July 2019

The month of July was certainly more of a month of work than play. There were a few times where my photography took me took familiar territory. With the first gig of this month it was the fact that I was photographing my former hairdresser, Maria, and her family. The next two gigs the familiarity sprung from the fact that they took place at a location, Bowen Park, that I’ve been to on numerous occasions. Granted, they could not have been two more different jobs. The first was a 6-month milestone portrait session that had originally been planned for June, but ended up getting pushed back due to the weather. To contrast with that, the other work I did at Bowen was capturing a wedding ceremony.

The end of the month ended up being a little busy for me as I had three different photo jobs in the last week. Last Friday I had motivation to get my studio space back in order as I had someone stop by to get some basic photos for a modeling portfolio. Then on Saturday, I traveled up to the Menomonee Falls, WI area to photograph a wedding. To close out the month, I had a portrait session for a pet turtle of all things at Bevier Park. I’m trying to get back more into blogging and tell you at least about some of this different shoots that I had in July.

As previously stated, my social life was certainly more low key during this month especially when compared to last month. The most noteworthy social time was the second weekend of July. The weekend started a little early for me as I took Friday off since it was the day a bench at the Waukegan Public Library was getting dedicated to my maternal grandparents. The next day, I checked out Scoop the Loop with some friends since it was happening in downtown Waukegan. Finally, I closed out that weekend on Sunday by getting together for game night. Other than one busy weekend I didn’t have too much going on in my social life.

Currently I don’t have much planned for the month of August. The only things on my schedule are photography gigs the next two weekends. First, there’s a wedding that I’m photographing tomorrow in Crown Point, IN. Then, I have a party that I’m doing photography for the following weekend. Meanwhile, I don’t have any definitive plans as far as social engagements. I’m debating whether to catch a concert or two, but there is nothing definitive at the moment. Well, until next time. hope all is well.

June 2019

We are a week away from the end of July yet I haven’t made a post with an update about my month of June. This month ended up being a month of more work than play for me. In fact, the majority of my photo work was done on June 1st if I’m going to be honest with everyone. This was the day where I began my day by participating in the Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Festival. Heading into that day, I was unsure whether I’d be partaking since the weather wasn’t looking too good and my favorite European soccer team, Liverpool F.C., was playing in the U.E.F.A. Champions League Final. In the end, I resolved that I would have a little lighter setup than past years in case it did rain and so I could leave a little early so I could catch Liverpool playing in the finals.

June 1st was also the day that I had an engagement session with a recent Navy graduate and his fiancée. Initially, we had planned on having this session at Bevier Park, but my clients looked for a different location since the weather forecast for their session looking ominous. They ended up getting permission to have the session at their hotel, the Inn at Market Square. The other bit of shooting I did during this month was volunteer work for Clean Power Lake County’s Environmental Justice Rally. June also saw a couple potential clients get a hold of me, but didn’t quite find the time to make sessions happen during the month of June.

Most of my fun during June was going to a couple of music festivals and a show. The first festival I went to was Spring Awakening, which was in Hoffman Estates for the first time this year. It was nice getting to hang out with my friends that I normally go to shows with as well as actually getting to catch up with a friend from college on Sunday. Then a week later, I got a last second invite from a friend to catch Dead & Company playing at Wrigley Field. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the show, but I ended up being so happy I accepted the invite because I had a blast. Finally, my month of June closed out by once again taking the trek up to Rothbury, MI, for Electric Forest. I really enjoyed the group that made it out this year and I think we all had a blast.

Chi.Shooters x We Out Here Gallery Photo Meet Up

I didn’t have a ton on my schedule this week so it allowed me the opportunity to get caught on some photography that I did on the side. These photos are all the way from the beginning of March from when Chi.Shooters and We Out Here Gallery hosted a photo meet up and silent auction of prints by Chicago photographers. It was really cool getting to see some of the work from local photographers and getting to take photos of some awesome models during this event. I took a ton of photos during this event and would have taken even more if I hadn’t run out of space on my memory card.

