This quote came across Twitter and it really stuck with me, so I wanted to post it here!

"Those who create are rare; those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger."
      -Coco Chanel

My Friend Rudy

I learned recently that a dear friend and fellow CAAAP Member Rudy Hudson passed away! He was a great photographer and a great friend and I am going to miss him dearly. Its times like this when I am just thankful that I was able to get to know Rudy and his work and know him as a friend. 

                                            February 2008. Rudy and I @DePaul for black photographer panel discussion

RIP Rudy. Miss you and Love You.

New Season!! New Change!!

Happy October !!My birthday month! LIBRAS LIBRAS!!! WOOO HOOO!!!! Fall is here! I love it!!!  There has been a lot of changing going on in my world these past few months. I have friends that are getting married, friends moving out of state, folks are getting new jobs and expanding their business, buying homes, just a lot going on and you know what....things are all good and it’s all positive and I am enjoying it!!!!

I’ve had a few changes going on in my world also. One being that I moved into a new place in the city, it’s a blessing, I’m in a great location and I am already spoiled with the luxury of being so close to my studio, friends and family. I knew I made the right decision when I was able to walk to my shoot the other week and walk right back home before heading to the college. It was so convenient and really nice.

The next major change is that as of October 1 , I am the new Chapter Director of the APA Midwest Chapter!! It’s really exciting for me because I love being involved with the photo community in Chicago and stepping into this leadership role, is a great opportunity. I honestly have no idea what’s ahead but I know its going to be brilliant. I am going to continue to remain on the board of ASMP, so life...well it just to get a little bit more busy. It’s okay though nothing I can’t handle. I think the best part of the new APA Midwest leadership is that I get to work with Callie Lipkin who will be the new Chapter Chair. Callie is a great lady and talented photographer. Annika Howe is on board too, as the new Chapter Rep. Annika is a rockstar producer in Chicago and I like her a lot! So we are all set to rock and roll! All new leadership and an all woman executive board. I like that! I’m looking forward to working with Annika and Callie, growing a professional relationship and who knows probably gain two new homegirls out the whole thing OW!!

I will continue to post APA and ASMP events on my blog as much as possible so stay tuned for all the great things that are coming.

What new changes are going on with you?

Casting Call: The Walmart Project

The Walmart Project:
I am currently looking for male models to work with for my ongoing personal project "The Walmart Project".
If you are not familar with the project check it out in portfolio 4 on my website. 
Currently I am looking for African American male models, and male models with blond and red hair.

If you are interested please include your contact information, phone number and a photo to

Alexx Henry: Living Art and the Future of Photography in Motion

Alexx Henry will be in the building this evening at Columbia College talking about the new digital paradigm and how it relates to photographers. Its free sponosored by APA and Workbook. Its going to be a great lecture. I will be there so stop by and say hi!

5 Awesome Alternative Locations to Meet a Client

I thought I would share a list of unique places that are great to conduct a client meeting. This list was inspired by my need for a more creative and relaxing place to meet with a client and my desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle and not be tempted to overeat when having dinners and meeting people for lunches over and over again.
So here is my list of some of my favorite places to have client meetings:

1. The Art Institute of Chicago (or any art museum for that matter).
This is one of my favorite places because you are surrounded by inspiration. My client and I walk through checking out the exhibit and we talk about their image needs. Its a very laid back way to get to know them for who they are, know their business and you get to know their tastes from the art in the museum. You can stop off in the cafe to wrap up the meeting with action points and follow ups or sit on the steps and hang. Meetings like these not only lead to awesome client relationships but good friendships too. PLUS you are walking and getting cardio and, if you stop at the café, a simple tea and banana are an easy snack. POW!

Thursdays are free at  The Art Institute of Chicago

2. Nail Salon.  
If you are as busy as I am multitasking is the name of the game, which is why client lunches and dinners are so great, but what about manicures and pedicures. Yep! There is no shame in my game getting my hands and feet together while taking notes and presenting images to a client. Make an appointment beforehand and make sure that you stress to the receptionist that services must be done at the same time and you are golden. Plus, what client doesn’t want to be treated to a pedicure? When they look at their freshly painted nails, they will think of you PERFECTION!

