The Best Places for Chicago Skyline Photography

Chicago Skyline Photography

The Chicago skyline may be one of the most iconic, recognizable and photographed cityscapes in the world. Embedded in the mountainous skyscrapers, is a juxtaposition of modern and historic Chicago architecture that when combined is an ode to present and past. This city is a home to a melting pot of people, ideas, arts, and lifestyles. It is not just a city – it is a feeling. It is no wonder why the Chicago skyline is the is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking views in the world!

Chicago Skyline labeled Architecture Buildings

See above for the Chicago skyline labeled

Chicago Skyline History and Architecture

Chicago is the largest city in the state of Illinois an among the largest in the United States of America. As we know, it is one of the third most famous cities in the U. S. Chicago is renowned for its bold architectural looks as well as the birthplace of skyscrapers.

In 1832 when the Black Hawk War ended, Chicago was developed as a town.  Afterward, in 1837, it became a city due to population growth. From 1848 it started development, and as such, it became the world’s largest grain port in 1854. Another important thing from its history is that from 1950 to 1960, Chicago’s people moved elsewhere due to the jobless environment.

Then afterward, in 2000, its population started increasing again. After a silence of many years, Chicago City has sanctioned 800 feet buildings with more jobs awaiting approval. Each day, the skyline changes Chicago design with newer layouts and innovative technology coming into the rescue of executing them from concept to completion.

Chicago Skyline Architecture at Sunset Drone Photography Over Lake Michigan and Soldier Field at Northerly Island Park

Where to See the Chicago Skyline?

There are many places where you can get perfect photographs and enjoy the views of the Chicago Skyline. As you go about exploring the great beautiful city of Chicago, don’t forget to view these iconic architectural marvels:

Rush University in Chicago Skyline at Night

SOURCE Rush University Medical Center

Rush University Parking Garage

Having studied at one of Chicago’s colleges or universities, it is not necessarily a place many would return to regularly after completing your degree. You may not be intending to move back to the university, but that should not keep you from visiting Rush University.

Surprisingly, Rush University’s parking garage includes one of the most stunning views of the Chicago skyline. It is an off-the-beaten tourist path, which means that you won’t need to struggle through crowds of men and women to capture the best image of the Chicago skyline.


360 Chicago skyline Sunrise Photography

360 Chicago Observatory Deck

If you want to enjoy the Chicago Skyline’s great view, go upward 94 floorings within the John Hancock building and see the 360 Chicago Observation Deck

Watch out on the town from all 360 degrees, then with interactive touch screens, click and find out about the history, structure, scenery, and culture of all these sights within your view. 

As you are there, make sure to have the delight of the’ Tilt’ and then see the city from an entirely new angle. This observatory has a few of the most incredible views of Willis Tower, Lake Point Tower, in addition to the Aon Center.

Make sure you arrive first thing in the afternoon to avoid the enormous lines and the massive audiences. Because in the evening, I am 100 percent sure that you will never get the view properly because there is a huge audience at that time.


Skydeck Chicago

Skydeck Chicago is the other point from where you can see a perfect view of the Chicago Skyline. For Chicago’s amazing views and a glimpse of up to four states, investigate the notorious Willis Tower Skydeck.

At present, the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower up until 2009) is among Chicago’s most significant and greatest famous buildings. It was also the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere until 2013, when the new One World Trade Center surpassed it.

Measure ‘The Ledge,’ that extends four feet out of this building, and take in the views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. The Skydeck is available 365 days throughout the year. Therefore regardless of what time of year you decide to see, you will always be at the top of Chicago’s world.


The Art Institute of Chicago

If you are thinking that you will skip the Art Institute of Chicago from your queue visiting places, keep in mind that without seeing the Art Institute of Chicago, it will feel that your trip is not complete.

While you are there, not only are you going to get mesmerized by fantastic artwork, but you will also see breathtaking views of the town. Be sure to visit the Modern Wing for an unbelievable view of Millennium Park, move up to the restaurant, and enjoy views of the city while eating a tasty meal.


Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

From rides museums, the Navy Pier is filled with amusement; you will not want to overlook it. So, make sure you take a ride on the Ferris Wheel. You will enjoy the ride, but you will also have the ability to observe a fantastic view of the town after you reach the very top.

Although the old Ferris Wheel has been replaced with a new and larger version, the same designer who designed the old one (Dutch Wheels) has also constructed the new one.


