2019

Miller Family

Back in the day, I would go to Maria semi regularly to get my haircut. These days I go elsewhere, but I keep up to date on what she’s up to thanks to the fact she cuts my mum hair still and also through Facebook. Prior to this portrait session, I had only heard stories about Maria’s family from her and had never met them. She was inspired to get schedule a portrait session since her daughter and granddaughter, who live in Hawaii, were in town.

This portrait session took place at the beginning of July at the home of Maria and her family in Winthrop Harbor. A couple aspects of this session did not quite go as planned. First there was my plan was mainly to have this session outdoors. However, after being outside for a few minutes, we realized the mosquitoes were worse than expected. So after getting a few different groupings in the yard, we decided it would probably be better to scurry inside for a reprieve from the mosquitoes and take most the remaining photos indoors. Also for this session, we were short one member of the Miller family as their son was unable to make it home from work in time. All in all, I’m happy with how the photos turned out from this session and thankful that Maria wanted me to photograph her family.

LaToya & Kernan | Engagement

Third time was truly a charm with this engagement session. This couple had to reschedule their session a couple times since on a couple occasions the Navy didn’t grant Kernan his freedom on a weekend when LaToya was planning on visiting. After initially being contacted about having this portrait session back in late April, our schedules all worked out and we had this session the first Saturday since it was the weekend of Kernan’s Navy graduation ceremony.

The day of the session I was keeping a close eye on the weather because during part of the day I was participating in Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Festival and then the plan was to have LaToya and Kernan’s engagement session at a park. The weather wasn’t looking very good for later in the day so I was unsure if this session just wasn’t meant to be. I was very excited when I received a message from LaToya that they had received permission from the front desk that they could have their session at the hotel they were staying at, the Inn at Market Square in Zion. The hotel made for a great backdrop and most of all I liked having the opportunity to practice using off camera flash

Eliza and Niko | Prom

At one point I was thinking about doing mini sessions for prom at Bowen Park, but I ended up dragging my feet and it didn’t end up happening. Maybe if I don’t have any sessions scheduled for the day of prom, I’ll do it this coming year. Luckily for Eliza and Niko, they were only couple that I was doing prom portraits for this year because they ended up running a late in getting to the park. Also, we were fortunate that the rain held off and we were able to get their session in before it hit.

Dennis and Dareth | Wedding

Taking a step back a little ways today as I post photos from Dennis and Dareth’s wedding back in March. This was my the first wedding I shot this year and definitely up there in terms of the most fun I’ve had photographing a wedding. It was very rewarding looking back at these images to make this post. Before I choose the photos, I was expecting that I’d post 30 images, but I eventually found out that wasn’t going to be possible. Definitely was glad that I got to capture the beauty and fun of Dennis and Dareth’s special day.

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.

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.

January 2019 is a free trial month

At some point during this January I saw the meme “I’ve decided that my 2019 will begin on February 1st. January is a free trial.” This idea has resonated with me a bit so it’s stuck with me since I first saw it. If we go along with this line of thinking, I hope you all had a good trial month and are ready for 2019 to know really begin now. For myself, January a bit of a mixed bag, but I’m looking forward to what the rest of 2019 has to offer.

The month of January went pretty well in regards to the business side of things which has me feeling optimistic since this is generally regarded as a slower time of year. I started the month by doing headshots for the Schuler Scholar Foundation’s Career and Internship Fair at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Skokie. It was very cool working for Schuler since I am an alum of their organization. I also had a couple portrait sessions them month with an engagement session at Lincoln Park Conservatory and a senior portrait session in my studio. My last gig of the month was doing photos for the induction service of Lucy Villalobos, who is a neighbor of my parents.

One of my main goals in the new year was being more social and meeting new people. On one hand I did go to a few more events than I normally do, however, that unfortunately did not result in meeting as many new people as I would have like it have. I feel like the upcoming months will be better for meeting new people as I’ll be more willing to go out as we move past cold, snowy weather that winter brings. There have been a few times this month where I skipped going out because I didn’t feel like dealing with the elements. I’m going to venture a guess that I’m not alone in having a preference to stay in at times for this reason.

Right now, my plans for the month of February are pretty open ended. For my business, the one plan I have for this month is participating in ArtWauk once again with my work on display at Undercroft Gallery. Otherwise, I don’t have any upcoming gigs this month so I just have to get to work on promoting my business in the mean time. I feel like it’s likely that things will be moving in a positive direction with my social life this month. The only semi solid plan I have is to try to attend as many Waukegan High School basketball games as I can this month. For the most part, I’m the type of guy who doesn’t plan too far ahead and instead makes plans as they come along so this month probably won’t be much different and I’m sure I’ll fine some fun adventures.