I just wanted to take a few minutes to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I really appreciate everyone!!! Please take some time to relax and enjoy the holiday.

Make Goals Happen

Chris Brogan has a great post today about setting goals. As 2009 winds down I am all about goal setting right now. Check it out here

Have a wonderful weekend.!


December 1 2009!
Which to me, means GRIND TIME! Seriously! 4 weeks left to tie up all loose ends with my business.So what are you going to do?
Here is my plan:
1. Complete the Prosperous Artist Restart-Business Building Program. FYI This program is free to anyone. Try it out and if you find it helpful consider joining the Prosperous Artists Academy. Alot of what I need and want to do for my business is covered in this 8-hour program so I am going to schedule it and go!

Click Here for the Prosperus Artists Restart Your Busines Program

2. 2. Collect/Pay all outstanding debts. I only have one client that owes me and a late bill came through. As they say at Prosperous Artists get back into the black. So really make sure all my receipts are in my accounting program. All bank paperwork is in check and is ready to go.

3. Clean my house, especially my workspace. My mother always tells me "never go into the new year with a dirty house". Yes mom! I am on it.

I am also hoping to secure a lab for some scanning that I need done ,as one of my 2010 goals is going to be to copyright and scan my entire film archive. I know this will cost a little bit of money so I am going to wait until after the holiday but Im pulling it all togther now. Preparation is key

4. Select images for portfolio. If I push really hard I can make this all happen for 2010.

I think thats about it , basically a bunch of lame organizing things that I really dont want to do but I know I need to do them.

Final Grind AHHHHHH!!

Also, if you are in Chicago this week. APA is hosting Selina Maitreya's program "Survive? Think THRIVE? click on the flyer for more details.

Thanks for reading and feel free to share with me what you are preparing to do to finsh up 2009 strong. Hope to see you at Selina on Thursday.
Enjoy your day

A Lil' Piece of Advice

If I can share with anyone that is starting up a business. I would say the following as 2 of the most important things:

1. Never fall behind on your paperwork, especially your accounting and billing. Either set a time each day to knock it out or set one day each where you are working on it.Take it from me, spending a beautiful Saturday afternoon inside entering receipts from 3 months ago. Not a good look. TRUST!!

2. ALWAYS return phone calls and emails. NEVER let them fall to the wayside. Its all about communication. BELIEVE IT

I say this because its true, and because I had to give up a Saturday to get some details in place. I love what I do, but I can never be to busy to complete an important task.

Lesson learned.

New Media Secrets

Im very excited tonight because Rosh Sillars will be speaking at Harrington tonight. He will be presenting his program, New Media Secrets: Marketing Your Message

Here are the details of the program:

In this difficult economy and with ever declining budgets, how do you market your business effectively without breaking the bank?

This program is about sharing the new rules in the continuously changing landscape of communication. New Internet tools and applications are developed almost daily to help individuals and organizations better tell their story through digital marketing and personal branding.

Eighty percent of people with Internet access go to the Web first to find information about people, products and organizations. Blogs, podcasts, social media and Web 2.0 tools offer unique opportunities to level the playing field in the continuous effort to earn deeper attention of current clients and new prospects.

New Media Marketing is about the conversation, being engaged and attracting the attention of a world overloaded with information and resources

As I have said before Rosh is one of the founders of Prosperus Artists Academy, where I am a student. Its a great resource with priceless information

If you are in the loop tonight I would encourage you to come out. This is great knoweldge no matter what your medium is.

Register Here

Hope to see you there!

27 Now.

Last Tuesday was my birthday. OWW! Exciting right! I had a small celebration at Zentra Nightclub this Saturday,in Chicago. It was a good time, and I was happy to see my friends. I always get so touched when people come out to things that I host. Im really hoping that age 27 will be as great as all the other ages I was before, LOL. We shall see. I'm always trying to think ahead and create and re-create goals for myself, every month, every new year,and every birthday I am refocusing and making sure I am staying on the right path.

Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua posted on the ASMP Stirticly Busines blog about pounding the pavement. Its a quick read, but an important one to put into perspective the goals I have for myself, and what I want my 27th year to be about.

So click here, check it out for yourself. Let me know what you think

Getting Started

Sifting through the RSS feed archive through my email this morning I came across and older post from the blog A Photo Editor. The blog was titled “Getting Started” and shared some great advice from writer John Grisham. Check it out here

Its always great to get advice from other artists regardless of their medium



The local ASMP and APA chapters are joining together to start a monthly social gathering. The events are open to anyone who is interested, whether or not they’re a member of either organization. We will be providing appetizers and snacks. The goal of this new effort is encourage the photographic community to get together over a casual drink or two. Please spread the word and encourage friends and colleagues to join us.

Many thanks in advance to Dodd Camera ( for
providing the appetizers and snacks.

Where: Cleo’s,
2048 W Armitage Ave,
Chicago, IL

When:Wednesday, October 14th, 7pm to 9pm

Cost: $0!
Appetizers are on us and drinks are on you (and 20% off)

ASMP Assistants and Associates Committee Chair Marc Altman ( ) or APA Midwest Chapter President Megan ( with any questions or to RSVP.

2010 Chapter Retreat

I am off to plan 2010 with the Chicago Midwest Chapter of ASMP. Have a great weekend. My weekend will be filled with hard work and planning. So I am hoping to to be productive

This year has gone by very fast. 2010 is just around the corner. Are you ready?

Saverio Truglia tonight at Harrington

So if you are in the loop tonight, come by Harrington for the beginning of what I plan to be the start of a great lecture series.

Tonight is Saverio Truglia . His work is amazing, and I am beyond happy that agreed to speak to the students and alumni of Harrington.

This event is open to the public and is free.
I hope to see you there!

Harrington College of Design
200 W. Madison
Chicago Il 60606

@ Home Sick + Some Work

October is off to a wicked start. I'm home SICK!!!! I have canceled my plans for the weekend, to stay home and cater to my poor little body that puts up with so much. Thankfully I didnt have to bow out from to many commitments. I missed kickboxing this morning, and I am debating if my hot yoga class would be beneficial tomorrow evening. Who knows, I think I am just going to have to lay low this weekend, and not do to much of anything.

I wanted to share some contact sheets of some work I did this summer. The project was for my good dear friend Logan. Logan is a model with Ford, we met back in undergrad and have been best friends since. She asked me to photograph her for her new comp card and of course I accepted. Duh "Loags"(as I like to call her) and I are total besties

So, can I just tell you that this shoot was sort of crazy. Usually (at least 75%) a shoot with me includes hair stylist, makeup artist, and a stylist or designer, and of course a assistant. Low key, but still a small crew is there. We have craft service, and are in a well air conditioned/heat area. Well, Logan and I set out on our own this time. I don't know why we thought it would be okay to venture out without snacks, water on one of the hottest days in Indiana, but we did it anyway. The shoot was difficult, but we pressed through it. I guess we figured it was simple,but for anyone that has ever been to Indiana Dunes, there is alot of walking, hiking up the dunes, and all this stuff we werent prepared for.
Oh well, it still made for a fun day.

Enjoy the contact sheets, well what you can see of them, I scanned on my home printer/scanner. Its a Cannon but you know.... I'm sick perhaps I can be cut a little slack :)

I'm proud of the results. I'm excited to pull HEROS

Enjoy your day. Take time off. Remeber to take care of yourself.


October is here. I'm kicking it off with a little bit of a cold; Chicago weather has done a complete 360 degrees with the weather. I literally was out and about with girlfriends over the weekend, and hopped into my fall trench this morning. BRRRRR, I've lived in Chicago all my life and I am still surprised by the unpredictable weather.

October is my birthday month. I haven't begun to freak out just yet. Of course you know a lady never tells her age, but as I think back about the year, and my life I think ehhh it could have been worse. I have really been blessed and things can only get better from this point on, as far as I am concerned.