April & May 2019

My April and May were two distinctly different months in terms of work. April was tame with very little in terms of work related to my business. I started the month of April by participating in Wauk the Mall over at Belvidere Mall. This was an event that opened up vacant store space to local artists in a variety of different mediums, had a variety of bands performing in the space that used to the arcade, and even opened up the nonoperational movie theater so people could even check that out. A couple weeks after that, I was once again a part of ArtWauk as my exhibition, “Current Hesitations”, was still at Undercroft Gallery. The lone gig I had in the month of April was photography at Illinois Beach State Park for a 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

Meanwhile, the month of May provided me with a variety of interesting gigs. On the first Saturday of May, I had a couple gigs. I actually started off my day by setting up for Wauk the Mall and then leaving for a different photo gig I had at the American Legion in Fox Lake. I went out that way for a 90th birthday party to get a family portrait since it was one of those rare times where everyone in the family was in town. After that, I headed back to Wauk the Mall to work the photo booth that I had setup. I was actually pleasantly surprised with how I did with the photo booth, especially considering the fact that attendance overall was down compared to the previous month.

The following week took an interesting turn as I ended up picking up some gigs on short notice. Going into the first full week of May, the only thing on my schedule was going down to Springfield on Thursday to do photography for Faith in Place of Lobby Day and a prom portrait session for a couple on Saturday. Then, early on in the week I ended up picking up a couple gigs doing some local real estate photography. I also ended up being hired to do a group photo of the employees at the Social Security Administration as a going away gift for one of them. The final surprise of that week was getting contacted by someone interested in buying my photo of the lighthouse at Waukegan beach.

The week that followed was quiet in regards to photography, which was nice because it allowed me the opportunity to get caught up a bit. Then, once again I got some more pleasant surprises in the form of work to finish off the month of May. I got contacted to do a couple more real estate gigs. Also, I had the awesome opportunity to be the second photographer for John Welsh of Welsh Studios over Memorial Day weekend. The ceremony was at St. Peter Catholic Church in Antioch and the reception took place at DoubleTree by Hilton Libertyville - Mundelein. It was a very beautiful wedding day and hope to work with John again in the future.

Meanwhile on the social front, life has been fairly calm with me getting out on occasion to have fun. I feel like over the last couple months, I’ve hung out a bit with all my different groups of friends at one point or another. I got to hang out with my friends from high school back in April when I joined them in celebrating my friend Raul’s birthday with going out to eat at Lazy Dog and having some fun over at Dave & Buster’s. Also, I’ve gotten together with my game night friends for a few rounds of wildly contest games. And finally, over Memorial Day weekend I went to Summer Camp Music Festival with my friends who are into electronic music.

Roland | Headshot

In late February, I had the pleasure of having Roland come into the studio for some new headshots. Roland and I have known each other since our college days when we both attended Bradley University and were part of the same fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi. It had been awhile since I had last seen him so it was nice to have the chance to catch up with him a bit during our session. This was also an interesting session since he wanted to have some shots with facial hair and some without it.

Solomon | Senior

Solomon stopped by my studio in the morning on the last Sunday in January since his yearbook portrait was needed by the school on Friday that week. It was a real pleasure getting to know him during his session. He seems to be a very smart guy so I can only imagine what this senior from Kenosha Christian Life School will be achieving later on in life. At the time when he stopped by studio, he had applied to quite a few colleges and was still in the midst of deciding where he would be going next year. I also appreciated the fact he can light up with a great smile and pull off a more serious look as well.

Alexis & Douglas | Engagement

Since we settled on having this session in the middle of January, we decided to escape the cold and have this session at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. I really love the conservatory for engagement sessions in the winter for that very reason with the only drawback being the humidity causing my lenses to get fogged up. Luckily I was able to work through the trouble of having a foggy lens and managed to get some great photos during this session. It was a ton of fun working with Alexis and Douglas for their engagement session. I feel like you can really see in some of these pictures that they don’t take things too seriously and are willing to joke around.