The Wit Hotel ROOFtop bar in Downtown Chicago

SOURCE theWit Hotel

The Roof On theWit

The Wit Hotel in Chicago rooftop lounge is a home to live music and musicians playing nearly every day. The pub is remarkably popular with the locals, particularly during the summertime.

Sip on a cocktail while sitting by the fireplace and appreciating the close views of the Marina Towers. We propose coming for Happy Hour and remaining long enough to see the sunset across town, a spectacular sight to see.


Chicago Skyline Fourth of July Free Fireworks at the Alder Planetarium Night Photography

From the Alder Planetarium

As I mentioned in the best places to watch the Chicago sunrise, the Alder Planetarium is a photographers dream. Located right off of Lake Michigan, you have countless opportunities to capture something spectacular. Wake up early to watch the city wake up or stay late to see the sunset behind the beautiful city skyline. In the summer months, the Alder Planetarium is the perfect place to lay out a blanket and enjoy the free firework display offered from the city.


The Golden Hour Sunset Overlooking the Bean in Millennium Park in Downtown Chicago

Millennium Park Chicago

The reflection of the Chicago skyline painted on the world famous Bean sculpture in downtown Millennium Park while watching ice skaters skating in the rink below is a wonder in its own. No matter where you walk, the city’s architecture surrounds you. Take a stroll along the Lurie Gardens and see if you can spot the John Hancock building or grab your camera and head down the BP Bridge to see catch a better glimpse of the beautiful architecture.

Have some little ones? Just head a short walk to the adjoining Maggie Daley Park. A fun little gem, that is sure to keep your kids entertained.


Chicago River Boat Architecture Tour Taxi photography

Chicago Boat Tours

See the Chicago skyline from a unique perspective from a boat!. Whether you are taking in the scenes winding down the Chicago River or enjoying a summer day on Lake Michigan, the non stop views will keep you from going overboard. One of my favorite ways to learn and see the city is through one of many Architecture Boat Tour.


hicago helicopter Experience Tour of the City Skyline during sunset photography

In a Helicopter

A helicopter tour is undoubtedly the very best way to observe the Chicago skyline together with an aerial perspective of the whole city. It is also the priciest, but it is well worth it to get an unforgettable experience.

We propose a sunset excursion since there’s nothing like watching the sunset across town. For all individuals on a budget, even a boat tour is a fantastic alternate.


Sweet Home Chicago

As mentioned above, the sites are not an exhaustive list of places to view Chicago’s skyline. They are just a few points where you can enjoy the stunning view of the beautifully architectural Chicago Skyline. You can enjoy the sunset views and get photographs to document these spots and make your trip memorable.

With a vast surfeit of attractions—the Art Institute, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, the Magnificent Mile, da Bulls, world-famous comedy (Second City), and world-famous theater (Steppenwolf, Goodman), not to forget the blues—“Sweet home Chicago” is an American city second to none.

10 Best Places for Engagement Photos in Chicago

millennium park Bean chicago engagement photography location in winter photoshoot ideas

10 Best Places for Engagement Photos in Chicago

It has finally happened, you are choosing engagement photo locations in Chicago. You and your fiancé are engaged and it is time to commemorate this memorable occasion with romantic engagement photos. The question is, where fo you begin? While scouring the internet for Chicago engagement photos, I am sure that you have come across some amazing photo locations. You have found countless couple poses and maybe a few cheesy photoshoots along the way. This can easily come as a challenge especially when you are searching for engagement photos that are truly yours. Thankfully, I compiled a list of the best places for engagement photos in Chicago.

Amy and Kyle Couple Engagement Photography Session at the BP Bridge in Millennium Park

Where to take Engagement Photos in Chicago?

Location. Location. Location. Whether you and your significant other are avid Chicago explorers, or enjoy a night of Netflix and chill, Chicago has everything you need for making your engagement photos unique. Here are some things you should take into consideration when choosing your photoshoot location.

Chicago Engagement Photography Locations Uptown Theatre Neighborhood

Your Favorite Chicago Spot

Do you have a favorite brewery where you meet for trivia night, a go-to-coffee shop that you visit so often, you should probably just work there, or your must have Chicago pizza parlor which you will argue as being the best place in the city for a slice of za? Personal spots like these are my favorite places to draw inspiration at. These are not only intimate places for a beautiful photoshoot but they are a unique locations that have a special place in your heart.

Where was Your First Date?

Relive the magic that first brought you two together. This location can be an amazing place to start. Whether it is just for a few photos for yourself, you can’t help but to feel all of the feels here.

