Sunday, June 21, 2009

The longest senior portrait session in the history of senior portraits

I ended up having 5 different days with Edwin, one of Taft's 2009 graduates, spread out over a period of weeks. One session began at 2:15 a.m., when the scene we wanted for the background was finally the way we wanted it; another was at 9 a.m. on a Sunday; and for the basketball shots, I made him jump over and over until he was beaded up with sweat (and it was May, not hot in Chicago).  This whole process was a great experience...I'm smiling as I think about everything it took to get it right.

The interview was no piece of cake, either.  It was a piece of pizza.  Bacci.  And a couple refills of orange Ne-Hi.  When I interview clients, my first question always stumps everybody — "Tell me about yourself. Who is (in this case) Edwin?"

It always takes a while to get a response.  Eventually, "He's a nut" is the reply.

"A person who loves to have a good time. Hard worker."

Sometimes the hard work is the having of the good time, like doing layups on cue while the photographer says "No, your arm was in the way that, the shadow from the backboard got on your face, I'm out of focus, do it again."

Being polite is important to Edwin (he bought my Bacci to make up for missing what would have been our sixth session, because of circumstances he did not control). He says he is motivated: he loves playing sports, including football but especially basketball...

...and he will be off to Southern Illinois University this fall to study sound engineering. His style, at this point: purist. "I want to try to go back to the Aerosmith and Run-DMC days," he says, adding to the pedigree with one of rock music's greatest innovators: "I'm a Stevie Wonder guy."

Entertainment is important to Edwin on other levels: action movies and comedies, touring downtown Chicago and crushing foes at what he considers the greatest video games of all time: Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter II, NBA Live for the Game Cube ("The basketball games that come out now still aren't as good as that") and the old NBA Jams ("Where every time, the last game was always against the Bulls").

If you get the chance to meet this northwest-side native, I advise you to make him laugh. It's not hard, and it's worth whatever effort it takes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Community Renewal Society's 35 Under 35 Awards

I liked the facility I was shooting in, the event I was shooting and the group I was shooting for. The Community Renewal Society is a Chicago non-profit that works in a variety of ways to, well, as the name implies, just make stuff better. One of their annual events is the 35 Under 35 Awards: The group takes nominations from the public for Second City leaders who are both young and getting stuff done, then gives plaques and recognition to those who are getting the most done in the best ways.

It was a nice facility in downtown Chicago...

Lots of good people...

The prize.

The 35 Under 35 class of 2009.

Could be an award recipient of the future?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Carole and friends sing

The photos can't bring you the sounds Carole and her friends created June 10, but I think you'll see the feelings they generated. This was the Singer Spotlight at Fitzgerald's Night Club.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Transitional housing

I can't write much about these photos here...the full story will be in The Chicago Reporter. The woman and her son are living in a south-side Chicago transitional housing center, working and hoping to put enough money together to move out and afford a place of their own.

Not a lot of "news value" in the photo below, I just couldn't live without it: the kid is in the process of stringing a bit long goober out!