The Signs of Valentine’s Day

Chicago Professional Photographer | Sharon Gaietto Photography

When I think of Valentine’s Day a few words come to mind. So, as I perused my photos on Facebook, I picked out a few images, 44 to be exact. Why 44? It was my 44th birthday, yesterday.

Hearts

Hugs

Kisses

Candy

Flowers

Last but not least, Love!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

City Life | Museum of Science & Industry

Chicago Professional Photographer | Sharon Gaietto Photography

Living in a big city has its pros and cons. One of the best perks of living in Chicago are the museums and the ease it takes to get to them. A quick drive, south on Lake Shore Drive gets us to the Museum of Science and Industry in about 35 minutes from the north side. Our visit to the museum is not only a science filled adventure, but also a trip back in time. The museum is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.

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Once inside it’s hard to decide what to see first: the tornado simulator, Newton’s Cradle, or the plasma ball.

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Or maybe try out the giant hamster wheel or the wind machine. Create moving art with your body, move things with your mind or watch a toy top be made by robots. The activities are endless and the fun to be had is memorable.

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After our visit, we made a quick stop just south of the museum, too see another treasure from the World’s Columbian Exposition. Located on Hayes Drive, off of Lake Shore Drive is The Statue of the Republic. Standing 24 feet high, the replica stands where the original statue stood in 1893 at 65 feet tall. The replica was constructed in 1918 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the World’s Columbian Exposition. It is spectacular and a must see!

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The Best Show in Chicago!

It was October 1999 (still a newlywed) and my sister and I were headed to the Congress Theater to attend the Poi Dog Pondering concert. It was that time of year, so we went in costumes. Jaime as the best looking Oompa Loompa I ever saw and me as the awkward looking Charlie. Our roles could not have been any more perfect. The opening act for Poi Dog Pondering was Midnight Circus.

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Fast forward six years (I’m now a mother of a 6 month old), I’m entertaining some friends from San Diego. We head to the Daley Plaza to take in the Halloween festivities. We are impressed by the performances of the Midnight Circus.

Now to the present (I’m a mother of four) and we are heading to see Midnight Circus (my sister the Oompa Loompa is joining us) at Hamlin Park. I’m embarrassed to say that it is my children’s first time seeing the show, even though there have been countless opportunities. We have heard plenty about the show and we have gotten to know the family behind the awesomeness, that is, the Midnight Circus and are very fortunate to call them friends. However, nothing was going to prepare us for the event that we were about to experience.

I am thankful that I am a photographer, because there are times when I can not find the words to describe a moment, a feeling, an emotion. It’s during these times when I use my photos to tell a story. Hopefully you can get a sense of the amazing talent, thrilling performances, and overall positive energy, that oozes from Midnight Circus.

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If there’s one show you can not afford to miss, it is Midnight Circus. The feeling you will have after being part of such a warm, inviting, hysterical, phenomenal, inspiring and overall amazing show, is indescribable. You better bring your camera!

There’s only a few more opportunities to see for yourself, what you’ve been missing. Check out their remaining dates! 

A View of the Ocean Along the Lakefront

Chicago Photographer | Sharon Gaietto Photography

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So thankful for Chicago’s many indoor attractions, especially during the winter months. This season’s weather has caused even the toughest Chicagoans to curl up in a ball and weep, longing for warmer temperatures. On a breezy, -5 degree day in January, the family headed to the John C. Shedd Aquarium. We had received free passes from the Harlem Irving Plaza in December when we visited Santa.

Shedd2014Jan8For those that have never visited the Shedd Aquarium, the first thing that may come to mind is fish, lots and lots of fish. Though this is very true, there are so many other animals to see. Reptiles and amphibians are represented in large numbers. A great place to see them is in the Amazon Rising exhibit.

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As we head down the elevator to the Wild Reef exhibit, we are greeted with the sounds of the surf. We quickly find ourselves surrounded by countless reef fish, coral, sea urchins and countless other sea creatures. The kids really enjoy looking and learning about all the sea life.

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One of the coolest spots in the Wild Reef exhibit is the shark tank. An enormous wall of glass allows you to get very close to these amazing animals. With the curvature of the glass, it’s hard to tell how close you can actually get. A thump of the forehead, is usually the best signal, you are close enough.

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We head back up to the main level, only to head back down to the Abbott Oceanarium. We are on our way to the Polar Play Zone, when I convince the kids to stop and take a look at the beluga whales. They are getting their “check-ups” and are being treated to numerous fish snacks. One trainer moved right in front of us. We could have reached out and touched these “canaries of the sea”. It was an amazing site to see.

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The dolphin show is a huge attraction at the Shedd, but for me, it’s viewing them underwater. That is where I can spend my whole day. Luckily, there is plenty of activities for the kids to do, while I click away on the camera, hoping to capture these super fast Pacific white-sided dolphins.