BP Bridge millennium park chicago engagement photography

What is Your Lifestyle

Lifestyle photography is just how it sounds. What makes it so beautiful is that it is your life. My favorite engagement photo locations in Chicago are those that reflect you and your partner’s personal life. Whether you two love to sit and listen to music, dance the night away, go hiking in the woods, or enjoy taking in the city views as you walk your puppy throughout Chicago, lifestyle photos are the best ways to make your engagement pictures truly yours.

Best Chicago Locations

Now that you have an idea of what you are looking for I created a list of the top 10 Best free places to take engagement photos in Chicago. Drum roll please…

millennium park Jay Pritzker Music Pavilionchicago engagement photography

Millennium Park

201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602 Designed by Frank Gehry
If you are familiar with downtown Chicago, then you know what an beautiful place Millennium Park is for engagement pictures.  Everywhere you look there is an amazing photo opportunity. With the gorgeous Lurie Gardens, unique Crown Fountain, the iconic Chicago Bean reflecting the city skyline and lovely Jay Pritzker Music Pavilion, Millennium Park will offer an unforgettable engagement photoshoot experience. Just incase you wanted a little bit more, take a stroll across the BP Pedestrian Bridge and make your way over to Maggie Daley Park. This location has it all.

Chicago CTA Couple Engagement Photography

CTA Station

The Chicago CTA is a staple in this city. It is a part of everyone’s life and is the glue that connects the plethora of neighborhoods together. This may not be on every couple’s engagement location list but it offers a wonderful chance for those personal, everyday photos. From waiting for a train with your partner or snuggling up with each other inside of the train, the CTA is a perfect place to capture those small moments together.

Chicago Theatre Sign Engagement Photography

Chicago Theatre Sign

175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601
Designed in 1921 on the historic State Street, the Chicago Theatre sign is one of the only locations in the city that can be said to truly define Chicago. If you are taking engagement pictures at the Riverwalk, Millennium Park or any where in the city Loop, this photo spot is a must do destination for your photoshoot. 

Beautiful Couple Starting to Kiss Romantic The Art Institute of Chicago South Garden Engagement Picture Locations and White Clothing

Art Institute South Gardens

111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Just a block away from Millennium park sits the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. It is a beautiful classical Beaux-Arts building which is guarded by 2 large green lions, and carries the fond memory of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But what makes the Art Institute of Chicago such a great engagement location is the south garden designed by Dan Kiley. This hidden oasis, which key features include rows of trees, ivy grown walls and a large fountain makes this location a beautifully intimate spot for your engagement photos.

Chicago Skyline Backdrop at Fullerton Beach Engagement Pictures Best Locations for Your Photography Photoshoot

Fullerton Beach

With over 18 miles of Lakefront, there’s no wonder why Chicago has some of the best beaches in the country. Fullerton Beach has always had a special place in my heart as it is the location that I saw my first sunrise in Chicago. Located just east of Lincoln Park Zoo, it has a beautiful stretch of beach front for your photos as well as an amazing view of the skyline making this a must do location for your engagement photos.

Chicago Street Murals Engagement Photography

Chicago Street Murals

Chicago is not only an architecture mecca, it is the home of some of the best mural and street artists in the world. From Eduardo Kobra to Sentrock to JC Rivera to Hebru Brantley, the streets of Chicago has some of the most inspiring and jaw dropping pieces of art on it’s walls. No matter what neighborhood you find yourself taking your engagement photos in, there will be a unique and colorful backdrop that will make your pictures truly stand out.

Best Chicago Engagement Photo Locations Lincoln Park Pavilion by Studio Gang Architects Beautiful City Skyline for your Couple Photoshoot Photography

Lincoln Park Zoo Pavilion

2121 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614
The Lincoln Park Pavilion is one of my favorite photo locations in Chicago. I might be biased since I am an architecture buff, but this intricate wooden pavilion located just south of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo offers a perfect frame of the city’s skyline. Designed by Studio Gang architects, you have countless opportunities to capture some fantastic engagement photos here.

Engagement Places for your Photoshoot Chicago Skyline at Sunset Couple Photography at the Lakefront of the Alder Planetarium photoshoot

The Alder Planetarium

1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
If you are taking engagement pictures in Chicago, then a skyline shot is a must. There is place better than the lakefront outside of the Alder Planetarium to capture the whole Chicago skyline. My favorite time to capture these shots would be an hour or so before the sunset which will give you some of the most magical shots of the city.