My current state of mind: You Go Girl !!! OW!!
I hope you had a great summer :)

Are you Prosperus?

I’m a new student at the Prosperous Artists Academy!! That’s right I am going back to school. Well maybe not really, but I sort of am. Last Friday I enrolled in Prosperous Artists Academy with creative professionals Rosh Sillars and Dean La Douceur.

If you have never heard of Prosperous Artists, I would encourage you to take a moment, open up a new tab on your computer screen and head over to and check it out. It’s all about your creative business, and how to be successful with yours.

The podcasts are free and I have every single one of them, but recently they have started “Prosperous Artists Academy” a website that has lessons; projects and tutorials on ALL things you need to know and understand to run a successful creative business.

This weekend I began going through the website and taking classes and participating in the forums. This to me is a blessing in disguise. Since starting Harrington I really wanted to take some time to reflect and refocus my business and work on some personal work. Especially while taking the time to learn the ropes and how I wanted to approach my position at Harrington. So Prosperous Artist is really just a great resource to really help you focus your business and break down and think out what you are trying to do. The best thing about this is you can utilize the knowledge of Rosh and Dean to help you along the way.

So I am off to become a prosperous artist. I’m excited about that.
Have a great day

Team High End or Team Cheapo?

I love Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua. For those that don’t know “Auntie Leslie” as I like to call her, is a fabulous photographer’s consultant. You should check her out. I have worked with her before and we really hit it off well.

Her website is:

Well today on her blog she had a wonderful post that I just had to comment on Today.

Today’s blog topic was about picking a team and she has two choices:

1. Team High End

2. Team Cheapo

Whose team would you want to be on?

I am on Team High End for sure. Always striving to provide great customer service to clients, make beautiful images, having a talented crew, and amazing food (Thanks Mom). Making sure I am resourceful and helpful to my students at Harrington the list can go on and on and on. Then I got to thinking, this whole Team High End/ Team Cheapo theory can be applied to everything in my life as well as my photography. When I am picking out props for personal projects I can either go Team High End or Team Cheapo. You just have to think what’s going to look the best. If I am on a blind date, as I consider my thoughts on the random fella, is he Team High End or Team Cheapo.

The value of your work, your art, your life should I approach it Team High End or Team Cheapo

Auntie Leslie has opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking.


I have no idea why I call her that I just started with something and that was that. I feel it’s a sign of respect. I look up to her as a business woman, and I want her in my close circle, so that’s where the whole Auntie thing comes from subconsciously I guess.

Inside the Photographers Studio

I read this great blog called What's the Jackanory(WTJ). WTJ is a photo blog written by editorial photographer Andrew Hetherington. He has a series of "inside the photographers_studio" his latest one is on one of my favorite photographers Philip Toledano . I love Mr. Toledano's project based work. I was thinking that maybe I should focus on one project at a time, even though I always have alot going. After watching this video of Mr. Toledano, and crazy things such as Vibe Closing I better get a move on it. Its all about time management now.

So check out the video here on Andrews blog. He has others too, but this is the first one I watched. I plan to watch the others too. Good stuff.
Oh, and the video itself is very well done.


If you're around the south side today come join the Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers for a kick-off reception celebrating our 10th year anniversary.
The "Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers: A Ten
Year Retrospective" exhibition will honor the founders of our organization and celebrate the creation of "The Journey: The Next 100 Years." "The Journey" is a definitive exhibit/collection of photographs that documented life in Chicago's African American community at the turn of the century. (OH, BTW I am featured in this book BTW.)

The celebration includes an exhibit of CAAAP photographers' latest work and copies of the coffee table
book "The Journey: The Next 100 Years" will be available for purchase and signing.

I have been apart of CAAAP for many years and have made some great friends, and learned so much about photography through the membership. So I am very excited to be apart CAAAP.

Hopefully I will see you today.