Also, This works for men too TRUST ME! I really love the No-Chip Manicure. It last for 2 weeks and sometimes you can squeeze another week out of it. A photographers dream!!

3. Come on by the house.
Sometimes if I have a busy day and I cant pull myself away from the studio or office, I love to invite clients by my house. They get a chance to check out my home studio and if we get hungry during our meeting/brainstorming or editing session. I whip up a quick snack for us to eat. My fav is spinach quesadillas. Thanks Assata!!

If I can just give some advice, this is something that I do if I have met with clients more than once or we have worked together. I wouldn't necessarily suggest this for a first meeting.

4. Playground/Parks.
Lisbeth Tanz over at Savvy Freelance Writers suggested this to me, and I think it’s a great idea.  A simple walk around the park and sitting at a bench or watching and hanging out with the kids on the playground is a great relationship builder. I am not a working mom, so I cant imagine how hard it is to have a hustle or 9-5 job then try to find the time to hang out with your children! So this is a great way to spend some time with your kids and maybe your kids can make some new friends. PLAYDATE!!!

Psst. I will tell you a secret, If you really want to be jazzy (and I know you do) why not try Chicago Botanic Garden. Kid or no kids, this place is gorgeous! They have a fountain in the warmer months, why not put the kids in their swimsuits and let them hang out while you sit in the grass and take care of business.
FYI I am sure a quick Google Search will find you a Botanic Garden in your state somewhere.

5. The Zoo. 
When was the last time you went to the zoo? I rarely get the opportunity to go. I forget about it honestly.  So why not meet your client at the zoo?The Lincoln Park Zoo is free. They also have a café , its perfect for children, and its fun! Most of all its gets both you and your client out of your offices for a little bit. Yeah!! Sunlight!

These are a few ideas that I know I recommend, but I know there are tons. What are your favorite locations for meeting clients?

Food Porn!

I am feeling very proud right now! Photography graduate Karl Brewick had his image featured on FoodPornDaily! Very exciting!

Great Job Karl!!!
Check out more of Karls work here

Happy July! + Rodney Perry

Happy July! Its sort of scary how quick the year is zipping past right?!! SHEESH! I am kicking my July off by going to see comedian Rodney Perry tonight at Chicago comedy club Jokes and Notes! I had the opportunity to photograph Rodney a little over a year ago and we worked together on  "Bill Bellamy's Who's Got Jokes". Rodney is currently the co-host on "The Monique Show" on BET! 
I am excited to see him perform tonight, he is hilarious! If you are in the city you should stop by too!

Chicago Tonight!

If you are in Chicago tonight, you should definitely come check out my client/friends Remeka Sullivan and Jermaine Pearce of the event/marketing firm 80s babies First Friday Live party at the Funky Buddha Lounge!! I can guarantee that it is going to be a great time! I'm really excited and looking forward to it! I am never in town for their events and I am FINALLY home in Chicago tonight. I had the opportunity to photograph a promotional shoot of the wonderful duo a while back (I still need to upload these images to my site, so stay tuned, bad I know) They supported me, so duh I MUST support them. Besides, who misses a party?! I DON'T!   So since you're reading this blog to support me, you should support them too!!

Hope to see you tonight.

As for the rest of my weekend... I am working on a film. Art Department/Set Decorating stuff again. Ahhhh the life of a power girl.

Thanks for reading


I photographed my good friend and model Logan Vaughn a while back.  You can see the contact sheets here.  I finally decided on one of the images to print for my book.
Thanks for reading

Business Book Club

Just when I thought things couldn't get any more busy for me.  My girlfriends and I have started a business book club.  I'm excited. I'm all about business books, I read them on my own and in my past life I really think I was my own Dale Carnegie.