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Riverwalk

If you live in Chicago or even just visited there’s a high chance that you have walked along the river on the Chicago Riverwalk. Over the years it has been transformed and renovated, making it a beautiful location for not only your engagement photos but to relax and enjoy a drink with your significant other. There are a lot of unique photo spots along the riverwalk, so I would just have fun and enjoy the views. 

Engagement Spots for your Pictures Chicago North Coast Skyline Couple Photography at the Lakefront of the Milton Lee Olive Park Overlook photoshoot

Milton Lee Olive Park Waterfront

E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611
This is one of my favorite hidden gems in Chicago. Just north of Navy Pier and East of Ohio Street Beach sits a little strip of land that offers some of the best views of the Chicago’s North coast skyline. There is a lot of opportunity here, from capturing lifestyle walking photos to getting beautiful couple photographs at the overlook, Milton Lee Olive Park is a perfect place for your engagement photos.

Amy and Kyle Couple Engagement Photography Session at a Chicago Pizza Parlor Location

Just Be Yourself

Chicago is a photographer’s playground. No matter where you choose for your engagement pictures, you can not go wrong with any place on this list. My advice is to not overthink it. Find a location that means something to the both of you. The key to great engagement photography is for the couple to feel comfortable in being themselves. This is a magical point of time in both of your lives and you have to enjoy it. 

Looking for a Chicago engagement photographer? Let’s work together!  Contact me here

5 Best Places to See the Chicago Sunrise

5 Best Places to See the Chicago Sunrise

360 Chicago Sunrise

Seeing the Chicago sunrise over Lake Michigan is truly a magical experience but I do not think that it gets the appreciation that it deserves. I know, there is so much to do and not enough time. I get it, with over 77 communities, on over 234 square miles of land, Chicago is the third largest city in the America. It’s big and there is a lot to see but there are a few reasons that you should try and fit the sunrise into your next visit.

Firstly, nothing is open so you really the only thing you have to choose between is either catching a few some more z’s or catching that morning light. That may actually be a hardest decision here but trust me after seeing a few  of my sunrise photography, you won’t regret it. Next is that you can enjoy most of the places if not all without the daytime crowd. It sounds a bit cheesy but there is a sense of serenity when you are all by your self, watching the darkness turn to light, as the city slowly wakes up. And lastly, it’s free! (for the most part)

Are you ready to set your morning alarm and get out there yet? From seeing the morning rays 1000 feet high to sitting on the natural rocks off of the shore, it is truly a beautiful experience. Here are my top 5 best places to watch the sunrise in Chicago.

Chicago Sunrise Photography

Sunrise at Fullerton Beach

The sunrise at Fullerton Beach off of Lake Michigan in Chicago will always have a special place in my heart. This location was the spot in which I photographed my very first morning in the city. I have seen this lookout evolve from a rugged natural piece of the lake shore to a well manicured park, where families and friends stay to hang out.

What makes Fullerton Beach such an amazing spot to catch the sunrise is that it not only gives you a some of the most beautiful views of Lake Michigan but a unique photography shot of the Chicago skyline. The beach is located right off the Fullerton Exit on Lake Shore Dive, which is on the east side of Lincoln Park Zoo and just north of North Avenue Beach. It is quite an accessible location in which you can find free parking all along Cannon Drive. 

See the full collection here at sunrise at the lakefront

Chicago Skyline Reflection Sunrise Photography

North Avenue Beach Sunrise

North Avenue Beach lies just south of Fullerton Beach but it contains a completely different scale to Chicago’s sunrise. This is the most popular beach in the city. During the summer months it is alive with sunbathers, volleyball games and basically any activity that involves fun. In the morning, this beach is quiet and a beautiful place to watch the sunrise. Since it is located closer to the skyline, it gives you a completely different scale compared to Fullerton Beach. I also love the different opportunities for photography here. You can capture interesting photos of the famous wooden nautical boat, play with images from the adjoining bridge, or use lifeguard tower and other beach subjects to create a beautiful early morning scene.

The Chicago Sunrise at Northwestern University's Painted Rocks Lakeshore Path

Northwestern University Lakefront Path

Northwestern University is not as close to Chicago as the other spots on this list but the sunrise view is hard to beat. Located north of the city in Evanston, Northwestern University lies right off of Lake Michigan. There’s a beautiful lakefront path scattered with colorful rocks painted by the students of the university making this such a colorful spot. This is one of my favorite hidden gems for photographing the sunrise, mainly because of the unique landscape as well as the quietness of this place. You can find free parking in the surrounding neighborhoods if you don’t mind the short walk to the lake. If you are planning on visiting, bring a hammock and relax with one of the most beautiful views of Chicago.

