Chicago Portrait Photographer / Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

 

 I am portrait/fitness photographer with a home base out of Chicago IL. and here are some of my favorite portraits I have shot over the years.
I tend to lean more towards shooting environmental portraits. Which in my opinion contributes to the story of the photo and the subject. You can tell a lot by someones environment. Who they are, what they do and what they are passionate about. However you have to be careful that the environment doesn’t overpower the subject in the photo.

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Chicago Portrait photographer

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Chicago Portrait Photographer

Chicago Portrait Photographer

Chicago Portrait Photographer

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer
This is a portrait of Black Label Society prior to the drummer leaving the band.  It was shot in the alley in downtown Seattle

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Chicago Portrait Photographer

 

 

Chicago Fitness Photographer

 

More of my work can be viewed at Chicago Portrait Photographer

Chicago Portrait Photographer / Creating Portraits

Creating Portraits with what you have
 Often times we sit here wishing we had an amazing studio space, the newest camera body or the fanciest lens. Here is a prime example with a little creativity and a small amount of space you can create fun and captivating portraits. For these I used a 7′ x 7′ section of my one car garage and turned it into a make shift studio.

 

I used the very first lighting kit I ever bought. The Wescott Spiderlite TD5 window light kit bought back in 2007ish. It is a daylight balanced constant lighting that is great for shooting tight portraits. The next decision is what do  I use to capture these images? For this series I decide to use my Iphone 6s. To many times I have experienced that as soon as you pull out a commercial/professional grade camera the subject instantly gets nervous. But with Iphone it is a little less intimidating and allows them to relax. I mean how times have you had you picture taken with a Iphone? It really makes it seem as if it just a friend taking a picture of friend and here are the results.
Chicago Portrait Photographer

Chicago Portait Photographer

ChicagoPortait Photographer
And of course I brought them into photoshop and did my usual finishing touches to my portraits. So here is a prime example that the camera is just part of the process and your ability as a photographer is the true necessary piece of the puzzle. Now when someone ask you what camera you use or prefer. You can tell them the one that is available to me!
This is also the setup I use to do my 1972 Polaroid Land Camera portrait series . Which can be seen here Polaroid Portraits
Thanks for reading and my full portfolio can been seen here shawnkinney.com

 

IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING The Story of Anthony Baumann by Chicago Portrait Photographer Shawn Kinney

Say hello to Anthony C Baumann (facebook) as he opens up about his life journey to play music. He showed up by his favorite mode of transportation, on his 2015 Ultra Harley Davidson. Here are the two bands he is currently playing in St. Stephen’s Whiskey and Phat Kiss


Chicago Portrait Photographer
Don’t give up on your dream. Its never to late to take the 1st step”

So this is where you grow up, how old were you when you left? I was 9 when I left. I moved to Florida with my mother and 2 bothers. She just wanted a better life away from the city for us kids. I lasted 2-3 years and I had to come back, I truly missed the city. Eventually all the kids gravitated back to the city and my mother ended staying in Florida.

 

As a kid what did you dream about becoming when you grew up? A Musician. All my life from day one! I guess it started from the effluence of the cartoons. I grew up in 70’s and all the cartoons had bands in them, they were all rock stars. Thats the first thing we did as kids, my dad bought us all instruments. One brother played electric guitar, the other played bass and I played drums.

 

Did your parents encourage you to be creative? Oh ya. I guess our grandparents were also musicians. They passed away when I was young, so I guess it was just in our blood. Our dad was like go for it and bought us all instruments. My brothers and I joined every band in school and still to this day my brother and I play in a band together. Nothing better then rocking out with your brother.

At this point in your life, are you happy where you are at? Yes. Music has taken me everywhere. I have been all over the world. I have played Carnage Hall, Chicago Theater, Ground Zero memorial (911 site in NY) and on several cd’s. I have meet so many amazing people and without music no of it would have ever happened.

 


If there is one significant thing in your life right now you could change, what would it be? I would love be in a professional touring band and I will never give that dream up. I am still hoping that I’ll find the right spot for myself in a band that can take it to the next level.

 

Can you share one of your most vivid childhood memories? The house was always haunted. We were defiantly afraid of this place. We lived here with our grandparents and they passed away when I was 7. Not sure if it was just a kids imagination but we would hear people walking up and down the stairs all the time. There was a secret room in the basement. It was a small storage area were my grandfather would keep all his stuff and I was defiantly afraid to go back there.

