Tag Archives: 50 Portraits

50 Portraits – 39

| currently listening to: Slack Motherfucker, Superchunk, s/t, 1990 | LINK

the photography:
Portrait #39 is anna

anna is one of those few art school attendees who is living the dream. born and raised in the midwest, anna is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute and even though her career is just taking off, she has already designed for some big names including Ecko, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, and Target.

while many teenagers enter art school with dreams of a career in the creative sector, very few actually stick around to see their dream job materialize. anna has been lucky enough to embody the rare combination of hard work, determination, and creative talent… did i mention that she’s talented? but it’s not just talent alone that allows her to run her own clothing design company. while many of us in the creative world struggle with carving out our own space, anna seems to do it effortlessly. am i jealous? of course.

one of the most unique things i learned while hanging out with anna is that she has found a way to stay connected to the community. by finding and utilizing local vendors, (that’s right, all of anna’s clothes are made in chicago) she’s supporting the local economy. that is truly refreshing to hear. in fact, i think more people in the manufacturing world should follow suit.

so how does someone who comes out of art school make it in the real world? how do you move from the creative academic bubble and keep your artistic integrity intact? how do you find a job and keep your eyes on the prize without needing the constant praise and codling that comes from being in school?

from my own experience, you need some realistic goals, a touch of luck, a whole lot of talent, and an intrinsic work ethic that won’t throw the towel in no matter how good quitting sounds. anna has all of these things in spades. some people squeak by on piles of family cash or on their own insane talents (only to implode later under the stress of ONLY being talented). anna is one of the few artists i’ve met who is not only incredibly gifted but who is happy to create AND to work hard to stay afloat. all of this (waves arms around studio wildly) will pay off one day. and that day is coming soon for anna.

please check out her handy work which is located here: Annahovet.com
please check out her collections which are located here: Anna Hovet Collections
if you are interested in ordering, click here: Anna Hovet Shop

the music:
ok, so i’m missing Pitchforkmedia’s Festival this weekend. but you know what? i’m not that into a lot of the newer bands that they are supporting these days. do i want to see Guided by Voices again? sure… Neko Case? i’m always down for a Neko set. but do i want to see these bands again with a gigantic crowd, blistering heat, and bad sound? not really. big let downs? i would love to see Fleet Foxes for the first time and see one of my favorite bands, Superchunk, for the twentieth time. but hey… i guess i’ll have to listen to Superchunk on my headphones in the Denver International Airport instead. oh well.

I once met Mac from Superchunk/Merge records before a show in Boston. my friends were on tour with them and they introduced me to him. i’m pretty sure i said something like

‘you got me through high school’

and then ran away like a school girl giggling at the boy she likes.

so i got that going for me. which is cool.

50 Portraits – 38

| currently listening to: Learo, You’re a Hole, Archers of Loaf, Icky Mettle, 1994 | LINK

the photography:
Portrait #38 is tony

i can’t remember who approached whom in my online relationship with tony. we both decided that it was either in reference to early SST bands or Archers of Loaf but we both agree that our shared love of music, culture, and aesthetics (photography and graphic design at the top of the list) has made us, at the very least, compadres. so i thought to myself, why not meet tony in person (IRL for those of you following at home)?

when i first looked up tony’s photography on the interwebs (Don’t Explode) i was grabbed by his attention to detail and the honesty presented in his portraits. my goodness tony can get to the point quickly with his photos. most of his subjects will lay out their life story for you with one deep look into their eyes. tony captures these moments with great precision while giving taking an off-the-cuff relaxed ‘studio-less’ style. it’s no coincidence that he’s quite an accomplished art director and his love of symmetry, colors, patterns, and composition play a large role in his photography.

because tony’s camera work focuses on two niche groups; portraits and skateboarding, i feel that i have found a kindred spirit. many artists these days spread themselves too thin artistically and they forget to practice their craft and focus on the subjects that they love. in trying to make a buck, lots of photographers accept mediocre results in the pursuit of being able to photograph everything for their clients. all of the kind things i said above about tony’s portraiture can also be said about his skateboarding photos as they are world class. you can feel the passion in his work because he is photographing the places he’s been, the people that he surrounds himself with, and the activities that he loves. even if you are not familiar with the subject matter, you can tell when someone truly owns their work.

music and culture can bring people together from all walks of life and tony and i just happened to meet at the end of a gorgeous spring day in chicago. we walked around the Ravenswood corridor right about the time that the light falls off the horizon and the world is left in a soft indirect glow. because we love the same music, because we make art that appeals to us, and because we are sticklers for doing it right the first time, tony and i get along smashingly. i hope that this mutual admiration continues and i seriously can’t wait to buy his first skateboarding coffee table book that encompasses photographs of everything that the modern skating lifestyle has to offer. hats off.

check out some of tony’s design and art direction work at Wellborn Clothing (they are currently undergoing some maintenance) and keep looking for his name in places like Thrasher, TransWorld Skateboarding, and keep an eye out for him up at the Wilson Skate Park this summer. he’ll be the guy with the fisheye 15mm who’s in the right place at the right time.

the music:
before eric bachmann was the leader of indie folk rockers Crooked Fingers, he was the tall front man for the lesser known Archers of Loaf. sprung from the depths of the fertile rock soil in Ashville, NC, these four dudes let us know what punk/indie rock guitar interplay could sound like. witty lyrics, odd finger picked guitar noises, and rabid fans made them underground heroes. speaking of underground, Archers are probably known for 2 famous phrases that they coined in their lyrics: 1. The underground is over crowded (written to show that the tube in London was packed) 2. She’s an indie rocker and nothing’s gonna stop her (written about a sassy riot grrrrl for sure).

if you haven’t heard the Archers before, it’s probably time you heard what all the fuss is about. go out and buy Icky Mettle and Vee Vee. you will be happy that you did (regardless of what Pitchforkmedia says…).

‘you’re a nervous brand of metal, i’m a solid state’.

50 Portraits – 37

| currently listening to: Puke + Cry, Dinosaur Jr, Green Mind, 1991 | LINK

the photography:
Portrait #37 is melanie (riley)

since i started this project i have yet to meet a subject who i had so much in common with. granted we are the same age, we have similar interests, she married a hockey player (i play hockey), and we both like dogs and beer. but there is something comforting about the ohio-ans i know. i can’t put my finger on it but i feel like people my age from ohio and people my age from vermont have some weird bond. did g.i. joe cartoons run at the same time in both TV markets and did we all just fall all over ourselves when watching ‘you can’t do that on television’? i just don’t know. the problem arises when we look back at the 80’s and wonder what all the fuss was about. our time was the 90’s.

and melanie embodies exactly what i love about our generation. she carries with her more than a few shades of punk attitude, she’s a lover of great beer, a shepherd of lost puppies, and she dishes more sharp whit than chuck klosterman. oh, and did i mention she’s a roller girl? all and all, she’s a completely unique and snarky experience that can be summed up by her roller girl name, Riley Coyote.

melanie’s output via her tumblr page and her blogspot account can read like a looney tunes episode. all that’s missing is the Acme Brand missile tied with rope to her back (she’s already wearing roller skates dummy). her unique humor, potty mouth, and personality really shine when dealing with pop culture, the arts, design, fashion, and life. she’s the type of online writer i love to love. humorously graphic non-sequitor’s coupled with riffs on linked images and pop cultural beheadings. she writes the way i think. i can’t get enough.

as i trudge on towards collecting 50 subjects for this project, i realize that i am finding more and more people who i can relate to. not just on a personal level but also on an artistic level. as this project drags on, the newest subjects can flip through the archives and see what i am trying to accomplish. this whole darned thing started out as an exercise in stretching my wings as a professional and it has slowly turned into the best party guest list i could have dreamt up. thanks for watching.

and thanks to melanie and david for the hospitality, the beer, the chips and guac, and the insight into their world for a couple of hours. cheers.

PS. you are truly the only people i know in the city of chicago who have a feeder specifically for the squirrels.
PSS. and melanie, you should totally get an Acme tattoo. i’mjustsaying.

the music:
j. mascis is a force of nature. as the college radio friendly indie kids were knee deep in the pixies and DIY ex-hardcore bands, j. snuck in the back door by offering up this mainstream record filled with guitar heroics and heavy drums. this record single handedly opened up my mind to what was coming down the pipe. i liked pearl jam, and i liked nirvana but i didn’t like dinosaur jr. it was grungy, it was dirty, it was loud, and it was heavy. but it wasn’t grunge. and it wasn’t from seattle. shows you what i knew when i first heard them.

it took me more than a year of owning this record to truly enjoy it. dinosaur jr have always been a bit of a shipwreck as j. is not known for being able to hold onto his personal relationships. and honestly, i felt that our relationship (music provider, music listener) had been up and down more than once or twice through the years.

and c’mon, j. can’t sing in tune to save his life. it’s as if his voice is hitting next to the right notes and hitting the right notes at the same time. and that’s what makes him unique. oh, and his bombastic ‘LOUDER THAN SHIT’ guitar playing and his heavy handed drumming that make this record undeniable. it still finds it’s way onto my stereo fairly regularly. you should really listen to it. there are a number of great songs here but the aptly named ‘puke+ cry’ is on my list of favorite songs from the early 90’s.

