Yowzahs! Check out that Bedhead Holiday-head

Here's a quick shot from the Black Friday and 2009 holiday campaign that I photographed for Marc USA for GGP. I was on location for most of November and didn't get a chance to catch it in malls around the country.

Do you need a last minute gift for someone that will change lives?

I've been supporting Kiva for a couple years now. Not only are they an amazing organization with a dedicated and life-changing mission, but the way you lend (donate) is easy, intuitive and clever.
Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. They are the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe. The people you see on the site are real individuals. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles, you (or your gift recipient) can choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else.
Kiva now offers Gift Certificates in various pre-set ammounts, perfect for that special client, friend or family member!

To Tweet, or not to Tweet (in 140 characters or less)

That is the question.

Here is a portrait I did of two University of Chicago lads who are tweeting their way onto the shelves of every bookstore in the world. Their humorous interpretations of the world's best works of literature into 140 character Twitter messages had me at OMFG!

I also created a visual representation (out of foamcore board, poster board and a little glue) of Hamlet and Dante's Inferno that would be stung up with fishing line and suspended above their heads. By physically creating these two app icons for the shoot, the art director and photo editor could get a real sense of my vision for this shot.

I highly recommend two things: picking up a copy of January's Chicago Magazine and following these two on Twitter.


Off to the city by the bay again! Hopefully, I'll find time to do some shopping for Santa. See you in a few days!

We do!

Brian and I have been together for almost 6 years now and I couldn't have found a better partner to grow with. Brian continues to push me creatively as I do him. Our talents are quite different, yet utterly similar: he is an amazing scenic and lighting designer and I, obviously, am a photographer. We are two artists living our dream. On Saturday, November 28th 2009 in Kaua'i, we officially committed our lives to each other

That Saturday, we woke up together and watched the sun rise from an amazing cliff near our hotel. That evening, Brian and I joined hands at the same spot again and committed our lives to each other as the sun set on the other end of the cliff. It couldn't have been more perfect and memorable than that. Simple. Quiet. Comforting.

We were able to share this news with a couple hundred of people at our holiday party this weekend. It was our sixth time having this holiday party and it continues to grow with each year. Family, friends, clients, assistants, artists, actors and musicians flock to our loft and collide for several hours sharing laughs and (ahem, many) drinks and food. Brian and I are extremely grateful for those that are with us in person and in spirit. Thank you for enriching our lives.
Have a wonderful holiday season and best wishes to you and yours for the New Year!

Our trip to Kaua'i

Brian and I had an amazing break in Kaua'i, Hawai'i this Thanksgiving and were fortunate to take advantage of just about everything you could see on the tiny island. This also included an amazing wedding of my cousin Nick and his beautiful new wife, Elisa. Here is a sample of what we experienced. The helicopter tour of the whole island was unbelievable. Dozens of waterfalls, cliffs, rainbows, sunsets and sunrises, flowers, fish, beautiful clouds and the endless sound of the waves crashing into the rocks near our hotel. Our perfect version of the 'reset' button.

Delivered to the Max!

We had another great shoot with the folks over at Campbell Ewald for USPS' Deliver Magazine. This time we grabbed a fun collection of images of Ryan Vero of CMO of Office Max.
Deliver is a great magazine for marketers, but it is also a great resource for photographers and other artists to learn more about marketing trends and news.

Hau’oli La Ho’omakika’i

Gobble gobble, hula hula, gobble gobble! We're taking some time off in Kauai for Thanksgiving week. Kicking off the shoes, turning down the cell phone, escape the internet and turn off the city noise.

More work in Chicago Magazine

This was a first on a shoot. A live chicken!! Adam Burke is a witty and funny comedian here in Chicago and I highly recommend catching one of his shows. I also highly recommend you pick up a copy of December's Chicago Magazine and check out my photo and read the Arean Opener!

A big thank you to Courtney, Ashley and Marc for being a fantastic creative team!

Work in Chicago Magazine for December

I had a (cold and slippery) blast shooting the story of Chicago Magazine writer Bryan Smith for December's issue. Make sure you pick up a copy and check it out! He's a fantastic writer and has a great sense of humor (my kinda guy!!)

Thanks for the shout out!

Thank you Creative Photography for giving me a monstrous tweet this week! I've received a plethora of emails and comments about my work. Keep spreadin' the love!

Merci beaucoup Fubiz

I'm always flattered when good blogs feature my work. I recently popped up on Fubiz and am blushing at the comments I'm receiving about my work. Thank you!!
Get your daily dose of inspiration at Fubiz

Off to the little blue star in a BIG red state . . .

We're headed back to Texas again! YEEEEEHAW!!!!! This time, we're in one of my favorite cities - Austin!! Oh yeah!!

New portfolios are rolling out right now

We're updating our books right now using two different variations of the same set of images.

Smaller, letter-size books are perfect bound through either Paper Chase (for large quantities) or Blurb for short runs. One set of these smaller books get their covers mounted to a hand-honed birchwood veneer to match my big books. These little wooden beauties are great traveling books and are easy to have tucked into my messenger bag when I'm out and about. The remaining 'naked' books are used as leave behinds for larger book showings.

