Chicago Photobloggers

Sarah-Ji Photography
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Where are all the peaches?

Southbound on Peachtree Road

I'm in Atlanta for work for a few days, and I'm making good use of their public transportation system. $2 from the airport to my hotel in Buckhead! And here I am headed south on Peachtree Road to a 24 hour vegetarian/vegan friendly diner called R. Thomas Deluxe Grill. I recommend the Southern Vegetarian: "Tender collard greens stacked up with millet corn casserole, smashed potatoes and shiitake mushroom gravy. Surrounded by dots of butternut squash, mild and frilly lolla rossa greens and garlic chili flax dressing. Ya’ll will be back for this one!" (I love the use of the words "smashed," "dots" and "frilly" in that description.)

So far, I haven't veered off Peachtree Road yet, but when I have some time on Tuesday night, I plan to. I might try to catch a show; might as well...


Seasons Change

End of Beach Season

When you see this on the beach, you know that summer is over. School's back in session, the guard towers have been laid low, and I had to wear a sweater AND a scarf last night. That splash of non-sky color in the upper left hand corner? That's my scarf. Yes, if you look closely, you'll see my ghost walking through this picture.

I love this beach so much, especially when it's dark and no one else is around...


Cadence the Kindergartner


Today is Cadence's first day of Kindergarten. I'm finding that a bit difficult to swallow. She looks so carefree in this photo, taken just a couple days ago at our friends Rudden and Jack's house.  I wish she could do this everyday instead of going to school.

Like Mark Twain said, "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." I hope Cadence doesn't either.


Shutter Sisters Cross Post: This Means I Love You

Love Letter To Chicago

Dear Chicago,

You have a convincing way of coaxing me into grabbing my camera to rendezvous with you when the sun has long disappeared, and you've created your own constellations out of twinkle lights and neon signs.  We wander arm in arm as you tell stories and whisper sweet nuthin's to my camera, and I wonder how I ever got so lucky to be here in this very moment, to bear witness to the beauty that is you enveloped in the unexpected light of night. I have snubbed sleep and forgotten my need for food to be here with you, and not just tonight but on many other nights. Surely this must mean that I love you. And I can't help but think that you love me, too.



P.S. I know I often prattle on and on about Pacific NW beauties like Seattle and Portland and the Olympic peninsula, but rest assured that you are my first and true love


A version of this post appears today on Shutter Sisters.


This Is For You...

Lovers Waiting For The Bus

The lovers waiting for the night owl bus, the insomniac forgotten and abandoned by slumber, the pilot flying into a little county airport with a cargo, the restless walking aimlessly down glistening streets...

Wish You Were Here

And this is for me, ogling the post-rain night sky, wandering Chicago from north to south to north again, sending messages by telepathy, parking in illegal places, listening to my favorite mix CD.

The stars are indeed brighter and nearer at 3am.


It's the Big 4.0!

Happy Birthday, Jack!

Dear Jack,

It's your birthday! 4 whole years on this earth, and to think I've known you for every single one of those years...

I love when you make fierce faces for my camera, and I also love when I capture that glimpse of pure golden light shining in your eyes and in your smile. You have a very special place in my heart, and I just love you to pieces.



P.S. Tell your mama I love her and happy anniversary-of-the-day-of-giving-birth-to-Jack.


Goin' To The Cultural Center And They're...

Goin' to the Cultural Center And They're Gonna Get Married

...gonna get married! That's right. My friends Dave and Alicia tied the knot at the Chicago Cultural Center on Saturday. I had the pleasure and honor of following them and Dave's awesome parents around to various Chicago locales shooting photos, and I had a blast. Dave has been a friend of the family for over 7 years now, and to see him so happy just melted my heart. I am not prone to tears, but I'd be lying if I denied wiping my eyes during their 1st dance.

