steve dahl for chicago magazine

As a lifelong Chicagoan, I’ve been hearing the name Steve Dahl as long as I can remember. Known to most primarily for his Disco Demolition stunt which symbolically brought an end to the disco era, Dahl has been a popular radio voice for decades and more recently from his basement in podcast form. Chicago Magazine assigned me to shoot him at his new digs at WLS 890 AM, which was an interesting experience. I even got an on-air shoutout, although it was more of a complaint that I was distracting them by taking pictures. You can find the profile in this month’s issue, on newsstands now.

Thanks to Steve for his cooperation, WLS management for letting us sprawl out in the green room, Joe Becerra for assisting and Jacqueline Cantu for assigning.

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at work with chicago magazine

Last fall I got a call from Megan Lovejoy at Chicago Magazine asking if I wanted to shoot an epic feature showcasing Chicagoans with unique jobs “at work” in their environment. From the top of the Hancock to under the sea at Shedd, I got to catch a glimpse into the lives of many, a privilege I consider to be one of the best parts of my job as a photographer. As an added bonus, one of the jobs sent me atop one of Chicago’s tallest buildings to photograph Felipe Berumen, a window washer who took me along on his ride one sleepy Sunday morning while the rest of the city was still in bed. That might’ve been the most fun I’ve ever had on any assignment. We also got to catch a behind-the-scenes look at White Sox operations, photographing Roger “The Sodfather” Bossard as he prepared the field and operations manager Jeff Szynal as he ran the show during the game the Royals ended up clinching a playoff berth (that image is actually a composite of two images–one pre-game and one during game). The Art Institute showed us how Allison Langley restores and maintains its priceless art pieces; Fermilab let us take a peek at their new 50-foot-wide electromagnet that technician Kelly Hardin is slowly piecing together; Melissa Alderton gave us a tour of her massive prop house, Propabilites, should we ever find a need for a rotary phone or basically anything else we could ever need. A huge thanks goes to Megan Lovejoy (best of luck in the new gig!), Tomi Obaro, Bryan Erickson and everyone else at Chicago, along with assistants Kevin Penczak, Joe Becerra and John Burdett.

If you missed it the first time, the At Work spread continues as a monthly feature at the end of the magazine. I’m hoping to keep it going, keep it interesting and perhaps add a video element. That said, if you know anyone in the Chicago area with an interesting job, feel free to tell me about it.

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Bernhard - Very nice!

introducing lost lake & thank you.

Last week I spent a few days shooting Chicago’s newest tiki bar and Chinese takeout spot, Lost Lake and Thank You., respectively.  The conjoined bar and restaurant was opened by my buddies over at Land and Sea Dept and features the fabulous drinks of tiki master Paul McGee and the tasty food of Chef Gabe Freeman. Luckily for me, it wasn’t all work. I managed to sample most of the menu and am glad to have such a fun new spot so close to home. If only everyone else wasn’t thinking the same thing…

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indonesia 2014

Late last year I was able to take a few weeks off and spent them in Indonesia. Indonesia has always been a place that has fascinated me, yet a place I knew very little about. While I only scratched the surface of what Indonesia has to offer, I left having gained a slightly better understanding of what this fascinating place has to offer and a taste for more. The diversity of the islands, friendly people and endless sights to see make Indonesia a place everyone should visit at some point. I look forward to a return visit.

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jony hauck - …simply stunning.

tokyo layover

I recently spent 20 hours in Tokyo, a tease, while on layover en route to Indonesia. I’d been to Tokyo once prior and this quick stopover left me wanting more time in the mysterious metropolis. We hit the streets late on a weekday night, sipping Kirin Strong and looking for adventure and ramen, but even the hectic streets of Shinjuku were sleepy at this hour. After retreating to our miniature-sized hotel room and napping for a few hours, I got up at dawn and found the nearest Yoshinoya in hopes of silently eating a beef bowl with the salarymen heading to work. Struggling to communicate, the server informed me I had to order from the machine at the entrance, a practice that appears widespread in Tokyo these days which I didn’t recall encountering on my last trip.

I put down the beef bowl and hit the early morning streets, wandering aimlessly down an endless array of nondescript Japanese streets, each one an adventure to an outsider like me. Thinking I’d run into a healthy amount of cats exploting with me, I was disappointed to not encounter a single neko my entire time there. If somebody can translate that sign above, please fill me in. I’m hoping there wasn’t a cat cleanse of somekind.

After another bowl of ramen and many miles of wandering, we hopped on the airport express train and headed towards Narita to catch our plane to Indonesia…

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Jennifer - Hey, the sign says this (kind of):

Top Line: Attention People who Feed the Cats!!
First Bullet: Clean up their food
Second Bullet: Clean up their poop and pee
Third and Fourth Bullets: (essentially) Get them fixed/neutered/sterilized.

I didn’t bother with the last line, since it’s obvious that it’s not a ‘cleansing’ sign, but message me if you want the rest of it! We (me and my partner) are huge fans!