Oh, to live in Chicago. As the third largest city in America, The Windy City is home to over two and a half million people. And why wouldn’t it be? It boasts 600 parks covering 8,800 acres of green space. In fact, the city’s motto, “urbs in horto”, is Latin for “city in a garden.” It’s also a hub of the arts, boasting hundreds of venues between theatre, music, and dance. Like sports? You’ll find 8 major league teams to root for. The point here is that Chicago is a great place to live, and in being a hub of so many people, it contains just as many homes. Known for being a center of modern architecture, there are countless expressions of individuality within the apartments, lofts, and houses that populate this major city. Because of this, Chicago interiors photography is not only exciting for the dynamic nature of its subjects but also rich with the potential to capture something truly new and cutting edge.
At Wonderful Machine, we define Home/Garden Photography as similar to Architecture, but with more emphasis on the furnishings and decor in or around the structure and less about the structure itself. Sometimes includes people. Usually, but not always residential. Here are seven of the best Chicago interiors photographers:
Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Cynthia Lynn has a lifetime of experience in capturing her hometown. An avid traveler, Cynthia brings a sense of class to the bright rooms she photographs, making notable use of natural light. In short, she takes you to wherever she’s shooting. In tune with family life, she also occasionally includes a casual scene of domestic existence with children or parents in a way that presents an honest illustration of the most important aspects of life within a home: the moments. And as a devoted animal rights advocate and dog fosterer, she shows mastery in featuring pets, too!
Select Clients: 50 South Capital, Walmart, Splash Magazines Chicago, Petsmart, Hindsdale Living, Madison Dearborn Partners, Where Guestbook, LUXE Interiors + Design, Shoptalk Ltd., Interior Define, Blackbook
If Chicago interiors photography could be a celebration of the city’s diverse architecture, the classic and the modern meet in the work of Matthew Gilson. Bringing a slice of the avant-garde, Matthew has an MFA in experimental film and uses the relationship between light and color to allow a room’s design to cast its spell. A self-described puzzle aficionado and collector of interesting things, Matthew makes the objects in a space almost seem to dance with one another, gracefully bringing the balance of a room to the forefront of his photographs. One could say he uses the unexpected to bring you a beauty that was right before your eyes the whole time.
Selected Clients: Coastal Living, Southern Living, Cottage Living (cover), Time (cover), BusinessWeek (covers), Forbes (covers), Fortune, Men’s Vogue, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Elle, GQ
A jack of many trades, yet a master of all of them, Anthony Tahlier brings his wide range of interests into everything he does.
My work spans many different genres… I love to capture it all. People ask me to help them tell stories through a lens. I can do that – I love it.
In Anthony’s work, colors speak a kind of language that captures the identity of a home. Perhaps it comes down to the multi-disciplinary confidence in his portfolio, but one thing that is clearly undeniable is Anthony is making a piece of art unto itself in everything he shoots. Beginning with a striking use of perspective and dimension, he takes the viewer on an immediate exploration of the geometry between walls, fixtures, furniture, and space. Circles and arches relate to the natural light he prioritizes to give this side of Chicago interiors photography an excitingly futuristic quality.
Select Clients: 555 International, ACN Design, Alison Victoria Interiors, Allan Copley Design, Architectural Digest, Chicago Magazine, Interiors Magazine, Departure Design, Bureau Design, Travel & Leisure, Westin Hotels
Now the head of her own production agency, Morgan Ione began the first ten years of her career in New York City before finding a home in Chicago. What is immediately evident in her work is a focus on the inviting nature of a well-designed room. Morgan captures a space as it is meant to be lived in, and the sights within it, from furniture to objects to art, as they are meant to be seen. Another special quality in Morgan’s work is her economical approach: she shows just what is necessary, exploring a single detail to define a room’s personality, be it a corner with a chair, a stairwell by an entrance, or a textile design on a wall. And through this, she both interprets and highlights the intention of a home designer.
Select Clients: Hyatt, Marriott-Starwood, The St. Regis, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, GrayBarns Inn, Hogan Hospitality, The Briad Group, Princess Cruises, Burrow Sofas, Homepolish, The New York Times, The Coastal Table
With work that has been included in over fifty print and online publications, Serhii Chrucky brings a true mastery to Chicago interiors photography. With an adeptness in shooting homes in high-rises, he brings just as much talent to a classic townhouse, a modern-styled loft in a warehouse district, or a suburban home in the green-filled metro area. What Serhii particularly brings is a gift for showing a home’s relationship to the environment around it. His knack for capturing urban interior design often involves showing cityscapes to be glimpsed at through the windows in the background, or trees outside a ground-level window that spans the entire wall. A thoughtful person who sees photography as a puzzle that is meticulously assembled, Serhii often works without an assistant.
I prefer to do as much of my own on-site work as I can. I enjoy losing myself in the process.
Finding an opportunity in every challenge, Serhii Chrucky is a photographer of such achievement in this specialty that when not on assignment, he self-commissions his own projects to further explore his field.
Daniel Peter brings something very special to the homes he photographs: he shows people actually living in them. Not only that, they embody these spaces, often matching them in the colors of their clothing, the mood they present, and the exploration of their surroundings demonstrated in how they pose. What this reveals is an artist very attuned to the function of a room, not only showing how people utilize it, but also what they bring to it. This makes for a Lifestyle edge that he brings to Home/Garden photography, and in a sense he uses all of the elements within a room, from the objects, to the colors, to the furniture, to allow for a collaboration to exist between them, which brings the essence of the space to the forefront. When Daniel Peter shoots a room, he makes you want to live there.
Select Clients: CB2, Bloomingdale’s, Art Patron, Land’s End, Henry & Belle, Travelocity, Highsnobiety Magazine
If there is one thing Daniel Kelleghan immediately shines in, it is capturing the majesty of a place. His work takes you into its reality, bringing a sensory experience of being there. This is often done through his strong use of perspective, taking you to the scene itself: you peer through the leaves of a plant to see a particular side of a room, or look out the large window of a bedroom to see a yard as the sun’s afternoon light moves over it. This brings us to another key talent that Daniel exemplifies in his work in Chicago interiors photography, which is his skill in using particular times of day to use natural light to accentuate the beauty, and even perhaps the stylistic language of a room or home.
Select Clients: Apple, BMW, Conrad Hotels, Dewars Whiskey, Fairmont Hotels, Louis Vuitton, Mastercard, Perry Ellis, Hilton Hotels, Iceland Air, Indochino, JCrew, JCPenny, Maserati Moncler, Lacoste
The showcasing of a home is an essential part of buying, selling, and renting a property, especially in a place so busy it is nicknamed The City That Works. With these Chicago interiors photographers, the process could never be easier and the decisions to pick a spot could never come faster.