Congrats to you are a beautiful couple! xoxo



Wireless Doesn't Mean Untethered

Wireless but not Free

This was at the Glenwood Ave Arts Festival last weekend, right outside the Morse Ave Red Line stop. It seemed like every where I looked, people were talking on cell phones, texting, surfing, etc. I know I do that all the time too. Makes me think the smarter phones get, the more tethered we become to them. It's like we're addicted to connection even when it's virtual and not face-to-face. And that statement is not necessarily a judgement; mere observation.  Something I think about as I consider how much of it I want to implement in my own life.



This Is A Public Service Announcement...

PSA: Open Doors Can Be Fatal

...with water bottle! Just a reminder for all the motorists out there. Many of my family and friends' primary mode of transportation is by bicycle, so please don't door them as you're getting out of your vehicle.

This is my friend Jhonathan's bottle. We got together for coffee and talked about gear (we're both Nikonians) and a bunch of other topics mainly related to social justice/activism. The weather could NOT have been more perfect. Good, engaging and challenging conversation over some chai/coffee out in the open air with a refreshing breeze is one of my favorite ways to rejuvenate. I highly recommend it.


Reclaim The Commons

Reclaim The Commons

During the Glenwood Arts Festival this weekend, the lovely folks over at Mess Hall (with help from Radio Populares) reclaimed the air waves for the people and broadcast live on the radio via homemade equipment.

Radio Next Door

I enjoyed an hour of tunes live via the internet a couple nights ago when I was up late working on a project.  I hope they keep this up on a regular basis.  My friend Justin said it was a lot of fun. Maybe I'll get to make my dream of DJ'ing on the radio a reality someday. You know how I feel about making mix CDs...



From The Archives--Last Summer

From the Archives--Last Summer

I sent off three pieces of mail to the state of New York today, and I'm feeling just a tad sad that I didn't get to make a tirp out there this summer as I'd hoped.  It's not a place that I feel I can live in long-term, but it sure is a sweet place to visit. 

I'm missing my faraway friends lately...


My Sentiments EXACTLY

My Sentiments Exactly

These are the Ten Points of Mess Hall, an experimental cultural space in my neighborhood. I remember the first time I read this a couple years ago and how I felt stunned at how perfectly it articulated my personal beliefs about my creative endeavors and life in general.

I believe in abundance. I believe in sharing. I believe in radical generosity. I believe in dismantling fear and hierarchy. I believe all these things, and more...I believe the driving force behind all these other beliefs is Love. And Hope. And Joy. And Struggle.

This is why I take photographs.  I know that I have a gift, and I say this without arrogance but with a sense of responsibility.  I can deny that gift under the guise of humility, and in doing so squander something precious and powerful. Or I can take ownership of it, be accountable to it, give it away as freely and as unconditionally as it was given to me.  It is a choice that I have to make again and again.


Shutter Sisters Cross Post: Against Cheese!

Against Cheese! "Make a face, J!" I called out, camera ready and aimed downwards. He readily complied with the most ferocious look he could muster. And so it went, for the next few minutes; every time the lens was fixed on him, he'd strike a fierce pose. I couldn't have been happier. ++++++++++++++++++++++++ Read the whole post on Shutter Sisters.

I Could Get Used To Milwaukee


Milwaukee, has it really been 8 years since I last spent time with you?  How is it that I crammed 4 visits into 3 months that year, and never went back until now? What was I thinking? Well, now I know.  I'll be back. That's a promise.


Here Comes The Argument

Cadence In Her Rainboots

Me: "Cadence, why are you wearing your boots?  It's gonna be hot at the show."

Cadence: [slight pause]"It MIGHT rain."

Never mind that there was no forecast for rain, nor was there any indication in the sky that would cause a reasonable person to make preparations for can't argue with that statement, ever.  Such is the nature of reality.  There is always the possibility of rain. Especially when you're 5 going on 6 and love your rainboots so much you'll take sweaty feet over wearing more "sensible" footwear.


"This Bag Should Be Returned"

This Bag Should Be Returned

I'm supposing this bag is not going to get returned any time soon, despite the request printed right on it. 

This was a shop window in Pilsen, a neighborhood I want to spend more time in.  There is a lot of beauty in that neighborhood.