Oh, and
refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

So Long Vibe

© Vibe Magazine

So I just found out via www.whatsthejackanory that Vibe folded.
I always knew I would be on the right track when I was awarded an assignment with Vibe Magazine.
So you can only imagine how upset I was to hear that Vibe Magazine had folded. June has not been great month for good news. Vibe magazine, in my opinion the only best to find the best of the best in terms of urban American imagery. It's my version of Italian Vogue. The best of the best photographers were shown in Vibe Magazine. Damn. Now what. I guess like everything else I will adjust and keep it moving. It would have been nice to work with them though. Time waits for no one. This past month has been alot of awakening.
Emily Shur, has a interesting post on her experience with Vibe Magazine. Check it out here


I remember the"Bad" Tour was my first concert. I was in kindergarten and my parents bought me this black head band, that reaD "BAD" in that dripping font. I loved Michael Jackson and the next day my mother let me wear that headband to schoool. I said the pledge of allefgience thinking to myself. "I'm Bad"!

Right now all I am feeking is sadness. Its a crazy feeling, its like a chuck of the world is just gone. I was to a girlfriend last month about which celebrity we thought would make the world come to a screeching halt. We both agreed hands down Michael Jackson. Of course people have to pass on to their next lives, but why did this day come soo soon. So much talent. Right now, all I can think is how much this sucks and how crazy the media is about to get over this man. Wow. When I think he is going to come back and this is all just a dream. Its not a dream. Michael Jackson is gone.

I love this picture of Michael and Janet, becasue it reminds me of a picture I would take. I just love the color, and I loved seeing Michael and Janet together.

God Bless Michael Jackson and his family.
Its so important to live everyday the best. Make your dreams happen

My first commissioned piece

I am feeling sort of big deal right now. My friend/co-worker /fellow artist Margey, is awesome. She makes these great mixed-media paintings. She made one for a co-worker at Harrington and when she showed it to me, I instantly fell in love with it, and thought to myself "I have to have one!!" I asked if she would create one for me and she said yes!!! Honestly though, what artist wouldn't turn down the opportunity to create a custom piece for someone. I sure as hell would not.
These are a few jpegs of Margeys work:

Ive never commissioned a personal piece of artwork before. Thats the type of thing big deal people do. Hmmm, I'm excited to see how my piece turns out.
Check out more of Margeys work at her blog:

Lee had a baby!

My good friend Lee had a baby today.She had a baby boy and named him King. He was like 5 pounds and something ounces. So I wanted to take this time to tell her congratulations. Since I have a blog and all.

I cant wait to meet King!

The Best Website EVER!

Happy June!
WOW! Is it me or do the days seem really long?,Its so crazy because all while having these long(yet very productive, sometimes) days the months seem to be zipping past.
So you know my regular deal, very busy, Harrington is great! Sorry its been so long since Ive posted. This month I have alot of things that I am focusing on, most of them health but business/socially I am all about enusring that I follow thorugh. Last month I seemed to be so busy with everything, small things slipped thorugh the cracks. I am human, so I am not going to press it to hard, but also I am not going to slip again. So If I have committed to this blog I am going to post to this blog. Simple. Its all about time management really. So we will see how it goes.

So, I really had to share this awesome website with you. WGN-TV Channel 9 morning news shared this site during the "Surfin the Web" Segment. WGN's morning news is the best news program hands down. I love it, they are so silly and I get all the news.
At any rate, this is the website:
This website has all the foolish and ignorant family photos I have ever seen. With some of these portraits, it makes me wonder why the photographer thought these poses would be flattering or fun. Its just silly LOL . Here are some of my favorites:
I had to hold myself back from showing you all of them, seriously head over to the website
Enjoy :)
Now why would the photographer suggest the brother and mother lay on top of their sisters? See what I mean, silly. LOL

This is an engagement photograph! Can you imagine getting this on a Save the Date Card, and the thing is this couple I am sure paid good money for these picures. Being on the board of ASMP Chicago/Midwest. Please lets practice not only best business practices but you have to give your clients great results. These people look like they are on the run. On this piece is titled "Pssst".

