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To the Bean and Back: My Chicago Trip!

This past weekend allowed for another travel experience thanks to hosting workshops, and I tried to make the most out of the time I had there. I was in Chicago for 4 days, teaching workshops two of those days and hosting a meetup. I got to travel with two of my best friends, Olivia and KD, and they also modeled for the workshop. I always feel so fortune to travel with friends, it makes everything go much smoother!

We got in late Thursday night/Friday morning (1am, or so) where we met up with my good friend Ashley (Bottle Bell). We started Friday off right with a big breakfast in a local suburb. In fact, we didn’t stay in Chicago at all. We were in a LOVELY suburb called Glen Ellyn, and I want to go back there as often as I possibly can. That day after eating breakfast we wandered around the little historic town and found an antique shop with so many wonderful props/costumes I didn’t know what to do with myself! I ended up buying an antique dress, verrrry old, that I just adore, along with some old pantaloons! The rest of the afternoon brought workshop prep: setting up the editing/lecture room, buying food, making sure everything detail was perfect for the next day.

We got to explore Chicago that evening. We went to the bean! It was actually extraordinary…I didn’t know what to expect, but what I got was pure entertainment. After walking around downtown Chicago we went to an awesome Asian place where we sat on the floor on pillows, took our shoes off, and enjoyed a great meal. The next morning was the first workshop, and I woke up early to be 150% sure that all would go smoothly. To my surprise, everyone arrived at the same time, at about 1 minute til 9 (which made me nervous, but was perfect!). To say that the group was energetic and excited is an understatement. We had a huge mix of personalities and we had a BLAST shooting all day.

That night I co-hosted a meetup in Chicago with Aaron Nace that wen’t really well, and I got to see more of Chicago! The next morning I was back up early to reset for the next workshop. Again, the group was absolutely lovely. We played in water, filled the bathtub with feathers, and got to edit a little Olivia in front of a miniature house. The workshops were both filled with highlights. I felt so lucky to meet people who traveled so far. A bunch of people came from Canada and one person even came from France! It was a great mix. Some other highlights were, along with filling the bathtub with feathers, filling the bathtub with balls…you know, the kind you jump in at Chuck E. Cheese! Crazy! For one of the shots the model had to scream but was embarrassed, so just about everyone in the workshop screamed with her to make her feel at ease…talk about loud and exciting! We did a lot of photos with water where I soaked myself repeatedly…but it was all worth it and so much fun.

Saturday and Sunday proved to be non-stop and very high-energy, so I was worn out by the end of it. I spent my Sunday night watching the Mad Men premiere with friends. The next day was another tourist day. We had breakfast leisurely and then went into Chicago where we spent the afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago. The miniature display was incredible – tons of rooms in miniature form representing different time periods from Europe and America. Afterwards we got the famous deep dish pizza from Lou Malnotti’s, ate a pizookie, then went as fast as we could to the airport for our night flight home. 2am the next morning I was asleep in my bed.

Below are a bunch of BTS pictures, many of which were provided by the lovely Lianne who attended my first workshop. Please be sure to CLICK THIS LINK to see a bunch of pictures that resulted from the workshops :-D

In the car before going to the airport.

In the security line at LAX. A man in line sensed our excitement and offered to take our picture :)

Getting ready to board the plane....so excited that I was taking pictures of everything!

Shot during the first workshop where I was doing a compositing demo.

Workshopper Rick getting ready to shoot his picture, with me pouring a bucket of water on model KD's head :-D

Bathtub shenanigans with Chuck E. Cheese balls!

More bathtub happenings!

Spreading cobweb all over the bed!

My very wet water demo.

Teaching, teaching, tra la la!

Shooting Olivia running down the street.

Workshop group on Saturday being ever-so-kind as to let me lay on their laps...yep, just another typical day ;-D

Click this picture to make it larger, and see how many people you can count...taken with the first workshop group :-D hah!

The second day of workshoppers!

The meetup in Chicago!

Chicago, when we arrived the first day. As far as cities go, it looked gorgeous.

Reflection of Chicago in the bean.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Alim | March 31, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Brooke,
    It was so great to finally meet you and “the crew” this past weekend =). Words can’t describe how amazing it was to hear you talk, to see you shoot, and for you to share some of your wisdom with all of us. The location in Glen Ellyn was fantastic, and I enjoyed nothing more than spending a day…in an amazing house…full of creatives. Thank you for the continued motivation, inspiration, and wisdom you share with us each day. See you in the near future!

  2. Lianne | April 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    It was a great time Brooke, thank you for the experience and for sharing your technique with us :) Chicago is a fun city. I never made it to the Art Institute unfortunately, but got to see some other great museums!

  3. Yasemin | September 1, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    can i ask where is this place exatcly :) these houses like dollhouse very cute

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