Tag Archives: photo studio


My friend, Mitzi continues a generations-old tradition of having her grandchildren photographed when they reach the age of three. Each photo includes the same chair which is as old as the tradition. The wonderful thing about this for me is that none of the children ever pose for me. They simply present themselves to the camera.

The goal is a single photo with very narrow guidelines. It requires a vertical photo of a child relating to a specific chair and shot against a dark, neutral background. This simplicity allowed me to concentrate on capturing Brielle’s movements, all of which were self directed.

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Mistakes made, but plodding on…


I have already made mention of a few blunders. It’s time to “fess up”. Either a math error or impatience caused me to plant some things a little early. My tomatoes, peppers, and broccoli plants are a little huge and I can’t put them in the ground for at least another four weeks! My “little shop of horrors” plants will spend the next month alternating between sitting in my driveway “hardening off” and keeping from freezing inside my studio. I hope they don’t frighten my clients.

I may have started a little early!

I may have started a little early!

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We Begin…


We’ll see how this gardening thing goes but it’s starting out a little shaky. This is being written on an early April day that began with several inches of snow on the ground. That’s rude, even for the Chicago area. My ancient, falling-down greenhouse has now been further assaulted by the weather.

The greenhouse was here along with several other out buildings when we bought our 19th –century farmhouse about twenty years ago. We bought it because, for a suburban lot, the yard was large enough for our five children to enjoy. It also had a building that we could convert to a photo studio.

our falling-down greenhouse

our falling-down greenhouse

I am actually not completely new to gardening. When my wife and I were first married we coaxed a tremendous amount of vegetables from a 4×30 – foot plot. As children were born and the photography business grew we found neither the time nor the energy to garden. I dropped my subscription to Organic Gardening and Farming and eventually Burpee gave up on us and stopped sending seed catalogs.

With our children mostly grown and my photo business less demanding of my time I have returned to gardening. I dusted off the four 1970’s – era Organic Gardening & Farming issues that survived moves from Illinois to Maine and back again and am determined to pick up where we left off decades ago.

It’s worth noting that the economy has determined one aspect of how we are going to approach this year’s garden. I will not buy something if I can make it or make do with something I already have. It seems foolish to become a gardener that essentially pays $ 12 per pound for the privilege of growing fresh tomatoes. Organic gardening methods not only restore the soil but also save money. So, to the best of my ability and knowledge we will maintain an organic – and cheap – garden.

Along the way I plan to visit my neighbors and their gardens. I’ll report on any good stuff that I learn. I hope I can report on the results of some gardening experiments. I already have had some missteps that, if I am not too embarrassed, I will write about. I’ll use my camera to help tell the story of progress, setbacks, revelations, disasters and ideas.

Mostly I’d like to hear from anyone that may come across this. New gardening ideas, thoughts, comments, and stories are all welcome.

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