FURminate me.

Hail the FURminator! Yes. That's fur eliminator. It gently combs away the animals allergen laden undercoat leaving the shiny, healthy top coat unharmed. How does it do it? Ask my assistant Alan.

New Web Site next week.

Check back no later than October 17 to see my whole new thang!
It's vintage, it's modern, like a fedora worn with a silver shirt.

These fortunes are whack.

Anthony Munoz, an advertising art director and newly minted proud father to son Cedar, here in China (town) for a occasional Chicago Reader feature called What Are You Wearing? (WAYW?) When I first got an assignment 3 years ago to shoot for this section, I was not entirely interested. Fashion was not my thing. Now after having done a few dozen WAYW? assignments thus far, street fashion has proven to be a pretty stimulating creative launching point for a lot of pictures I absolutely love.

Collaboraction does Siddhartha

My friends at Collaboraction theater company are again attempting to stage a difficult production in a challenging environment, replete with too many liquored-up folks and too few electrical outlets. On October 3, they will be launching a 2 week production of the story of
Siddhartha at a very dope new club called Lumen in Chicago. I shot a press photo last night on the banks of the quite polluted, yet beautiful Chicago River. Jumping fish and scurrying rabbits added to the sensation that we were no longer in Kansas. The doctor says the eye irritation should subside soon.

The Chicago Reader: A fine Georgia peach.

By the end of this month, the Chicago Reader will no longer be the ol' Reader.
It will be stewarded from south of the Mason Dixon line in Atlanta, and take on a new look and feel. But not so fast! Before most of them depart holding pink, the editorial and art staff have knocked another beautiful issue out of the the park beside their offices at 11 E. Illinois St.

Since 1994 I've been fortunate to have worked with the amazingly flexible art and editorial staff. I'm fortunate because they always let me shoot how I wanted, printed it, and so I grew as a photographer.

For the September 14 fashion issue, I photographed 12 amazing people who dressed-up in other peoples clothes and played with me a while on set. The issue looks quite handsome, so do pick one up and save it in an archival Ziploc bag to show your grand kids what people looked like in the 20 ten's.

Destructor of Soil visits The Dark Slide

My good friend Jason left his young family in The City of Lights to come to Chicago Saturday night to catch The Black Angels play at Schubas Tavern. A very heavy show with tons of thumping drums.
We got up early Sunday morning to go take pictures for our blog pages in my new neighborhood of Little Village.

View from my front balcony overlooking my neighborhood.

Would someone buy the building behind me and do something with it?

"/Everything is there when you're living in the city/"

Jay gets gross.
The Museum of objects left on the Sidewalk

We all know someone like this.

Real Life

What do I, Paris Hilton, Ron Jeremy, Flava Flav and Heidi Klum have in common?
Stay tuned and find out.

Never Bored

If you have ever believed that summer in Chicago is better than any city in the USA, U-S-A, I would agree. here are two divergent but memorable things I did this weekend to amuse myself.

Tonight I basked in the sunset under the Frank Gehry at Millennium Park and saw the phenomenal Flamenco guitar virtuoso, Gerardo Nunez play with sitar, bass, piano and hot, hot Flamenco dancers in a comfortably packed Pritzker Pavillion. Yesterday was a dirtier day. I took a 20 mile bike ride to Evanston and back again. I then drank with some amigos 'til damn near dawn. But before I got riding, I made sure to check in with some dirty friends, Mud Queens of Chicago .
They threw down on the hard street of the Palmer St Block Party. Accompanied by the punk band, Power Junkie they took on each other and frequently took off each others tops (and bottoms) until a winner emerged.

I got lucky to not have gotten my new little camera muddy... until the end, when all the girls rushed the crowd flinging mud, pressing their bodies all over anyone stupid enough not to flee. When the screaming stopped, I pulled my camera out from under the protection of my armpit and regretted to find my muddy finger pressed against the lens.

Mama Saverio comes to Chicago, again.

Soaking in a symbolic Lake Michigan in Millennium Park

It's been since summer 2001 that my mom, Ann has made the journey to Chicago now on the occasion that I have a new house and room to put her.
My mother is a registered nurse who owns 20 show horses in Ocala, FL and one of the busiest people I know. It was so nice to see her just sit down.

Pritzker Pavillion, Millennium Park

We took an architectural boat tour, ate pizza, shopped at Home Depot for my place (she can't stay away), walked around Pilsen, Wicker Park, downtown and ate Mexican and Pizza at Piece
and oggled at the variety Chicago has to offer.

The "East Room"

Against her will and inclination to not "be a bother", she slept in the new bed I bought for her
visit. She went further and completed it from Target with a matching comforter, towel basket with tiny toiletries, which she refused to use. It's called generosity I guess.

Dancing around Sandro

Last week I was asked to make a portrait of one of the
most well known and respected portrait photographer in Chicago. I've known Sandro Miller
casually for a few years and knew he'd be gracious and cool, but I still had that master, apprentice self consciousness going into it. So glad I did it though. It taught me
a lot about myself as a photographer.
The image reflected in his glasses is a portrait of his
mother before she passed in a fight against cancer.
Read the story in the Chicago Reader
Sandro's web site

Dreading it.

