I contacted Susie Q Fish Market in Two Rivers, WI with a vague idea. I wanted to photograph one of the last commercial fishing operation left on The Great Lakes. At first they needed to make sure I knew what this meant. Fishing Lake Michigan, or The Great Lakes in general is not for everyone. It's long hours, hard work, big waves, and very dangerous. Combine all of that with some of the coldest temperatures on record. I'm sure you'll all remember the Polar Vortex that hit us in January, well it turns out that to catch Chubbs(one of the remaining options for commercial fishing) you need to go out at the coldest time of year. Once they knew I wasn't going away that easy then said "Come on up!". The next thing I knew I was staying in a little hotel outside of Two Rivers, it was 2:00am and I was so excited to get out onto the boat that I couldn't sleep. I had to be out the door at about 4:00am to be there at the start of the day. As soon I pulled up I realized this was not going to be an easy day.
That's when I met Dale. It turns out Susie Q wasn't actually going out for commercial fishing. They had teamed up with The Department of Fish and Wildlife to try and revive a species extinct from Lake Ontario. Chubb's had been choked out of their natural habitat in many areas by invasive species and Lake Michigan is one of the best and last places to still catch them. Dale and his team of biologists and ecologists have a very important goal for the day. They need to catch and harvest as many eggs and sperm as possible to repopulate Lake Ontario. I just happened to be there at the right time to capture it all.
As it turns out, I'm not the only one interested in this story either. Since that day I have been contacted by the Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources to team up on the documentary. So while we work out all of those details I can't share the entire project, but I'm happy to share these images from the day.
That's right, it says book in the title! My very first published book will be out later this year. I can't even begin to take much credit for the book as a whole, but I am so excited to be a part of the project. When I was brought on board it wasn't going to be anything too extravagant. This past year actually marked the 100th year anniversary of 999 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The board members wanted to do a small book that would showcase the diversity of apartments and architecture in the building. At first they imagined the book being distributed to home owners in the building, and of course any potential buyers. Things definitely began to change with the amount of work going into the project. They didn't want to show off the gorgeous spaces, they (specifically Rick Fizdale) wanted to showcase so much more. He wanted to tell the story of the building, it's history, and even better yet the history of the individuals who have lived there over the years. I won't get into any of the specifics, but I cannot believe some of the stories that have come out during the research fase.
Right now I have the final draft sitting on my desk and I've loved reading through it! When it's all said and done, I believe it's about 240 pages, filled with my photographs, some old timey images from back in the day, and of course the history of the building. I'll be sure to let everyone know when it's actually out on the shelves in local book stores.