Chicago Skyline Sunrise Photography Location at the Adler Planetarium

Alder Planetarium Sunrise

The Alder Planetarium is by far the best place to see the famous Chicago skyline.  Located right off of Lake Michigan, this spot gives you panorama views of the city from the Shed Aquarium to the Sears tower to Navy Pier. The best part about this spot is seeing the reflection of the city’s architecture mirrored in the lake. Add in the warm glow of the beautiful architecture of the city skyline and you have the recipe of the of the perfect Chicago sunrise. You can park all along Solidarity Dr. It is paid parking but you can get some good shots before the meter starts to charge you.

360 Chicago Sunrise Photography

Sunrise at 360 Chicago

Watching the sunrise from 360 Chicago, is that sort of experience that is truly unforgettable. This is the least accessible of the previous locations on the list, mainly because it is 1000 feet above Michigan Ave in the world renowned John Hancock building off on State street. I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to a few sunrise photography meets at this observatory deck and wow. With 360 degree views of the Chicago skyline , the sunrise photo possibilities are endless.

See the Full collection at 360 Chicago Sunrise

360 Chicago Sunrise Photography

Where to Watch the Chicago Sunrise?

Every place on this list offers their own unique Chicago sunrise experience. Pick out one or honestly none of these but all that I ask is that you go and see one for yourself. I promise you that you will not regret it. It’s the little joys like this that makes life so incredibly beautiful. Seeing the morning light rising above Lake Michigan, the sky filled with colors of bright orange, yellow, and red hues reflecting on the crashing waves will always be one of my favorite moments in life. If you have any suggestions or would like to share your sunrise experience, comment below. I’d love to hear about it!

Chicago Sunrise Reflection Photography Location from the Adler Planetarium

What Time is the Sunrise in Chicago?

Check below for sunrise and sunset times


Imagination Photography: Realization of Ideas

Imagination Photography

Imagination photography has played an import role in my life as a person as well as an artist. We are all born with the ability to be creative and imaginative. Some wilder than others. Some keep exercising this trait while others store it in the recess of their mind forgotten but not gone. I have been the victim of the latter. It seems as I grow older, the world takes on a more concrete impression. A chair is a chair and a tree is a tree. Photography has threw me a rope and pulled me out of that quick sand that was constantly pulling me down. I began to see the world a little bit different each day. My mind started to turn the gears of creativity and it has positively effected my mood & thinking. Imagination photography is not a specific genre, but a way of thinking.

Realization of Ideas

Last night I stood up late into the night drinking wine, woking on a photo idea. The idea I was trying to realize was of a man in a hot air balloon riding through the sky. But here’s the twist. Instead of a balloon, he ’s floating with the aid of a cloud. 

An idea of shedding the weight that we constantly walk around with, and just letting go. An idea of taking your hands off the steering wheel, sitting back and enjoying the ride. An idea of exploring what actually excites your curiosity instead of what you feel like you should be doing. A play off of Robert Frost “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” intertwined with Emerson’s “Life is a journey, not a destination.” I don’t know if it was the cheap bottle of wine but I really enjoyed creating this but mostly just thinking about this.

Listen to Your Mind

This past month, or so I had more free time to listen to my mind. I feel like it’s quite loud for the quietness of my appearance. I am an introvert. I enjoy my alone time and living in my own little bubble. But I realize that I have to sift through the stream of everyday thoughts that are constantly flowing through my head. While sifting, I recently uncovered an exercise that I really acting on. It is the realization of ideas. Taking a thought and seeing it with my eyes through photography and digital editing.

Surreal photography manipulation has always been a passion of mine. Creating something out of nothing is a powerful feeling. It’s a freeing, satisfying experience to personally be able to bring to life what you pictured in your mind. I’m thankful for that. I want to try and incorporate this in more aspects of my life other than photography. Imagination is often a road less traveled, which is a wonderful situation for an introvert like myself.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

― Albert Einstein

Surreal Photography of a Cloud Hot Air Balloon Flying in the Sky

We All Have Stories

We All Have Stories

Stories are what makes the world go around. It’s what makes us who we are, each having a library of their own and everyday we write a new one.

