Creative Spotlight: Key Interiors - Katherine Ehninger - Designer


Back in July we got a call from Katherine Ehninger, Designer at Key Interiors, Inc.  Katherine had just finished a large professional space for a Chicago advertising studio and it was amazing!


The large studio front's large spacious windows, original ornate iron columns, wide-open spaces for a large bullpen work area.  Exposed lacquered brick adds to the character of the space which is complete with private offices, large conference rooms and theater bleachers and locker room area for company meetings.


The workspace is timeless and definitely would inspire the creative mind needed for working in advertising.  It is one of our favorite shoots of the year.


We have worked with Katherine now for a few years now and she is part of the superb design team at Key Interiors, Inc.  Should you be in need of updating or creating a new space for your business, you would be hard pressed to find a better design/build team.


Below are just a few of my favorites from this project.



Creative Spotlight: Gio Style Design


We had the privilege of shooting a project for Gio Style Design earlier this year.  Chicago based interior designer Giovanna Brunetti did a remarkable job of updating this 1930's home located on the far North Side.


Upon entering; the home depicts a cozy atmosphere though large and spacious.  Beautiful architecture is complimented by superb custom furnishings, exquisite hand made window treatments and fine carpets are seen throughout.


The home is pleasant, luxurious and practical.  One has the sensation that you could move right in without changing a single element of the design and feel right at home. To me, that is the highest compliment one can give an interior designer and what sets a fine home interior designer apart from the rest.


Every room in this home is an indulgence in luxury, without any nonessentials.  You never feel out of place or uncomfortable making this project a complete success.  For those seeking out an interior designer for a new home, or those wanting to bring a new elegance to their existing home, I highly recommend giving Giovanna a call.  Below are few of my favorites from this project.


Film Cameras: Minolta Maxxum 9000

So with a few minutes on my hands today I felt like talking briefly about one of the greatest cameras of all time. Yes, of all time!  The Minolta Maxxum 9000, the worlds first PROFESSIONAL auto focus camera.  I believe it was introduced sometime around 1985-86 maybe, and set the stage for every camera company on the planet to play catch up to Minolta again.

The camera features tank like construction, titanium pinned shutter curtains, high-speed flash sync, and shutter speeds of up to 4000th of a second.  Auto Program, Aperture, Shutter and full Manual modes.  Two professional grips were available with battery packs to extend camera life and high speed shooting.  The camera were impervious to dust and moisture.  Though not 'water proof', mine has seen plenty of time in the wet covering events.


The auto focus, slow by today's standards was amazing and made shooting 'grab' shots a breeze.  Minolta had an excellent line of autofocus glass that was lightweight when compared to the competition because Minoltas patented auto focus system brilliantly placed the auto focus motor into the body, and not in the lens like everyone else.  This results in a camera that has superior balance even when using long focal lengths because the only thing in the lens is glass.


I really miss using this camera.  It is very heavy, but feels great in the hands.  The solidity and heft harken back to a time when a Professional camera looked and handled like a serious precision workman's tool.  No one picked this beast  up and thought of it as anything but.


The all metal construction, composite top, paint over brass and rubberized palm grips both front and back made using the 9000 a joy.  Even the motor drives oozed with quality and offered up that wonderful clean razor sharp click when firing off shots in succession.  The 9000 could blast through a 36 exposure roll of film in about 7 seconds.  



Additionally, like any professional camera, the 9000 had an endless array of accessories and backs, including multiple user changeable focusing screens. It also sported the most sophisticated flash system of any camera ever made.


All in all, it was a huge home run for Minolta.  Oh and it was bullet proof.


My 1986 example has gone through countless rolls of film, without ever needing so much as one repair.   I often wish that we could turn the clock back and begin shooting E6 again.  It was so easy and the images were always beautiful.  I don’t ever remember losing a shot with this camera, or it ever delivering a bad one.  Not ever. 


If you're up for a modern classic, seek out a clean 9000.  You won't be disappointed.




Creative Spotlight: Level Construction

It is unusual for a company in the commercial construction field to find themselves in our Creative Spotlight feature.  But Level Construction is a very unique commercial design/build company.

With corporate facilities in Chicago and Houston, Level Construction is capable of fielding projects all over the United States.  Everything from your local fast food chain, to hotels, restaurants, banking facilities, retail stores and theme parks.  

Traveling statewide to photograph some of Levels projects and working closely with their team members has left me stunned at how well organized and hands on such a large company can be.  Speaking with many of their corporate clients, one understands how important efficiency; time management and coming in on budget can be to make or break a business. Exceling in these areas and coupled with superb business ethics, Level has become the Go-To construction company when quality, budget and time are a major factor.

If you’re looking for a standout commercial construction company, look no further.  Below is just a small sampling of their extensive portfolio.


Random 005, 006 & 007 : Expressive Interiors by Marietta Calas

Below are some images from a recent photo shoot along with a quick iPhone shot of interior designer Marietta Calas.  I was setting up a tight shot and went to move something out of the frame.  When I turned around she was on the floor looking at the composition.  We worked hard, had a blast and the results were amazing.