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The Homestead Hotel in Evanston

Nestled on a quiet leafy street in suburban Evanston, The Homestead is boutique hotel with a European ambiance, but the staff speaks English. I had the privilege of photographing the hotel earlier in the week and tried to capture the warmth and intimacy of the property. I could imagine spending a long peaceful morning on the veranda with coffee, pastries and the quiet hum of birds chirping.

The “Grand Tour” Rolls Through Chicago

Wine Spectator magazine’s much-loved Grand Tour hit Chicago last week and attendees were able to taste 244 of the world’s best wines. Under the glittering dome of Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom, the finest vintages from France, Italy, California, Australia and other wine locales were there for the sipping. If you don’t know your Le Clarence de Haut-Brion from your La Carte de Haut-Brion, this was your opportunity to taste them both and finally decide which goes better with your favorite rack of lamb recipe. 

Video Display at Northwestern Univ.

Photo assignment at the new Segal Visitors Center at Northwestern University in Evanston IL. The two expansive video displays were created by Planar and are valuable tools in making students and visitors aware of the university culture and events.

Chicago’s Victorian Heritage

Chicago is a virtual museum of Victorian-era structures.  Sure, an enormous number of buildings were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but those were in the downtown and near north area. If you explore Old Town and parts of Lincoln Park today you will discover a treasure trove of Victorian houses and commercial buildings. This just adds to the reputation of Chicago as one of the world’s finest cities for architectural excellence.

Unofficial Cubs Museum

Hidden from view and unbeknownst to most Cubs fans is a virtual Hall of Fame/museum paying homage to the 100-plus years of Chicago Cubs baseball. Beneath the left and right field bleachers at historic Wrigley Field is a concourse with memorabilia honoring Cubs legends through the years. This subterranean gallery was installed just this past year, and while I was visiting the “Friendly Confines” I managed to photograph the installation. When the Cubs win the World Series in a few weeks, I hope the gallery will be open to the millions of fans clamoring to get “up close and personal” with the world’s favorite baseball team.

Cover photo shoot for Orthodontic Products

Dr Derek Bock and his wife Dr Anokhi Bock are an orthodontist and a pediatric dentist, respectively.  They share a practice in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest and their business was highlighted in the current issue of Orthodontic Product magazine, and I had the privilege of photographing them and their staff. On a recent morning in August, their office was more like a summer camp with dozens of children from five to 18 filling all areas of the office, and I needed to navigate this near-chaos as I was setting up my array of photographs. Ultimately, it was a fun morning and everyone was tremendously cooperative, and didn’t see one grimace from a kid having their braces tightened.

New architecture photography

Just completed photography of a commercial office building in the northwest suburbs, MLG restaurant in Lake Forest, and a five bedroom house in Hyde Park. The office building shoot was delayed many times while we waited for the parking lot to be repaved. Thankfully the house and restaurant photos went without any delays.

Tackling the Group Photo

Photographing four or more people always presents a unique challenge to the photographer. On the simplest level, it’s essential that everyone is looking at the camera, or at least not blinking. Then they need to be positioned in such a way that everyone’s face is clearly visible to the camera. Another important factor is location and setting, and finally it’s necessary to arrange everyone so the composition is harmonious. And one lesson quickly learned when photographing groups is that the larger the group the more difficult the photograph. Often planning ahead is necessary so the photographer can determine where the group photo will be taken and whether there is a staircase nearby to help with posing, or whether a ladder might be needed to get a high viewpoint.

Lakeshore Recycling Opens New Facility

Last month Lakeshore Recycling opened a state-of-the-art single stream recycling facility in Forest View IL, and I was there to document the ribbon cutting, speeches, facility tour, and buffet lunch. The 40,000 sq. ft. facility was amazingly clean, quiet and well-organized, but what impressed me the most was the buffet lunch: great sandwiches, pasta, hors d’oeuvres, salad, and warm chocolate chip cookies. Plus, all our plastic silverware and paper plates were recycled!  It was a fun day and I felt like I did my part for the environment by shrinking my carbon footprint.

Writing at the speed of sound

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Have you ever wondered how a court reporter is able to record the testimony at a trial? This Luminex court reporting machine has a lot to do with it, and enables the court reporter to type at 200 words per minute or more. I’m not going to say I understand how they do it, all I know is that it’s nothing like a typewriter, and it isn’t easy to learn. Apparently about 90% of students drop out of court reporting school before reaching graduation. I took these photos for Stenograph, a company that has been manufacturing these and other related products for 75 years.