Every now and then we thumb through our dusty shelves. Those frail experiences filed away for when we desperately need strength. Reread those moments of happiness when we are looking for a smile. Glance over a memorable string of words we highlighted because they meant just a little bit more to us and when we are done, we crease over the ear of the page of the seconds before to remind us of where we left off.

Surreal Conceptual Story Telling through Photography of a Folded Paper airplane being Thrown Around a Spinning Globe

But the most important thing we do, is we share our stories. Some in lessons, others as entertainment, a few in a flash of vulnerability, regret or fear but there is always someone wanting to read them even the ones of how your day was. Someone wanted to learn. Someone looking for a different perspective. Someone who’s fascinated in what you have done and who you are. It’s how we are connected and if you are reading this then you are a part of mine and I am a part of yours.

Keep on writing, keep on reading and keep on sharing because stories are what makes the world go around.

Hope

Hope

Sometimes it is hard to find, but it is always there.

These past few weeks have been filled with ups and downs. While there are many messages of hope and optimism, some days it gets harder to see the glass half full when it slowly seems to be draining from within.

You can sit in your home while being forced to engage in social distancing and wrestle over these thoughts in your head. You can be angry, scared or frustrated. But remain hopeful.

Many people are feeling the effects that are currently occurring in our society. From businesses closing their front doors to millions of people not knowing how they’ll make ends meet next month to fellow humans risking their lives to continue to work in order for the rest of the world does not shut down entirely. Be hopeful.

This is a moment in time that no one will forget. Each day it feels like we are still waking up to a dream. That we will somehow flip on the news and hear that none of this happened and while we eat our breakfast, drink our coffee and continue with our normal daily routine. That has not happened yet. The clouds still remain dark as we slowly, day by day fight through the fog. But the sun will shine again.

‘Hellos’ will once again be able to be said and accepted face to face.

But these are the days that keep you strong. These are the times where you search in your back pocket and pull out that memory of kindness, humbleness and gratitude that once made you smile. These are the days that you remember the softness of a hug, the warmth of being surrounded in a crowd, and the inviting eyes of a stranger as you pass each other on the street.

And while many aspects of life has changed, some may be gone, hope will always be there.

Sometimes it is hard to find, but it is always there. These past few weeks have been filled with ups and downs. While there is many many messages of hope and optimism, some days it gets harder to see the glass half full when it slowly seems to be draining from within. You can sit in your home while being forced to engage in social distancing and wrestle over these thoughts in your head. You can be angry, scared or frustrated. But remain hopeful. Many people are feeling the effects that are occurring in society. From businesses closing their front doors to millions of people not knowing how they’ll make ends meet next month to fellow humans risking their lives to continue to work in order for the rest of the world does not shut down entirely. This is a moment in time that no one will forget. The sun will shine again. ‘Hellos’ will once again be able to be said and accepted face to face. But these are the days that keep you strong. These are the times where you search in your back pocket and pull out that memory of kindness, humbleness and gratitude that once made you smile. Remember the softness of a hug, the warmth of being surrounded in a crowd, and the inviting eyes of a stranger as you pass each other on the street. And while many things will be changed, some things may be gone, hope will always be there.

I Will Leave the Light On

I will leave the light on.

Happiness and hope has always outshined the darkest of hours. Right now fear is slowly running through the veins of many people who search for some sort of life line in this precarious time. Lives have been upheaved and we frantically attempt to put the pieces back in order.

As an attempt to offer a glimmer of hope we are taking a breather from each other physically and socially. For the first time in many people’s lives, we are somewhat forced to focus on ourselves. We are rediscovering our passions. We are understanding ourselves better. We finding out how truly weird we really are.

I have always subconsciously put off things I have wanted to do, due to the lack of hours in a day. And now I’m required to take a deep breathe. What now?

This void of empty time has somehow inflected more stress than relieving. I feel like I have to fill every minute of the day with a task to feel productive otherwise I just wasted a day. To add to it, if I don’t start or do any of the things that Ive previously put off because of the lack of hours of the day, then what? Am I failing? Do I lack the ability to be a better version of myself. Do I just simply not have what it takes to be the person who I have alwaysed envisioned in my mind?

Breathe.

