CONGRATULATIONS to the man himself! Fred VanVleet just resigned with the Toronto Raptors of the NBA for a 4-year deal worth $85 million. It is crazy to think that a kid from Rockford won an NBA Championship and made over $100 million (if you count his previous deal) doing what he loves to do. What an accomplishment for FVV and we all know he so deserves it!
We had the opportunity to hang out with Fred on a couple occasions during some of his trips back home to Rockford, Illinois. Our first interaction with him was spent following him around for a couple hours as he visited kids at a local hospital. The man is as humble as they get. While we do not own the rights to the photographs from that day as it was a client assignment, we do have images from our second meeting.
The second time we got to photograph Fred was when he hosted one of his youth basketball camps in his hometown of Rockford. One of our favorite photos is seen above as Fred hugs a young boy to comfort his frustration after missing a shot. Fred spent the day with the kids and we were right there snapping away images, one after another. After all, it’s not every day we get to photograph an NBA Champion.
Each time we met Fred, he was up for a conversation and that says a lot about a person’s character. He doesn’t have to do any of this but he still does it. We would like to thank him for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to us and for everything he does for the local community.
It is not every day, nor every year, that Chicago experiences 70-degree weather in November. We flew in from Florida on Saturday night and drove right back out on Sunday to Chicago to capture some magical shots. The city was packed with people the whole day and even late into the night. We always enjoy the city (except the expensive parking) and this day did not disappoint one bit. Our gear consisted of a couple different lenses and of course our drone for aerial images. However, we decided to make it a one-lens photo day. We love our super-wide fish-eye lens and decided to have some fun with it.
We didn’t bring our tripod because we knew the city doesn’t allow tripods in public places and parks but luckily we brought out little gorilla-pod which we were able to set up almost anywhere for long exposure shots. Of course, it gets late pretty early in November so by 4:40pm the sun had already set and it was dark. We took some amazing shots going to the city as well as once we got to downtown. Millennium Park was excluded from this gallery as we’ve photographed it a million times by now and wanted to focus on other parts and angles of the city.
One of our favorite places to photograph, especially with a wide lens, is the Buckingham Fountain. Unfortunately, it was turned off and we didn’t get the beauty of the water and the lights in our shots. Nonetheless, the downtown skyline still looked amazing and we took some shots down there. Though the fountain may have been turned off, we had a magical moment when we saw a shooting star right above us as we were taking a long exposure photo. We think that makes up for the lack of the fountain.
Of course, to fully experience Chicago you also have to go up and down the Magnificent Mile on the city’s Michigan Avenue. If you have time, you have to enjoy the beautiful river walk, but better wear some comfortable walking shoes. We didn’t even know but one of the bridges was raised and we were able to capture an amazing shot of the Chicago River with the bridge and the Trump Tower right in front of us.
Obviously, we had to make our way up north as well to capture Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Sorry White Sox, but it just hasn’t been the same since the name change. After spending all day in the windy city we built up quite the appetite and grabbed a bite a one of those small hole-in-the-wall type of places, and goodness was it delicious! As always, we had a blast in Chicago and hope to come back for another photo shoot day. Make sure to check out the rest of the images and book us for your photography needs.
We drove to downtown Rockford this morning right before sunrise to try capture a photograph of the sun rising over the city. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned but in this situation it worked in our favor. Our initial idea was to try to incorporate the Jefferson St. bridge into the photo but the blocked-off construction site at the old library location didn’t give us access to our intended spot. As time was crunching before the sun rose, we scrambled throughout downtown to find a new location that would work with the direction of the sunrise.
At the end, we pretty much called it quits and were ready to leave the downtown area. This path took us to Chestnut St. to cross the river back to the east side and that’s when we saw the recently installed “Rockford” art sculpture. We immediately pulled over and knew this was going to be the shot of the day! As we were parking our car, the sun come up just above the horizon – talk about perfect timing. However, this still didn’t give us the starburst effect since a sign about 20 years away was blocking the sun. After several minutes, we finally had the sun at the position where we needed it and we took the shot.
We noticed a little black speck on the letter “K” and initially thought it was something on our lens or our camera screen. After closer inspection we noticed it was on the sculpture itself so we moved a little closer, hoping the art wasn’t damaged. Luckily it was just a huge, and we mean huge, locust. So, of course, we had to snap a couple pictures of him as well before heading out for the day. We couldn’t wait to get back to the office and to process the image.
Once it was developed to our liking we immediately published it to two of our social accounts – Facebook & LinkedIn. We will do Instagram at a later time since we do those in rows of 3. We were so eager and excited to share it that we published it before we even managed to write this article – which we usually don’t do. Soon after it was published, it began receiving lots of attention within the Rockford community and we are so thankful for everyone’s love.
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Photo gallery of an unfortunate drowning incident at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin on June 21, 2020.
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