Category Archives: Chicago photography

Transwestern Commercial Real Estate

 Shopping Mall photographyCorporate Headquarters in Columbus INMinnesota Shopping Mall photosOffice building photo for TranswesternPhoto of restaurant in Blaine, MN Office space in Southfield, MIOffice space in Southfield, MISchaumburg IL office building photoSchaumburg IL office building photoOffice building photo for TranswesternOffice building photo for TranswesternCommercial center in Farmington MIOffice building atrium, photographyCommercial center in Farmington MIOffice space in Farmington MI Commercial interior photoOffice center in MichiganCommercial interior photo

Over the past two months I have been photographing commercial real estate for Transwestern.  I had the opportunity to shoot office complexes, shopping centers and strip malls in some of the lesser-known Midwest vacation meccas.  These include Schaumburg IL, Blaine MN, Columbus IN, and Southfield and Farmington Hills MI.

Luxury Vacation Rental in Chicago

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I photographed this upscale vacation / corporate rental apartment in Chicago’s River North neighborhood for the G2G Collection.  What is unique about this company is that it donates a percentage of its income to the charity of your choice.  So while you are relaxing on a tropical beach or taking in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset, you know you are helping underprivileged kids or breast cancer research.  This residence has an eye-popping view of downtown Chicago and was located just steps away from the hottest restaurants and clubs.

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.

 

 

ShamROCK Chicago Going Green

State Street going greenPritzker Pavilion in Millennium ParkHotel InterContinental and Wrigley BuildingTrump International Hotel Chicago Board of Trade Willis Tower and Chicago River and Hancock BuildingState Street and the Chicago TheatreChicago Hilton and TowersGreening of the Chicago River Greening of the Chicago River Hotel InterContinental Chicago Old St Patrick's Church 311 Wacker and Willis TowerOld St Patrick's Church Soldier Field Cadillac Palace Theatre

In the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, about two dozen Chicago buildings and icons were illuminated green to showcase Chicago’s Irish pride.  This Global GREENing project (locally called ShamROCK Chicago) also saw famous landmarks around the world also lit green, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower.  I was commissioned by Tourism Ireland to document all the local buildings glowing green; an amazing project except that the Chicago winter was cruel that week and my fingers were turning green from frostbite. That might be a lot of Blarney, but these photos are colorful evidence that Chicago is the most Irish city this side of Dublin.

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.

National Shakespeare Competition

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In November, the Chicago chapter of the English Speaking Union held its annual National Shakespeare Competition.  Students from the Chicago area received training in theater and performance and competed by performing a brief snippet of Shakespeare. The program begins in classrooms nationwide, culminating in school-wide competitions where students perform a monologue from one of Shakespeare’s plays.  Regional winners will eventually compete in New York City, and the overall winner will receive a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s Young Actors Summer School in London. These photos were from the day-long conference and competition in Ganz Hall at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

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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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