Southern Scenery



I spent last weekend down in the southern tip of Illinois on a Rock Climbing trip with my good friend Tim. Before I went to school these trips would happen on nearly monthly basis, but as my workload grew at Western the trips dwindled. It felt really good to get back out on the rock.... and taste Waffle House again. Yum.

The spot we were headed to was pretty much undeveloped which meant we had to pack every type of scrubbing device possible from brooms to toothbrushes to clean off the rock.

It had been awhile since the two of us went climbing, so as the sun set on day one out came the cigars and scotch. Always a good way to end the day.
Our journey the next day took us around Shawnee National Forest. As we drove up one of the cliffs an observation tower met us at the top. Expecting it to be closed, we drove by slowly and much to our surprise and delight it wasn't.

A short hike through Bell Springs State Park yielded a future swimming hole and more climbing possibilities.


Wedding Weekend Wonderland

A few more from the weekend of our friends wedding bliss outside the ceremony...


Wedding bells

Jordan and I spent last weekend at Starved Rock Lodge in Utica, Ill. Friends of ours from high school were gettin' hitched and Jordan had the honor of being in the wedding.
It was the first time since I began photographing weddings that I attended a wedding as a guest, not a vendor. I had to be in the pictures instead of taking them....a very strange and uncomfortable experience for any shutterbug.
Much to the dismay of Jordan though, my camera was hanging by its usual spot off my left shoulder for about 90% of the weekend.
Now, having first hand experienced the annoyance/pressure/anger that comes with photographing a wedding/wedding party with another photographer, I limited my snaps to as few frames as possible and instead spent my time enjoying the graces of an open bar.
So here's to you Whitney and Joe, to the many memories and to the many more to come!

Check back for more from the rest of the weekend!



After over a year of begging, pleading, planning and shooting I am ecstatic to announce the launch of "Visualogue," a photo blog for the photographers of Sun-Times Media West.

Similarly to this blog, Visualogue will showcase all the photos that are the reasons we love to do this crazy hobby we call work.
As for this blog, I plan on continuing with regular updates, maybe not with as much frequency, but with more personal stuff shot outside of work.

To check out the new blog visit HERE
It will be updated daily so just like Chicago voting, check it out early and often then tell your friends to do the same! While your there leave a comment or two and let us know what you think.


Public Guardian?

There is a program in Kane County where if the County feels you are no longer able to care for yourself and have no next of kin locally they can make you basically a ward of the state.

Sound fishy?

It is. These two people below had friends and family that were put into the Guardian system only to have their friend thrown into exile and threatened if they had any contact with previous friends and family members.

Mr. Rollins' Aunt was put in this program and half her home and possessions were auctioned off before he even knew what was happening. When he found out he immediately bought the home and save what he could of her belongings.

She was put into a nursing home against her will and Mr. Rollins promised to bring her back home. Sadly, she passed away before he was able to, but as a parting gesture, he took this rose from her casket that was driven by the home on the way to her burial and walked it through the house. "It was my way of finally bringing her home." he said.

A similar story happened to Shirley Girsh, but with a close friend. "We had been friends forever, and then all of a sudden I wasn't allowed to talk to her at all," Shirley said.


Kylie update

I spent a lot of time over my first few weeks at the Beacon with a little girl named KYLIE. When we met, she was in the midst of battling cancer in her brain and spinal cord, but due to some access issues I was never able to follow her through the battle.
I am happy to report that a few weeks ago I got a call from Kylie's mom saying she has been doing amazing and is back to being your typical three year old troublemaker. I met up with them at their house one night as they were getting ready for dinner and bedtime.
It was great to see such an amazing kid again and to hear that she is doing so well. Her tumors are still there, but have stopped growing and the doctors are just playing a waiting game because she has had all the chemo and radiation that her little body can take.




Football Night

It's football night in America and seeing as my cities team is already out I don't have any strong rooting interest in who wins, just a lot of hope the game lives up to the hype.
One of the games I shot this year was the first time the Packers came to the Windy city. Aaron Rodgers had a bit of a rough time and the Packers lost, but subsequently turned their season around and became the first 6th seeded team from the NFC to make the Super Bowl.

Coming from a long lineage of great QB's, Rodgers has some mighty shoes to fill tonight, it will be interesting to see how he does.



As with most of Chicagoland, I woke up Wednesday morning to find the truck half buried in snow and it was not looking like I would be moving any time soon. Luckily I live in a residential area with lots of neighbors so I set out on foot in search of some glorious snowy features.

Once I was finally able to get the truck out of its powdery tomb I booked it to Aurora to see how residents there were fairing. Turns out we had a local freelancer that lived there shooting as I had earlier so there was a plethora of people-waist-deep-in-snow-trying-to-shovel-out photos which allowed me to just wander for a little while.


Live and Learn

Looks like for once the Forecasters got it pretty much spot on and we all woke up Wednesday morning in white pile of fluff.
Here's a few from the night before, just as the flakes began to fall:



The forecasters here in Chicagoland believe that by tomorrow night Chicago will be no more than a white mound of fluff. We shall see...