Brother and Sister Portrait.

It gets better, I am telling you this is my new favorite website. LOL. I CANT TAKE IT!

Saving the best for last, this is one of the reasons why when high school friends would call and ask me to take pictures of them and there gangsta boyfriends, I would have to say no. Why you ask, becuase they want images like this......

just, I dont know what to say.

I hope you enjoyed these. Check out the site and let me know what your favorites are. I love it!~
Have a wonderful week :)

Lesson learned from a young photographer & Twitter

I was reading A Photo Editor this morning at my desk. If you don’t subscribe or check this blog on a regular basis, you should start. It gives perspective from photographers, art directors, photo editors and fine artists. Everyone and everything is covered in this blog. I love it.
So this particular blog Rob posted was about a young photographer that used Twitter to share with the world his excitement about being hired to shoot a national advertising campaign. That was immediately shut down when a account executive found out. Turns out it was a violation of contract.
Read for yourself here
Damn. This really sucks. Could you imagine being on cloud nine, all excited and what not, telling your friends, celebrating with your hommies, dreaming about how your career is about to take off! Then BAM! Just like that its over, and now you are wondering if you are ever going to be hired again. I would loose my mind. WOW!
I feel bad for that photographer whomever he/she is. I could have easily done the same thing, not thinking and being overly excited. simple, honest, stupid mistake and I for one have learned a lesson, before one could ever be taught. This is very interesting because I am just getting into Twitter and I think its fun. I'm starting to connect with alot of different people. Discussions are rolling and I am enjoying it. So thats it. The rule is to share, but dont share it all.
I can dig it.
I just had to share this. Lesson learned

New Work

A new addition to my website. (well soon to be)Whoa! This is my second post of the day!
Let's Sing together: Go Stephanie! Go Stephanie! Its Your Birthday! Go Stephanie!

Model: Kehinde
Makeup:Niehla Ollie
Assistant: Fritz

Helen Levitt

The summer of my junior year in high school. I signed up for this photography class at Columbia College Chicago. It was apart of the high school summer institute program. For several weeks Columbia was filled with artsy high school kids from across the nation taking all sorts of fun classes. It was a lot of fun.
I cant remember my instructors name,but she introduced me to Helen's work.
I was big into street photography in high school, and children. My teacher thought I would enjoy her work. She was right!. Helen documented street life, but there were tons of kid pictures and each one of them were amazing.

Since that summer I have always been in love with the work of Helen Levitt. Her work was very raw, and exciting. Even though the images were simple and beautiful. There was always something going on. I wanted to be in her images. The kids in her pictures were always up to something. Each time I look at one of her pictures, it puts a smile on my face.

I learned from Helen's work. That you are suppose to have fun when you shoot and always

Helen was 95. So she had a long life. Its still sad though.

The blog of NPR has a nice piece about her, and an interview too. Check it out here
RIP Helen. You were the bees knees

The pictures above are some of my favorites from Helen

Thanks unknown photo teacher for telling me about her :)

My new portfolio.

I got a new portfolio.
I love it. Its beautiful.
Mr. Scott Mullenberg made it for me

See more of Scotts work at Mullenberg Designs

Oh yeah! Call my book in now. 847-899-3564. I Would love to discuss your next photo project with you.

Walmart Shoot......Another Coming Soon

I had a Walmart Shoot today. It went well. I'm excited about it. Pictures will be up very soon.

March is here. I'm busy, and I'm excited about that.

new month=new beginning

The 2009 "Recession Proof" Art Festival

Happy February!
I'm excited that February is here. I have to write my goals out for this month, but as usual they will most likely have something to do with fitness and photography. I have a show coming up!
I'm excited about. My friend and director Gary Schultz invited me to particiapate in the 2009 Recession Proof Art Festival. Its a art festival with different emerging artists coming together to help raise funds for Gary's new film "Who Is Jude?"

