I’m just finishing up a 9 day shoot in Chicago and all I can say, with apologies to The Chairman of the Board, is that this is my kind of town too. I feel just about as good as Pistol Pete does in the above snap. Pete is a Chicago guitarist who, I swear, channels more Hendrix than Albert King during his gigs at clubs like B.L.U.E.S.
Spectacular architecture, rich culture, great food, and friendly, really friendly people; why, here, even the Public Relations people treat photographers with respect and they even try to help you do your job instead of telling why you can’t.
Now if you’re not in the travel photo biz, that last statement might be puzzling. Aren’t PR people supposed to help promote their attractions? Not always. In fact, many PR folk will offer more support for Aunt Minnie and Uncle Joe, the septuagenarian travel writing duo from the Podunk Weekly shopper, than a photographer from a national magazine or major agency. Why? Hit the jump for my theory.
Well, they already have pictures, and they’re glad to give them away, so where’s the juice in helping another shooter get some? In fact, I can’t count the number of times PR folk have offered me pictures so I wouldn’t have to take my own (and bother them!). They wouldn’t dream of asking a writer if he or she wanted a story pre-written for them, but they’re always trying to fob off file shots on photographers
Now that’s not everyone, but you’d be surprised at how many PR folks go all blank and cold fish-like when you say “photographer.” (Which is why I always say “photojournalist” or “writer/photographer”!)
Fortunately, that hasn’t been the case here and everyone from PR folks to club owners to people on the street to Blues legend Buddy Guy has been kind and approachable.
I’ll have an audio slide show on the Blues scene here as well as some tips on where to shoot Chicago skylines on National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel blog in the near future.
Tech stuff: Pistol Pete–D90 with 85mm, 1/125th @f/1.8 at ISO 1600
Crown Fountain–D90, 16-85mm VR, tripod, ISO 400 1/15th @f/4