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be assertive

"The practice of assertiveness: being authentic in our dealings with others; treating our values and persons with decent respect in social contexts; refusing to fake the reality of who we are or what we esteem in order to avoid disapproval; the willingness to stand up for ourselves and our ideas in appropriate ways in appropriate contexts". Nathaniel Brandene


don't do nothing/dig in.

I just saw this on Seth Godin's blog and it struck a chord for me. Running a photography business can at times feel overwhelming. It can be incredibly challenging to stay on top of everything that you NEED to do as a business owner and what you WANT to do to be true to your artistic self. Seth's advice is inspiring and spot on:limit yourself. Don't attempt to do everything and end up doing nothing very well. The world is full of incredible opportunities everywhere you look. Your job is to (in the words of Gary Snyder who's quote I saw on a CSA brochure over the weekend) "Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there."

"The paralysis of unlimited opportunity"from Seth's blog:

There aren't just a few options open to you, there are thousands (or more).

You can spend your marketing money in more ways than ever, live in more places while still working electronically, contact different people, launch different initiatives, hire different freelancers... You can post your ideas in dozens of ways, interact with millions of people, launch any sort of product or service without a permit or factory.

Too many choices.

If it's thrilling to imagine the wide open spaces, go for it.

If it's slowing you down and keeping you up at night, consider artificially limiting your choices. Don't get on planes. Don't do spec work. Don't work for jerks. Work on paper, not on film. Work on film, not on video. Don't work weekends.

Whatever rule you want...

But no matter what, don't do nothing.


Kate and Chris are SUCH a wonderful couple. They love food and wine so we decided to go to The Midtown Global Market and The Duplex for their engagement session. We were all laughing most of the time and I loved getting to know both of them better before their wedding. I'm already so excited to shoot their wedding this summer!


Roosevelt University : Student Opera

I have been traveling to Chicago to shoot events at Roosevelt University and have loved watching students do what they love and are so good at. All of the people involved in this opera from the actors/singers to the crew to the orchestra were so dedicated and fiercely talented. It is never easy to choose an artistic path, there are many uncertainties and challenges along the way, so when I see people who are embracing it I get so excited. 


Ophelia Flame!

The amazing Ophelia Flame of Lili's Burlesque! We did a session for the upcoming Miss Exotic World Competition in Las Vegas in June. I love working with her so much! 


"a camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera."

I have been thinking a lot about the role I play as a photographer and what responsibility I have to myself, my clients and my community. I think it's vital as an artist to stay true to yourself and what it is YOU want to explore in the world. It's easy to get caught up in the latest trends in the industry, what you think you SHOULD be doing as a (fill in the blank) photographer/artist...all of these things keep you from being authentic and really focusing on what matters to you. This is especially challenging if you are running your own business because the lines can easily be blurred between making money and needing to make authentic art.

I am reading Dorothea Lange's biography and am inspired by her life and career, one that was full of passion and political action. I deeply believe in fighting for what you think is right in this world and have decided recently to become more active in all areas of my life and challenge everyone else to re-examine and do the same.

I photograph a lot of weddings, as anyone who follows my work knows. Overall I love photographing weddings for many reasons, but one thing that I think more people really need to focus on is making their wedding PERSONAL. Time and time again I talk with people who end up doing things that they think they "should" do or things they may not even think through only because it's the mold that they are all given for what "a wedding is." I have been fortunate enough to have many clients who are making their weddings personal and unique. For example, a couple who is getting married on a farm in Wisconsin this Fall is going against the grain. When I asked them more about why they chose that location and the style, they both said that they wanted it to be personal. They didn't want a million attendants and 3 flower girls and 2 ring bearers and a big hall that didn't feel like THEM. Her father owns this farm and her aunt and uncle live up the hill where the ceremony will take place, so they have a personal connection to the land. She has also been frustrated with the monetary commitment it takes to be a bridesmaid in traditional weddings and did not want her friends to have to do that for her. They both want everyone to come and enjoy the day and celebrate with them. I think it's essential to talk through your wedding with your person and check in along the way to be sure you aren't straying too far from what matters at the end of the day-the relationship the two of you have and the people in your lives who support you. Do you love records? Then have a dj who spins all vinyl at your reception. Do you love bicycling? Then ride your bikes to the reception or use your bikes as decorations. Do you love gardening? Then use some flowers from your garden or seeds and tools as centerpieces. Get creative and keep it personal!


Frances : Senior Portrait Session

I love all the possibility that being a high school senior represents. You are on the edge of starting your life as an adult, going to college, going on an adventure...whatever it is, you get to start making some big choices for your own life. I can sense that every time I do a senior session and I really love talking with each person to find out what their dreams are at that moment. When I do senior sessions, it's not about making someone look like a model, posing them in uber-fashion poses that are lacking authenticity and emotion. For me, I look for each person's natural tendancies-how do they stand when I am talking to them? What did they choose to wear and how does it reflect something about who they are? It's all about being real and genuine and tapping into each personality and essence. That's why I absolutely love portraiture. Good luck Frances in all that you do in this world!