Dunes with bbbrad

Dunes with bbbrad

BBQ Chicken Thighs with Kale and Quinoa
Dinner for the week

BBQ Chicken Thighs with Kale and Quinoa

Dinner for the week

at ACME Hotel Company

at ACME Hotel Company

SOUS VIDE EGG & ROASTED CORN

The Sansaire Sous Vide machine sitting on my kitchen counter was begging to be used.

65 degrees Celsius and one hour later…deliciousness.  

Sunset over the West Lake, Hangzhou China

Sunset over the West Lake, Hangzhou China

Why I Love Top Lists and Life Hacks

I have a confession to make. I love top lists and life hacks. Do you read likehacker.com? Pretty much the first thing I do every day - besides coffee and an omelet. The transition to adulthood has resulted in a full stop on learning in a formalize way. If I can learn something new every day, it scratches the itch of accomplishment. That’s why buzzfeed is so popular just like “fact of the day” and “word of the day calendars” were back when I was a kid. Small doses of knowledge. It’s heroin.

There are plenty of life hacks that will never get used. No one dispenses one tic tac at a time (who eats only one tic-tac?). But gosh darn it if I don’t open a banana from the other end every single time. Those hacks are the silly utilitarian short cuts that may or may not change your life. Then, there are life changing habits, tricks, and lessons that fundamentally change behaviours.

Here are my top 5 simple habits, tricks, and lessons.

  1. Wake up in the morning - Snoozing is not physical, it’s mental. When I wake up, my mind automatically thinks of reasons why I should stay in bed culminating in a decision for “five more minutes”. Now, I wake up with one singular thought. “STOP THINKING, GET UP”. Well, that and I really need to pee. That’s it. Focus on one singular thought, throw the covers off the bed, turn on the shower and it’s off to the races.
  2. Never pay a late fee - The long term trick is automate your finances but that’s a much longer topic. A much easier way is to call up the customer service line and ask for forgiveness. Most companies, especially credit card companies empower their phone reps to issue small credits without additional approval. Just give them a call, tell them it’s your first time, and ask for forgiveness. Works every time.
  3. How to avoid fees for missing your flight - This may be a myth or an old wives tale but I’ve done it and it works. Typically, if you miss your flight because you didn’t plan appropriately it’ll cost you a change fee or late fee or I was stupid fee, any number of fees. But, there is a secret special sauce list of excuses that when spoken and only when spoken will get that fee waived. I got a flat tire is one of them. Use it.
  4. You don’t need that many cards - Have you heard of the Constanza wallet? As you accumulate receipts, discount cards, credit cards, ids, business cards, and any other small 2x3 sheet of material, you just shove it into your wallet because you might need it. Pretty soon, that thing has balloon so big, your spine is misalign because one butt cheek sits higher than the other all day long. All you really need is a credit card, a debit card (to get cash), and your ID. Everything else, put in a backup wallet.
  5. Fold your socks - That’s right, my number one life changing trick is about socks. Do you lose your socks in the dryer? Do the elastics wear out over time and they stop staying on your legs. Go into Cole Hahn and check out the wall of socks and you’ll see that the proper way to store socks is to fold them. Not only do your socks stay organized, they also take up less space in the drawer.

For some “real” life hacks, check out Ramit Sethi’s Life Hack Experiments 

truth

The Story Behind that Portrait

The Story Behind that Portrait

Recently, @nickgerber introduced me to the work of photographer Marco Grob and I’ve been hooked on understanding his style since.

There are many different ways to light a portrait and diving into the mind of another photographer and breaking down the process is a great photographic exercise.

Nick and I sat down last week to recreate one of my favorite shots of RDJ and this was our result.  We didn’t use the same modifiers as MG which is apparent from the differences in the catch light but the essence of the dramatic lighting was captured.

Two gridded beauty dishes slightly behind subject with one diffused beauty dish camera left through a white card with a hole cut through it.  Post processing in Adobe Lightroom, vsco film.

Happy Monday, Here is Zooey

It’s still cold in Chicago which means me continuing to hit up the summer archives.  Late last summer, my friend Doug who runs a awesome dog walking service in Chicago needed some promo pics.  We went out to the park with Zooey and had a fun afternoon.  

NYC is Always a Bad Ass Town

Early last summer, @nickgerber, @timmyjyo, and I headed to NYC on a photography field trip.  Each day we each picked out own themes and just went out and shot.  

I know it’s cliche to shoot street art but NYC is just full of amazing art.   I shot so many images and here are some of my favorites.

I have enough material for at least two more NYC posts. Keep and eye out! 

One of my favorite things about Etsy is discovering new artists.  This art print of Batman is badass.  Check out  Art Prints by Digital Theory

One of my favorite things about Etsy is discovering new artists.  This art print of Batman is badass.  Check out  Art Prints by Digital Theory

uncrate:

Reporter

Perfect

uncrate:

Reporter

Perfect

nickgerber:

This morning on Clark and Waker

Most of my followers probably already follow nickgerber but if you don’t you definitely should.  In the dead of Chicago Winter, this man gets up at 5am to shoot almost every day.  Dedication supreme.

those shoes should not be getting wet.  

those shoes should not be getting wet.  

(Source: hommemodel.blogspot.com, via hurmunb)

How Many Steps Does it Take to Shoot a Wedding →

Last week I posted about my general experience with the Fitbit Force.  Today, I read this article.  When I shoot weddings, I am on my feet all day.  I am curious to see how many steps I take once the season starts.