Professional Athlete, Casey Short

One of my favorite clients is Naperville Magazine, who I’ve been shooting for since 2007. The magazine has a circulation of over 40,000, and is bundled with the Sunday Chicago Tribune. My assignments have included shooting CEOs of multinational corporations, interiors of beautifully renovated homes, working with dozens of models for fashion spreads, shooting in restaurants, colleges and on the streets of downtown Naperville and other Chicagoland locations. It’s been a lot of fun and the variety has been great.

Recently, I photographed one of my favorites shoots for the magazine and this week, it came out as the cover story. In late November, we met up at Toyota Park to do the shooting with Casey Short, who plays defense for the Chicago Red Stars soccer team and has been invited to try out for the USA national team.

Casey couldn’t have been more easy to work with. We had the stadium to ourselves to work in and around, so we shot the cover image in the tunnel leading down to the field. We also used the field as well as the Chicago Fire (men’s soccer team) locker room. Most of the shots were taken using basic lighting– a medium soft box, with natural light allowed to fill in the background– and a Canon 1DX Mark II camera. I used a 70-200 f/2.8 lens for all the pictures except the action shots, which were taken on a 300mm f/2.8 lens.

Behind the Scenes: Airport CEO Shoot

Joe DePaulo, CEO of Clow Bolingbrook International Airport, for Naperville MagazineI’ve been fortunate to have Naperville Magazine as one of my clients for the past six or seven years. The city of Naperville is one of the most vibrant communities in the Chicago suburbs and the upscale magazine runs features on area restaurants, beautiful homes, fashion, and movers and shakers in the local area, including some of the CEO’s of large and small companies. I’ve been the CEO photographer for the past couple years.

At the end of the summer, I was asked to get some pictures of Joe DePaulo, the CEO of  Bolingbrook International Airport, a small municipal airport located in a neighborhood of homes and shops. I’m always given carte blanche when it comes to these pictures. My only instructions are to shoot it vertically to cover a full page, and to leave some space for type. It often takes some research on the internet to find out who the CEO’s are, and what their company does, so that I can shoot their picture with a bit of context to them. (If at all possible, I avoid taking their picture in their office, unless there are items in the room that will give me that context.) In this case, we were shooting at an airport, so it was a no-brainer. He needed to be with a plane, or in the control tower, or somewhere that said “airport”.

Joe DePaulo, CEO of Clow Bolingbrook International Airport, for Naperville Magazine

the headphones version

Well, there is no control tower at this airport, so Joe took me out to his private plane. It was perfect. It took some thought to figure out what to have him hold, where to put his hands, and what I wanted in the background behind him, but after moving the plane, I had the composition I was looking for. I had Joe holding his headphones in several of the pictures, but in the end, it looked too staged, so we lost the headphones.

The sun was out and the sky was blue– beautiful weather, and great as a backdrop for a picture of a plane, but the shadows were too harsh, so I rigged up a small flash to fill in the shadows. The only thing I was concerned about was that a breeze would knock over my light stand and flash, maybe even onto Joe’s expensive plane. Fortunately that didn’t happen!

The final picture shows a relaxed CEO proudly standing with his airplane.

Joe DePaulo, CEO of Clow Bolingbrook International Airport, for Naperville Magazine

final version chosen for a full page in Naperville Magazine


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 to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.