As a native of Grand Rapids, I had to jump on the opportunity to photograph Hopcat's newest location in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. The new Clark St. space is practically two full restaurant spaces joined together. On top of that, there will be over 130 beers on offer. I have a feeling that this will become a staple much like it is in my hometown. Be sure to check out the full coverage over at Eater Chicago.
Chicago Commerical Photography
Chicago has graduated from plastic wrapped microwavable noodles to a more authentic and gourmet dish, sparking the beginning of the Ramen Renaissance. I was sent out by Eater Chicago to shoot the brand new Ramen Takeya in Fulton Market brought to us by the owners of Logan Sqaure's popular Wasabi. The decor was top notch and immediately transports you to a small steamy alley somewhere in Japan complete with neon lighting (Pac Man spotting!) and custom made chochin (paper lanterns). Plus, I was really excited to try out a new lighting technique - I really love the outcome and would love to know what you guys think! Check it out below...
The atmosphere at Miss Ricky's was humming and alive, well representing the idea behind the diner-esque restaurant located Downtown Chicago in the new Virgin Hotel. One menu item I'm pretty excited to try is the piece of chocolate cake with an edible steak knife stabbed right through the middle to stop the towering dessert from falling over.
Occupying 40,000 square feet in the Woodfield Mall out in Schaumburg is the first Level 257: A Pac Man world complete with a restaurant and gaming galore. The Woodfield location is the first of what could be many more similar ventures by Namco Entertainment. It was seriously so much fun shooting this space for Eater Chicago. I got to speak with some of the essential players who had a hand in making this Pac Man world a reality and was clued in on the story behind the name. In the original game of Pac Man, you reach a kill-screen at level 256 (I wonder how many people have actually reached this...) Level 257 is Pac Man's next step! The space encourages patrons to be social with one another while playing games, so adults have the chance to go back and relive a piece of their childhood. Looking forward to an evening of "1 Up's" and "Filet Mig-Nom".
In my mind, collaboration is one of the best things you can do both creatively and professionally. Working together with others can teach you so many different things. It can show you the way other people think and solve problems, as well as teach you how to let others use their strengths in tandem with your own in order to make the final product that much better. Easy to overlook (or ignore) is also the way in which collaboration can give you greater context on your thought process and methodology.
Even with the slightest understanding of these things I jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with Erica Bull, my beautifully talented girlfriend, by photographing some new styles for the Mulberry & Me blog. Normally my portraits are centered around stories and personalities with my wedding and editorial work, so it was fun to intertwine that approach while also highlighting the specific pieces the boutique is carrying (and how they fit together). We had a lot of fun on the small stretch of Division outside of the boutique, and I quite enjoyed seeing Erica's goofy personality peeking out during the shoot.
Looking forward to continuing to expand my horizons stylistically, as well as examining and embracing collaboration as a way to create even bigger and better things!