"Who is Jude?" Film Synopsis (taken from the website):

, a lonely anti-social tech geek, and his only friend, his pet turtle BRONSON, are faced with a catastrophic situation beyond the walls of their tiny garden apartment. With no electricity and no form of communication to the outside world, JUDE is warned about a possible terrorist-attack taking place outside his home by the woman that lives above him, IRIS with whom he is infatuated. Are these occurrences the plot of some sick joke? Or is Jude's world really coming to an end?

So anyway I am in the festival and if you are around on Saturday you should totally stop by and say hi! I will be showing about 5-6 pieces of my work.
I'm excited about it.
Here are details about the event:
Sinnerman Productions with GMS Films
The 2009 "Recession Proof" Art Festival

Saturday February 7th,
6:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.
@ "THE SPOT", 4437 N Broadway
*$10 donation is required for admission and is tax-deductible.

Join us for an evening showcasing emerging artist from Chicago. As they exhibit various art forms: Visual arts, Music, and film.

So fight the recession and support the arts as we raise funds for the upcoming GMS film production "JUDE". The economy is beyond lousy and it's time to start the turn-around so all donations made at The 2009 "Recession Proof" Art Fest are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. "JUDE" is a legal 501(c)(3) Not For Profit Film, so all donations are... tax deductible.

Act quickly, People who make a $10 donation before February 7th at the WHOISJUDE.COM website receive admission to The 2009 "Recession Proof" Art Fest and will be entered in our special "Bail-Out" raffle, where you could win some pretty cool prizes; Movie Tickets, Hour long Massage Therapy Sessions, a $25 Best Buy gift-card, free drink tickets, and just added a....... PALM TREO 755 PDA CELL PHONE.

*Must Be 21 and over to enter.

For more info please email us at or visit our websites at:
JUDE facebook fan page

Oh and by the way..... HAPPY NEW YEAR

Happy New Year!!! Okay, a little delayed but never late than never. After Christmas and mourning the death of my favorite Eartha Kitt. I have been busy trying to put into perspective how I want 2009 to go. 2008 was a lot of work. I started the year working like a crazy woman working on films, and trying to promote my photography. A job well done, but geeze,a girl needed a little break. During my break I took some time to think about what I want 2009 to be and what I wanted to focus on. I've decided after the usual personal wishes of paying off student loans dropping 6 pant sizes, and promoting my photography business ; I really just want to live life and have a good time this year. I'm not going to stress on anything. With that being said 2009 came and boy O boy, has she hit the ground running!!!
I got the best Christmas gift!! A advising position with the digital photography graduates Harrington College of Design! Harrington offers an associates of applied science degree in digital photography where students.Its a great program, headed up by photographer, and fellow ASMP board member, Dirk Fletcher. I was offered the position christmas eve. The basic gist of my position is assist graduating students with job placements as assistants or offer assistance in those that have decided to have their own photography businesses. I am excited because I get to play life coach, and I always have said that if I wasn't doing photography I would be a life coach. At Harrington I get the best of both worlds.

Another great thing is that my girlfriend Sher and I have decided to have "art check-in" . This was something that we have made up, as we work on our own personal projects we are meeting once a month to CHECK-IN and show each other what we are working on and get our thoughts clear. Yesterday was our first meeting and it was very successful. Sher discussed with me what she wanted to work on, and then I told Sher what I wanted to work on. We worked with each other and broke down a small flow chart of what to bring to our next meeting. We also are going to art shows every month. I hope we can go to more,but doing these two things as a gurantee every month is amazing.

I'm going to work more consistently with my new consultant.

Obama is in office. What more can we say

This year, I just feel change is coming. I am inspired. I'm looking forward to developing my art, and growing in my new position. I feel lighter. I feel good.
I finally got to my blog. Im happy.

Stephanie Graham, Studio Blog. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.