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The kids even stop playing for a moment to get a glimpse of these torpedoes.

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Before we end our visit at the Shedd, we make a stop at the temporary Jellyfish exhibit. Not really sure how long this exhibit will stay. It seems like they are always extending its run. Which is great, because this is really a spectacular exhibit. While walking among the many different jellyfish, I found myself wanting to do more than just capture a picture of these incredible specimens. So, I took out my iPhone and recorded their graceful movements. Check the video out on YouTube!

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Whether it’s your first visit or 51st visit, there are so many things to see at the John C. Shedd Aquarium. I know I will be bringing my family back, again and again. There is no doubt, you will always see something you may have missed on your last visit.

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Chicago’s St.Patrick’s Day Parade

On Saturday, March 16th, I headed downtown for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This was my very first St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I have had my share of parades on the south side, but this was my first downtown parade. I accompanied my daughter so we could march with the Girl Scouts. I decided to make a day of it, and head down early to watch the dyeing of the river.

The cold weather didn’t stop the masses from attending the festivities. They came by bridge, by boat and car (just to name a few).

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After about 15 minutes of waiting, the dyeing commenced.

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We moved a little closer to the action, to get a better look.

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When it was all over, it was parade time. We got in line for the parade at noon and didn’t get moving for another hour and a half. While we waited we saw a few celebrities, Dan Hampton and Bozo!

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Even though it was cold and it turned out to be a very long day, Sydney remained in good spirits and enjoyed our march in the parade (all ten minutes of it).

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On our way back to the car, I got a few last shots of the Chicago River in all its St. Patrick’s Day Glory.

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Come Fly With Me

I would never consider myself an airplane enthusiast. However, I can remember being a child and looking forward to seeing the planes go by and finding a trip to the airport pretty exciting. Even as an adult, I think the coolest intersection to get stuck by a red light is 63rd and Cicero. If you’re lucky, you might get the feeling a plane is about to land on you, without that unwanted crushing feeling.

As much as I have enjoyed the sights and sounds of airplanes, nothing compares to the thrill of the Chicago Air and Water Show. It wasn’t until I moved to the city did I realize how cool this event really was. And even then, I watched from afar, not wanting to deal with the crowds.

I finally attended my first show in 1998 (give or take a year). My sister and I brought my nephew and nieces. We planned so well. Parked the car right by the beach the night before the event, packed with everything we were going to need for the day. Then we took the bus over the morning of the show. It was perfect! Up until the time it started raining (all of about 20 minutes into the show) and the event was cancelled for the day. To say the least, I was very disappointed.

My second attempt came in 2007. I took my parents. It was going to be an enjoyable day at the beach. But wouldn’t you know it, it rained. We were able to see a little more than 20 minutes, but before it could really get going they cancelled the show. At this point I was convinced that there was some kind of supernatural force that did not want me watching the Chicago Air and Water Show.

Four years later I was willing to give it another try. However, I was going to do things a little differently. My two previous attempts ended in cancellations, so this year I was not going attend the “Official” Air and Water Show. I was going to check out “practice day”, on the Friday before the big weekend. I thought I could trick fate and guess what, it worked! We had the most beautiful day. Bright blue skies, warm temperatures and the best view on North Avenue Beach. My husband kept an eye on the kids playing in the water, my Dad sat back and enjoyed the show, and I snapped over 700 pictures.

This year I was hesitant in going. I was going to be on my own with the kids and I wasn’t sure if I could do double duty. Keeping one eye on them and one through my camera’s viewfinder, seemed a little tricky. However, I knew if I didn’t go I would be kicking myself every time I heard the planes go over the house. The thought of missing out on some great shots was more then I could bear. So I packed the kids up and we headed to the beach. Once again, practice day was the place to be. A beautiful day, a reasonable crowd, a bigger lens and I didn’t lose any children. It was truly a picture perfect day!

I thought I would share a few of my favorites from the day.

U.S. Navy Parachute Team – Leap Frogs

U.S. Army Parachute Team – Golden Knights

Sean D. Tucker and Team Oracle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S.N. F18 Super Hornet 

Dave Darcy in the Super Stearman

Matt Chapman Aerobatics 

The Firebirds

Bill Stein in a custom made Zivko Edge 540

The Heritage Flight – P51 Mustang from WWII and F4 Phantom from Vietnam

Lima Lima Flight Crew

Kirby Chambliss in the Red Bull Edge 540

Aeroshell Aerobatic Team

U.S. Navy Blue Angels

If you would like to see more, you can check out my video on YouTube.

The 54th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show was absolutely AMAZING! Can’t wait until next year!!

Come Fly With Me, Come Fly, Come Fly Away