I find change to be super duper hard.  I hate it.  Right now, I am trying to loose weight.  Saying no to M&M's ,Taco Bell and OMG BUFFALO WINGS... Im not so happy about this change right now :(
I know the outcome will be great, but for now.... NOT GOOD! That was just a small change, lets not even go into photography right now....

So I was really happy when my friend Courtney decided on our first book:

"Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard" Click here for the Amazon page.  I am currently on page 28 so its sort of hard to tell what I think of it yet, but I heard great things about 
"Made To Stick" also by Chip and Dan Heath.

So we will see.
Feel free to read with me...
Thanks for reading.


Manic Mondays

In my dream world, this would be my Monday.
5:15am alarm off- The snooze button does not exsist.
straight into the shower , 
curl my hair- Big Power Girl Curls!!!!
Get dressed.
Accessorize myself
Make breakfast and pack lunch and the rest of my snacks for the day
Walk Fozzie (my dog) and feed her.
Grab my bag that I responsibly packed the night before.
Out the door by 7:30

Instead my Mondays are total chaos.  I guess if I ever did have a structured Monday then I would have to worry about what was going wrong in my life.

Today was a great day. I got alot done. Im pretty happy.

Thanks for reading.

March... Already!

I cant believe that it March already! I'm glad though... My life can now begin. January and February is always a complete mess. I feel like I am a chicken running around with my head cut off as I work to get settled into the new year!

This month is going to be busy for me. I have alot of things planned so I am going to try to post as much as possible. I must admit my wanting a new blog design was prohibiting me from posting. Isn't that lame of me, but then I thought...
Ok I have people that read this blog, so its sort of selfish of me to just not post.
I need to make use of my current blog first before jumping ship. (Although I really like the interface of wordpress)
I appreciate everyone that reads this blog. So thank you so very much! Feel free to comment on my blog!

Welcome March! Im ready.. Bring it On!

Thanks for reading!

A Handbook for 2010

Woo! 2010 really hit the ground running this month! Every single day I had something going on either with Harrington, my photo biz, ASMP or APA every single day. I am exhausted. I am sort of happy to see February start. A whole new month for me to try to plan out my time a little better.

I am currently in the process of seeking a wordpress designer. I want a new design for my blog. Its sort of stupid but I feel it will make me a little bit more productive, so we will see. If you know someone please have them contact me right away as I am ready to get started.

A friend of mine passed this Handbook on to me and I wanted to share it here. I am sure you have seen it, its one of those chain emails but this one I found really great. Sort of a referecnce guide as to how I want 2010 to be.
Enjoy and thanks for reading



1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..

4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy

5. Make time to pray.

6. Play more games

7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .

8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day

9. Sleep for 7 hours.

10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive, present moment.

13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.

14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.

16. Dream more while you are awake

17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..

18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.

20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

23. Smile and laugh more.

24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...


25. Call your family often.

26. Each day give something good to others.

27. Forgive everyone for everything..

28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.

29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

30. What other people think of you is none of your business.

31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


32. Do the right thing!

33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

34. GOD heals everything.

35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..

36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

37. The best is yet to come..

38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.

39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Happy New Year!

2010!! Time to get it going right!!! Isnt that what everyone says at the beginning of the new year? I know I do, but for some reason it feels world wide, like everyone is trying to better themselves all together.
So what are your resolutions? Mine are the basic, hang out with good people, better my photography, and loose 30lbs. So far I am off to a slow start but I am thinking thats just the holidays wearing off.

One thing that I am working on is getting a new blog together so I can bring better information and resources to the photography community. Im a resourceful girl, with a lot of fun things going on and I want to be able to share them with you, with a better presentation.
So Stay Tuned. I am very blessed to have all the readers that I have and its only going to get better in 2010!

Share with me your resolutions or goals. Time to get it in for 2010!!
Thanks for reading!
Happy New Year
Stephanie Graham, Studio Blog. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.