 

What accomplishment are you most proud of? That I was able to touch some many different people through my music.

Who are your Music Idols/First concert? Bonham, Moon, Neil Purt and of course Dave Grohl(hew just knocked out of the park). I saw Iron Maiden in 1982 at Navy Pier when they played ChicagoFest and they played it for free. I found out thy were playing from a couple kids talking in school. I didn’t really know anyone so I went by myself.

 

What has been the biggest obstacle in pursuing music? I would have to say finding the right people in life. Finding people with similar likes and similar goals. Thats why it is so hard to keep bands together. Everyone is their own artist and they have their own goals in mind.

 

Do you have any advice for those people struggling with the dreaded 9 to 5? Don’t give up on your dream. You got to make yourself happy first. If your not happy then move on. You don’t have to be stuck, go out and find something you like to do. I know its a scaring thing and the first step is the hardest thing to do. But you have to do it! Its never to late to take the first step.

 

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self? Practice, practice and more practice. I took a hiatus when I was a kid. I bounced around lot in between different things of interest when I was younger. There was a period of about 20 years of when I didn’t pick up the sticks. I was a semi professional hockey player for a while. I actually didn’t get real job until I was 30. After high school I got a part time job and started skating again, that landed me a job teaching at Addison park district teaching the kids how to play hockey. From there I got a tryout with a semipro team and eventually got signed by LA and went to minor leagues. After the season I came and continued coaching the kids. That lasted about 10 years and man did I love it. So I would say to my younger self practice, practice and focus more on music. If you have that one dream don’t let the distraction of life derail you.

 

Thanks for sharing Anthony and I hope this shows everyone that its never to late to live the life you deserve. More of my work can be view  at www.shawnkinney.com

Doing More with less Chicago based Portrait Photographer

 

Upon re locating back home to Sweet Home Chicago in late June, I found myself once again thinking I needed more. More space to shoot and more gear to be creative. But with time to reflect and some well timed advise from Clay Cook. He showed us all that all you need is what you have available. As he turned his living room into his studio were he does most of his creative work. So I mounted my $400 Canon 85 1.8 lens (I opted to pass on the L version of the Canon 1.2 with a cost of $1,700) onto my 5d Mark 111 and turn my living room into my studio. The living room is part of our 2bd room loft which is aprox. 16′ X 17′ with the benefit of high ceilings.

My lighting gear is still the Dynalite 1000er studio pack that is no longer for sale but allows me to use up to 4 heads. I typically use my standard 3 light set up.

Back drop is a 4 ft Royal Blue seamless rolled paper. I often place the subject off center which allows some of the environment to creep into the shot and help establish depth in the image.
A 35′ Dynalite octa softbox to camera left and two gridded rim lights. I also always use a Genustech Eclipse fader 2-8 ND filter on my lens. With out the ND filter My camera setting would be F-3.5, 1/125, ISO 50. The ND allows my to open up to 1.8, which gives me the shallow depth that I desire. The combination of the ND filter and the fixed lens has changed the way I shoot in the studio and on location. The fix lens makes me move around and experience the effects of the lighting from different angles. This will change the look and fell of the shot completely, which can appear to be multiple different set-ups with out changing anything. The ND gives me extra control of the available and artificial lighting in the scene.  
Chicago Portrait Photographer
The Hero Shot of Guitarist Paul Whisett
and a couple of detailed shots of his favorite acoustic Martin Guitar.

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer

 

and the final selection from the shoot

Don’t put unnecessary obstacles and limitations on yourself. Trust me there will be plenty of them naturally when you are out chasing down commercial work and just remember the most important piece of equipment is your vision and creativity!!!!

IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING The Story of Art Nunez

Meet Art Nunez an old high school friend. He is a constant creator, that is best know for his sense of humor and his talent on the guitar.  You can find him making people chuckle with his continuous Facebook humor @ Cinful Art.   

Chicago Portrait Photographer
“Do what you are going to do. Along the way you just trouble shooting.”



This is the home you grew up in. How old were you when you moved out? 