50 Portraits – 36

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 57mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/5000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/5000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/6400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/2000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

| currently listening to: Modest Mouse, Ohio, This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, 1996 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #36 is brad

well well well. post-child 50 portraits project post? don’t mind if i do… brad is the brains/brawn/style behind one of chicago’s best local websites, Windy Citizen. Windy Citizen is a news site that asks for readers to link to their favorite or most interesting stories and post them for other readers to rate. the higher the stories rate, the closer they are to the top of the page with the highest rated story on top. sometime late last year, i was lucky enough to have this very blog (blog.idmphotography.com) be chosen by a reader to be posted on Windy. it was an honor and a privilege to have readers fight for my words and photos to be at the top of the page. power to the readers!

earlier in the week, brad had contacted me about taking some head shots for him to use professionally. the silly thing is my interactions with brad started back with theresa who had mentioned that brad would be perfect for the 50 Portraits Project. i can’t remember if we emailed and things fell through or what but alas, he is here, finally, and he is standing and being counted. so to brad’s name (not this brad), i attach the #36. and i also set him up with some sweet hi-res pics that he can distribute when needed.

since brad and i were already in the photographing mood and had spent a few minutes smiling and clicking off head shots respectively, i decided to fuss around with my own method of shooting portraits. for if anything, this project exists for me to broaden my horizons and to explore new ideas, methods, and styles. so here’s my take on the photos:

a. i injected my own framing into the shots i took (as i have trained myself to do, ie. my own style) but instead of publishing just one image from a set of 5 or 6 example photos of said framing, i published almost all of the images in order. the biggest example of this being the last 6 photographs, shot in succession within a couple of seconds as a garbage truck rolled by.

b. it was about time someone took some black and whites around here. since it was such a blindingly bright day, i figured what the hell, let’s lose the color and crank the contrast. i think it worked quite well considering the subject, the color of outfit, the shadows and highlights, and most of all, the urban terrain with it’s bricks and concrete and metal.

c. i didn’t edit myself as strongly as i have in the past. there are two (count them… 2!!!!) out of focus images in this set. this is coming from a guy who is so infuriatingly anal and technical about how he uses his gear that it’s unfathomable to use such a wasted piece(s) on such a pristine set of images. but hey, i took a chill pill and look where it got me. these blurred images work artistically with what i was trying to accomplish, which was to create a coherent and expressive set of images of brad. maybe someday i’ll turn the camera around and take a vertical image… but don’t cross your fingers.

the first two images were taken with the 24-70mm f2.8L as we were working on professional head shots for brad. the rest were taken with the 28mm f1.8. all images were shot with the Canon 5DMKII

the music:

modest mouse is one of those indie rock bands that has been around forever. they started small and ended up getting huge. but you know what? their small records with all of the blips and scrapes and out of tune guitars are what i love about modest mouse. the high-gloss mega records they make now? they’re pretty decent. but they lack the authenticity of their early work. when i first saw issac brock in person he was skinny, drunk, and worn out from being on the road for eight months straight with the same three guys in their cramped econoline van. five years later? he was still drunk, but now he was well fed (read a bit pudgy), he was smiling, and you could tell that he was happy to be traveling across the country on his pair of tour buses with his numerous roadies and his six band mates.

i’m not putting issac down for making a living at his art. in no way am i doing that. i applaud him for all that he has rightfully earned. but as even issac knows, the sense of urgency in his playing the guitar, the gut-wrenching heartache that drove his lyrics, and the bombastic personality that led to public band implosions have all but been replaced by personal happiness and leisure. brock is not the first to stumble upon feeling good about themselves after spending so much of their artistic careers feeling shitty. it is why, when artists like the shins, modest mouse, the promise ring, when these bands wear their hearts on their sleeves as twenty-somethings, people can relate to them. fans were there man… they felt that pain in person, in the front row, in the pit. but ten years later, when you try to write happy music about happy times with happy sounding instruments, your early fan base is gonna cry foul. not because you sold out, but because the very thing that hit home with so many of your contemporaries has suddenly been erased for you as an artist. but your fans? they still burn for your misfortunes. they still cry for your breakups. and they still want to get in fights with you at the bar. because when you’re unhappy issac brock, we all can relate to you.

even though i have a mortgage, a child, a wife, a dog, a car, and a 2.5 car garage, i still relate to the traveling musician who stuffs their entire life into a beat up mini-van. don’t get me wrong, modest mouse has payed their dues. i just like the music they made while doing so, much better than their new stuff.

this song is a great ode to Ohio. ohi-o-o-o-o-o-so.

50 Portraits – 35

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1000 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

| currently listening to: Teen Idles, Get Up and Go, Minor Disturbances, 1981 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #35 is Shannon

holy crap it’s been a while since i’ve posted one of these. if you think i went over board on the pictures… you should see the out takes. it was the toughest group of photos i have ever had to whittle down. jeeeeeez…

i first heard about miss shannon from a mutual friend via twitter. it was a mention here, a twitpic there, and before you know it, i was tracking her down for a chance to model for the the 50 Portraits Project. it’s crazy how social media and the online world works with all the idea-megaphones (blogs), personal advertisements (facebook pages), and instant friend-of-a-friend connections (you may know so-and-so). the fact that i can connect with and follow like-minded people from all over the world and check out their content, view their video blogs, and read about their creative process’ is mind blowing. like minded people should really band together. maybe that’s exactly what i’ve been trying to accomplish with this project. maybe i’ll call it my 50 Peeps Club when all is said and done…

shannon is one of those people that likes stuff that i like. shannon moonlights as a food/horror movie buff who writes and video blogs about the connections she makes between the two. her blog, Slash and Dine, and her videos pair recipes to fit bloody classics. when she’s not enjoying her time in the kitchen (and her time with her BFF #33, Miss Bake and Destroy, she’s styling hair and educating her fellow stylists at a high-end salon in chicago. judging from her personality, her outgoingness, and her overall demeanor, i’m guessing she has a lot of repeat clients who love her work (and that’s without factoring in her expert skills as a stylist). let’s all just agree that shannon is pretty flipping rad ok?!

currently, shannon really loves the color orange. the kitchen walls are covered in the most warming and comforting shade of orange. if given the chance, why not “go big” in the one room of the house that you spend the most amount of time in? any way you slice it (i have a lot of knife jokes…), it works smashingly. her design style and aesthetic shine through from the art work on the walls to the vintage chairs and table to the vases on the half wall. sigh… with all the natural light and spot-on layout, shannon could rent her kitchen to those photographers in need of a kitchen set. it’s totally sweet.

as a side note, it turns out shannon has done some modeling in the past but really? that should surprise no one. this girl has style, style, and more style. it was a pleasure getting to know her and it was a breeze taking pictures as all i had to do was sit back and soak it all in. please make sure to check out her writing and videos at Slash and Dine and at Brutal Snack when you get the chance. as usual, the photos were with the trusty 5DMKII and the always present, 28mm f1.8. cheers.

the music:

if you choose to look beyond the skin-deep visuals of hard core and punk rock in america there is one music scene that sprouted some of the truest bands lyrically, the straightest bands ethically, and the most forward thinking bands musically. since the early 80’s, the Washington D.C. hard core/punk scene has been the birthplace of many of the truly great underground/DIY bands of my generation: Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Rites of Spring, Youth Brigade, Government Issue, Fire Party, The Nation Of Ulysses, Jawbox, Q And Not U, Circus Lupus, and of course, Fugazi (just to name a few…).

Teen Idles is one of the first bands to break the DC scene wide open. this band is why Dischord Records started. this band is why it all came together. and they were pretty impressive. shannon’s framed cover of Minor Threat’s s/t record on the wall in her kitchen kick started my DC review on my iPod. it’s pretty awesome to try to soak up an entire scene via the magic of digital music. looking back, the Teen Idles were raw and powerful, sloppy and trite. but they were just what the youth of DC needed. art needs a catalyst sometimes. in the early 80’s, leaders like Reagan provided that riff. sigh. the kids on the streets today just aren’t that interested in making a difference. that’s a tough truth to swallow…

50 Portraits – 34

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/20 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: The Melodians, Rivers Of Babylon, Rivers of Babylon, 1970 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #34 is Jenni

jenni is set to marry 50 Portraits Project subject # 6 and i couldn’t be happier. i first met jenni when i moved to chicago in early 2005. she’s a peach. we’ve been playing scheduling phone tag for weeks so when i sat both james and jenni down for an engagement photo session, i took the opportunity to snap a bunch of jenni by herself. two birds with one stone? you betcha.

one thing i love about jenni is that she’s out in the world making a difference as a pre-school teacher in a public school out on the far west side of chicago. although i have yet to witness her in action, i can only imagine how her calm and understanding demeanor and patient sincerity coupled with her overall positive outlook rubs off on her impressionable kids. i don’t think i’ve ever seen her unhappy or even flustered for that matter as her face always seems to have a smile on it. she’s as cool as the underside of the pillow.

