A daily dose of Inspiration

Jen Stark is an amazing artist with a truly unique style. She makes the impossible possible through paper. Beautiful, intricate and colorful work.

Fancy pants . . .

Great design is an addiction of mine and I rarely go out of my way to purchase 'designer' items. I acquired a much anticipated frame designed by Harry Allen today. I'm quite please with my purchase and am shuffling thru imagery to place in it that will do it justice.

What: My Brother's Frame from the Reality Series
Artist: Harry Allen

Random photo(s)

I almost forgot what it is like to lay in the grass like when we were kids. Today reminded me of that
Where: Wicker Park
City: Chicago
When: Mother's Day @ 7:30PM
Ryan Robinson Photography
Ryan Robinson Photography

Random photo(s)

City: San Francisco
When: May 12th @ 2:30AM
What: Tord Boontje designed lamp
Ryan Robinson Photography
Ryan Robinson Photography

Random photo

City: Las Vegas
When: I really have no idea

Random photo

Location: 354 11TH STREET
When: Cinco de Mayo @ 11:35PM

Random photo

Location: Dolores Park
When: Cinco de Mayo @ 2PM-ish

Going back to Cali

I'm off to San Francisco and will be gone thru next Saturday.

Looking forward to hanging out with Deb and Janae and then working all next week with HP and Foxconn.

I'm also gonna try to check out the Picasso and American Art exhibit at the SFMOMA as well as the San Francisco Film Fest and the Artsfest.

Have a great week!

Later skaters!

Chicago Home and Snowbirds

One of my dearest friends, Dana Altman was recently featured in Chicago Home Magazine. Her unique, eclectic and colorful style and eye for the best vintage-modern furniture are featured in the article.

Included amongst the amazing collection of furniture is her vast collection of fine art. I am fortunate enough to have Dana be the owner of two HUGE prints from my Snowbirds series - Robin & Jean and Mrs. Cook. Each of them measures 40"x40" and look amazing in her home. The print featured in Chicago Home is of Robin and Jean, a shiny, colorful and tan Canadian couple. Robin and Jean were my first subjects when I began this series back in 2003.

If you're interested in purchasing any prints of my Snowbirds series. Please contact me here

NotPeople and the Relic Series

Many have asked me about the process and inspiration for the Not People section on my site.

The Relic Series is a collection of the places that I have been. Some are from the places I used to live, some are foreign travels, some are conceptual and some are simply from playing around with the dozens of antique cameras that I own.
A barn outside of my hometown, Minooka, Illinois

The process and techniques behind the aesthetic quality of the collection is always a topic of interest to others. From the internet, they are often interpreted as large prints, or at least sized for viewing from a nominal distance. In reality, they are quite small. Most fit within the palm of your hand, and some are about the size of your thumb.
Paris, France

The inspiration from this series stemmed from my childhood. I was always a collector of crap. Bottles, coins, wood boxes, model cars, marbles, empty frames, and old printed photos. I used to swarm the photo boxes at local antique stores and purchase old tin-types and daguerreotypes from the 1800s and into the early 1900s. They fascinated me. Not only did the hidden story behind who these people were interest me, but the size did too. They were always small, no bigger than a business card or even a pack of matches.

After moving to Santa Barbara, CA then to Portland, OR and then finally settling back in Chicago, I was asked to create a body of work for a local gallery. It was going to be the 5th anniversary of a previous show that Warren Miller and myself did as students.
Porland, Oregon and San Francisco

As I unpacked boxes from traveling and moving around the country, I began to pull all of my favorite photos that I had from these places of my past. From Paris, Rome, California, Oregon, Mexico, my small hometown of Minooka, NYC, Chicago, mountains, underwater, forests, deserts, snow, rain, fog - they were all moments in my life that formed part of the foundation of who I am today. I wanted to use these images and turn them into relics of my past, thus preserving them and allowing others to see them.
Santa Barbara, California

The technique. The stacks of printed photos started to grow. After mounting each of them onto thick cotton ragboard, I began the degradation process. Each image was stained with coffee or tea, sanded, shellacked, microwaved, painted, scratched, sanded again, left outside, even put in the dryer. I wanted to age them as if they were those photos I used to collect as a kid.

