Category Archives: Annual Report Photography

Chicago’s Big Dig

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Meade has been involved in some of the largest utility-related projects in Chicago for the past 108 years. Clients depend on Meade for all types of design, construction, and maintenance of electrical power and natural gas distribution systems and telecommunications technologies. I spent three chilly days documenting the installation of a natural gas pipeline under the Kennedy Expressway. The massive equipment belied the level of precision needed for this project to be successful–the pipes had to meet up within millimeters under the expressway. Exacting work, and a fascinating photo shoot.

Plumbing Installation in Plainfield and Chicago

Pre-installation in PlainfieldPre-installation in PlainfieldPre-installation in PlainfieldPre-installation in PlainfieldDiscussing installation plans in PlainfieldTaco pumps at pre-installation in PlainfieldChecking the plans during pre-installationThe Plainfield crewChatham Apartments plumbing installationDisposal of old equipmentChatham Apartments plumbing installationplumbing installation photoChatham Apartments plumbing installationboiler and water heater installationFinal boiler assembly in Chatham

I was recently hired to document the pre-installation and then the final installation of water heaters and boilers at a Co-op development in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago.  The client was replacing 50-year-old equipment and the entire project required the installation in more than 60 separate buildings over a three month period.  I first went to the company’s facility in Plainfield and photographed the partial assembly of the pipes, then the final installation on-site.  Even though we were in the heart of the Polar Vortex with temperatures in the single digits, the crew was able to first remove the old boiler and water heater and then install the new units in just a couple hours–my fingers needed that much time just to defrost.

Chicago Urban Farms

Iron Street FarmDaily tours at Iron Street Farm, Chicago urban farmDaily tours at Iron Street Farm, ChicagoIron Street Farm, Chicago urban farmComposting at Iron Street Farm, Chicago urban farmFish production at Iron Street Farm, Chicago urban farmIron Street Farm, Chicago urban farmComposting area at Iron Street Farm, Chicago urban farmHoney production at Iron Street Farm, Chicago urban farmThe Plant, Chicago urban farm in Back of the Yards areaThe Plant, Chicago urban farmArea under construction at The Plant Hydroponic growing at The PlantTilapia production tanks at The Plant Vegetables at The Plant, Chicago urban farmVegetable production at The Plant, Chicago urban farm

Urban farm, it almost sounds like an oxymoron, but trust me, it isn’t. These farms are sprouting up (no pun intended) all over Chicago and other urban areas, and represent an efficient way to re-purpose under-utilized warehouse space in the city, often in economically distressed areas. Plus, they offer a tremendous opportunity for small-scale organic farmers to ply their trade in a supportive and mega-green environment.

I recently had the occasion to photograph two such urban farms: The Plant and Iron Street Farm. The former calls itself “a net-zero energy vertical farm and food business operation” whose purpose is to “promote closed-loop food production and sustainable economic development through education and research.” Now that’s a mouthful (no pun intended). And the later is a “seven-acre site on Chicago’s south side that produces local, healthy, and sustainable food year-round with a focus on serving, training, and engaging vulnerable populations.” Urban farms produce a wide range of products including cheese, vegetables, mushrooms, honey, beer, compost, and even fish. I suspect when we sang “Old McDonald had a farm” this wasn’t exactly the type of farm we were referring to.

 

Photo of the Day: Hyde Park

The Midway Plaisance is a mile-long green belt bisecting the University of Chicago campus. This area was adjacent to the World’s Colombian Exposition of 1893–if you read “Devil in the White City” you know all about this area. The original Ferris Wheel might have been located exactly where this photo was taken.  Today, this is the world’s best place for people watching of Nobel Prize winners. Hyde Park is the part of Chicago where I live as well as my friend Barack Obama.

Midway Plaisance at the University of Chicago

Chicago Presidential Suites

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Last week when the NATO summit was in town, our city played host to thousands of international visitors, and a couple dozen world leaders.  Where do these presidents, prime ministers and brutal dictators stay when they are here in Chicago? Surely not at the Days Inn or the Holiday Inn Express.  More than likely, they occupied the many uber-elegant Presidential Suites that are downtown.  I had the wonderful privilege to photograph several of them for Elite Traveler magazine. After shooting this assignment, I know that I will never be satisfied with any hotel room again…but then I rarely pay $4000 to 5000 per night for a room.  No, that isn’t a misprint.  Politicians, rock stars, Wall Street bankers, and world leaders are about the only people who can afford this luxury.  Here is a glimpse into that rarefied world that most of us will never be privy to.

Dominick’s Next Chef

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Dominick’s parent company Safeway was on the hunt for a new corporate chef.  Rather than going through normal channels, they held a Facebook-based search which culminated in chef competitions in Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago.  I photographed the Chicago cook-off at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school; the competition was fierce, the aromas were enticing, and the final creations were delicious.  The winning chef is headed for SF to compete against the other two finalists, and the top chef will be awarded with a job at Safeway’s corporate kitchens.

 

TUPPERWARE ANNUAL REPORT 2002

Tupperware annual report- CoverTupperware annual report: Indiana and NYCTupperware annual report: Chicago and OhioTupperware annual report: Mexico City and FrankfurtTupperware annual report: Versailles, FranceTupperware annual report: Tokyo and Mexico CityTupperware annual report: Delhi, IndiaTupperware annual report: Indiana and Shenzhen, ChinaTupperware annual report: ShenzhenTupperware annual report: Manila, Philippines
Exactly ten years ago I had the privilege of being hired to photograph the Tupperware Annual Report; this assignment took me around the world, visiting nine countries in 19 days.  Yeah, that sounds ridiculously hectic now, but at the time, it really didn’t seem that bad–it was almost like time slowed down as I tried to absorb the incredible mix of cultures.  The Dundee-based design firm SamataMason (now Smbolic) sent me to Mexico City, NYC, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Manila, and Tokyo to gather images illustrating the marketing efforts of Tupperware.  Traveling in those months immediately after 9/11 was a little tense, but everything went without a hitch. The only regrets: I wish the trip lasted longer, and I wish I had been shooting digital back then.