with this coolness comes jenni’s sense of style and fashion. jenni always looks put together (not manufactured) and she always looks the part. unique but not loud. professional but urban hip. classic yet slightly groundbreaking. it’s tough to pinpoint or define her look but her look is definitely defining. jenni is also an avid ohio-an, she’s a THE Ohio State Football fan, (as you can tell) she’s the proud owner of a Chad Ochocinco Bengals jersey, and she’s never shy about skyline chili as it was a staple two years ago at their super bowl party. i can’t wait for the wedding. it’s gonna be epic… and i couldn’t be happier for ms. jenni!

as you can see james sneaks into a bunch of these (he’s not *overbearing! *i just wanted to say overbearing. i photograph james a lot) as does monte. it’s tough to take photos at home and not have monte sneak in. the first photo is with the 24-70mm as i was in the middle of the engagement photo session when i snapped it. it’s hilariously perfect. the rest are shot with the 28mm f1.8. also also perfect. i have never taken photos of someone during the daytime in my downstairs bathroom. it has tons of natural light. it’ll be used again. thank you 1998-era-rehab-chicago-glass-brick sales!

the music:

the Melodians are legends. Bob Marley may be the face of reggae music but he is not the only jamaican musician. many americans believe in this misnomer. as the Sex Pistols visually encapsulated the punk movement of the late 70’s, they were not the only punk band on the planet. it is the same with the Melodians. and with the (once trio) jamaican duo, you get one of my top 10 favorite singers of all times in tony brevett. it helps that tony’s brother was the bass player in the Skatalites (ska music legends the Skatalites). rocksteady, ska, reggae, and dub would be nothing without the beautiful song writing and harmonies of the melodians. truly truly truly amazing.

people need to listen to more jamaican music. i need to listen to more jamaican music. the bass, the melodies, the drums, the beats… awesome. if you have a couple of minutes, check out the Melodians in the present with this video clip.

50 Portraits – 33

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Greyhound, Orange, 1994 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #33 is Natalie (and sometimes Teno)

i’m pretty sure that natalie has never had a bad picture taken of her. now i am almost positive that she will argue with the validity of this statement as most modest people should. before i go any further and dump my size 10.5 (size 11 if Adidas) foot into my mouth, i would like to make one defining statement about natalie: she is the most photogenic adult i have ever photographed. i purposefully stated ‘adult‘ because natalie’s son teno has inherited his mother’s photogenic genes.

before i met natalie, i had followed her work online as she writes and edits a great website that caters to a younger generation of kitchen worshipers. at Bake and Destroy, natalie combines here unique take on the world with baking and everything needed in the kitchen. stories, interviews, links to other baking industry peeps, and kitchen centric ideas litter the site with enough content browsing interest to keep you busy for a long time.

at the heart of Bake and Destroy is natalie’s writing. she’s got a BA in journalism from Columbia College and her thoughtful interviews and profiles are aimed at shining a light on chicago’s (and the nation’s) growing interest in everything baking related. the crazy thing is that Bake and Destroy is natalie’s second job. her full time duties? making sure the world uses reusable bags. amazing.

fighting plastic bag abuse, keeping teno and tony in line, and baking the most incredible edibles are all in days work for this fantastic lady. please take the time to visit Bake and Destroy and ReusableBags.com and help put a dent in reducing our plastic bag waste while you put a dent in your local flour and sugar bags. i promise, it’ll be worth your while!

photos were taken with the 28mm f1.8 again. natural sunlight in a kitchen really does make all the difference. thanks to natalie for letting me into her home to meet her wonderful and very photogenic family and also thanks to natalie for sending me home with some cupcakes that just happened to be sprinkled to perfection by the one, the only, mr. teno.

the music:

i saw the JSPE live back in 2001 in boston. i had no idea how rock-n-roll it was to be a heroin addict. amazing. skinny jeans, thrift store tees, and a dirty-patch-covered-falling-apart jean jacket completed the denim tuxedos on all three members (they are called Canadian tuxedos within a hundred mile radius of the northern US border). besides their well documented battle with drugs and the like, the jon spencer blues explosion are possibly one of the loudest bands on the face of the earth. large Orange cabinets and Marshall stacks littered the stage. and they all went to 11 complete with the loudest mic’ing of a drum kit i have ever heard. the bass kick sent shock-waves through your sternum. it was impressive. what? no bass player? who needs one. these guys tore off the roof. this instrumental is the closer to one of their better records. it’s one of those tunes that you hope will never end.

mmmmmm dirty rock and roll, sloppy feedback, dj scratches, heavy bass drums, and keyboards that rip off Dr. Dre… yes please.

50 Portraits – 32

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: The Shins, Sleeping Lessons, Wincing the Night Away, 1995 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #32 is Kendra

kendra is a student. and with being a student comes student problems. i remember this time in my life as if it were yesterday. a healthy balance of school, school work, social activities, and the creation of art as expression (at least when i was enrolled in art classes) ruled my free time. 9 times out of 10? social activities would win the battle. and let’s be honest, it was much more like a slaughter. kendra is really lucky. she has two very important things going for her.

1) kendra feels naked without her camera 2) kendra is fearless.

i only wish these were a part of my limited repertoire when i was in college. not only do they set kendra apart from her classmates but i feel that they both will be really important to her growth as a photographer (as long as they don’t get her into trouble first…).

when i was in my late teens and early twenties, i dreamed of taking photos as hard hitting as the street photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson, as stunning and stoic as the portraits of Yousuf Karsh, or as decadent and perfectly lit as David LaChapelle. and within the realms of academic reason, i probably could have made photos just like them. the only logistics i was lacking were a) money (easily overcome), b) time (actually a cop out as i wasted so much time in college) and most importantly, c) self-confidence and the unwavering sense to just go ahead and try it. in turn, my photography from college is littered with cheesy metaphors, painted plastic guns, cigarette cases, friends trying their best to look edgy, and dozens of out of focus portraits highlighted by cheap dramatic lighting. my photography portfolio from college can be easily summed up: trite subject choices with promising camera technique.

but you know what, that’s totally cool. that’s what college is for right? practicing? learning? developing? i friggin hope so…

kendra, on the other hand, has a leg up. she already has some fantastic and candid portraits of strangers whose faces could tell a thousand stories. it’s endearing, in this digital age, to have no fear in walking up to people on the street just to chat and take photos. she also takes boatloads of self portraits. i mean, BOATLOADS. it doesn’t happen anymore. courage and self-confidence in your work is, ironically, why i started this 50 Portraits Project in the first place. our meeting was destined.

kendra’s lesson for ian: take risks, get uncomfortable, make it happen

ian’s lesson for kendra: practice leads to jobs which leads to more time and money to practice

kendra’s other lesson for ian: wear more lime green

awesome. photos were taken with the fixed 28mm f1.8 and they were taken in and around the south loop of chicago during some of the best natural light i have ever seen.

the music:

if you don’t like the shins, that’s fine. if you don’t like his voice, that’s fine. if you’re worried about where the band is headed since half of them quit, that’s fine. if you think they are over rated, that’s fine. but i don’t think anyone can deny the power of this song, especially when played live. it’s on par with a lot of great rave-ups from the 90’s and 00’s. but as we close the 00’s chapter at the end of this year, a lot of people (probably mostly critics because they really are the only ones who talk about this stuff) will point to the shins as a gigantic driving force in music. especially in regards to lyrics and sonics. this song combines both.

WATCH THE VIDEO.

50 Portraits – 31

Exposure: 1/5000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: f2.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/6400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/8000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/8000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/8000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/8000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/8000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Hum, I’d Like Your Hair Long, You’d Prefer An Astronaut, 1995 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #31 is Joe

joe and i have been running social circles around each other for probably a good 5 years (who knows, it might even be for longer, i’ll have to do a more thorough background check). he is a well known online photographer (the chicagoist, gapers block, being totally sweet in chicago have (re)published his pics), a super duper bike enthusiast around chicago, and thousands of people have (repeatedly) checked out his flickr page and his hilarious take on the world via twitter. yesterday was the first time i actually got to meet joe in person. i have seen him from a distance 3 times before but under very crowded circumstances. he’s almost instantly recognizable. people like that fascinate me. joe fascinates me.

joe and i share the same love of lots of things but most notably, we love kicks. and by kicks i mean what most people would refer to as their “everyday” shoes. and by shoes i mean really sweet footwear. and by really sweet footwear and i mean the types of sneakers that make guys like joe and i go “oh hell yes please” and drop to our knees with envy.

joe also is the type of guy who is never too far away from his camera or his camera phone. the man takes images constantly. and i love every single one. if you spent enough time, you could actually mark out joe’s path on his bike tours around chicago just by putting the pictures together. it’s a fascinating way to tell a story. and i get completely absorbed in joe’s stories. he’s the kind of photographer who takes pictures of what he likes, not what he’s told to like. it’s pretty awesome.