There was a post from Clementine Morrigan that resonated this exact sort of self isolation anxiety. She wrote

“There are a lot of posts being like: use this time to cross things off your to do list, deep clean your house, work on yourself, start a mediation practive, etc etc etc… And these posts are obviously well meaning and may be helpful for a lot of people…

We may also feel a weird pressure to ‘use this time well’ (capitalism is alive in our bodies) and we may be spiraling into a shame that we can’t seem to turn this situation into a healthy writing retreat or a get all that cleaning done or whatever.

So I just want to say: whatever you are doing is fine.

If all you’re managing is watch tv or stare at your phone

it’s ok.

If you are having trouble functioning

it is ok

We need to take a harm reduction approach and not expect ourselves to be suddenly not traumatized.

It’s okay if you’re not getting anything done.

It’s okay if you’re not at your healthier or productive right now.

The focus should be on lessening the harm of our nervous system distress and then working from there.

You are not a failure.

Whatever you are experiencing right now is okay.”

Cloudy lighthouse during the sunset in a light bulb surreal conceptual fine art local photography

It is ok.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I did. I have stacks of books that I feel like I should be reading, countless of interesting Udemy classes that I know I should be starting, exercises that I should be doing, finances to figure out but instead I’m writing and listening to music. Yesterday I wrote and spent hours working on and animating this image while listening to music. And it’s ok.

Creativity, imagination, art, expression, they are all the light that is guiding me through this dark tunnel of solitude and anxiety. This is what makes me feel happy and hopeful.

What is your light?

Be well. Stay safe friends.

Social Distancing

Social Distancing

With everything that is currently occurring with the health pandemic and social distancing, the world is looking quite different.

Personally it was a situation that seemed very much distant while ever so quickly becoming a stark reality. A month or so ago I recalled hearing through passing about a virus called COVID-19 aka the coronavirus sweeping through Wuhan, China. I would see snippets of how the city was being barricaded, I would see images of doctors working nonstop in hazmat suits, I would read number of how many people were being effected and just how quickly it was able to spread and still it did not hit home.

I am the first to shamefully admit that I live in my own little bubble sort of naturally social distancing from the world to an extent. I confine myself to what I know, learn and see but am always eager to escape that safekeeping.

That was one of the underlying reasons that Ive always wanted to travel. Mostly I did not believe that these far away places truly existed and knew the only way to believe in the beauty of this world was to experience it first hand. And like those travel adventures, this is how many saw the coronavirus. It quickly spread from China in December of 2019 to more than 145 countries as I’m writing this on March 18th 2020. This still unimaginable reality instantaneously struck like a bat out of hell.

Dramatic visual changes are happening in communities, lockdown in cities, in social appearances or lack thereof, and in thought. I see reactions ranging from the still nonchalant, unconcerned to distress slowly unraveling people’s once tough as nails mindsets.

Personally, my grandfather passed away earlier this week (not due to coronavirus) but as a result my family had to make the painful decision to adhere to the CDC and social distancing and restrict the services to my father and his siblings. I truly believe that it was the right decision but it’s still hard to accept that being physically there for someone when they genuinely need it is almost beyond the bounds of possibilities right now.

I remember reading something like “In the end, it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be QUITE apparent if we under reacted or did too little.” COVID-19 affected every aspect of most if not all of everyone’s life.

Surviving Social Distancing During Covid 19 coronavirus pandemic in the united states a black and white silhouette of a man and his shadow on his phone

Take a Deep Breathe

For me, the daunting realness of these past few days and weeks is not the pandemic in itself but the uncertainty it carries. This sort of vulnerability makes us feel powerless. We do not know what the future will look like let alone what tomorrow will bring.

And it’s scary.

But amidst this rough patch, I think we are all just striving for the best for each other. I see how powerful we are as not just people but as humans. It’s not just a town, a city, or a state but in countries and most importantly the world. People all around the globe joined together to put a pause on their life no matter how much it’s personally and financially is going to effect them, in order to reduce the rick of harming others.

I am optimistic.

The small to large changes in our lifestyle are all in trying to keep each other and ourselves safe and healthy. It’s comforting to know that we have each other’s backs. It’s encouraging to know that we are here for each other, especially as we desperately search for a little certainty in life.

I am hopeful.

Take some time away from the news, listen to some music, read a book, text a friend and take a deep breath.

Be well. Stay safe. You are not alone in this. We are in this together.

Food for Thought

Below is a piece of writing from Laura Kelly Fanucci that is so humbly, beautiful I just had to share and type the words down myself to feel the realness in them.