After growing her hair, non stop for seven years, my studio manager Lindsey Hedge is
about to cut off her 3 1/2 foot dread locks tomorrow. She reports to sources that she's looking forward to the change in equal parts to her anxiety about it. Check in for the "after" photo.

This fish is dead.

The fish in this picture is dead. Skipper was purchased at PetSmart for $6.27 including tax in July 2005 to be used in this photo shoot.

My intention was to return him to the store when I was done as I had no intention of housing the one animal I love to eat, but the photo turned out well and I decided to adopt him.

After 2 years, and three tanks, Skipper got big, then fat, and later began swimming upside down on a regular basis. I resorted to the internet to remedy his suspected swim bladder infection and began to feed him thawed, frozen peas which he ate with particular zeal. After returning from a trip, I noticed he was gasping in the corner of his tank,
upsidedown. Not dead yet, I offered him more peas. He was not in the mood. I waited a few days to see if he might right himself. It did not happen. Again I referenced the interenet now searching, "fish euthanasia" and found that I had the ingredients in my kitchen to put him to sleep in a gentile way. I used 1/4 cup baking soda in 1/2 gallon of his own water. Add one sick fish and Skipper slipped away in a carbon dioxide slumber. The last step was to freeze the fish in a ziplock bag to make sure the deed was done. He now rests between the dill and oregano in my garden. Exactly where he'd want to be.

Year of the Goat

My southwest side neighborhood is full of interesting curiosities. A 24 hour car wash, several bridal shops, gangs and this restaurant. It's owned by Lalo, a Mexican immigrant businessman. He owns this establishment while
his brother owns another similar down the block.

Sunday (Untitled)

I'm on the hunt for good umbrellas

Must Have accessories

A wise item

Lupe's Left Hook

Grown up past his skateboarding roots and having ditched the smart guy glasses, Grammy nominated artist,Lupe Fiasco is getting tougher. Still a gracious and professional guy, he had it with my assistant Flint's constant prodding to fight with him like ninjas. Lupe let it out.

I had Lupe back in my clutches again last week shooting him for a profile in Chicago
Magazine. I'd shot him before for SPIN when he was still workin' it with his single Kick Push. Now don't dream of shooting this vetern with a skateboard. He's even thinking bout changing his name to a symbol. Watch out TAFKAP

Propped up

This summer I am going about thing all wrong. Check back for more Best Practices.

Take a script, 8 minutes, knock out a story.

For the umpteenth year, I'm collaborating with my extended family at Collaboraction Theater Co. to create images of their works in progress. Collaboraction is set to open Sketchbook, their annual festival of short plays on June 1 at the Steppenwolf Theater and press photos are in non existent supply.

Sketchbook is a month long festival of 16 plays under 8 minutes interlaced with live, original music, and art. It's a high energy, electrified... I don't know what. Just see it.

The shoots I do are really fast. We grab some actors, a little
wardrobe, nothing of a plan and see what we can make together. This is an exercises I love because it reminds me to trust my gut. I also love it because the plays haven't been developed yet and I get to literally interpret and direct someones play for the camera, on the friggin spot.

I took a bike ride

Mothers Day 2007. After going to Home Depot, I took a short bike ride in my new neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago. I met some new people and visited places I can't seem to slow down for in my car.

1. Typesetter

2. Vacant lot next to a
"Checks Cashed".

3. Brothers selling Mothers Day
Baskets at a KFC.

Luscious dude.

My stylist Kami and I just got back from a couple days shooting in Austin, Texas for Energy BBDO. I don't want to say too much until the ad is produced and running, but I'll be putting up some production photos soon. Just think, 6'3" of hunky dude, pecs out to here and a 75 lb cement racoon in the suburbs. Check back for more clues.

I see London...3

My work is currently on view in London in a show mounted by the London Photographic Association (LPA) at Calumet photography. It's a jurried exhibition of portraits called Let's Face It 3 (a threequal) I was bestowed, what they call in England, Highly Recommended in the portrait series category. They chose 4 images from my project, "No Time for Losers". It's a series of pictures about people who win awards at unusual pursuits. Some pictures were about a champion miniature boat builder, child beauty pageant winner, floral arranging contestant, livestock grand champion. You get the idea. Big ups to Julie Korman and Karen Brody for styling on this one here.

I don't know what more to say about this one.

Photo editor: Elizabeth Tamny, Chicago Reader.

All for Design

Sixteen renowned design professionals took up residence on the walls of
my studio for a few days when I was asked to shoot the cover feature of
a cool design trade publication called i4Design.
This is a classic example of what could have been a simple execution
turning into a production for the love of the game.
Publishers, Mitch Obstfeld and Teri Tito gave me a wide berth to present

sixteen folks however I dreamed, filling 32 pages and a gatefold cover.

My friend and stylist, Kami Bremyer dug into this project like a hot knife to butter
hooking up furniture loans, props, wallpaper, Chinese food, whatever we needed.
We shot the designers over a couple days, and built the set on the third day.
On the fourth day, all the designers crawled into their
respective frames to be shot on the walls.

Designers are not actors but sustainable engineer, Anil Ahuja (below)
was a comedian. A guy I could photograph over and over again
because he kept impressing me with his
antics and looked good while doing what I told him to...

...even if he looked silly doing it.
Thanks to Lindsey Hedge for producing this bear
and Ashely Bourdon for hair and make up.