i hope to see a lot more of joe in the future. i will keep my eyes peeled for the biggest wheeled bike in all of chicago. maybe next time i’ll meet him at publican and ya’ll can witness some fantastic gorilla food photography. that would make my year. photos were taken again with the 28mm f1.8 as the 50mm f1.8 has yet to move off of my desk. i might just have to threaten myself to get it to the lens doctor. one of these days… also, you might notice that with a couple of the outdoor photos i kept the ISO set to 1600. that would be an accident. i set the camera at 1600 when we were shooting in joe’s poorly lit concrete bike locker and i failed to return it to the proper ISO setting (for bright sunny days at least) of 100. i hate it when i don’t recognize stuff like that. i absolutely hate it. good thing it was super duper awesome sunny out and none of you would have noticed if i hadn’t told you.

the music:

many of the people who have appeared in the 50 portraits project evoke certain feelings of some shape or form when i have met them or even when i think about them as artists, chef’s, friends, or just peeps. interviewing doug #27 made me hungry for obvious reasons while photographing jay #24 made me want to go out and learn to paint. with joe, all i wanted to do was relive my early years of college radio where i would play anything from the get-up kids, wilco, bad ska, worse hip-hop, and even (gasp from my friends…) steve earle (side note: steve earle rules. get over it!). i imagined myself, all alone in the radio station dj booth with the monitors at full blast, making sure the needle of the receiver wasn’t pinned in the red. so for the drive home, i proceeded to play drums on the steering wheel while i blasted champaign, IL’s hum, really loudly. when i grow up, i’m gonna play through two completely different amplifiers simultaneously while jumping on pedals and destroying my fender strat. uh huh. when i grow up. the best part? when i got back to my in-laws, the bears beat seattle. so, you know… i think it all worked out ok for a sunday that was perfect.

50 Portraits – 30

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/4000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: The English Beat, Mirror in the Bathroom, I Just Can’t Stop, 1980 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #30 is Lauri

lauri is one in a million. she is a wonderful conundrum of sorts (professionally speaking), the kind that can only manifest itself in the modern world of multiple careers, job jockeying, and with a market that is keen on hiring as many creative people as possible. she’s a writer, a photographer, a politically charged painter (on the humor fights fear fights humor side), a lawyer law school grad (by schooling) (my bad!), freelancing coordinator, and according to a biography from the real hot 100 issue of 2007 she’s lived a thousand lives. before tuesday, lauri and i had never met. i guess you could say that i remedied that situation by asking if she’d join the 50 Portraits Project crusade. she said yes. turns out she’s done stuff like this before.

there is something uniquely endearing about small town people who live and create art in the city. escapism is nothing new to the world of literary genius but to those of us who grew up in rural areas, the urban sprawl is something to behold, to digest, to explore, to interrogate, and to investigate. lauri does this on hundreds of different levels with her art, her writing, and her genuine (and i mean it) interest in the lives of everyone around her. it took ten minutes of conversation to catch the documentary bug from lauri.

lessons learned from my experience with lauri? easy: 1. go out and learn, document, photograph, speak with, engage, walk, run, look; and 2. do it all within the world around you that you have yet to explore. i really like that. there are few interactions that are better than meeting people who make you want to get out of you chair, grab your camera, and run out to the closest ‘ren fair’. i reacted exactly that way to lauri.

did i mention that lauri has a couple of websites? i didn’t? well, here they are. and they are awesome. Found Clothing (take the time, read it, it rules), The Trendpiece Factory (art for laughing, art for sale, art for art), and here’s a link to her most recent stuff at the Chicagoist.

the first couple of photos were taken at the Bleeding Heart Bakery (a fantastic place indeed, check it out if you are in Lakeview) and the rest were snapped in the surrounding area. again, sitting tight with the fixed 28mm f1.8. fun. bike shots are an homage to Candy Cane Sammy and his tall bike in my alley way (my goodness that sounds racy). there’s lots of color in these photos, that’s something that i love. lots’a color.

the music:

in the fall 1995, my high school ska band was holding court as the only ska band in vermont (a title quickly sent down the tubes by many other bands that popped up, most notably, Una-Panoona-Ska-ka-Poleeta from montpelier) and as the local jazz fest placed the Skatalites upon the main stage at the end of church street in downtown burlington, this english beat tape was stuck in the dash of my maroon 1988 buick century. by 1998, ska had become such a passing phase as dozens of craptastic bands dragged the genre through the mud (i’m sorry but no doubt sucked and so did most of the sublime catalog). so it comes as no surprise to me that when people say ska, i think of the early eighties and i think of england and i think of these bad boys. who cares what the lyrics are about, feel that bass, rock those horns, kick that upstroke guitar… pick it up pick it up pick it up.

50 Portraits – 28/29

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/20 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Van Halen, Nerf Herder, s/t, 1996 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #28 is Joel | Portrait #29 is Elizabeth

kickball shall bring-ith us together-ith. that’s pretty much the mantra that i followed for a while back in 2007. that’s when i met joel. it’s also how i subsequently met elizabeth but i don’t really remember it that well. either way, they were both kind enough to tag along for some logan square photography complete with a 2 block radius sweep of the CTA blueline stop.

joel is a kindred soul. i knew this already but after further discussion, we realized that we each have significant ties to the upper peninsula of michigan and that we both enjoy the same humor and intellectual stimuli. amazingly, we have lived with the same roommate albeit in two different parts of the country and at least 5 years in between the two apartments. funny how life works like that? friends bring friends together in the oddest of ways.

and that is also how i met elizabeth. she’s from the same suburban chicago-land town as joel but they were enough apart in years to not know each other from school. it’s all about how you use your six degrees. the reason i asked joel to be a part of this project was because he is a reader of the blog and he owns this fantastic leather jacket. i told him to bring it with him. elizabeth noticed that joel was being photographed and wanted in. my philosophy? the more the merrier. and she was smashing. it helps when your subjects are comfortable with each other. awkward moments caught on film? we save that for facebook. they do make a pretty pair, don’t they?!

photos again are with the 28mm f1.8. it just makes things right in the world. i’m gonna get the 50mm fixed, someday. numerical order = chronological order = story telling w/out editing.

the music:
i started a thread on twitter the other day that centered around nerf herder lyrics. my friend dixie picked up on it quickly and we have been going strong for a few days now. it’s been cracking me up the entire time. who knew that some fleeting frat-punk band could last the years and make some inspiring songs for the world to hunger over? the song van halen was my introduction to nerf herder. pantera fans in love is where i pee my pants. “i bought van halen I it was the best damn record i ever owned…”

50 Portraits – 27

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: The Stallion Pt. 3, Ween, Pure Guava, 1992 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #27 is Doug

so if you know me (and you may not), you know that i like sausages. if you like sausages in chicago, then you know this man. introducing the true sausage king of chicago (Abe Froman can get bent), the one, the only, Mr. Hot Doug. with almost 10 years under his belt as the owner and operator of Hot Doug’s, The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium, Doug has made a name for himself in chicago and throughout the world. the secret ingredient to Doug’s success? a warm inviting hot dog joint jam packed with the essential hot dogs mixed with grand high-art cooking/foodie variety. you can belly up to the counter and order a $1.75 traditional chicago dog (get it charred, that’s my fave), or try a $3.50 spicy chicken sausage, or you can really step up to the plate and order yourself one of the weekly/daily specialty sausages that are filled with anything from Blueberry-Infused Venison Sausage, to Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage and topped with Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras Mousse and Sel Gris. normally one of these specialty sausages will run you close to $8 and/or more but it is definitely worth it.

recently, a rather famous food writer named Doug’s one of the “13 Places to Eat Before You Die”. the awkwardness of that statement is that when i die, heaven better look a lot like Hot Doug’s or i want my money back. with this kind of exposure you would think that Hot Doug’s would be this slick, pretentious, hotbed of hipster know how. in fact, Doug has kept it exactly the opposite. it’s laid back and unpretentious just like the man in charge. to prove my point, Doug has had zero turnover in his employees since he opened this location more the 4.5 years ago. that’s an astounding statistic that points directly to the man in charge as someone that people want to work for. it’s a cash only hot spot that looks a lot like a 70’s diner that was remodeled by a blue/red/yellow loving hot dog memorabilia collector and there is always a line around the door. people may say this a lot but i actually mean it: Hot Doug’s is the perfect place to eat.

so if you make it to chicago and you’re hungry, please give Doug a visit. he’ll make it worth your while. thanks to Doug for taking some time out of his busy morning to chew the fat and allow me to take his picture. if i had the time, i would have stayed all day. i’m not sure he would have liked that! did i mention heaven? photos are with the 28mm prime and again, amazingly, they are in chronological order. they just look best that way.

also, if you run into friends and loved ones at Hot Doug’s? please don’t be a sausage NARC. say hello but never let on that you saw them there (especially if they are eating Hot Doug’s without their wives… shhhhhhhhhhhhh).

the music:
gene and dean ween have been doing their thing for some time now. and i have seen the destruction of their live shows, and i have seen their warnings against and for the use of drugs, and i have seen them fall over wasted, and i have seen them break a drum machine, and i have seen them make fart jokes on stage, and i have seen them play 12 Golden Country Greats with a slide guitar player, and i have seen the coming of the lord during the second set when they broke into a 24 minute long version of Poop Ship Destroyer, and i have heard their music loud and clear. ween fans are better than phish fans. don’t let anyone tell you different. ween’s shit don’t stink. that’s the truth.

