Wednesday, April 29, 2009

just landed in New Orleans -Wed in the Square,Ye Olde College Inn for dinner & Paul Sanchez's show @ Carrollton Stn tonight! The fun begins!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

heading to Duffy's in Chicago tonight for a free Emerson Hart (Tonic) show! Come on by!

(updated later) - Here is a picture I just took of Emerson. Great show - Filled with excellent stories and music as always.

I'm off to New Orleans in the morning... Posts and details coming soon...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thoughts on a cloudy day...

It's a 70 degree April Saturday in the Windy City and the neighborhood is alive with activity. All winter there have been days here and there where the temperatures teased up with visions of summer... but the past couple days have really been a treat. Yesterday I met up with my friend Scott Derenger, an excellent comedian from Chicago for a few beverages at an outdoor patio called Vines on Clark. It was amazing the number of people who ventured out on a Friday afternoon to soak in some afternoon sun. It reminded me of college and the days of skipping a class to sit on the Buffalo Phil's patio in Tuscaloosa... laughing the afternoon away into the weekend with friends. My friend Bryan once put it best on a day such as this in Chicago... when the crowds emerge in flip flops and one of the best inventions ever... sun dresses return in force... that it is as if a spaceship lands in Chicago and returns those who have been missing all winter. Bring on summer in Chicago... The best time to visit the city by the lake... some come on over and make your plans now.

This past week included a couple highs and lows... such is life right? The highlights included Cubs games on Tuesday and Thursday (thanks Vic and Buzz for the tickets). I also attended another sell out book signing for my friend Jim McArdle's book LIVING THE DREAM at Toons and the monthly SEC Happy Hour. All fun times for sure.

I finished up editing two of the headshots from recent weeks as well... I mentioned Nate and Clare a few weeks back when I did the shoot as they were both a pleasure to work with. Clare does marketing and personal branding for companies and people. She needed a headshot for her website and other marketing materials. She is using one of the shots on her website at: The other favorite shot from the day can be seen here:
Another shoot I did the same day was for Nate, who I have gotten to know as he works at the local Starbucks that displays a good deal of my artwork. Nate is an excellent actor and will go far I am sure. This is one of my favorite shots of him:

Let me know what you think! If you need a headshot or know anyone who does... I would love to work with you/them. I offer very affordable packages starting at just $125 ... so contact me for details.

I mentioned that the past week had some highs and lows... one of the lows was that I found out about the passing of a friend. Christie was a girlfriend of a buddy of mine and I had gotten to know her over the past couple years. She had one of the biggest smiles I have ever known and was one of the most caring people you could ever meet. I first got to know her on a Cubs roadtrip that a bunch of friends made in the summer of 2007 and will never forget her laugh, smile and positive attitude. During the summer of 2008, she often mentioned she wanted to get professional photos of her daughter Faith and herself. We made plans a few times, but due to life getting in the way, it never happened and we always said... "when the weather turns nice this summer, we will make it happen". Sadly, that chance will never come and for that I am sorry. Christie - you will be missed and the world was a better place when you were here.

Life goes on, and I am off to the next work project now. Next week... Jazz Fest in New Orleans.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Cubs have returned to Wrigley, and more...

The Cubs have returned to the Friendly Confines and the 2009 season. I attended the first 4 games of the season and it could not have been more fun. My college roommate made his annual trek north and some exciting games were witnessed. It should be a fun year in Wrigleyville. I am including a few of my favorite shots from the past days...

The weekend of Easter, April 11 & 12th was spent being a tourist in Chicago and time in Naperville with family for the holiday. My friend's Jon and Amanda who I have known since the days of college at Alabama came to town and we played tourist. Visiting the Bean and the John Hancock building is always fun and a great way to remember the amazing city that Chicago is. Even when you live here day in and day out... you sometimes forget the beauty of the Windy City by the lake.

As life gets busier, you also forget the simple things that used to make us all laugh and smile... like an easter egg hunt at Easter... Watching my almost 5 year old nephew Colton race around my parent's yard looking for Easter eggs was a joy and instant adventure. The simple game of finding colored eggs amongst the grass made his day. Even when the eggs were in plain sight... can you find the egg in the picture below?

I also spent the second half of Easter Sunday waiting for my college roommate to get into town by trekking around the northside of Chicago with my friend Sean Hughes. Sean is a budding photographer and has an excellent eye. We walked around Roscoe Village and Wrigleyville and snapped shots of everyday life. It is a trek that I hope to do more of this summer... and invite any and all who want to be photographers or fancy themselves as photograph hobbyists.... to join us. Let me know if this is something that would interest you. This shot of Salt & Pepper is just two short blocks from my apartment... but I love the way this shot came out. You can see more of the images I captured on my Facebook page.

