My wife Wendy is a good baker. A very good baker. For years, she's baked shortbread, toffee and peppermint bark for Christmas presents. Recently she started selling her treats and the response has been tremendous. The "bakery" is in full swing right now. On Monday she took the day off her day job to work on two very big orders, baking over thirty dozen shortbread cookies by mid-afternoon. And yours truly was there to document the big day.
One of my favorite clients is Naperville Magazine, who I’ve been shooting for since 2007. The magazine has a circulation of over 40,000, and is bundled with the Sunday Chicago Tribune. My assignments have included shooting CEOs of multinational corporations, interiors of beautifully renovated homes, working with dozens of models for fashion spreads, shooting in restaurants, colleges and on the streets of downtown Naperville and other Chicagoland locations. It’s been a lot of fun and the variety has been great.
Not too long ago, I photographed one of my favorites shoots for the magazine which also came out as the cover story. In late November, we met up at Toyota Park to do the shooting with Casey Short, who plays defense for the Chicago Red Stars soccer team and has been invited to try out for the USA national team.
Casey couldn’t have been more easy to work with. We had the stadium to ourselves to work in and around, so we shot the cover image in the tunnel leading down to the field. We also used the field as well as the Chicago Fire (men’s soccer team) locker room. Most of the shots were taken using basic lighting– a medium soft box, with natural light allowed to fill in the background– and a Canon 1DX Mark II camera. I used a 70-200 f/2.8 lens for all the pictures except the action shots, which were taken on a 300mm f/2.8 lens.
I've always wondered about professional photographers who blog a lot. How do they find the time? If they're busy running successful businesses, when do they write about their work? I mean, I'm glad some do, but as much as I love my job, I'm also busy with a family and other outside interests. All this is to say, I've been very busy on photo and video shoots, traveling with my family and working on lots of exciting projects. So, my apologies for not keeping up more with the MHP blog.
Several clients have been asking if I had a drone and until last week, the answer was always no. That's all changed. This has got to be one of the most exciting pieces of equipment I've ever owned, and I haven't even had it for a week. There's so much to learn, but already I have an assignment to shoot with it tomorrow.
The drone I got is one of the top of the line models, capable of shooting UHD 4K video (4X the size of normal video) as well as conventional video, and high resolution still photos on its large, 1-inch sensor (50% larger than most drone sensors). The range is just under five miles and it can ascend (legally) to 400 feet. It's really amazing– even on a breezy day, the drone can hover in place with virtually no movement. It's like having a tripod in the sky.
I'm working towards getting my FCC drone license (a must for commercial drone use) but I'll be posting some fun clips as I find new uses for it. For now, enjoy this clip shot over the weekend, gliding over woods near my wife's cousin's farmhouse in Iowa.