50 Portraits – 25/26

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2000 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/25 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Piano Fire, Sparklehorse, It’s a Wonderful Life, 2001 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #25 is Amy | Portrait #26 is Gareth

before you all get into a tizzy about “where the hell did all the famous people go?”… just chill out. amy and gareth are famous but none of ya’ll know it yet (including them). amy works behind the scenes at the truly fantastic television program, Antiques Roadshow (the american version) and is partly responsible for keeping me on track in college during my early years. i met amy when i worked at admissions as a tour guide. she was the one who called me and got me out of bed when i missed my tours. she’s awesome.

gareth is her husband. he and i have done many stupid and fun things together including one bourbon filled night that ended with some metallic paint on our faces, a happy birthday balloon, and helium. luckily only roger slept under someone’s bed that night. back in the early oughts (00’s), gareth and i started (with a number of other people) an online magazine for twentysomethings looking to make more out of their lives than a paycheck and a pension. it was fun while it lasted and gareth and i have stayed friends throughout. we also played ultimate frisbee together in college back when we were both hippies. this piece of knowledge will be denied in person so don’t ask us about it. he currently is starting a new job with CBS Sports (as he formerly worked for the New England Patriots and Fox Sports) working on their 2009-10 football season and on the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. he’s also just as fantastic as his wife.

and again, i shot them entirely with the prime 28mm. the photos were taken during a day of checking out the new modern art wing at the Art Institute here in chicago. it was a glorious day with lots of thinking and lots of people watching. a good time was had by all. SIDE NOTE: i take full credit most of the credit for introducing Amy and Gareth (the hahn picks up 10% for early date help and in cultivating interest). in turn, Gareth takes credit for introducing me to my wife. a karmic high-five indeed. when i get famous, they will definitely tell people that they know me much like the current state if things where i tell people that i know them.

the music:
mark linkous, the brains and hands behind sparklehorse, is a solemn dude. i think that’s why i point to this record so much when i’m chatting to someone about my long path towards maturity as an adult. i purchased this disc solely on the advice of mike, the owner and operator of Aboveground Records (one of the best) on the vineyard one afternoon. i think i listened to this record for about two years straight without stopping. it lead to some heavy decision making within my personal life with losing friends who wanted to mold me into something i wasn’t, leaving boston, finding raleigh, drinking, finding myself, losing myself again, drinking, breaking up with a girlfriend who wanted to mold me into something i wasn’t, and finally waking up one day in chicago. PJ Harvey guests on this track. and she rules. it’s a deep record with lots of sad tones and somber lows. luckily it’s not all tears in beers, there are some uplifting tracks sprinkled about. much like this one.

50 Portraits – 24

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f2.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/640 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Killers, Shellac, Lounge Ax Comp, 1996 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #24 is Jay

about 3 years ago, my wife was looking through the Chicago Reader for stuff to do on a random weekday with her lady friends. she found the perfect distraction. after lunch with the ladies, they all wandered over to the now defunct Mystery City Gallery on Halsted and Armitage in Lincoln Park. holding his second ever painting show and first solo art exhibit was none other than the screen printing guru of chicago, mr. Jay Ryan. i got a phone call from outside of the show. “hey babe, remember that poster guy you like? he’s doing a solo exhibit of his paintings. i really think we should buy one”. one slight arm twist later and we are the proud owners of a Jay Ryan original. after a few weeks of eating ramen and lettuce for dinner, we met the man himself at the gallery while picking up the painting. it was awesome. fast-forward 3 years and i emailed Jay to see if he’d help out with my 50 Portraits Project. he said yes. Jay, his wife (an accomplished illustrator, screen printer, etch-er-ist, and painter whose credits include posters, CD covers, and lots of incredible fine art) Diana Sudyka, and their greyhound Seth reside on the north shore while Jay runs one of the best poster/screen printing houses in the country (especially if you need a poster for your band). his now legendary tour posters for Fugazi, The Pitchfork Music Festival, Shellac, Hum, Andrew Bird, and his own band, Dianogah hang in dorm rooms, offices, living rooms (including mine), and countless art galleries. his work has been compiled and published and his mark on chicago indie music and art scene is cemented in the fact that you know you’ve hit the big time if you get to play a show with Dianogah or if Jay designs a poster with your band’s name on it. it was an honor and pleasure to photograph him in his studio known as The Bird Machine. SIDE NOTE: Jay has quite a collection of old school Powell Peralta boards including a couple of original Mike McGill signature models. Bones Brigade Boo Ya.

the music:
shellac. what can i say about a band that only tours a dozen shows a year, releases an album every 6 years, and sells the same t-shirt that they designed in the late 1990’s? these guys really do take their art very seriously. they just don’t do it quickly. their live shows are highlighted by joke telling, question taking, team drumming, and inside jokes that they’ve been pulling for years. they never cease to entertain. fronted by the snarky (and photographed) Steve Albini and Bob Weston, Shellac are the second most seen band in my concert going history. they have a long way to catch up to Ted Leo and his Pharmacists. but some day… maybe. buy their records. you won’t be let down if you like underground grinding post punk played on Travis Bean guitars with metal picks through homemade amplifiers. this track is from the last ditch effort to save the infamous chicago venue, Lounge Ax.

50 Portraits – 23

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1000 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/25 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1000 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/25 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2000 sec – Aperture: f3.5 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: f3.5 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: f3.5 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: f3.5 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2000 sec – Aperture: f3.5 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: His Only Trade, Jawbox, s/t, 1996 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #23 is Steve

when i started this project i was going to photograph only the people i knew. well i broke out of that slump with Bob. when i started this project i was going to only use my 50mm 1.4 prime lens. well i broke that lens 10 minutes after shooting Andrew. i guess things are always going to be different than the way you envision them. the best advice i can give? sometimes you gotta let it go, sometimes you gotta go with the flow. speaking of which,

holy shit.

i just went with the flow and i photographed Mr. Steve Albini. did i mention holy shit? steve is one of those “holier-than-thou” (and i mean that in a wayne and garth “we’re not worthy” sorta way, not in a “hey man, albini’s stuck up” sorta way. cause he’s not. he’s a sweetheart) musical figures whose bands, writings, productions, and quotes speak for themselves. without gushing too much, steve is somewhat responsible and/or has had a hand influencing much of the indie (and not so indie, does anyone remember Nirvana?) post punk rock you hear. bands like Big Black, Rapeman, and his latest (although they have been a band for more than 10 years) Shellac set a tone for many a young kid listening to music that doesn’t get played in the radio. this weekend i went to a set of hometown saturday-night-and-a-sunday-matinee Shellac shows. after sweating his ass off on stage, steve was kind enough to spend a quick spell in front of my camera. the first half of the pics are from the beginning of the sunday matinee show (which was indeed kid friendly). the second half are just steve being steve. it was awesome. thanks steve for being a nice dude. and thanks for gracing us with your music and criticism and wit and production and…. sorry, i was just gushing. my bad. SIDE NOTE: i shot this series entirely with my Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM which is the second fastest wide angle in the Canon arsenal. i bought this lens second behind the EF 24-105 4L USM that came with my 5D. i love it. i hadn’t used it in ages. in a rare act of OCD, these photos are being displayed in chronological order. DOUBLE SIDE NOTE: i was just informed, via a note from my own personal editor Vann, via Twitter: “I desrv a producers credit for tickts & making u go to the show. Also I’m fairly sure u wouldn’t have be born w/out me either :)”

entire post produced by @vmg2. thnx 4 tha tix.

the music:
jawbox is one of two bands to leave dischord records for a major label. it’s probably one of the most unforgiveable acts that an indie band can do. leave a powerhouse underground indie label for the big time? and a righteous and ethical label to boot. but you know what? “selling out” allowed for j. robbins to create the music that he wanted to create for not only jawbox but also for many of the bands that j. recorded as a recording engineer and record producer. did jawbox make any more money on atlantic? who knows. but disoto records bought back the two atlantic recordings and have re-released them. that’s totally awesome. artists should have control over what happens to their art no matter what. this song pretty much sums up the pace, urgency, and power of jawbox. one of my big regrets in my late teens was not taking someone up on the chance to see them live. damn damn damn.

50 Portraits – 22 | Part #2 |

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 320 – Focal Length: 48mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/25 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 24mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 640 – Focal Length: 55mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 30mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 320 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 640 – Focal Length: 48mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 24mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff, The Harder They Come, 1972 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #22 is Bob

so one thing that you might not know about bob is that he has an extensive collection of polaroid pictures. and not just any old polaroid pictures, bob has a never ending polaroid picture. it’s quite fantastic. bob started with one polaroid instant portrait. after the first photo was developed, it would be held by the next portraitee so as to show off the previous portraitee. do you get the picture (snarky pun, my bad…)? either way, the project is a fantastic realization of the uses of polaroid film which is becoming extremely hard to find and expensive. as bob scans and posts new photos, the list of people popping up in the photographs is becoming a who’s who of american indie musicians. you will probably recognize at least a few shiny famous faces along the way. to check out his never ending polaroid, CLICK HERE. it’s impressive to say the least. this link should make you want to make something. so why dontcha? go make some art, you’ll feel better. side note: bob lying down on the skateboard ramp clutching his cast hand in #2 was his idea and i love it. also, the t-shirt he’s holding up in #4 reads “Rock is Dead, Paper Killed it”. amazing…

the music:
as far as movie soundtracks go, this one is a doozy. i have bought this record on vinyl no less than 5 different times in my life. it is an essential reggae album as well as an essential struggle/oppression/good_vs._evil album. the title track is jimmy at his best. the subsequent movie that this song appears on is also quite good if you can make it past the erratic editing, poor sound quality, and less than mediocre acting. cliff was trying to tell us something and man, we should have listened. amazingly, my brother brought me to a jimmy cliff concert when i was just 13. life has really not been the same since. and it wasn’t the smoke in the air that did me in, it was the music.