Schuler Career & Internship Fair Headshots

I know I might have disappointed some people when I didn't follow through on getting caught up on posting my photography work. Well, I think I've figured out how to finally catch up and get better about posting in a timely manner. My new plan is to actually devote time out of each day to sorting through photos and writing about them. That's pretty exciting stuff, right?

These headshots are from the Schuler Career and Internship Fair that took place back in early January. This was such a cool opportunity to have since I am an alumni of the Schuler Scholar Program. In fact, I actually had been wanting to headshots for this event a couple years ago, but they already had a different photographer booked. So when they asked me this time around about being the headshot photographer for this event, I was quick to reply.

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2018-19 Waukegan High School Boys Basketball

I meant to sort through and post my photos I took during the Waukegan Bulldogs’ season earlier then I actually am. I finally got inspired to make this post by the fact that Lake County Senior Shootout happened last Friday. I was aiming for having this post ready on Friday, but it ended up being a little more than I could actually handle so here I am posting it now. I also had thought about attending the Lake County Senior Shootout to see Waukegan’s seniors play one final time and I didn’t end up doing that either.

If you didn’t follow the Bulldogs this season, you missed out on one of their best teams in school history. I’ll be the first to admit that I really didn’t take notice and start attending games until the beginning of 2019, but I’m happy that I did. In total I attended 9 of Waukegan’s basketball games as I saw them play Lake Zurich, Dundee Crown, Zion-Benton, Libertyville, Fremd, Warren twice, and Stevenson twice. They were 7-2 in the games that I attended with sole losses being against Stevenson.

What this Waukegan squad composed mostly of seniors accomplished as both a team and individuals this season was great to see. It was awesome getting to see a team that set the school record for most wins in a single season, a share of the conference title, and made a run to the sectional championship. It was also exciting seeing Bryant Brown set the record for most points scored while playing for Waukegan. No doubt hey can hold their heads up high knowing that they made Waukegan proud this year. Next year definitely will not be the same with Bryant Brown, Andre White Jr., Jordan Brown, Jaylin Cunningham, Kavon Colder, Ja’Dyn Brown, and Ryan Edingburg all graduating.

March 2019

I don’t feel like the saying “March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb” is accurate in terms of my month of March. My month had an interesting bit of variety to it when it comes to my photography. Early in the month I participated in a photography meet up hosted by Chi Shooters and We Out Here Gallery. Maybe this week I’ll end up getting to editing the photos from this event. The other photography meet up that I was planning on attending that was hosted by Visions Meet Up was cancelled since the host had an emergency that had to be attended to.

March 16th was a busy day for me that involved photography and my first time doing video work. In the morning, I was helping out the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum doing some video work during the Illinois Reads Book Festival that was taking place in town at the high school. Then, later in the afternoon I did some more video work during the dedication of Ray Bradbury Park as a literary landmark. Once that was finished my responsibilities set in as a photographer and I headed straight over to Undercroft Gallery to be there during ArtWauk that evening.

On the business front, a decent amount of progress is being made as I continue to try to promote my business. I am getting very close to securing one last wedding at my reduced rate that I was offering since I was portfolio building. So right now I have a bit of work to do as I’m planning on promoting my services at my new price. In March, I even had the honor of being the photographer for Dennis and Dareth Reed’s wedding. Be on the lookout for blog post about that some time down the line.

On social front in March, I got out to the sectional game between Waukegan and Stevenson. If you follow the Waukegan’s basketball team, you know it was sadly a loss for Waukegan. Granted, there are few things that can are quite as exciting as high school basketball at the Dog Pound in March. I also always consider running a gallery during ArtWauk to be a social event since I can usually count a few friends coming through and visiting. My final bit of fun for the month was going to Chicago to catch Emancipator at the Chop Shop in Chicago.

For the rest of the month of April, I don’t have many plans for the coming weeks. Right now one of the main events on the schedule is participating in ArtWauk on April 20th. Then the week after that, I’m going to be doing photography for a 50th wedding anniversary party out at Illinois Beach State Park. It is nothing too new for me as I normally am not much of a planner so I’m eager to see what this month has in store for me.