Last month I drove to Indianapolis to photograph 14-year-old genius Jacob Barnett, for a feature that ran in last Sunday’s London Times Magazine. The pictures accompanied an article by Louise Carpenter titled Is Jacob Barnett the next Einstein?, which profiles Jacob and his mom Kristine, who just published a memoir about raising him called The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius.
You can witness his charm, wit and intelligence for yourself as he discusses creativity and quantum mechanics at this 2012 TEDx talk.
By the way, next time you’re in Lafayette, Indiana–where I ate after this shoot–be sure to stop by the Triple XXX Family Restaurant, and “Don’t Be Nervous, Try The Purvis!“
Author and professor Rachel Shteir caused a stir with her Chicago-bashing New York Times article earlier this month. Here’s a portrait from my archives, shot in 2005 for a profile in the Reader. The Reader‘s Michael Miner weighs in on Shteir’s article here, and follows up here.
Jason Molina died on Saturday. I was lucky to meet him in 2006, when he came to my studio for a photo session. (One of the shots was used for the cover of his album, Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go, above). We only spent a couple hours together, but hit it off right away. I found him to be a sweet, authentic, substantive guy; a mensch. Be sure to check out his gorgeously poignant music if you haven’t already. Here are 9 songs you should know by Jason Molina.
Here’s a 360 degree panorama I shot at the legendary Ramova grill in Bridgeport (the neighborhood where last night’s enormous warehouse fire took place) not long before it closed last May. This will be part of an interactive documentary project that filmmaker Jen Kienzler is producing, which will include brief audio stories as told by many of Ramova’s regulars. (She is currently seeking tech help to put it together; if you might be available, please email her.)
The counter, stools, and booths have been relocated to Benton House where they are hosting a “soup kitchen” tomorrow night, with help from Soup and Bread.
Click and drag on the image to pan; use shift and control keys to zoom in and out.
I had the pleasure of shooting the cover of My Gold Mask‘s new record, Leave Me Midnight, due for release next month. This is the third time I’ve collaborated with the Chicago duo (sometimes trio); I shot the cover for their previous album, A Million Miles (From Where We Were Last), and shot and directed the music video for their track Violet Eyes. Set styling for the above photo by Marianne de Ley.
I shot five portraits for this year’s Reader People issue, here are two of them: jazz singer Dee Alexander and choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo.
Last month, for Canoe & Kayak magazine, I was very fortunate to meet and photograph the legendary canoe builder Ralph Frese, who sadly died on December 10th. When I dropped by his store and workshop on November 20th, he was a little tired, but full of life, and quite the wisecracker. I had a great time shooting his portrait and listening to him talk about his life and work. He’ll surely be missed by many.
I photographed Emmett Kelly for the new Cairo Gang album The Corner Man, out now on Empty Cellar. Such a treat to shoot for 12″ record covers. Cairo Gang has two gigs this weekend in Chicago; Saturday, December 8th at Schubas; and Sunday the 9th at The Burlington.
This was shot with a quarter frame 35mm camera–below is a scan of the negative.
Last month I spent a weekend at the Pitchfork Music Festival, hanging out with television personality, PTHS student, and dumpster-diver Ratso H. Grebeck. Here he is comparing open mouth circumference with none other than prolific recording artist Ty Segall.
A couple weeks ago I drove to Calumet City to photograph Kelvin “Shorty” Wallace for this week’s Reader cover story. We shot pictures at the recovery house where Kelvin is staying and at his nearby bus stop. One of the things I love about my job is getting the chance to meet people I otherwise would be unlikely to cross paths with. I enjoyed hanging out and chatting with Kelvin for part of an afternoon and getting a small glimpse inside of his life. He’s been through quite a struggle and I wish him luck.