50 Portraits – 22 | Part #1 |

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 320 – Focal Length: 46mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 24mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 640 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 32mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Pink Chimneys, The Promise Ring, Nothing Feels Good, 1997 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #22 is Bob

first off, i did something i thought i would never do. i dropped my camera about 2.5 feet above a concrete sidewalk. i’ve never done that before. and before you get all up in arms, the only thing that broke was my 50mm 1.4 lens. THE ONLY THING? i need a vacation from myself… but more importantly, i got to meet and photograph the most excellent, bob nanna. bob is a musician who works at threadless t-shirts and he has had numerous previous lives in the bands, certain people i know, the city on film, hey mercedes, braid, and friction. now if you are thirtysomething who has a slight love for all things 1998 kick-ass post punk, (gasp) emo, chicago mathrock, than you already know who bob is. i first heard bob’s name after a get-up kids show in worcester, mass. as i was smoking a cigarette outside someone was talking about him and his guitar gear (Gibson SG, Marshall half stack, etc…). i asked the question “who is bob nanna?”. and someone retorted, “you don’t know? he’s the singer for Braid… duh.” my bad. i knew the music, never the name. i know who he is now. as i start to get into the heart of the 50 Portraits Project, i decided to push the boundaries of my own shyness and ask people that i respect (a whole hell of a lot) to sit and be photographed. andrew huff was the first (as i once started a website that really wanted to be Gaper’s Block but never got off the ground) and i’m already on to mr. nanna. who’s next? well… you’ll just have to come back and see. bob and i had so much fun cruising around the very photogenic threadless offices that i had to split this portion of the 50PP into two parts. as you may notice in these photos, i spent a good amount of time battling the lighting. as the 50PP is done without the use of external light sources attached to the camera, i ended up using both the natural and unnatural light in threadless. all in all, it makes for some fun saturations and skin tones. enjoy. every shot here was taken with my EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. shed a tear for the 50mm.

the music:
this album pretty much sums up the end of my college career. a friend gave it to me and it’s never left my side. i was once told that i would never be able to listen to this song in my friend ashley’s volvo ever again. i pretty much beat this album into the ground and it still holds all of the energy and insight that it did more than 10 years ago. as the promise ring started to call it quits in the early 2000’s i managed to catch them on their last tour through boston. it was a fantastic swan song show with all of the energy that i expected from a band that was playing for the fans. i quite enjoyed the hell out of it. i look back and wish i was hearing this record for the first time. and in some ways, i hear something new every time i play it. just a side note but J. Robbins produced this record. you should google him. he’s worked on some fantastic records.

50 Portraits – 21

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Honey in the Sun, Camera Obscura, My Maudlin Career, 2009 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #21 is andrew

andrew is the editor in chief of one of chicago’s great blogs, Gapers Block. i met andrew a couple of years ago at a Gaper’s anniversary party. my wife had befriended him via her path as a PR superhero. andrew has one of those memorable faces (which may be directly linked to his sideburns) and when i decided to branch out of my inner circle for this 50 Portraits Project, his name was near the top of the list. i met with andrew, his wife, and a few of their friends for a beer and some portraits (i am lying about the beer because it’s hard for me to say cider in public). please check out GB as it collects the finest that chicago has to offer in the arts, social stratospheres, food, politics, and puts it out there in blog form for all to see. check it out for sure. thanks to andrew and cinnamon for letting me hang for a bit. i would love to see the photos (that cinnamon took) of me taking andrew’s photo. that would be a fantastic attachment to this post.

the music:
besides the aptly chosen name for this band, there are many many many things i love about this multi-pieced group from scotland. fortunately almost all of my interest stems from their lead singer tracianne. my god. for a long time now, i have had an imaginary friendship with her. we run in the fields of grass, we hold hands, we toe the sand on the beach together, we take funny polaroids of each other outside of the Louvre, we ride a bicycle built for two together, and we go skinny dipping in the pond without looking at each other (ok so maybe i look but i know she doesn’t). it’s fantastic. their music is so bubbly, so happy, and so much more than the bubblegum pop that it poses as. this band is now five records into a great career and your should buy them all. but make sure to bring your toothbrush. this band is indeed, too sweet for most. i almost fainted when my friend ivan introduced me to tracianne back in 2004. true story.

50 Portraits – 19

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: F2.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/640 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: F2.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Let’s Go, The Cars, Candy-O, 1979 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #19 is theresa

to break out of my shell for the middle third of these 50 portraits i have decided to meet and shoot some local chicago web celebs. first on my list? the owner, operator, and sole proprietor of The Local Tourist website (go check it out with the link provided, you’ll love it!), theresa. the site is a great way to explore chicago from where to eat to site seeing to venues. an awesome website run by an awesome person. i met theresa about 2 months ago while working with my wife at a meeting of the tweeters (tweet-up) and i realized early that theresa has one of those personalities that you don’t forget easily, especially when paired with her curly red hair. shooting photos in the early evening is fantastic so matching up the orange glow of the sun with the orange glow of her hair was perfect. also, talking and walking through your portraitee’s favorite park/stomping grounds for an hour or so is a great way to capture said portraitee’s personality. so go check out her site. you’ll be glad you did. thanks theresa for chewing the fat. viva la Local Tourist. also, i am just a sucker for some natural lens flair. take that photoshop!

the music:
i woke up this morning and i took the dog to the dog sitter and i drove down western avenue (one of, if not THE, longest streets in chicago) and all i could do was hum this song. i love the cars. i love love love the cars. this song (which is occasionally mistaken to be titled “I like the night life baby”) appears on a great album that features of the greatest album covers of all time. LINK. and lots of people forget about ben orr. rip mr. orr, your voice and songs will be missed.

50 Portraits – 18

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/640 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: How the Stars Got Crossed, Radio 4, New Song & Dance, 2000 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #18 is nathan

nathan and my wife grew up in the same neighborhood on the north side of chicago. nathan is a musician, a photographer, and a graphic artist as well as a truly nice human being. i met nathan years ago at a bar that does not exist anymore while i was courting my wife (possibly, 4th date? maybe 5th?). he’s a sweetheart of a guy and he’s a blast to chat with about many different topics. but most of the time we talk guitars, cameras, and cars (three things that we both know a fair amount about). we tend to get kicked out of small rooms where the volume of our conversations can take over even the loudest of chatters. i can’t wait for the warmer weather to break on through to my backyard so nathan and i can sit, grill, swill, and chat about the world at large. he’s a good egg and he was kind enough to sit and have his portrait taken in what might be the quickest portrait session of this project (quicker than drive-thru food…). 18 down. 32 to go?

the music:
radio 4 is one of the brooklyn bands that made the scene in the early 2000’s. along with contemporaries, les savy fav, and the yeah yeah yeahs, radio 4 played indie music in the vein of disco dance rock. as the other two artists moved into more creative phases of their careers, Radio 4 kinda stayed put. don’t get me wrong, it’s good music, but it’s repetitive good music. they are also, quite possibly, the shortest band i have ever seen on stage. average height had to have been 5’6″. that’s indeed weird that i remember things like that. but it was really noticeable.

50 Portraits – 17

Exposure: 1/6400 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/6400 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/5000 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/5000 sec – Aperture: F2.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: (Arrow Up), Boredoms, Vision Creation Newsun, 1999 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #17 is christopher

not only did i get a chance to spend a day at the horse track but i also knocked off both #’s 16 and 17 of the 50 Portraits Project. whew. life moves pretty fast during the summer. true that. chris is related to my wife and he is visually, a great photographic study. he’s a handsome man with impeccable taste in dress wear and he knows it. a little attitude will get you everywhere in the photographic world. especially when you look that good in front of the lens. his modeling contract days may be behind him but i was happy to be able to pull him out of retirement for my 50 Portraits Project. he’s a good egg. also, the wind had very little effect on chris’ hair, unlike that of his counterpart, leah. not to throw us all under the bus (and not to make leah feel too bad about the incident) but chris was also there when the tambourines went missing. i have many stories to tell about this one but both chris and i prefer our privacy. we’ll tell my kids one day. it’ll be fun to watch their jaws drop. i don’t know if i have mentioned this before but within each of the photos in the 50 Portraits Project, i am using the same lens and the same camera and all of the photos have been taken since the day i started posting them. these are not being culled from the vault. they are fresh. just like chris.

the music:
japan’s favorite noise, funk, rock, indie, weirdos, and all around torchbearers of dreadlocks, boredoms, love to play music and they really love to play the drums. their music is a percussive heavy / keyboard leaning shout-out to american / british psychedelic rock of the seventies. lots of overdubs, tracks, noises, blips, and echos are heard above the driving beats. there may be gobs of manipulation on the surface but don’t let that fool you, the drums are recorded live and played by drummers (usually 3 of them when they play live). the keys are just there to add enough sunshine to highlight the rhythm. i think that every song boredoms produce has at least one symbol being crashed every second. this track contains actual guitar and vocals as well. but i always forget that.

