One of my favorite Clients is the Illinois Municipal League. I've been working for and with the Municipal League for just over 4 years now, a few big jobs a year. Think of it like a professional club for the Mayors and other city representatives and officials to help each other build stronger and safer municipalities by research and information sharing. Like most of my repeat clients I develop relationships with many of the individuals involved, which as a photographer just makes my job all that much easier. As a corporate location and political photographer often my job is to photograph connection and engagement. HOW THE HECK do you photograph connection? Well you have to be a part of if. You have to be connecting to portray connecting. People often view photographers as aggressive or overly assertive because that is how you have to be to acquire what the client is asking especially if you have only a few hours to do so. When the "guests" of whoever "my client" is is familiar with me everything just flows. They see me coming. Recognize my smile and know I'm probably about to ask them for a photo. If they can give me the vulnerability it takes to trust someone with your image (which I don't take lightly) then everybody wins, but that takes trust and trust often takes time. That being said in the last 4 years Illinois Municipal League jobs are definitely ones I look forward to because everyone is so great they just flow. I've made some awesome connections, friendships and gotten closer with old friends that had drifted away who are now village trustees then in turn became friends with their whole towns.
Just like my friends of Round Lake Beach pictured here from 2019's annual conference.
In addition to their Annual Conference I also have the privilege of photographing their yearly journal reception in December. At which time I usually set up for a few hours to do portraits for any of the Illinois Municipal League Members who would like a new professional headshot. Even though this particular part of the job is usually pretty hairy and has me covered in sweat by the time it is over it is also one of my favorite parts. Being a portrait photographer is a really cool thing. You essentially have someones undivided attention for at least a few minutes. In that time I need to make them feel comfortable and confident while scanning them for any stray hairs or imperfections in their hair, clothing, ect. The Mayors of this great State of Illinois are some of the best I've met. They help make the stress of a lot of portraits in way too short of time a lot of fun. Thank you to the Illinois Municipal League and all the amazing mayors of this state who help make my job fun while putting food on my table. I hope to be a part of your amazing organization for years to come. Here are some of my favorite Mayors putting on their smiles on for me.
Mayor Tom Jordan City of West Frankfurt.
Mayor Inman of Macomb.
Mayor Rockingham of North Chicago.
Mayor Reinbold of Richton Park.
Mayor Julie Moore Wolf of Decatur.
Mayor Claar of Bolingbrook.
Mayor Kernc of Diamond.
Mayor Craig of Hanover Park.
Mayor Tokar of Chicago Ridge.
And those are just a few. If one of these lovely humans is your Mayor know that they are putting in extra time and doing the hard work in efforts to serve you and your municipalities as best as possible.
All of which would not be as amazing without Illinois Municipal Leagues fearless and brave leader Mr. Brad Cole. One of my all time favorite contacts. Thank you for trusting me with so much of the IML's imagery and appreciating my dedication to deliver for you all.