The Chief Executive Portrait

Centegra Health President and CEO

For the last several years, I’ve been privileged to meet and photograph several top CEOs in the Chicago area. Some of them have been CEOs of new startups, not yet making any money. Two or three of them have been billionaires. Several are in the tech industry, some are in well known utility corporations while others are in the food industry. Some oversee large hospitals while one even operates an airport. Some corporations have replaced their CEOs often enough to have me come back two or three times. All of them have been successful in their fields, whether it’s a new software venture, a thriving non-profit or a Fortune 500 corporation.

Almost all the CEO’s have been down to earth, friendly people who I’ve enjoyed getting to know. Most are comfortable having their picture taken- they’ve done it all before for magazines or TV spots.

Occasionally, I’ve been given free product from some of them, like the CEO of Girls Scouts of America who gave me a couple boxes of cookies! Or the CEO of Office Max who gave me a couple of their trademark rubber band balls you saw on the side of their trucks.

CEO of Allant Group

CEO of Trust Company of Illinois

CEO of Inland Group

CEO of Morris Hospital

CEO of Micro Dynamics Group

President of Pivotal Home Solutions AGL Resources

CEO of Swap.com

CEO of L Street Collaborative

President of Nicor Gas/ AGL Resources

CEO of AST

Founder and CEO of Calamos Investments

CEO of ATI Physical Therapy

CEO of Clow Bolingbrook International Airport

CEO of Nicor Gas/ AGL Resources

CEO of Office Max

CEO of PhysIQ

CEO of Edward Hospital

CEO and Founder of BCKSTGR

CEO of Oberweis Dairy

CEO of DuPage Medical Group

Founder and CEO of Thomas Interior

Best of 2016, Part One

2016 was probably the busiest of all the 27 years I’ve been in business. Let’s see… last time I updated the blog was last February, so it just goes to show I’ve been too busy to keep up with you all here. I added several new clients last year and was privileged to shoot with a great bunch of people and in places around the Chicagoland area and across the country– a new hotel client in coastal Maine, a healthcare client with a brand new state-of-the-art hospital (that I got to be the first photographer to shoot), several top CEOs in the Chicago area, a new $56 million apartment complex inside and out, and a new college client.

But I do want to get back to sharing some of my favorite pictures from last year with you. Typically, I don’t share pictures from shoots until long after they’ve been used by my clients, to respect their publication dates. But it’s a new year and I’m now looking forward to what 2017 has in store.

So, in no particular order, here are some of my favorite images and jobs from 2016:

My New Book: Art, Beauty and Photography

Sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA

I’ve bought a few large, coffee table photography books (Michael Kenna, John Sexton and Nick Brandt are some of my recent purchases), and they’re beautiful works of art. Heavy paper, with rich, large prints that fill the page– you just can’t compare it to looking at pictures on the internet. You have to hold their photos in your hands to really appreciate how beautiful they are.

For the last nine years, I’ve been traveling to the far northeast corner of America every October, to a small island where I spend a week photographing the landscape at Acadia National Park. Now, I’ve put all my best images into my first coffee table photography book. I’ve been planning this book for years, and have spent a lot of time over the past few months putting it all together… and I’m really excited about how beautiful this is going to be. A professional book designer is doing the layout, and a book publisher with experience creating photography art books is doing the printing.

I wanted total control of which pictures would go in the book, as well as all the design elements, so I made the decision to self-publish the book. Unfortunately, publishing a book is incredibly expensive so I’m using Kickstarter to raise funds for the printing costs. If I get the money needed for an initial print run of 1,000 copies, I’ll be covering the remaining expenses of distributing the book and rewards for everyone who backs the project. If all goes to plan, the book will be done by mid-summer.

The book will be big (12×12 inches), with large color and black and white prints. Panoramas will cover the double page spreads, measuring almost two feet wide. The book is 144 pages long, with notes at the back about how I made some of the images, as well as some background information on Acadia.

If you’d like to get a copy of the book, please consider supporting my Kickstarter project by pre-ordering a copy starting at $50 (retail price will be about $60). On Kickstarter, you pledge money to back a project, and get rewards for different levels of support. I’m giving out copies of the book, large wall prints and a photography workshop with me in Acadia (or in Chicago) as just some of the rewards for backers of the project. If the project doesn’t get the full funding, you won’t be charged for your pledge, so you won’t lose money if you decide to back the project.

To find out more and watch a short video I made to promote the book, visit my Kickstarter page here.

One last thing- please share this post on your Facebook page, your blog, tweet about it and let your photography-loving friends and artists know. The more people that hear about it, the more chance we have of seeing the book get printed. Sharing buttons are below the last photo on this page.

I really believe this could be the most beautiful book you’ve ever owned. Below are some samples of images from the book. Email me with any questions. Thanks for your support!

Dawn at Otter Cliff, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA

single image dummy single image dummy 2 pano book dummy Sunset at Jordan Pond- the Bubble Mountains, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA Abstract Aspen Trunks, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA The coastline around Otter Cliff, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA Beaver Dam Pond at dusk, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA

Do You Do Video?

[Jennifer’s Story, for healthcare client, 2014]

I first got the video question about five years ago; I’d just gotten my first D-SLR camera that could shoot video, the Canon 5D Mark 2. This particular camera caused a revolution in the photo/ video world. Suddenly feature films and commercials were being shot using small, relatively inexpensive cameras and high quality video was finally made affordable to the masses.

But making high quality video isn’t as simple as just buying a good camera. The two places where most new videographers fall down is in lighting and sound. Good lighting is essential– something experienced photographers have to deal with all the time. But where a lot of ‘new videographers’ fall short is in recording quality sound. If the audio is muffled or hard to hear, even the best videos can still be hard to watch.

I’ve invested thousands of dollars over the last three years in quality video gear. I now work with three external microphones, two audio recorders, pro editing software, video lighting (completely different from lighting gear used in photography) and a specialized video tripod (again, totally different from a photography tripod).

[Brian’s Story, for healthcare client, 2014]

Today, video is a regular part of what I do. I’m currently working on a training video for Bank of America, as well as a short web video for one of my hospital clients. There are more in the works too. Last year I made several events videos for clients too- some for distribution to news outlets and others for web use or training purposes.

Do I do video? Definitely… I really love putting together stories.

Email me to talk over any ideas you have.

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.