Another highlight of my week came Tuesday night... as I visited Schubas for the excellent Will Hoge's return to the stage! Will is one of the most talented and passionate performers in rock and roll today... think of a young Bruce Springsteen meets early Rolling Stones meets Bob Dylan and you might have an idea. His songwriting is amazing and the passion with which he performs is second to none. Last year, sadly Will was in a bad accident that put him in the hospital and through many surgeries and rehab, he has just returned to the stage and doing what he does best. He performed the show with his band of talented musicians at his side... all sitting down... and it was still one of the best rock shows I have witnessed in a long time. Seeing Will Hoge on stage renews your faith in the music business. It did mine. If you have not checked him out... please do so... you owe it to yourself.

Will also brought along an opening act that is quickly becoming one of my favorites... Katie Herzig. I saw her at Schubas with The Spring Standards shortly after the Rock Boat back in January and then again on the CAYAMO cruise. Katie is the lead singer of a three piece band from Nashville and along with Claire on Cello and Jordan on accordion and a mix of other instruments... they create some of the most moving and beautiful music you will hear.

On a side note... I also caught the end of Vienna Teng's show at Schubas on Friday night... and this blog is not big enough for all the things I could say about her. She was also on CAYAMO (Can you tell I liked that cruise?) and while I did not photograph her show this time... the music she creates with bandmate Alex Wong is almost spiritual.

So between photographing the city, family and bands... it was also opening week of Cubs games at Wrigley Field. I caught 4 of the first 5 home games at Wrigley before the rain-out tonight. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the Friendly Confines... truly one of my favorite places on earth:

Now it is early Monday morning and another week is ahead of me. I am still wrapping up photos from all the cruises and other various projects here in Chicago. A week from Wednesday I will be heading south to New Orleans for the Jazz and Heritage festival... and then... just under a month from now... I will be heading off to Europe for a few weeks of photos and adventure. Plans are being put into place now... but you can follow the progress at More on that... coming soon. Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A few updates for this beautiful Spring day in Chicago! Heading back into Wrigley for game 4 of the week. Just a reminder... WE ARE CUBS FANS is onsale for $19.99 a few more days - .

Also... One month from today I leave for Europe!! I will be flying in and out of London and trekking around Europe for almost 3 weeks... taking pictures and seeing some concerts. You can send me on assignment... check out the website for the basics. More details soon! Have a great weekend.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Opening Day is here!

The 2009 Season is upon us!
The Chicago Cubs have arrived in Wrigleyville once again... and the Cubs Fans have come with them!

The perfect gift this season is the WE ARE CUBS FANS book by Cubs fans for
Cubs fans featuring the photography of die-hard fans around the Friendly Confines

The book contains original photography by Wrigleyville resident Will Byington along with handwritten heart-felt stories by
Cubs fans of all ages including stories by Dutchie Caray, Joe Mantegna, Ronnie Woo-Woo and more!

This book is the perfect gift for the fan of all ages.

GET THE BOOK NOW FOR THE SALE PRICE OF $19.99 by this Direct Link:

I will be out in Wrigleyville all day.... I'll be shooting photos starting @ 6am at Harry Carays/YakZies after 7am & bleachers for the game. Text if you are in the area!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter blog pictures posted and revision #1 (temporary) of my website has been uploaded.... check it out at: & let me know what you think. More coming SOON!

A couple pictures from the Mayercraft

This week has flown by and between photo shoots, concert photography, getting ready for Opening Day at Wrigley this coming Monday and a book release party for my friend Jim McArdle's book LIVING THE DREAM.... I have not had time to post too many new photos. There are a bunch on my Facebook page... but I thought I would post some here as well. I have also updated my website as I work on a total redesign. Let me know what you think...

Guster performs on the "One Splendid Evening" VH1 Charity event - Photograph by Will Byington © 2009

Ryan Shaw performs on Mayercraft Carrier 2009 - Photograph by Will Byington © 2009

Sunset over the Pacific - Photograph by Will Byington © 2009

Gavin Rossdale performs on the "One Splendid Evening" VH1 Charity event - Photograph by Will Byington © 2009

Erin McCarley performs on the "One Splendid Evening" VH1 Charity event - Photograph by Will Byington © 2009

More photos and stories coming soon.... in the meantime... say hello when you get the chance.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

heading to Harry Caray's in Wrigleyville for Jim McArdle's LIVING THE DREAM book release party. See the book here:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

busy day...

I did two great headshot photo shoots today (Thanks Nate & Clare) & saw Brandi Carlile perform at the Apple Store for an acoustic lunch time show! No complaints. Look for updated website/blog tomorrow!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wrapping up 5 cruises in the first couple months of 2009

I made it back to Chicago LATE Tuesday night and have been spending the past 48 hours editing through the shots from the Mayercraft Carrier and getting caught up on e-mail and everything else. I will be posting details on my day at LAX and a re-cap of the 5 excellent cruises I have done so far this year.

But the work does not stop... so I have to run downtown for an event shooting promotional shots for Toyota. Look for details and stories soon. Oh yeah... and maybe a picture or three.

Thanks to all who have been saying hello and checking out my pictures and stories. More soon.