50 Portraits – 16

Exposure: 1/8000 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/5000 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2000 sec – Aperture: F2.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: F2.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2000 sec – Aperture: F2.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Plumb Line, Archers Of Loaf, Icky Mettle, 1994 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #16 is leah

am i only up to #16? on saturday we spent the afternoon hanging around arlington racetrack decked out in seersucker, salmon pants, sun hats, sweaters, and sun dresses. the sun was shining and the ponies were running. it also happened to be Derby Day so the mint julips were also flowing. it was perfect. leah is a dear friend that i have known for a number of years now. she was great to not only put up with my camera but to also join in on all of our antics. the last time i went to a karaoke bar with leah, we may have walked out with one tambourine in her purse and one in my wife’s purse. never a dull moment, right? this was no exception. i also came away with a small set of winnings as my wife went 4-5 for her picks on the day. not too shabby. now if i had only known that the winner of the derby race itself would be the 50-1 mine the bird. dear lord. trifecta that on a $10 bet and you would have been a millionaire. one thought about this first photo: i love the fact that this is an interesting portrait that actually shows very little of leah’s face. photography works in mysterious ways sometimes (windy or not). aesthetics follows very few rules.

the music:
i don’t want to say that archers of loaf coined the phrase but they definitely brought the term “indie rocker” to the masses (at least in my circle of friends and our vocabulary). this record is a great snippet of guitar driven indie rock from the mid 90’s. together with pavement, the archers of loaf brought the guitar to the forefront, hard, angular, and distorted. if i had to pick a basketball team filled with guitar heroes, Eric Bachmann would be on the team at 6’7″ or so. jeez. he makes the guitar look like a toothpick.

50 Portraits – 15

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: F4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: F4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: F2.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: F2.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Digital, Joy Division, A Factory Sample EP, 1978 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #15 is markley

two dudes walking around chicago for nearly 3 hours is always fun. this is what markley and i did the other day. it was a great way to be able to hang out and chat. i enjoy getting to know people better while riding on trains. markley is a professional writer with a journalist’s rabid passion for fine prose. he’s unabashed and snarky to say the least which means that he reminds me of me. markley is the youngest novelist that i have ever met and he’s so nonchalant about this fact that most of the people that work with him don’t even know that he’s an accomplished writer. this photo shoot was the first of many in which we are planning to explore the different ways to capture markley for his author photo. in this day and age of cutting edge and crazy book design, we’ll hopefully be plotting out a course so that people will pick up his first novel, turn it over, see his photo, and understand that they should probably read this book. we also wanted to make it chicago-centric. we may have taken that one a bit too literally but you have to know your boundaries on both sides of the fence to know where your final product should lie. the lighting for this shoot was perfect; overcast, occasional rain, but bright. as we move into the digital age, cameras are getting better and better at reading gray days. this shoot was really a lot of fun. at one point in the shoot, i told markley that this was his “dylan” moment. the last two photos remind me so much of robert zimmerman (or maybe just something that he would do).

the music:
don’t ever fade away, don’t ever fade away, don’t ever fade away, fade away, fade away… the fabled photographer, anton corbjin, made a movie about joy division pretty recently. i would really like to see it. their recorded sound, their vision, their music, and their lyrics were all well ahead of what their contemporaries were pulling off. their music is timeless and sounds as modern as anything on the radio these days. ground breakers indeed. if i had my choice of rhythm sections for a modern rock band, i would pluck JD’s in a heartbeat. it’s a pity and a waste that the chance of hearing more music is not possible. new order is really good, but Joy Division was amazing.

50 Portraits – 14

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Laughter Montage

| currently listening to: Territorial Pissings, Nirvana, Nevermind, 1991 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #14 is michael

michael was kind enough to sit and chat with me today for a spell as we pondered such things as “stooping it” in kentucky, the gentrification of brooklyn, my father’s high school alma mater, my mother’s stint of living in the east village in 1968, the 2009 South by Southwest Multimedia Festival, raising kids in our neighborhood, and of course, everybody’s favorite topic, work. michael is a photographer in his own right and we chatted about film and darkrooms and the such. it’s nice to have people around who you can relate to when it comes to hobbies. it turns out that portrait #7 has known portrait #14 since 1993. small world eh?! well, for this midwest photojournalist, it’s really not that small. especially in the circles i have been running in recently. with the decline of the industry that i cover, people are dropping like flies. every day another email goes out about who is where and why and how and who isn’t around anymore. it’s sad. but to work with such a good group of peeps is great. and fun. SIDE NOTE: a new dawn has broken over IDMPhotography. hades hath turned to hoth and i have joined twitter. @IDMPhoto for those in the know. follow me if you would like to.

the music:
it’s been almost twenty years since nirvana cracked me over the head. i first bought this tape in eight grade, listened to it until i broke it, bought it again. this song starts off the second side of the record (if you bought it on vinyl or tape) and i always took it as a call to arms. with it’s first lines stolen from a youngbloods tune, this track is just so steeped in distortion and crunch that it chills me to the bone. “just because you’re paranoid,
don’t mean they’re not after you”. true kurt, true. i’m gonna always love this record for the time and the place. it truly is a great listen.

50 Portraits – 13

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: F10 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: F5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2000 sec – Aperture: F4.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: F4.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: F4.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: The General Specific, Band of Horses, Cease to Begin, 2007 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #13 is catherine

in my family, the #13 has always been lucky, my father’s birthday, my parents wedding anniversary, my brother’s jersey number from youth hockey, the sum of our house number in rochester, minnesota in 1986, etc. it was only a matter of time before i added the love of my life to this 50 portraits project. why not make her #13? cath’s very presence in my life is a joy that i never overlook for a second nor do i ever take it for granted. she’s beautiful, smart, and caring. catherine. these photos are from our recent trip to the west coast. it was a whirlwind four days spent driving around sonoma county stopping only to taste more wine, check out the ocean, eat fantastic food (kumamoto oysters), sleep, or to put our feet up after a long day and relax on the patio (probably with a bottle of wine). it was the most refreshing trip i have ever been on and it was the first vacation we have taken in a few years where we did not have to see any loved ones or have an agenda chock full of tourist’s visits. healdsburg, california and the surrounding areas comprise one of the prettiest landscapes in all of america from the redwood forests, to the vines in dry creek river valley, this county has it all. and we took advantage of it. sunglasses, open window driving, fine dining, and vino were our only pre-reqs for each day. it was perfect. we were perfect. that statement reflects more the company that i keep than anything that i had to do with the situation. as i tell most strangers, i married up. and it shows.

the music:
one of the catchiest singles from the 2000’s, is there a ghost, is one of the better pop gems from a band known for their melting pot of freak folk, pop rock, and indie guitar jams. this track is just as beautiful and it’s for those people out there who buy records because they want to find the deeper cuts of a record to listen to and fall in love with. these guys (band of horses) look like they should be driving 18 wheelers across the country while on meth. they are equal parts beard, mesh hats, tattoo sleeves, flannel, and overbites. how fitting. this record is really worth a listen to if you like the more poppy indie rockers like death cab, the rosebuds, or my morning jacket. this record is such a great representation of good song writing and music that will stand the test of many years to come. think arty beach boys meets neil young meets death cab for cutie. i likey. “it means shit to me now…”

50 Portraits – 12

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: F2.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: F2.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Driveway to Driveway, Superchunk, Driveway to Driveway Single, 1994 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #12 is eamonn

in those long lost days of processing film and choosing film stock, photographers could push and pull colors right out of no where. with a sly knowledge of chemicals and with a printers gentle touch, one could virtually paint hues of cool and warm, light and dark, over any subject they wanted to. in the digital age it is much easier and more efficient to do it with the input of a number or the grabbing of a slide-bar. but let’s be honest, it doesn’t look the same. these days it is no better or no worse than film to adjust your colors. it is just plain different. with eamonn (who brings my portraits total to a whopping twelve!!!) i decided to push and pull some colors to give the viewer something new to look at, a hue to pense upon if you will. so we have warm eamonn and we have cool eamonn. and depending on who you talk to, eamonn is always cool. mr. e and i used to work together in an office building before he branched out on his own to work as a full time writer and editor. when we worked together he was always one good job offer away from finding his niche and landing the perfect job. he may still looking but he is most definitely one gigantic step closer to that dream then he used to be. catching up over lunch was pretty sweet and i think we decided that this should become a regular meeting. check back for more photos of eamonn through the posts to come. a very smart dude indeed.

the music:
the second time i met mac from superchunk we were both attending a fly in party. yes. i said fly in party. someone we both knew owned an airplane hanger and landing strip in the middle of nowhere North Carolina and this man and his father would have their flying buddies and driving buddies all meet up for a mid-summer fly in party complete with plane rides, live music, and of course, roasted carolina style (vinegar based) pork bar-b-q pig pickin’ style. it was awesome. the first time i met mac he asked if i knew where there was a good place to eat around here. i babbled something like “your record, here’s where the strings come in, saved my life in high school” and then i proceeded to wander off to cry quietly in the corner. it sounds dramatic but i’m pretty sure that’s how he must have perceived the entire interaction. i have photos from that night. it was awesome. it was also the first time i spent backstage at the middle east downstairs in boston. a fun night indeed. if you don’t know superchunk, you should.

