Tag Archives: Chicago business photographer

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.


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



University of Chicago

Gothic architecture at the University of Chicago, Hyde ParkUniversity of Chicago in autumnUniversity of Chicago in springUniversity of Chicago, autumn. Laboratory SchoolBucolic scene at the Univ of Chicago Chicago Booth, graduate school of business at University of ChicagoHarper Library at Univ of ChicagoMansueto Library Rockefeller Chapel on campusUniv of Chicago Rockefeller Chapel  University of Chicago, autumn.Midway Plaisance in springBella Voce a cappella early music group at Rockefeller Chapel Univ of Chicago is famous for its gargoylesStudent dorm at the University of ChicagoRatner Athletic Center designed by Cesar PelliSpring blooms amid the Gothic architecture

I am fortunate to live just a few blocks from one of the world’s great universities.  Students lovingly describe this institution of higher learning as the place where “fun comes to die”.  Personally, I think they make this proclamation to mislead their parents so they can justify the $40,000 per year expense. Nestled in the leafy neighborhood of Hyde Park–home of Barack Obama and the first A-Bomb–the university is a mix of Gothic and modern architecture. There are more Nobel Prize winners here than neighborhood bars–how many large universities can make that claim?  In fact U of C has the most Nobel winners of any school in the world.  The university offers a never-ending subject for my photography as new buildings appear on a regular basis, and each season brings new discoveries.

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?

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: 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

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


Wabash Avenue and Trump HotelShopper on Wabash AvenueDriehaus MuseumApple Store on Michigan AvenueMichigan Avenue and Water TowerMichigan Avenue and Water TowerMichigan Avenue at nightSuperior Street at nightChicago Avenue in the rainApple Store and blue umbrella
There’s a rumor that we are in the middle of a brutal Chicago winter.  I don’t know, I just don’t see it.  Heck, we had a thunderstorm last week.  Yesterday I was out in a shirtsleeves. Are we in a parallel universe?  I’m not complaining, I’m just sayin….  I went downtown recently to get shots of Michigan Avenue with holiday lights and snow, but it was raining. Here are some photos, you tell me if this is Chicago in January.


Paulson speaks, students listen

Professor Randall Kroszner and PaulsonTreasury Secretary Hank PaulsonTreasury Secretary Hank Paulson speaks to business studentsHank Paulson and Chicago Booth studentsTreasury Secretary Hank PaulsonTreasury Secretary Hank Paulson
Henry Paulson was chosen by George Bush to be US Secretary of the Treasury in 2006 and he played a large, and controversial role in the government’s attempt to prevent a total economic collapse.  Our economy is still ticking, so he wasn’t a total failure, but Monday-morning quarterbacks continue to snipe about his actions.  All this aside, I had the opportunity to photograph him at Chicago Booth (University of Chicago Graduate Business School) when he spoke to a large class of students in mid-January.  Paulson was humble and accepted some blame for faulty decisions that were made, and he welcomed sharp questions from the audience.  As a token of his goodwill and sincere feelings of remorse, Paulson handed out $100,000 gift cards to all the students in the room.  To insure my journalistic integrity, I declined the obvious attempt to sway my opinion.