Wednesday, February 28

long few days off. photo story contacts are finally starting to call me back, so i'm hoping to be busy on "weekends" in the future. i'm hungry to work on bigger things. extended free time just makes me antsy and bored. i always feel that i could be, should be doing more, more, more.

local diversity fair - i could photograph folk dance groups all day. so many chances to make graceful images full of color and emotion.

they ran the above photo but tiny and b&w buried inside the paper. oh well.

i caught this little guy in a pose for his parents' camera. i wish i'd had time to move closer and "post up" to the wall. i still dig his body language though. he hated that horsey thing until a picture was taken, then he turned into a little prince.

a luchador showed up to the frosty footrace 5k.

i felt so bad for those kids.

this is the start of a photo story. there's a racetrack on the edge of our coverage area that does live harness racing even in the dead of winter. the track is very enthusiastic about the possibility of free advertising, so they let me go anywhere. the paper needs a local hook so i'm trying to find a driver (not jockey) or owner that lives in our direct coverage area. these are from my first night at the track and are more notes-to-self. i had a ton of fun.

Wednesday, February 21

on death and hoolahoops

i was sent out to see if there was a memorial at the site of a fatal car wreck. at 5am a woman died here. by that afternoon there was no memorial, but there were things scattered about in the snow. the remains of life. coupons for a free round of bowling, a map of the nw suburbs, a glove, a windshield wiper, the instructions for an EMT's neck brace. it was eerie, but for some reason i felt compelled to photograph what i could.

more play rehearsals.

i wish i could have had more time at this all-day karate tournament. i was called away for some spot news, another few assignments, and then raced back to see if i could make something i liked. this is close. so far my one complaint for daily news coverage is not having enough time to make a really good image. sometimes the assignment doesn't have much to offer, but when it has potential it kills me to spend only an hour.

hoolahoops are the new (old) exercise fad. skeptical?

before hooping it up i had an hour to kill in chicago's andersonville neighborhood.

Saturday, February 17

long hard week. endings, goodbyes, tears.

and the risk of sounding redundant - and then there's the path not taken. the people not taken. the view from my own wandering road to the next hill over where people find their own happiness, find new loves, new jobs, new fulfillment that i have no part in. i watch their worlds swell with friends, spouses, children, promotions, advanced degrees and feel my world shrinking down to this damned path, whatever it is, where ever it takes me. it gives me joy, but it's not the only joy i want.

i don't only want to capture other people's emotions, tell their stories - i want to feel some of my own, live a life worth telling someone about. right now it's a flux between a straight jacket and flying, between the pang of loneliness and the love of the open road.

as long as i keep busy i'm ok. days off are hell right now. trying to line up any photo story at all and hitting voicemail and comebacktomorrows. ug. soon.

for now more from the dailies -

salvation army church service in des plaines.
maybe these would look better in b&w. haven't tried it yet.

snow features from the night shift.

i have shot a half-dozen annual banquets for various business groups/charities so far. i am so sick of them. they mistake me for papparazzi, do a lot of superfluous handshaking, and mugging for the camera. arg. i don't even know why we cover them. it's not news. it's not interesting. and i'm tired of being on duty for it. i shot the most interesting one last night - nuns who throw a mardigras themed fundraiser. sounds better than it was visually, but at least there were beads and masks.

i shoot another awards banquet tonight. le sigh. i hope it is the last.

wrestling tournament. poor kid was dominated his entire match.

fans of another kid who was equally dominated.

i'm getting bored with trying to perfect the action shot. with our company lighting gear in the shop, shooting in dingy gyms makes it near impossible to clean up backgrounds and get a shot that's tack sharp and worth $.02 when it's printed. and really, once you have a shot of a guy doing a lay-up or a bunch of guys on top of one another, there's not much more to it. jim merithew told me a lot of things :) but one of them was to look for what happens when things go wrong. that's where the photo is. that's where the story of the game is. so i'm trying to get better at the story-telling sports photo. people like scott strazzante, bruce ely, and sol neelman do this very well. here's to having heroes.

the shins - the coolest *cool kid* assignment i've had so far. i could've even stayed the whole show but i had to file by deadline. crap. the first three songs were rad.

Sunday, February 11

Thursday, February 8

post bears postseason

quiet and cold week. had a stretch of sub-zero temperatures and thankfully the car kept starting. toyotas are champs.

poor bears. and it started off so promising...

superbowl sunday i had to cover two different parties on the opposite sides of our coverage area. had to miss the half-time show for icy driving. so was prince rockin'?

brian urlacher is thy new god.

first party was at a church. due to threatened litigation from the NFL they had to call their event a "supper bowl" party and had to use this 55" screen instead of their usual 10-ft screen. something about neilsen ratings and because we said so.

next party was at the local retirement home. we got a hot tip that it was free beer night so i went expecting drunken seniors. by the time i got there the beer was gone and so were most of the seniors. there were about six to watch the second half of the game. *yawn*

i was trying for some irony, but it didn't quite pan out.

the day after the game my assignment was at a local screen printer. if the bears won the assignment was to get pictures of the place busy with superbowl champs t-shirts. if the bears didn't win the assignment was to show how not busy it was. great. showing things that don't exist. i love those assignments. instead of the 6,000 superbowl shirts, they were filling an order for a local high school whose colors happened to be blue and orange.

these are winners of a local community's annual award for being all around swell people. the paper normally takes the handshake/plaque photos (boring). i pitched a brady bunch idea just to keep myself entertained. seriously, with 13 recipients how dull is the same photo being printed over and over? how much extra info does the plaque and the mayor of the town handshake add to the story? i decided none and went for a nicely lit portrait. i grabbed straight-forward shots of everyone too, but this was much more fun to put together. i don't know if the paper used it. i'll check on that.

etiquette class find. dinner spoons on a formal place setting. wish i had a decent macro.

all girls show choir practicing for competition. oh it brings back memories of mr. nelsen'sflair for broadway songs and the agony of wearing a cumber bun.

Saturday, February 3


since i last posted the temperature has dropped over 20 more degrees. had my first sub-zero workdays. eee. cold.

i was love/hate on the possibility of covering the superfans out at soldier field on sunday, but alas, i will be at a church viewing of the superbowl. good to know god is a bears fan.

i've had some funny things happen while shooting basketball recently. one ref backpedeled right over the top of me. neither one of us was hurt, but i bet the fans got a good kick out of it. last night a player fell and slid across the court under the hoop where i was sitting. his head landed in my lap and he stayed there for a second or two, recovering. after he got up a cheerleader came up to me and said,"oh my god, i so wish i were you just then." haha.

checking out butts?

trying to make gymnastics more interesting. my school district didn't even offer gymnastics. these are some of the most accomplished athletes i've seen. i'm amazed at what they can do with their bodies.

more sportraits. they didn't even use this one. sigh.

this was for a play rehearsal of the twilight zone.

the kid on the left plays rod serling, the kid on the right plays a dead body. the kid on the right was a terrible actor. ha.

bears pep rally at the local elementary school.

this kid was praying for a bears victory.