Categories
General Photography Theatre

Thankful

Friends laughing.

Today is the American holiday of Thanksgiving and rather than be a cynic I’m going to appreciate it this year. I have a lot to be thankful for right now.

I recently had a major job opportunity with an advertising agency come my way that would have brought with it a complete change of my lifestyle.

It was a very eye opening experience that made me assess the things in my life and what was important to me. Ultimately I turned the offer down, and while it was a really hard decision I don’t regret it at all. I would have had to give up a lot of things I do outside of my job with Apple that are my true passions, things I one day hope to be able to sustain myself alone on.

I am now in my third year of living in Chicago and I’m fortunate to have a really great group of friends a really great job and a ton of opportunities.

Long Pork is doing really well, we recently got accepted to Chicago Sketchfest and San Francisco Sketchfest and we are ramping up for a run of our new show in the very near future.

I recently signed a contract with Tribune to run the first photo blog on ChicagoNow.com an opportunity that I am very flattered and excited by. More on this soon…

I’m planning to start teaching photography classes at Pumping Station One likely in January.

There is also the little things: I’m taking improv classes at iO Chicago and am loving every second and it’s really causing a shift in my thinking. Just this week I (re)launched MailServerSettings.com a very simple, small website that IT professionals and Mac Geniuses have told me they love. Not much to it but it’s a handy little tool. Lastly, I’ll be celebrating five years with Apple officially in January a milestone I’m really proud of.

More than anything I’m thankful for the amazing people I’ve met here in Chicago and continue to meet. I often say that the most important thing to me is my friends and I mean that. I’m very fortunate to be blessed by a lot of amazing people in my life. People who believe in me, people who challenge me, people who remind me to be my best, and people who I can just have a good time with. That is really what I’m thankful for more than anything.

Categories
Chicago Design Photography Technology Theatre

Getting up to speed…

Whitney Hess rocking it at An Event Apart Chicago

I’ve been extremely busy for the last month and this blog has gotten the short end of the stick. I greatly enjoyed updating every day while I was in Berlin and then I dropped off. I still have yet to write about Paris or upload my photos. (It’s coming… I swear!) I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things very soon.

Unfortunately today I woke up unable to speak and given that my day job is nothing but speaking, I was unable to do said job. Well there is always a silver lining if you look hard enough so the time I would otherwise be spending in bed will be spent working on neglected projects and doing everything in my power not to get sicker.

So to get up to speed with what I’ve been doing lately…

You may have noticed a redesign of the site is under way, this is because I greatly be expanding it in the near future to encompass much more of my work and who I am. By no act of coincidence I have filed to be, and officially become a limited liability corporation. I’ve sort of followed in the footsteps of my good friend Leah Jones and Subism.com is now the home of Subism Studios LLC. (though I’ve yet to quit my job like Leah did.. she has more guts than I.) This legal status will aid me in my photographic / artistic pursuits but also gets me well setup for my next few big ventures the first of which, has been no big secret but hasn’t been formally announced until today.

Early next year I will be working with Chicago sketch comedy group Long Pork to produce their next original production. The project is still untitled but I’ve been involved in several planning meetings and the boys have come up with some really good stuff that I think people will love. I worked with the group a bit in May to help promote their show ‘Soda’ at the Apollo Theatre Studio and had a blast. Since then I’ve joined the team in a non acting role as their head of marketing which started off by redesigned their website. Taking on the producer role is to both parties a natural extension of our relationship and I’m really excited to work with them.

There are other projects I’m working on but I’ll talk about them when the time comes.

I’ve also had a few other jobs I had the pleasure of working on. The first was for Gals’ Guide where I designed the logo for the first ever Gals’ Guide Summit and acted as the official event photographer. For those unfamiliar, Gals’ Guide is a great website for career orientated women in their 20’s who live in major cities and want to start a network and connect. The Summit was their first ever gathering with lectures and information galore. All of this of course is put together by the wonderful Blagica Bottigliero who in addition to being a master organizer / promoter is about to have a baby any day now.  Her energy and drive absolutely astounds me in that regard. The event went extremely well and although I am a guy and not at all their target market I learned a lot. You can find my pictures of the event here.