I moved out when I was seventeen. I rented a apartment, I wanted to work, I wanted to do what I wanted do without someone telling me what to do, when to do it, or when I can’t do it! I never moved back home. Eventually, my mom moved in with me. I just starting working and never stopped.
As a kid what did you dream about becoming when you grew up? 
That depends on how far back we go. Originally, I wanted to be a cartoonist. I always love to draw and I had an over active imagination. I loved making people laugh by doing goofy drawings. Cartooning was my first realization that I loved to create. Then, when I was twelve I started playing music and from there I always wanted to be a rock star. I got my first guitar when  I was ten, but didn’t start really playing until I was twelve. That is when I got my first amp. After that, I fell off the face of the earth. All I wanted to do was jam on the guitar while day dreaming of playing giant arenas with those little tiny speakers. I would be jamming on the guitar while jumping off my bed and going crazy. I am still doing that to this day. The only difference is that I do it live!
Did your parents encourage you to be creative? 

No. They thought I was a dreamer and I wouldn’t amount to anything. I really didn’t get any support from them for anything I wanted to do. Their idea was work hard! Basically, their advice was to go to a job, work hard and be the best you can be at that job. You are not too good for any job. That is what I did. I settled for any job and became the best I could be at that job, but I was miserable.
At this point in your life are you happy where you are at? 
I am happier than I have ever been. Granted, my rock and roll dreams have come and gone.  However, I am still playing live and I have a creative outlet.

If there is one significant thing in your life right now you could change, what would it be? 

Right now? I think I changed everything to be who I am now. I don’t think I could or need to change anything right now in my life. Everything to this point in my life has had its purpose. It has molded my into the person I am today. I am very happy!!
Can you share one of your most vivid childhood memories? 
Going back into my childhood is a little dark. I had a very depressing  childhood. Very few people know most of this stuff. The most vivid moment was one afternoon about noon. I was six years old and I got called into the office at school and officer friendly was waiting for me. I walked in the office and he said he needed to drive me to my Uncle’s house. I got really scared. When I got to my uncles house he told me there had been an accident.  He said my house burnt down and everybody was in the hospital. The first person I saw when we got to the hospital was my mom. My mom had third degree burns on parts of her face and body. They wouldn’t let me see my other two brothers or my father. My two year old brother was dead on arrival and my three old brother was in critical condition. I just shut down, I was in total sock. When we got home that night to my Uncle’s house we were watching the news. The story of our house fire came on and that’s how I found out that my three year old brother that was in intensive care had passed away.  That is my most vivid memory. It completely changed my life because everything completely fell apart after that. That experience shaped my into who I am today and why I do what I do on the community.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? 
My kids, of course. I am most proud of them. A father is something I never thought I would be. It’s something you cannot prepare for. They are growing up to be amazing people.
What has been the biggest obstacle over the years of staying creative? 
Work!! Having to work a day job to earn enough money.  It’s just something you have to do. Fortunately, I finally have a day job that allows me to still be creative.
How do you balance the 9 to 5 and family life while still being creative? 
 
My wife is super supportive, but there are some obstacles there. I want to be part of the kids growing up and the wife and I love each others company.  Most of the time, she will come to my gigs and we get to experience it together, which is pretty awesome.  Our thirteen wedding anniversary is coming up. She is so amazing and supports me all the way!
Do you have any advice for those people struggling with the dreaded 9 to 5? 
I firmly believe where your mind wanders is here you heart is. You just have to figure out how to get to that place you mind keeps wandering to. There is a reason your mind goes were it goes.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self? 
Do what you are going to do. Be who you want to be. Follow your dreams. As long as you believe in them you can achieve them!! That is the most friction I got from my teachers and my family members. They said I was wasting my time. It could be so hard to become a musician. Ok sure, absolutely, at least I wanted them to give me a chance to try it. If I fell on my face so be it. I could have gone to follow the rest of the herd and do my 9 to 5 job. I didn’t want them to influence me to not pursue it!!!!
“Do what you are going to do. Along the way you are just trouble shooting.”

Here is an image that has stuck with me from my childhood. I went back to visit my grandparents in Chihuahua Mexico shortly after the accident. I remember going to work with my uncle who was a brick maker. They did it old school back then, they would gather adobe and bake it in a huge oven. One day, we walked across this railroad track with nothing on the sides. I was so terrified. My little feet fit perfectly between the wooden tracks which had to be 70-80 feet high. That railroad bridge has stuck with over the years, just because of how it made my feel that day. When I came across this image below on the internet it moved me and made me relive that walk.

Thank you for sharing, Art. It was great to get to know you a little better.
With every story I take a little bit of the conversation with me. It helps me understand, even though life is often not fair, we can still make of it what we want. We are in charge of our destiny despite the road we must travel to get there. I will leave you with one of my favorite sayings…or my variation of a popular saying:
Things happen for a reason. Yes they do and that reason is you!