Well, it was a year to be sure. Maybe a year and a half! It felt like it, anyway. For me it was filled with gratitude, along with other things many of us struggled with.
I was so grateful to get to work in 2020! People trusted me and my studio and wanted and needed to take advantage of the power of professional photography in 2020.
Here are some top shoots to enjoy:
#1 - It's the Best of What I Get to Do - Sharita and Nina
Sharita called me just before Christmas to book a family session with her girlfriend, Nina, and their 2 girls. Later, Nina texted to say she was going to propose during the session! It was just so awesome to be a part of that most exciting and genuine moment of joy. Look what I get to do!
#2 - Business People Are Just Awesome People - Floss and Company
Izzy Naem, owner of Floss and Co., is one of those men who aren’t afraid to say I love you to a business partner. Imagine what the world would be like if we had more people like that. He’s got an amazing practice near Midway Airport. He’s now my dentist. We all went out to lunch after the shoot. We send texts. I’m better for having been hired by him, getting to know him and other partners.
#3 - Fall and Friends - Lauren, Adam, Benny and Desi
Not only did I get to work with two of my best friends, Adam and Lauren, I fell back in love with shooting outdoors. They really wanted to get some fall color and go to their local park. In the end it was a fun experience enjoying the outdoors with family. My eight year-old Zoe was my assistant that day, too!
#4 - When a President and an Art Director Aren't Afraid to Have Fun - Dr. Kathleen O’Loughlin - President of The American Dental Association
The art director called and said for a feature on Dr. O’Loughlin, the first female President of the ADA, she wanted something alive with animation, “Yes, please,” I thought, “that’s wonderful!” I set up in the ADA headquarters main conference room, a table so big I set up my studio in the middle of the conference table. Dr. O’Loughlin was so warm and fun and we got what’s incredibly hard for anyone to do in a matter of moments.
#5 - A Little Boy’s Love - Eboni and Knight
Eboni was a winner of a photo contest I ran at an event. I doubt I’d ever have the privilege of photographing her and her boy if she hadn’t won. She won because of what she said about her little Knight, how much he meant to her. I’m not gonna lie, he was hard to keep up with, running around with his toys and and avoiding mom. Until he wasn’t.
#6 - Puppy for Hanukkah! - Yosemite Gang
Yep, My daughter and I rescued a puppy for Hanukkah! This portrait was made less than 24 hours after we got him at only six pounds, totally under nourished and totally mangy. Four weeks later he’s 17 pounds and soft as silk. He’s an absolute joy to my daughter and I. Little Yosemite, awww.
#7 - Working for an Organization for Good - The Alzheimers Association
Stephanie Carbone, Marketing Specialist for Alzheimer’s Association, is a joy to work for. In producing this group of headshots we also added a more creative portrait of the editor of Alzheimer’s Today. I just love the wall and her, her sweet gravitas.
#8 - I Heart Music - Caryn Culp
A great musician, Caryn Culp, a new, cool, industrial space and a great makeup artist. What could be better? I was thrilled when Caryn called me as a return client with her concept and location already set. I brought the lights and the gifted and fun Taylor Darcy for makeup and hair. I wish I could play guitar!
#9 - Family Run - The Ritter Family
A lot of families are fun. The Ritters are a hoot. And an incredibly loving bunch. Andrew is a former acting colleague. I’ve done headshots for him and both his girls. Yet this family shoot was the most rewarding. Capturing the real laughter and fun is what it’s all about. It never hurts when a client moves into a new home and wants to buy a bunch of custom art to celebrate on the walls. Paying the bills is awesome, too.
#10 - The Heart Melting Power of Father and Baby - The Strumpf Family
Dr. Matthew Strumpf is an amazing kid’s dentist. I know because he’s my kid’s dentist. He, like me, is one of those people still really in touch with the fun heart of a child. Yet there’s none of that here. It’s just pure joy. The joy of holding one’s first brand new baby girl. I know that joy, too. We are both blessed.
#11 - Braving the Cold for Love - Chris and Sandra
Chris and Sandra drove from St. Louis to do their engagement photos at their favorite spot: the jetty off North Avenue Beach. The 40 degree weather and 25 mph winds had other ideas. They were such troopers, their love warming them through the fun session around McKay Memorial Garden. This was another session I fell back in love with shooting outdoors.
#12 - Doggie Licks! - Colleen and Fred, Bruce and Sparkles
Sometimes it’s a favorite just for the finished photo. Colleen came to me via a great Vet client, Boulevard Vet. And wrangling little Fred, Bruce and Sparkles was a joy. And those little tongues!
#13 - The Beauty of Skin - Keneisha Richards
Keneisha is beautiful inside and out. One of the joys of being a people photographer is the privilege of working with beautiful people and lighting them and seeing the magic come out of camera.
#14 - A Wonderful New Client - West Loop Vet
Dr. David Gonsky and Mariana Gonzalez Bernal from West Loop Vet were convinced I was the photographer for them when I convinced them they were worth redoing all their doctor’s headshots and make their about us page the best it could be. That trust in me and the power of what I do is really fantastic. Repeat corporate clients have supported my business tremendously throughout the years!
#15 - Meditation - Ryan Syverson
Ryan was a member of my networking group and got some branding photos for his business, Sublyme Life. And, well, I just love meditation. Plus, Ryan is a great guy and talented practitioner of functional nutrition.
#16 - Fake Fall?! - Bosly’s Backyard
Bosly’s Backyard is a great place for private play for your special dog. I’ve partnered with the creator and owner Kim Theobald twice now. I love the fall setup we created for October. The way the outside light through the window blended with the studio light made it look real.
#17 - A Bit Cheeky - Freya Swanson
Modeling photos with a beautiful woman is always a privilege. Freya was super sweet and kind and I love the light and drama of this photo with her figure and the red and black.
#18 - A Very Doodle Christmas - Brian and George, Melby and Owen
Brian is my fantastic business advisor and a great guy. He and his partner brought their super fun golden doodles in for a family Holiday Card photo. Here’s what he said: “During this time of quarantining and social distancing, it was incredibly hard to meaningfully connect with friends, family and business associates. We chose to invest in photography - both for use as gifts and to "upgrade" our holiday card. It was incredibly well received, as both our parents don't really need anything ... but dearly treasured the wall art that we purchased for them. I've also heard from many people after receiving our holiday card ... people that I haven't actually talked to in quite some time. All in all, it was such a lovely experience .. and well worth the investment.”
#19 - Using Cool Spaces - Carl Seidman
Carl Seidman of Seidman Financial got us access to his workspace, The Metropolitan Club in Willis Tower, to get some branding photos for his business. It’s so fun to get to see cool, unique spaces and be able to create portraits within them. Plus, he treated me to a lovely lunch in the club as well. Thanks, Carl!
#20 - People With Whom I Love to Work - DeAnna Williams
DeAnna Williams simply has a fantastic energy. She’s a return client, and each time she’s has brought the most lovely fun, sweet energy. In the end that’s what it’s about for me: working with people and pets with wonderful energy. What’s better than that?
Thank you so much. I hope you enjoyed my Top 20 of 2020. We’ll see you in 2021. Drop me a line to talk about your 2021 Photo Goals!