little guy as he grows into a trouble maker, and of course feeding him some trouble maker tips. View the slideshow for photos from the newborn shoot with Cooper Stanley.

On Location: Senior Photos

•July 23, 2010 • 5 Comments

On a recent trip to the beautiful upper peninsula of Michigan I had the opportunity to do some shooting with family. My cousin, Adam, is graduating high school next year. We shot in the last two hours leading into sunset around the lake and on the lakefront property of our grandparents. I captured these primarily using the sun as a hair light, and pocket wizards to fire two off-camera strobes (side keylight and on axis fill). What’s great about what we did for his location is that not only does it mean something to him personally, but it also will be a unique location to those in his graduating class. View the slideshow from Adam’s shoot below.

Bike to Work Week and LGRAB Summer Games 2010

•June 25, 2010 • 3 Comments


Though the logical benefits are many, I have to say that I think what is compelling me lately is just the simple joy I get from biking. Every time I get on my bike, without fail, my mood is elevated. Riding my bike makes me feel like I’m 12 years old. I feel like how Phoebe runs in that one Friends episode – like a kid. After rediscovering biking last summer and then participating in Bike the Drive this May with my family, last week for the first time ever I biked to work.

Last week was Bike to Work week in Chicago, and I promised myself that if all went well, I would make an effort to bike more days a week than I take the train, for the remainder of the summer and well into the fall. Weather permitting. This being the end of the second week, I am pleased to say the bike to work experiment so far… equal parts success and adventure.

For more photos and a recap on some of the lessons learned as I began my biking adventure, hit the jump. More>>

Cookbook Project – becoming a cook

•May 31, 2010 • 1 Comment

Not having a natural inclination for cooking, I have to say I am pretty proud of myself that a month from my first post I have in fact completed four recipes. And, I have actually found myself enjoying the cooking part of the project as much as the photography and eating parts! This weekend I had the honor of cooking my grandmother’s Porcupine Meat Balls for my father and mother. Dad says they were just as good as grandma makes, so it was nice to have an experienced tasting judge. And my mother was able to teach me some helpful vegetable chopping and sauce thickening techniques.

As I photograph more recipes, the styling of the food is becoming easier and harder. In some ways, I am getting more comfortable making styling decisions. In other ways it is getting harder, because I am running out of plate ware. I want to have variety in each setting, and right now I am starting to risk repeats. Thinking I may head to a Goodwill or resale shop and pick up an eclectic selection of dishes for future shoots.  

Enjoy the photos of the new recipes after the jump, and Bon Appetite! Click here>>

Bike the Drive

•May 30, 2010 • 2 Comments

Every year on Memorial Day weekend Chicago closes Lake Shore Drive to traffic and opens it for about 5 hours to cyclists only. More than 20,000 riders participate in the 30-mile event. My dad and I participated in the 2010 Bike the Drive event to kick off the summer and celebrate my birthday this weekend. Mom snapped pictures. We rode the north half of the route. Entering Lake Shore Drive at the North Ave ramp, surrounded by thousands of cyclists, at the foot of the Chicago skyline… an awesome event and a gorgeous weekend! Hope you are all enjoying this holiday weekend with the ones you love and remembering those we’ve lost. 

To see more from Bike the Drive, hit the jump. Click here>>

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