When a School Rocks

 

When Flying Feels Like Falling opening the School of Rock Oak Park.

When Flying Feels Like Falling opening the School of Rock Oak Park.

When I heard that my friend Amy was planning to open a School of Rock in Oak Park, I knew I wanted to be part of it somehow. Amy and her husband Bob bought an old roofing company’s office and warehouse space and converted it into an amazing teaching and performance space, even salvaging lumber from the old loading dock to construct an enormous moveable stage. Amy’s faith in the creative process is pretty amazing. She solicited local young artists to leave their mark on the place, even letting one high school painter create an enormous beautiful mural in the main space in the four days leading up to the opening. He skipped out of school the day before to finish. She wants it to belong to the young musicians who attend the school and to inspire their own creativity. From what I’ve seen already, there is no doubt that it will succeed enormously well. Oh, and it will definitely rock.

Abby Joy and Aiden from Uptown Mayhem and the Chicago School of Rock Show Band

Abby Joy and Aiden from Uptown Mayhem and the Chicago School of Rock Show Band

The Power of Ice

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The past few weekends have been bittersweet for me as I’ve spent a lot of time photographing events at the Paul Hruby Ice Arena as it prepares to close for a major year-long renovation. We’ve been rolling through lasts in the old barn that has been serving Oak Park in one form or other for the past 40+ years.  We did an “Intermission” event that served as the last public skate and featured Blackhawk organist Frank Pellico and a host of Blackhawk Alumni. My own hockey team played their last league game as we took home the Hruby Cup as the last league champs in the original facility. The final ice show was the last event to run before it all starting coming down.

I shot all of these events except my own hockey game, but for good measure shot a Fenwick Girls Hockey game. The amazing thing was that regardless of the event, there was life and joy and exhilaration in all of them. The events around this old ice rink really celebrated the importance of a slab of ice to community life. I read a very erudite post on Puck Daddy from a Zamboni driver meditating on his role preparing and protecting a “transformational space”.  I couldn’t agree more with his assessment. An ice arena is “a place of magic and mystery, outside the boundaries of ordinary society, where rituals turn children into adults and grownups are able to ignore the rules of their lives and simply play once more.”  Amen.

 

 (David T. Kindler)

Catherine Heyboyer, hockey player.

 (David T. Kindler)

Tommy Hawk and a posse of young Hawks fans.

 (David T. Kindler)

Emily Blim in her final ice show performance.

 (David T. Kindler)

Closing night at the rink.

 (David T. Kindler)

Coach Hruby still coaching grown men he taught to skate when they were children.

Antoinette

Antoinette is a young author who just published her first graphic novel about the hardships of middle school. It is here on Amazon.  The goal of our shoot was to create images for promotional purposes. It was a family affair that included both of her parents and younger brother who served as an outstanding lighting assistant. I have been intrigued for a few years by the possibilities of a ramp in the Metra station on Marion Street in Oak Park. We shot around in the station until a security guard told us that only tourists could shoot without a permit. We smiled at her and left. Shot Antoinette between the turnstiles while the guard was calling the CTA. Guerilla.Thanks Antoinette for a great shoot and the chance to try out some new things. Good luck with the graphic novel. You owe me an autograph.

 (David T. Kindler) (David T. Kindler) (David T. Kindler) (David T. Kindler)

 

 

Pearl

 (David T. Kindler)

Pearl Gonzalez is a fiercely determined fighter who has had one professional MMA fight after a successful amateur career. She’s tough and can kick you ass, and sweet and funny all at the same time. I’ve shot Pearl a few times now. She’s great to work with since she can do things like kicking and jumping that other people can’t. She also looks great doing about anything. We shot these in the original Sears Tower on the West Side. Pearl walked in and said, “I like this place. It’s gritty and real, like me.” I agree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramp Camp

 (David T. Kindler)

Ramp Camp is a Park District of Oak Park summer camp at the Active Sports Area on top of the water reservoir. The day I went to photograph these skaters for the Park District 100th Anniversary Book, it was pushing 100 degrees. For this shot, I used too Canon Speedlites to open up the shadows of this killer backlit group.

Young skateboarders at summer Ramp Camp. (David T. Kindler)
This guy here really impressed me since I stood at the top of one of those ramps once in my hockey skates. Taking the plunge and dropping in can be terrifying. He was just hanging there ready to drop. No fear, all concentration. It was the Calumet Photographic Picture of the Week for a week. That was exciting for me.

Young skateboarders at summer Ramp Camp. (David T. Kindler)

OPRF Varsity Soccer

 (David T. Kindler)

I shot the OPRF Varsity Soccer game against Fenwick for a couple of reasons, but mostly because they asked parents to volunteer and I didn’t want to serve concessions or sell spirit wear. Shooting the game under the lights on a night with a wicked sky was a blast. There is nothing better than all access, and high school sports are wide open and fast paced.

The goalie that night was Liam Sorenson. All of the players had shaved each others’ heads as part of their tradition for the game against their cross-town rival. Liam’s hair looked especially awesome and with the stadium lights there was no shortage of dramatic lighting.

I had no idea if the players would like them, but the all of the top-viewed images on my site are from this game. A few have more than 200 views. Evan and I occasionally troll Facebook to see how many players are using them as their profile and timeline photos – quite a few. Got to start offering Senior Sports Action Portraits. That would beat posed shots in suits, yes?

 (David T. Kindler)

 (David T. Kindler)