My larger books are a combination of manufactured Pina Zangaro screw post covers in white which have also been covered in a beautiful hand-honed birch veneer. It's a very simple, economical way to own portfolios that incorporate the perfection of the machined Pina Z screw post hinges with the craftsmanship of hand cut wood. And all while staying within my branding of pure white and natural wood. My logo on the cover is laser-cut vinyl created by another local printer.

The larger books are printed here at the studio using the small Epson R2400 with K3 inks on Inkpress' Luster Duo 300gsm. All of the pages are then machine punched, trimmed and scored at a local printshop and then placed into the book. And, yes that is my stockpile of ink cartridges waiting to be recycled (FYI - Staples gives you 3 bucks per cartridge, up to 10/month)

The main reason I use the screwpost binding with bare prints is because we don't have to use those awful plastic print sleeves (which you shouldn't be using either) and I can update the book anytime I want, day or night! If I create a new portfolio piece . . . BAM! it's in the book! If an image doesn't 'fit' within the flow of the book anymore? BAM! It's gone! Simple & Easy.


I'm on location for a week in the Lone Star State.

Spaghetti and Meatballs!!

Trick or treat!!!! Here's my 100% handmade 2009 Halloween costume! I just couldn't resist the urge to go all out this year! I rarely bust out the craft table for costumes, but this year I thought I'd do something different!

Happy Halloween!

Alan Gross for Chicago Magazine

Here is a shot I did recently for Chicago Magazine. It is of the very talented Alan Gross, a Chicago screenwriter and playwright. Alan's new dark comedy, High Holidays, opens on October 31st at the Goodman Theatre here in Chicago. We had a blast working with Alan and his willingness to shoot at two very different locations, D4 (a Streeterville Irish bar/grill) and his home in Old Town.

Be sure to pick up the November issue of Chicago Magazine, currently on newstands! And thanks again to a terrific crew:

Styling: Sage Reed
Assistant: Mark Doddato
Makeup/hair: Sara Saltanovitz

Cluck cluck, laugh, laugh, cluck, cluck, giggle

What a day! We did another editorial portrait today for Chicago Magazine. Here's a shot of me in action as well as me getting up close and personal with our 'prop'. I have never met a chicken so well behaved and cooperative as this hot chick. The handler could literally bend and pose the chicken's cute little head and he would stay in that position until we needed him to change. AMAZING!

Thanks again to a great crew . . .

Styling: Courtney Rust
Makeup/hair: Ashley Bourdon
Assistant: Marc Altman


Here's a couple behind the scenes snaps from Monday's shoot for Chicago Magazine. A big thanks to Johnny's Icehouse and to the 9 freezing little ice skaters that patiently waited and worked with me to get a fantastic array of images for a feature in December! And no, I cannot ice skate - especially figure skating (I mean, come on! Look at my awkward posing!!!)

Thanks again to my crew of Marc Altman and Colin Beckett

Camera One . . . Camera Two

We had a fantastic shoot with DDB last Friday and I had an equally fantastic crew. Here is a couple perspectives from the prelight that I thought you'd enjoy, one is my angle, and the other is from my assistants/stand-in perspective.

Thanks again to a fantastic client and a really great crew.

Producer: Annika Howe
Stylist: Courntey Rust
Makeup/Hair: Ashley Bourdon
Digital Tech: Neil John Burger
Assistant: T. Harrison Hillman
Assistant: Brian Guido

My mobile office for the next few days . . .

I'll be here with the bears, squirrels, pine cones and ROCK LOBSTERS!!!

Need some more space?

Here is this week's cover that I shot for Time Out Chicago. The miniature set was built by yours' truly and included scaled down trim, molding, and freakishly detailed windows and über-mini roller blinds.

The whole process can be watched in high speed below! Enjoy!!

WARNING! May contain fake mind control . . .

CLICK HERE if you cannot view the above video.

Still makes me dance and giggle . . .

It's the third time I've posted this, but I just can't get enough of this song, this video and this director's work . . .


Behinds the scenes from this week's shoots

And this is the infamous live web video camera (don't laugh, it's our BETA version) For our next shoot, we are going to try out a different perspective (literally) and allow you to hear the shoot as well as see it happen!

The Super 8 for Chicago Magazine

No, not the super-saver motel chain. It was such a great experience meeting and photographing all of the extremely talented teens for Chicago Magazine. I was really impressed by all of them. Be sure to pick up a copy of September's issue of Chicago Magazine to read the inspiring accomplishments and hard work these teens have.

And a HUGE thank you to the amazing crew that helped get through eight dramatically different locations throughout the city and suburbs:
Producer: Emily Simon
Wardrobe Stylist: Courntey Rust
Makeup/Hair: Ashley Bourdon
Assistants: Mark Doddato, Maia Harms, AJ Kane

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone that tuned in for our first ever live video broadcast from the photoshoot! It was so cool getting comments, emails and Facebook messages from so many people from around the globe who tuned in to watch!

Hopefully, you got to see something interesting and not my big bootie in the way of the camera!

Stay tuned for more video broadcasts from other shoots!

Sick of your job?

Here's a handful of images we shot for the current issue of Time Out Chicago and the mini-issue that'll help you get your groove on with a happier and healthier career!

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