Emery Lehman, Ms. Joanna and the usual mix of work

May 15, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


Ms. Joanna

If you live in the south west end of Oak Park you have most likely seen Ms. Joanna and her beautiful clothes. She was one of the inspirations for my Oak Parker project and it's taken this long for me to get connected with her and take a photo. Head to toe in color coordinated clothing she volunteers every Wednesday at The Animal Care League Shop.




Emery Lehman

Olympian speed skater at home in Oak Park



Emery seems like an obvious choice when working on a project that involves people who are dedicated to what they do. Olympian Speed Skater and about to be OPRF high school graduate. He placed 16th in the 5,000 meters and 10th in the 10,000 as the youngest speed skater from any country at this years winter Olympics. Finding something he is passionate about and working really hard at it while also finding the time to volunteer at The Food Pantry and encouraging other kids in the community to follow their passion.






Spring with all it's rain has brought a lot of rescheduling of outdoor portrait sessions, but we have gotten a few in and lots more in the coming weeks. Here are a few from a senior portrait session after school last week.


I could post about 10 more I love from this session. Teens are just great to work with.


as are cute little ones, specially when they brave the cold


In and out of the studio from time to time also.











Upcoming specials

April 22, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Senior Portrait

May 24/25 I will be offering teen 45 minute sessions. It will include a high res file of your favorite image, this can be used in print and web graduation announcements.

These are relaxed lifestyle session in the Oak Park area.

email Eileen@emphotography.net to set a time and discuss your teens style and interests.





And for women in business, I will be at The Founding Moms Chicago May meeting to refresh your business headshot or social profile image, see details here http://www.zenfolio.com/emphotography/edit/pages.aspx#1041154668

Oak Parkers continue

February 27, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


Willie Mae - long time volunteer at the food pantry



Hajjar Mohammed-Herbert - Magic Minds Studio



Richard (Dick) Alton - Green community connections and a lifetime of community and international activism


So many stories, I really have a difficult time briefly writing something about these people because what they do is not brief, it is usually a lifetime of being part of something bigger than themselves. They are really committed their community.



I don't think one can live in Oak Park and not have heard of The Food Pantry. It's pretty obvious from the title what they do, but this morning I got to see first hand part of it in action, and once that truck pulls up outside it is action packed. Faces focus in on the task at hand and no one is standing around.

I know some of the 1,500 volunteers that help there but I asked one of the staff for a recommendation on who they thought would represent the volunteers well.  Maybe someone who has volunteered for a long time and does so on a regular basis, that is how I met Willie Mae.


This morning she was there to help unload the truck and pack the fridge. Here are some photos of her in action.

It's pretty amazing that the food pantry fed 15,873 local families comprised of 44,466 individuals in 2012 from this one room in the basement of a church.



and there was still more to come when I left. For more info on the Pantry visit http://oprffoodpantry.org/




Haj started Magic Minds Studio when she realized there was no place in the area for young kids to explore and create all art has to offer. The studio is designed for children to come and express themselves, grow their spirits, work on skills that will help them in future educational settings and have fun!


It's not surprising that Haj spent a big chunk of her childhood in the west bank where everyone was part of the family. In the rural villages when it was time to eat dinner you ate at the house you were closest to, everyone watched out for one another. Starting her own family it was important to find a home with a strong community and there weren't many choices for her past Oak park.




Willie Mae spent a few years living in the Haight area of San Francisco back in the day, while Dick went to school at Berkeley during Berkeley 'active' years, not really shocking that they continue to be invested in a better world.

I stopped by Dicks home early one morning. He had already been to an Oak Park community foundation meeting and was off to his next meeting as I left. I've known him to see for a couple of years through Green Community Connection events. He and his partner Sally name's have come up more than once when talking to people about this photo project. I'm not going to try to summarize all their work, I will just say they are a huge inspiration to many people here in our village.



I'm starting off the new year January 2014 back at this blog space. I have flip flopped back and forth from place to place over the years and you can still see many of my posts at http://emphoto.blogspot.com/

I am an image person much more so than a word person and therefore my blog tends to have more photos than words. Here I will post what I am working on personally and for clients, and from time to time maybe the work of others.