Little Friends

Little Friends is a wonderful organization that helps children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. They have schools, training programs, and vocational services. But their website was looking a bit dated, and it didn’t help to tell their story. Little Friends, Naperville Working with Jay Paonessa and Kevin McMaster from Maclyn Group, I took photographs for a couple of days at many of the various facilities and centers that Little Friend’s operates. Lucky for me, my son Taylor was home from college for spring break when this project happened. He assisted me and helped carry gear and move lights. LittleFriends_BW Maclyn has now put together a new website for Little Friends, which does a much better job in getting their message across. If you’d like to learn more about this great organization and how you can help, please click HERE
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Summertime

Naperville teen modelSummertime doesn’t just mean warm weather and longer days. It means we can get outside and enjoy some fun photography fun too! This is Mikayla, a local Naperville girl that did a great job modeling a few pieces of vintage clothing and props from Catherine’s collection. We’re lining up a few more photoshoots over the next few weeks with different people. Stay tuned! Naperville teen model

The Floating Tree

No matter how far I travel, and after all the things I’ve seen, I still have encounters that take my breath away. Floating Tree This tree is not a Photoshop trick, or digital wizardry. It’s a surreal scene that I ran across in the woods while working on another project.

Cop On A Rooftop

DD-Cop-on-the-RooftopDunkin’ Donuts is teaming up with Special Olympics Illinois again this year for their popular “Cop On A Rooftop” fundraiser. I had the pleasure of working with the Maclyn Group to do the photography to help promote the event. IMG_9806 That’s Officer Dan, one of the rooftop participants, along with his friend and Special Olympics athlete Jack. The event is on May 20, 2016 and takes place in hundreds of locations around Illinois. Try to support the one in your town.

College of DuPage Distinguished Alumnus

It’s not often that I get a chance to be “distinguished” in any way. But on May 3rd I was honored by the College of DuPage Photography Program with their Distinguished Alumnus Award. I am thrilled that they though of me, especially considering how many other great photographers have gone through the program. award-3 This annual photography showcase has turned into a popular event- the room was completely packed. I spoke for a few minutes about the journey I’d taken to get to where I am now, along with a slidshow of images from my projects and travels over the years. I’d like to thank Terry Vitacco, Glenn Hansen, Frank Jackowiak, and the rest of the COD Photo Dept staff for doing such a great job preparing students for working in the creative arts. It’s not always an easy life, but it’s endlessly rewarding. award-1 The advanced photography students were there to show off their portfolios and marketing material. I enjoyed talking to them, and seeing a few familiar faces that I’ve met at different events over the past few years. IMG_9126_sm I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of work that I saw on display by the high school students. Some of the imagery being produced by the area schools was simply astounding. I can’t wait to see what some of them are working on a few years down the road. IMG_9121_sm

Chamber Membership Directory 2016

ChamberCover2016_sm I enjoy working on the Naperville Chamber of Commerce Membership Directory because it constantly challenges me to try something new. Every year I have to find a unique way to photograph people and locations that I might have already photographed dozens of times for previous publications. For this year’s cover I found myself on the roof of a parking garage, hanging over the edge in an attempt to get a nice sunset shot with the Carillon bell tower in the background. It had to be the perfect time of day so that car headlights were on, but the sun hadn’t disappeared behind the horizon yet. ChamberDir2016_sm Every time I think we’ve used up all of the good ideas I manage to come up with another one. I’m sure next year’s will have something to do with the new Water Street project. You can find the Membership Directory all over Naperville. And it’s available at the Chamber offices too.

Community First Medical

community-first-medical-Matt_small Community First Medical Center in Chicago is a newly rebranded hospital that was in desperate need of improving their online presence. Working in conjunction with Culloton Strategies, Catherine created a consistent brand guide and designed each page of their new website. community-first-medical-Header_small All the photography was done by Jeffrey (and styled by Catherine) over a four day shoot schedule. Soon we’ll be adding some video elements and doctor interviews that we captured, using the talents of editor Matt Rice. community-first-medical-story-small Hair and makeup for the staff and patients was done by Christine Stahl. And a big thank you to Andrew Touhy and Steve Hamilton at Culloton for being so great to work with through this whole redesign project. To browse the new Community First website, please click here- Community First Medical Center
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SEA Conference

Catherine and I were speakers at the 16th Annual Self Employment in the Arts Conference. I spoke on a panel about portfolios and Catherine spoke about social media marketing. Together we sat on a panel about the pros and cons of freelancing. Over the two days we mingled, did some portfolio reviews, met a number of talented students, and had some great conversations with our fellow presenters. SEACover By far the presentation that was the most interesting to us was the one we did together on “Our Life In The Visual Arts.” We covered it all- going all the way back to our first awkward promotional pieces and business cards. We talked about what it’s like to work together as a team, and how we take care of marketing, billing, and finding new clients. It was fun for the both of us to look back to where we started and how far we’ve come. And I hope it was helpful to the students to see some of the mistakes we made and how we learned from them. Self Employment in the Arts Conference

Santo Domingo

Yes, of course there are other things to photograph in the Dominican Republic besides baseball! I especially enjoyed the Colonial Zone or Ciudad Colonial in Santo Domingo. The shopping options do lean on the “touristy” side, but you can still have fun looking around. There are numerous cultural places to explore, including the ruins of the Hospital of San Nicolás de Bari. Construction began in 1503, making it the first hospital built in the Americas.Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Catherine and I spent a few days hanging out on the beach in Boca Chica. The sunsets were wonderful, and we enjoyed some of the tasty local cuisine. Fish that is cooked “Boca Chica Style” is a deep-fried plate of awesomeness. This isn’t a secluded spot with all-inclusive resorts. Boca-Chica is full of noise and activity. If you enjoy people-watching, and trying fresh coconuts that people are selling on the beach, this is the place for you. Sunset in Boca Chica, Dominican RepublicSanto Domingo, Dominican Republic One of my favorite locations was the ruins of Monasterio de San Francisco. There are some occasional Sunday afternoon cultural events and concerts here, but you will often find that the gate is locked when you show up on a random weekday. However, if you are persistent, and have 5 bucks or so to tip the person watching the gate, there is a good chance you can get inside. This was the first monastery built in the Americas, started in 1508. I visited here on two separate days and came away with some amazing images. Ruins of Monasterio de San Francisco, Santo Domingo, Dominican R

Baseball Crazy

Dominican Republic BaseballI learned on a recent trip that few places in the world are as nuts about baseball as the Dominican Republic. The subject comes up often in conversation (even with the guy delivering room service.) Only later did I realize that I should have looked up to see exactly which Dominican players are on the Chicago teams, because everyone wanted to discuss it. Dominican Republic BaseballDominican-baseball-3 Every neighborhood has a baseball field or two, some in better shape than others. These photos are from an area on the outskirts of Santo Domingo. Apparently some of the older boys were already being scouted by major league teams. Dominican Republic Baseball I was told that around one forth of all the players on minor league US teams are from the Dominican Republic. I probably should have gotten an autograph or two in case I was photographing a future Albert Pujols. For now, it was more than enough to watch them enjoying a simple game of Saturday afternoon baseball. Dominican Republic Baseball Dominican-baseball-6