Category Archives: Chicago Corporate Photographer

Cameron’s Steakhouse, a cut above

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Chicago has always been known as a city where you can find an abundance of great steaks, but don’t think meat lovers are in any way deprived should they be outside the Windy City. If you are ever in the Detroit area, you might want to head toward the upscale neighborhood of Birmingham and check out Cameron’s Steakhouse.  I was there on assignment recently and I found it hard to concentrate on my work with all the incredible food to indulge in.  The fresh oysters, fine wine, succulent salmon, and of course steaks galore.  Cameron’s is an old-school, classy steak joint, the kind of place you might expect Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack to have their own private booth.  I don’t often tell clients that I will “work for food”, but after this job I was thinking of reconsidering that policy.

 

 

Plumbing Installation in Plainfield and Chicago

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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’s Athena Greek Restaurant

Athena restaurant main dining roomAthena Greek restaurant central barLamb, greek style at Athena in Chicagoa cool ouzoAthena's delicious fried calamariA red drink, I'm sure it's yummyBroiled fish at Athenaa minty and cool beverage at AthenaThe bright enclosed patio at Athena Greek restaurantAthena's version of a traditional Greek saladSaganaki--Flaming Greek Cheese  OPAH !!!

Located in Chicago’s Greektown, Athena has been serving tasty Greek food (“cuisine” might be too extreme) for 17 years. The enclosed patio is one of the biggest attractions, offering a bright and cozy environment in the dead of winter, or a cool respite on those hot summer days, all with a view of Chicago’s skyline.  I had the pleasure of photographing Athena recently, and it offered such a nice range of photo possibilities from the warm interior, the colorful central bar, to the cocktails and delicious Greek dishes. The fried calamari will blow you away–best I’ve ever tasted.  OPAH !!!

 

Jim Beam Drinks

Over the course of three days in June, I had the pleasure of photographing 98 Jim Beam drinks for the Jim Beam web site.  Some of these drink recipes were pretty incredible–drinks for every occasion, mood and season.  All photos were taken at the Barrelhouse Flat bar in Lincoln Park. Cheers.

Optima Chicago Center

Forty-two stories of sleek black glass have risen between the Hotel InterContinental and the NBC Tower in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood.  The Optima Chicago Center designed by architect David Hovey commands a strategic location close to Michigan Avenue, Navy Pier, Millennium Park and Chicago’s lakefront.  Plus the views are nothing short of breathtaking.  I spent a few weeks earlier this month documenting this building from inside and out; it was a joy except for the fact the elevators weren’t working yet.  I never realized the 42nd floor was actually up 42 flights of stairs (sound of heavy breathing).

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Lisa Kendall Jewelry Designs

Chicago-based jewelry designer Lisa Kendall has been creating her own unique style of elegant/Bohemian jewelry for many years and selling strictly on a word-of-mouth basis.  Finally, she decided it was time to get a web site.  I recently shot 100 pieces of her jewelry and practically overnight her web site was live.  Here is her work, and here is her web site:  LISA KENDALL DESIGNS

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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.

 

Dancers Promote Non-Violence

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Alumni from the Kids Can Dance group in Evanston performed a series of dances yesterday at Evanston Township High School. The theme was non-violence, an appropriate message considering the rash of violence plaguing teens locally and around the country. The program is being done in conjunction with “Ten Thousand Ripples”, an art project featuring ten Buddha sculptures being installed around the city, much like the cow exhibit of several years ago.

Chicago Auto Show

Earlier this month, more than one million people came to McCormick Place to visit the world’s largest indoor parking lot, often referred to as the Chicago Auto Show.  For the auto aficionado, this was a once-a-year opportunity to touch the cars you only dream about: Ford, Chevy, Honda, Kia, and even Hyundai.  And those lucky few willing to wait in long lines had the heart-stirring experience of sitting in the front seat and looking out the same windshield that people who actually own these cars will look through.  This is heady stuff.  But the show appealed to the mind and not just the passions of the attendees–vital information could be gleaned from the knowledgeable staff at the show: Does the F-150 come in diesel?  How many cup holders in a Mini-Cooper?  Are floor mats here to stay?  With hundreds of cars buffed to a blinding patina, and the entire convention floor reeking of that “new car smell”, this was the ultimate in Auto Erotica. For me, the highlight was seeing a 1969 black GTO, that sexy muscle car that Gregg and I took across country in the ultimate road trip which became the basis of my book “On the Road”.

Chicago Auto Show 2013Chicago Auto Show 2013World's First Yellow CarView from the back seatChicago Auto Show 2013$400,000 LamborghiniThe Original WoodyLee IococcaChicago Auto Show 2013"I'm thrilled it comes in Nutmeg Mist"Queen Elizabeth's carMega-cute Mini CooperChicago Auto Show 2013VrrrrooooomChicago Auto Show 2013Chicago Auto Show 2013Kia concept car

 

 

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

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Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras has been offering music education for more than 60 years. The CYSO consists of five orchestras and a chamber music program, plus it offers classes and international touring. Since I’m not between 7 and 18, I can’t enroll, but I did have an opportunity to photograph the orchestra during a rehearsal before a performance at Symphony Hall. It was inspirational to see so much talent and dedication in people so young, though it did cause me to wonder: Don’t kids spend their teen years perfecting their Frisbee skills anymore?