The next job I had was only a few days ago and it’s one I was personally very excited about. The past two years I have attended An Event Apart Chicago. For the unintroduced An Event Apart is a conference for people who make websites. Put together by Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer, An Event Apart features the leading names in the field and offers rich content and astounding insight into where things are going. It’s been a blast every time I’ve gone, I always learn a ton and have wound up making some great contacts and friends from it. This year I got the opportunity to work the event as it’s official photographer and spent my time working on the images throughout the event and uploading them live through the show. This is something I had experimented with at the Gals’ Guide event but it had a much more profound effect at AEA, not only did my Flickr traffic go through the roof, but I had people stopping me in the conference halls to complement me on my work. This was a service I was glad to provide for the guests of An Event Apart and I look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.  You can find my photos here and Jeffrey Zeldman’s post conference wrap up here.

Lastly, next Saturday I start taking Level 1 Improv classes at iO Chicago. I’m not quite sure what my intention of doing so is but I’m really nervous and really excited at the same time.

With the exception of a few other topics that warrant their own entries (like Paris) this pretty much brings you up to speed on all things John. Look for a lot of changes to this site gradually over the next few weeks.

Categories
Chicago Design General Photography Theatre

A few photos, a few words.

Batterymouth: Mark Walkley, Zack Whittington and Dave Urlakis.

Hey friends, sorry it’s been a while since I’ve updated routinely. Back in December my apartment got robbed and it’s taken me until just now to finally replace everything. Unfortunately this has prevented me from having access to my full Aperture library for some time and has made doing photo work a chore.

Hopefully now this will be a thing of the past, I just got a brand new iMac and I’ve been reunited with my library and workflow. I’ve gone ahead and posted a bunch of new photos on my Flickr account and plan to post many more in the coming days.

So what have I been up to in the last few months? Well…

In March I went to Austin for the South By Southwest Interactive conference with a bunch of friends, had a blast, learned a ton and made lots of new contacts.

In April I took a trip home to visit friends and family, while there I caught the opening of the new Yankee Stadium.

A few weeks ago I went to the Chicago Red Stars home opener with the Chicago Local 134 in support of the team and my friend CEO Peter Wilt.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go with Aki and Mark to play “Journey To The End of The Night”, a city wide street game akin to manhunt/tag/hide and go seek.

I’ve also taken over PR / Marketing and Brand Identity for Long Pork and we’re having a blast with it. Right now we’ve got a show running every Saturday at the Apollo Studio Theater at 8pm through the 23rd. You should check us out.

Some of my photography is now part of a local collective called NMA Artists an unofficial group of artists, writers and photographers who happen to work at a certain major retail store on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

Lastly I’ve had the pleasure of consulting on the Chicago Tribune‘s new ChicagoNow project. I can’t wait for the site to launch, it’s going to be big.

That’s all for now, life is pretty good, I hope to get the chance to update more often. Thanks for reading!

Categories
Chicago General Photography Theatre

Long Pork


I’ve just put the finishing touches on a set of photos I did a few weeks back for Sketch Comedy group Long Pork.  Working with these guys was a ton of fun and we’re already floating around ideas for future shoots. 

Long Pork was founded just earlier this year but the guys themselves are very experienced in the Chicago Improv scene with groups like Battery Mouth and the now defunct Kittyhawk. They ran their first show entitled “Soda” at the Apollo Theater to much success.

They are currently in rehearsal for their next set of shows and entering sketch competitions.  More information should be available soon. I highly suggest checking them out at longporkcomedy.com which should be updated soon with new photos from yours truly. Until then you can check out the photos on my Flickr.

Categories
Chicago Pop Culture Theatre

Lady Laday

I’m posting this here on my site as I think you should check it out. On Friday I got the opportunity to help die in the making of a short film. Without further BS:

A contest entry submitted by the fine folks of lowcarbcomedy.com to be in the DVD release of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.