The current set of images are contained in hand bound cases, complete with a recess for the print to be placed in. Over the past year, I began to give them away as gifts to friends and clients. I've thought about selling them, but tend to get more satisfaction in giving than receiving.
Snowy field in Minooka, Illinois

If you're interested in purchasing any pieces from the Relic series, please contact me here. The original sizes are all editions of 1. Archival prints are available of the clean versions as well.

Orange Lemon Egg Canary

UMA Productions approached me a while ago to produce and create the image for their current play ORANGE LEMON EGG CANARY. We built a fairly small room in the studio to set the scene. After searching for the right wallpaper online (which occurred while on vacation with Brian in Mexico) we settled on a beautiful silver/black damask pattern that best fit the era of the past that haunts the main character.

This photo was also selected by Calumet Photographic as a Photo of the Week. Much appreciation to them for admiring the final shot!

UMA Productions current show, ORANGE LEMON EGG CANARY, is currently playing at the Chopin Theatre right here in Chicago.

Here are some outakes from the shoot too!

UR Magazine

Dan Devening, a friend and local curator/art professor has just opened up a great new gallery space in the West Town area. His recent exhibition featured 14 incredible artists. The work features a wide range of genres including photography by Doug Fogelson and a beautiful pair of laser-etched mirrors by Helen Maria Nugent.

Months ago, I photographed Dan in his studio and was recently featured in UR Chicago Magazine feature on Chicago's emerging art scene.

We're planning another shoot with Dan this month, so please check back for future updates.

Another exhibit, titled More or Less, is scheduled to open this Sunday, May 6th and runs thru May 30th. I highly recommend visiting the gallery.

Anthony & Leah

Two incredible people whom, on a whim, got married recently and surprised us all. We all knew they were meant for each other. Anthony's wit and humor is often times intensified by the quirkiness, contagious laughter and equally humorous new wife, Leah.

We wanted to shoot them in a way that wasn't your normal 'wedding' portrait. They're performers. Lets set a stage.

Tin cans w/string
Blue shag carpet
Fake brick
A gallon of white paint
Styling by Carol Wood & Kate Procter

4Hands Massage

I'm usually not one to actually enjoy massages.


I would take a good back scratching over a massage ANY DAY! Weird, I know.

My close friend Tess used to get angry when she would try to massage me because I'd get squirmy and couldn't take it. Not because I'm a sissy (I'm totally macho) but because there is something about the idea of mushing and squishing muscles around under the skin that doesn't quite make me want to get a massage.

Think about how the sound of nails on a chalkboard makes you feel.

Thats what deep massage does to me.

ANYWAY - I recently photographed Janna and Michelle of 4 Handed Massage. As the name suggests, they work together during a massage, a truly unique experience. (not that I would know) They're two of the best massage therapists in Chicago (if not the country). Not to mention, they are the most caring and sweetest people I have ever photographed. The photos aren't my typical style, but I think they reflect Janna and Michelle's personality pretty well.

Look for their story and my images in Chicago Social, Chicago Magazine and others!

May Day - Just getting started...

So, it's May 1st 2007. May Day. A day of new beginnings.

Historically, for me, a day when I used to bring flowers to the elderly by leaving bunches on their doorsteps, ringing the buzzer, and then running away. I think we should continue that tradition. Spontaneity - it should thrive in everyone's heart.

There are many different versions of how May Day has come about. One links back to a gruesome day back in 1886 in a section of Chicago very near to our loft.

I'm starting this blog in order to allow you a peek into my world. I'm a photographer. I'm an organized mess . . . sometimes. This blog will hopefully be a tool which will add more dimension to my work, my audience, my life, my everyday routines.

Things that I plan to do with this blog:

• Backtrack the past few months of my life
• Show new work - duh!
• Showcase previous work to back-log into the days when I should of had this blog
• Links galore! Introduce you to friends of mine in the creative fields
• Tell stories and experiences (past and present)
• Inspire someone

Lets get posting!!!