50 Portraits – 11

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: All World Cowboy Romance, Mission of Burma, Signals, Calls And Marches EP, 1981 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #11 is lisse

lisse and i have known each other since she was an old girlfriend of mine’s roommate almost ten years ago. since then we have lived in the same dilapidated triple-decker (boston speak for three flat) and visited each other in such strange places as cape cod, raleigh NC, and brooklyn. this past week we had an opportunity to spend a good chunk of the day running around williamsburg, bushwick, and back to williamsburg together. through the years, we have spent a ton of time together riding the train, eating at restaurants, and drinking in bars. again, it’s good to see old friends. it’s also good to take photos of them. lisse was kind enough to know me before i become a photographic-maniac so when i started clicking, she at least was comfortable enough around me to let her guard down. this trip to new york was enlightening. the whole 5 days were invigorating for my karma, chi, creative juices, and for my soul. to run around a new place (i haven’t spent that much time there) and to get to see the sights while still feeling carefree, amazing. it’s also amazing that i didn’t take a lot of photos. sometimes when i have my camera up to my eye i forget to enjoy what is in front of me. it’s nice to not be busy documenting. so this trip, i took in much of brooklyn camera-less. the view from the pulaski bridge that gaps queens and greenpoint? i’ll snap you one day. when i grow up, i’m gonna own a box factory building under the pulaski bridge…

the music:
someone mildly famous once said that they would either cover a burma song on one of their records or get a burma tattoo. well… i’m still looking to release my first record and i’m still looking to get that burma tattoo. these guys are the reason i can’t stand chamber indie pop crap like Antony and the Johnstons. rock and roll should never die. as mission of burma moves into their late 40’s and early 50’s, they still make ear splitting, foot stomping, back breaking rock and roll. proof that growing old and growing up never means you have to compromise. top ten bands of all time. no joke. top ten. boston may be defined by the pixies in many peoples minds, but it is also the birthplace of burma, the cars, and the modern lovers. never forget that. (you can forget that aerosmith is even a band though…)

50 Portraits – 10

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Catch the Sun, Doves, Lost Souls, 2000 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #10 is jamie

jamie is someone i met though two mutual friends in brooklyn. she didn’t really believe me when i said i was a photographer. then i started taking pictures. i think she got it pretty quickly after that. ever since i started this project, jamie might have been the easiest model to shoot. she has a natural comfort in front of the lens that allows me to shoot photos without much thought or care about what’s going on. it’s just brainless clicking and yet the photos speak volumes. i also love that she came equipped with her own leopard print jacket. normally i have to ask people to wear clothes like that. outstanding to say the least. after drinks, dinner, drinks, our crew became fast friends even though many of us had just met that day. it’s easy to hang out with people you have known for years and accept their friends as your own. at this point in life, i think the more the merrier. and what better setting than running around brooklyn?

the music:
oh my goodness i almost forgot about the band doves. these guys snuck onto my radar at some point in 2001 when i saw them play a show in boston with my morning jacket as the opening band. my morning jacket played flying V’s with marshall stacks and they blew my head off. doves came out and rocked me gently, rocked me slowly, and blew my brains out. this band is awesome, the music is grooving infectious indie rock and if people think that radiohead is the only good british band in that category, they have never heard doves. or the beta band for that matter. get your headphones on and love this record.

50 Portraits – 9

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/4000 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Ankle Injuries, Fujiya & Miyagi, Transparent Things, 2006 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #9 is brad

the next installment (#9 by my count) of the 50 Portraits series includes photos of my original model. brad and i have known each other for more than 13 years and our relationship has always been based on mutual respect. when we were younger, it was based on musical tastes. these days, as our musical tastes have morphed over the years, our mutual respect is based on watching each other become the adults that we are today. it’s fun to think and talk about the stupid things we did in college and in our post college years and it’s always great to laugh with people you know so well. when we see each other these days, we try to get that mushy stuff out of the way so that we can catch up on what’s happening in the present time. it’s fun. brad is a high-end bartender/mixologist. he’s known as a class act in the new york speakeasy circles. and he is. he’s also pretty sick of me taking his photo.

the music:
fujiya & miyagi are a group of electronic british dance rockers who try to pull off the idea that they are japanese like their name implies. well… they aren’t. but they do play fun little dance rock numbers that get your feet tapping. lots of bass, swirling keys, and just enough funky guitar add some spice to the electronic drums that push the beat. it’s light hearted and great for evenings at home and in the car. brad introduced me to them a while back and i’ve seen them in concert. they do quite well for themselves. their name always makes me think of the karate kid though. daniel san.

50 Portraits – 8

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F3.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F3.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Kappa, Mogwai, Come on Die Young, 1999 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #8 is daniel

i just returned from long island from a great visit with family. it was a tough visit for many reasons but i have never had more fun laughing, telling stories, and hanging out. daniel is my wife’s cousin. luckily my wife’s uncle is also a photographer so all of her cousins are used to people shoving a camera in their face. during the week, daniel introduced me to one of his friends who was on the tv show, “hell’s kitchen”. this chef then made us food. my lord, it was fantastic. i miss the east coast sometimes for it’s cheap thin crust pizza and it’s seafood. after spending one day at home in chicago, i am actually currently back in new york. but this time, instead of lounging in the hampton’s, i am holed up in a tiny hotel room in mid-town manhattan. it’s kind of exciting to be in nyc. this place is one of the most photogenic cities in the world. the people, the architecture, the social groups, and the diverse surroundings of new york make it a great place to click away. keep yourselves glued to the blog because after this week, i’ll have plenty to post. the middle photo of daniel is one of those weird shots that contains so much contrast that it almost doesn’t work. but the trees in the background give this photo an interesting balance of light and dark. the contrast is extreme but that’s what make it cool.

the music:
mogwai is a band that i need to be in the mood for. i love their music but shoegazing monotony can sound like rubbish if you are not in the mood to sit and enjoy. sometimes i need something more. but when i hop on a plane, mogwai is the perfect relaxer. i found out about this band when my friend happened to run into the band themselves on the street in boston. he went to their show and came back with a their first single. i have been a big fan and hooked on their music since that chance meeting.

50 Portraits – 7

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Good Medicine, Swale, Verdigris EP, 2004 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #7 is jenny

jenny was a sport today. the weirdest thing i have encountered while working on this 50 Portraits project is that every time i run off to shoot a portrait, i inevitably stumble upon some interesting lighting situations. two of these photos were taken in a large three story atrium in the middle of a rather large building in the loop in chicago. built into the floor of this atrium, around the edges of the room, are some floor lights. normally i would have taken the photos in the middle of the room which would have utilized the opacity of the atrium ceiling and the natural light that eeks through in the middle of the day. but today we walked over to the corner and found these ground lights shining brightly from below. to be lit from below adds an almost stage-like effect (theater, not musical) that can be harsh to skin tones (especially when mixed with the different coloring from the natural light shining from above) and it casts harsh shadows and glares across the body. i think it worked out really well in our case. i wish i had lights built into the floor of the house and wherever you went, you would be walking around like Darth Vadar. that would be cool indeed. a cape would be involved, so you’d have to be cool with that.

the music:
swale are one of my favorite undiscovered bands of the 00’s (oughts). they reside in burlington, vermont and they play some serious songs about some serious issues, and they play them seriously well. i dig the slow churn and burn of this track. it builds to a frenzy of backwards guitar solos layered over keys, bass, and drums. it’s beautifully sung, and the slow time being kept by the drummer is infectiously groovy. it also helps that the drummer and i once painted houses together one summer. he has since moved on to managing a coffee shop me thinks.

50 Portraits – 6

| currently listening to: The Dark of the Matinee, Franz Ferdinand, s/t, 2004 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #6 is flynn

flynn might be the most photographed of my friends. he’s so sick of me at this point that he doesn’t even notice when i’m photographing him. it’s the perfect working relationship for this project. it was so flipping bright out today. maybe too bright. and yes, that is possible. but all that sun allows for all of those shadows… especially the big dark ones caused by buildings. i’m a big fan.

the music:
i am still stuck between gears on the musical front so this will have to do. every time i go to the gym, i forget to bring my ipod headphones to work afterwards. now i look like a DJ with my old school gigantic sony headphones. the visual is too much. dance rock and big headphones, a perfect equation for neck strain.