Category Archives: Chicago Portrait Photography

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.

Spiaggia food and wine pairings for Wine & Spirits magazine

Spiaggia Chicago for Wine and Spirits magazineSpiaggia Chicago for Wine and Spirits magazineSpiaggia Chicago for Wine and Spirits magazineSpiaggia Chef Chris MarchinoSpiaggia Chicago for Wine and Spirits magazineSpiaggia Chicago for Wine and Spirits magazineSpiaggia Sommelier and Beverage Director Rachel LoweSpiaggia Chicago for Wine and Spirits magazine

Last January I had the delicious pleasure of photographing food and wine pairings at renown Spiaggia restaurant on North Michigan Avenue for Wine & Spirits magazine. Since its inception, Spiaggia has garnered a smorgasbord of awards for its food, wine selection, and chefs, including James Beard awards and a Michelin star. In addition to the food and wine pairings, I photographed the interior space, Chef Chris Marchino, and Sommelier and Beverage Director Rachel Lowe.

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?

In memory of Terry Callier

I just learned of the death of Terry Callier, 67, a blues-folk-jazz musician whose career spanned 50 years.  While he was relatively unknown in this country, he had a thriving career in the UK.  He may not have gained wide commercial fame, but among musicians he was greatly influential and respected.   Ten years ago I had the privilege of photographing Mr Callier for a Canadian jazz magazine, and we went straight to one of his favorite local venues, the historic Green Mill Lounge in Uptown.  He struck me as being soft-spoken, polite, and eager to please, not the persona of a performer with a long-career and huge following around the world.  In the early 80s he put his music career on hold to raise his daughter, and became a computer programmer at the University of Chicago; ten years later his music was rediscovered and he began performing and recording again. Callier was born in Chicago and grew up in the Cabrini-Green housing project, becoming friends with Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler. Here are some photos that offer a glimpse of the man I met in spring 2002.

Terry Callier jazz, blues, folk musician in UptownTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musician at The Green MillTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musicianTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musicianTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musician at The Riviera TheaterTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musicianTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musicianTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musician in UptownTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musicianTerry Callier jazz, blues, folk musician

Photo of the Day: Art Institute Modern Wing

The Modern Wing of the venerable Art Institute of Chicago opened three years ago and has been an unqualified hit among art lovers and tourists alike–not that these two groups are mutually exclusive, but…   This museum is home to 20th and 21th-century art plus the world-renowned collections of modern European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, architecture and design, and photography.  In this photo we see the museum’s popular “Yoga and Picasso” class held on Tuesday mornings. Most people are not aware that Pablo was a yoga enthusiast, often cited as the inspiration for his Blue Period. Next month the museum will feature “Cooking with Matisse”–sure to be a big hit.

Picasso at the Modern Wing of Art Institute

Photo of the Day: Crown Fountain

Crown Fountain is a fun place to hang out. Where else can you be drenched by a powerful stream of water bursting from a giant pair of video lips while admiring the stunning architecture along south Michigan Avenue? These teens weren’t admiring the historic architecture, they were just chillin (literally) on a hot summer day.  Now we know where all the students were during the recent public school strike.

Crown Fountain at Millennium Park

Photo of the Day: Painting a Mural

When does graffiti become a mural or a work of art? I came upon this artist one morning in Rogers Park, on the far north side. I’m really not sure if his work was sanctioned or condoned by the local authorities, or perhaps they just didn’t see him because of the camouflage jacket he was wearing.  And I guess I will never know.

Photo of the Day: Wicker Park

Wicker Park on the northwest side is one Chicago’s most colorful neighborhoods.  Teeming with artists, students, hipsters, hippies, and members of the 47% that Romney says are sponging off the government, the area surrounding Six Corners (Damen/Milwaukee/North) has more tattoos per capita than anyplace in the known world.  Funky shops, funky restaurants, funky bars, and funky bookstores–this area can only be described as funky.

Wicker Park on a summer evening

Photo of the Day: Winnetka cafe

I was recently hired by a local bank to capture some artistic photos of the sedate leafy suburb of Winnetka. There were lots of photos of quaint shops, half-timber ersatz English facades, and assorted architectural details, but this photo of a cafe window was my favorite.  I like the colors, the many depths of activity, and the cacophony of shapes.

Cafe window in Winnetka

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.