When this is over,

may we never again

take for granted

A handshake with a stranger

Full shelves at the store

Conversations with neighbors

A crowded theatre

Friday night out

The tased of communion

A routine checkup

The school rush each morning

Coffee with a friend

The stadium roaring

Each deep breath

A boring Tuesday

Life itself.

When this ends,

may we find

that we have become

more like the people

we wanted to be

we were called to be

we hoped to be

and may we stay

that way—better

for each other

because of the worst.

– Laura Kelly Fannucci

For more information and up to date  news about Covid-19/ Coronavirus pandemic please follow the CDC and WHO

Escaping Your Comfort Zone

Escaping Your Comfort Zone


This artwork was a concept piece I worked on about escaping your comfort zone.

I was in a rut. Days ran into days which felt like an endless stream and it felt easier to let the current carry me away rather than to fight against it. This is a comforting feeling, you feel safe. While at the same time, it’s easy to lose track of time and stray far away from where you once intended to be.

We all have been in a place in which comfortability has played a circumscribing factor in our life. We think of all the things we want to do, envision a future self we want to be and imagine a place where we want to wake up in but we quickly push it aside in the someday endeavor category in our head. There it sits, boxed up in our attic saved for later. We continue with our life waking up, going through the motion, hurry back home, rinse, sleep and repeat.

Those future endeavors, those dreams and ideas we once painted for ourselves remain a faint outline. They become ever more hazy, slowly feeling less attainable as time passes by. It seems like we fell asleep on the river of life and have drifted too far away to know the way back.

How do you fight against the current? What is the life preserver you strive for to get you back on your feet? I’ve always thought the answer to this was happiness. And it’s true in a way but something I read that stuck with me is that ‘Happiness can be bought with a bottle of wine and has become ambiguous through overuse’. So what is objective then? What’s the goal?

And so the adventure begins surreal fine art concept photography with an old type writer on a rustic table setting with a globe, travel passport, vintage camera and a morning coffee

Finding Excitement.

Finding excitement in life is the driving factor in motivation. It’s the very aspect that pushes you to learn, to act. It incites passion and is the spark to igniting your mental bliss. I started to write ‘don’t be afraid to try something new’ but that’s honestly not honest. It’s a terrifying feeling. Exiting the familiarity of life is scary as hell but that’s also what makes it so, so exciting. 

Tim Ferris wrote in his book The 4-Hour Workweek “‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct along the way.”

I feel fear is the biggest denominator in whether you act on something that you truly want to do. Comfortability is so attractive due to its certainty while excitement has become a sort of ‘risk’. It’s uncertain and not a lot of people feel comfortable with not knowing what’s next. But it’s the very reason why we watch tv shows & movies, why we read books or watch sporting events. Not knowing is a little exciting. No it’s down right exhilarating.

Whether it’s in your job, your relationships or your personal life, find something that constantly forces you to step away from your comfort zone. Find something that forces you to see the world in a different way. Find something that makes you ask questions. Find something that makes you smile with anticipation. Even if it’s small, find something that excites you.

And so the adventure begins…

If you like this, click to see more from my surreal photography gallery

A Walk in Chicago’s Lincoln Park Conservatory

Photographing the ancient ferns at the Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago Illinois

A Walk in Chicago’s Lincoln Park Conservatory

Sometimes you just need to go for a walk and think. I did. I surrounded myself with the wildness of the Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago, a small nature filled arena encapsulated in a city of architecture and density. Walking through the doors, I was quickly hit with a wave of humidity. Quite the contrast to the winter weather outside, my lens instinctively began to fog up. I began wiping the sweat off of my lens but to hardly any prevail. Nonetheless, the mixture of light and a thin layer of cloudiness gave a magical effect that I didn’t find out until I got home. Stay wild.

These photographs and words below coincide with each other. Although they may be diverse visually and linguistically, they are all tied together by the same string.


Not everyday is created equal.

There are days you cannot be stopped
And days which require more strength to get through.

There are days that are filled with brightness which cast a light
those that are engulfed in darkness.

Not everyday is created equal.

I enjoy the days where I’m all alone in the middle of I don’t know where
as much as I relish the ones where I’m surrounded by a school strangers in
Millennium Park on a Sunday afternoon.

I find peace in those deep breathes in.
And cannot live without those days that leave you breathless.

Not everyday is created equal.

There’s apprehension that builds up with a lost of control
And a beauty rises in being lost.

Soak in the highs
And understand the lows

Appreciate not knowing.

because

Not everyday is created equal.