Tag Archives: Chicago headshot photographer
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.
Recently had a two-day shoot for the American Dietetic Association to illustrate various aspects of food safety. Models, make-up, food stylist, nice locations–it all added up to a fun and stress-free photo shoot. I also learned some important lessons about proper food preparation and storage: don’t store eggs in the egg compartment in the fridge; don‘t turn fried chicken with your fingers; and don’t eat pork sushi.
As a photographer, the variety of my work is usually dependent on the needs and whims of my clients. This past month is a prime example of the wide range of assignments I get on a regular basis. I recently had the privilege of photographing the following celebrities: “Jersey Shore” superstar Snooki; Igor Shuvalov, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia; and MacGoogle and MacDuff, my two famous Airedale terriers. I don’t know what the next month will bring, but I will keep you posted.
While Chicago will never be described as the “Venice of the Midwest,” the river that bisects the downtown area has been transformed into a major tourist attraction. Offering architectural boat tours, a mile-long Riverwalk, numerous waterside cafes, museums, and an assortment of water sports including kayaking, jet skiing, and canoeing, the Chicago River is the city’s newest playground. This once polluted waterway is now a vibrant artery that sparkles day and night at the foot of the city’s numerous architectural gems dating back to the late 19th century. When the Riverwalk is completed, it will snake uninterrupted from beyond the Merchandise Mart all the way to Lake Michigan, passing under the numerous historic bridges.
Just because I love to compile a list of My Favorite Things, I’m rarely mistaken for Oprah. Be forewarned, I am not going to give the readers of this blog anything free, except for my advice, which is priceless. After years of painstaking research I have assembled this list–granted, it’s not ALL of my favorite things since that would preclude any future updates. Also, I reserve the right to change the list at any time as my opinions tend to vacillate. I should point out that if you are hoping to get your business on my list, I am easily influenced by freebies, gift cards, 2-for-1 specials, and wanton flattery.
BEST PIZZA: RENALDI’S With little fanfare, this neighborhood pizzeria on Broadway near Diversey produces a divine thin crust pizza with the creamiest mozzarella this side of Napoli. There are many other worthy contenders, but until I taste them all, I’m sticking with Renaldi’s.
BEST COFFEE: PEET’S From a simple coffee house in Berkeley, CA (my alma mater) about 40 years ago, this small chain has spread its flavorful beans across the country. I love a coffee bean that has been roasted within a few seconds of its life and nobody does it better than Peet’s. I admit some cafes (Intelligentsia) have better ambience, but screw ambience, I am there to drink strong coffee not have a Zen moment. Peet’s is on North Ave & Sheffield.
BEST CORNED BEEF SANDWICH: MANNY’S COFFEE SHOP You probably ask yourself, “who would go to a coffee shop for corned beef?” and that is a valid question. But Manny’s is a coffee shop in name only, it is really an emporium of delicious food like Grandma used to make, depending of course on whom your Grandma was. As long as you are tasting their corned beef, get a potato pancake and a dish of kishke and gravy–if you don’t know what that is, better not to ask.
BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT: LAO SZE CHUAN This place is always busy. Located in that Chinatown mall on Archer Ave, the atmosphere is extremely friendly, and the menu is longer than George Bush’s list of blunders. The food is first rate. I should point out that my favorite Chinese dish is actually the Walnut Shrimp from another Chinatown restaurant, Evergreen. It’s not on the menu, so you need to request it–they will immediately think you are a regular or have a cousin in Hong Kong.
BEST HOTEL BAR: BERNARD’S BAR AT THE ELYSIAN HOTEL I am far from an expert on this subject, but I was there recently and it’s dark, quiet, romantic, and they serve liquor–everything a bar should be. This elegant hotel is on Walton near State, and this bar is a great place to chill if you’re in the Gold Coast / N. Michigan Ave area and want to get away from the pickpockets and cell phone snatchers for a little while.
BEST COMEDY GROUP: IMPROV SHAKESPEARE & COOK COUNTY SOCIAL CLUB Ladies and gentlemen, we have a tie. Both these groups are borderline comic geniuses and their shows are different but equally funny. They perform at iO Theater on Clark by Wrigley Field. If I told you how and why they are so funny, it would spoil the joke–just go see them.
BEST PLACE TO SEE A MOVIE: GRANT PARK Okay, it’s not even a movie theater, but during the summer they show old films outdoors for 20,000 people picnic-style, and it’s an incredible scene surrounded by the flickering lights of the Chicago skyline. It’s one of the joys of summer in Chicago, and I hope recent budget cuts don’t slash this unique activity–do you hear that, Rahm?
BEST SECRET PASSAGEWAY: THE CHICAGO PEDWAY Underneath the bustling streets of Chicago’s Loop is a little-known network of tunnels connecting dozens of commercial and government buildings, and various subway stations. In the winter it’s a warm haven from the inclement weather, and in the hotter months, it’s a cool respite from the sweltering streets. In the Pedway, one finds shops, cafes, public art, live music, but rarely a crowd. Pedway maps are available and advisable, as some people have been known to wander beneath the city streets for weeks in search of a way out.
FAVORITE OLD BUILDING: THE ROOKERY Burnham, Root, and Frank Lloyd Wright collaborated on a building that after 120 years still has that WOW factor every time you walk in the skylit lobby with the floating staircase. At the corner of LaSalle and Adams, this office building is an homage to transcendent architecture, something sorely lacking in so much modern design.
FAVORITE NEW BUILDING: 333 WACKER An elegantly curved building perfectly suited to its location at the bend of the Chicago River. This building gives me hope for modern architecture, something I never feel when looking at one of Mies van der Rohe’s “less is more” minimalist structures. Check it out at sunset from the Franklin St Bridge or the Merchandise Mart.
BEST DIVE UNDER MICHIGAN AVENUE: BILLY GOAT TAVERN I suspect this is the ONLY bar/restaurant under Michigan Avenue, so there isn’t a lot of competition in this category. The legendary hamburgers are only so-so, but this place is truly a Chicago legend. Made famous in an old John Belushi sketch on Saturday Night Live, it has been a favorite watering hole for Chicago journalists for decades, and now a Mecca for people seeking a one-of-a-kind Chicago experience.
All photos by Alan Klehr
Mention Victorian architecture and one inevitably imagines the ornate “painted ladies” of San Francisco, or the countless stately homes and inns of Cape May, NJ–visions of multi-colored fantastical homes with grand porches and soaring turrets come to mind. But the term really includes at least a half dozen different architectural styles from the late 19th century: Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Beaux Arts, etc. After the Great Fire of 1871, Chicago went on a building boom and thousands of houses, apartments and commercial buildings were constructed. In spite of several bouts of urban renewal, a large percentage of these structures remain today and give Chicago a strong connection with its architectural past. One can encounter blocks and blocks of Victorian-era homes in several areas–Lincoln Park, Old Town, Wicker Park, Hyde Park–but they are really scattered throughout the city. These photos represent just a fraction of what an avid Victorian sleuth may find on their search for architectural treasures.