See Best Photographer in St. Louis in Behind-the-Scenes Video

Church is a photographer and videographer who owns Church Productions, a beautiful photography studio in the Grand Center neighborhood in St. Louis. A fashion shoot was happening at the studio and I was there to catch some of the highlights. There was Chi Anderson, the model and Stephany Smith the designer that were in charge of the looks. The actual fashion shoot was from 9am to 12pm on Sunday, January 30, 2022.

St. Louis Photographer Church holding R6 Canon with 70-200mm lens at a fashion shoot in his studio at Church Production in St. Louis on Jan., 30, 2022. Craig Currie
St. Louis Photographer Church holding R6 Canon with 70-200mm lens at a fashion shoot in his studio at Church Production in St. Louis on Jan., 30, 2022. Craig Currie

Chi is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She radiates positive vibes and magically turns a shoot into a fun-filled day of dance and laughter. Every time Chi came out with a new outfit, It was like watching a princess entering a ballroom. She is amazing!

Church is one of the best photographers in St. Louis and proves this every time he attends a shoot. His ideas are fresh and he loves doing things differently. He is unafraid and pushes the envelope when it comes to lighting and camera settings. He knows the rules of photography but chooses not to follow them. This thinking-outside-the-box ideology has enabled Church to create his own style, his own brand which is next-level art.

Stephanie Smith was the designer at the shoot and she specializes in upcycling clothes which is the process of taking old clothes and fixing them, giving them a new life if I may. She helped make sure the clothes were literally picture perfect during the entire shoot.

This is what some would say was a collaboration of talents together having blast and doing what we love best, our art.

VIDEO: Watch best photographer in St. Louis in behind-the-scenes video January 30, 2022. Craig Currie

The Fabulous Fox Fully Opens for 2022 featuring THE PROM Musical

Police making sure people get across Grand safely for the show at the Fabulous Fox Theatre on Jan., 30, 2021. credit Craig Currie
Police making sure people get across Grand safely for the show at the Fabulous Fox Theatre on Jan., 30, 2021. credit Craig Currie

The Fabulous Fox Theatre is now showing Broadway’s hit musical comedy, THE PROM, one of six shows which is part of the U. S. Bank Broadway Series.

Today you could see hundreds of people walking down Grand making their way to The Fabulous Fox Theatre. I am happy to say, it’s starting to look like it did before the pandemic in the Grand Center neighborhood.

The Fabulous Fox
527 NORTH GRAND BLVD.
ST. LOUIS MO 63103
Email:FOXTHEATRE.STL@admin

The Fabulous Fox Theatre fully opened The Prom Musical on Jan., 30, 2022. Credit Craig Currie

TESLA Dealership, Lindbergh Blvd. in South St. Louis County coming soon!

ROADSTER - The quickest car in the world, with record-setting acceleration, range and performance
ROADSTER – The quickest car in the world, with record-setting acceleration, range and performance. source: https://www.tesla.com/roadster

Tesla electric carmaker has plans to open a dealership in South St. Louis County at 5711 S. Lindbergh Blvd. at Tesson Ferry Road. The plans were given the go ahead unanimously by the St. Louis County Planning Commission. That said, it is just a matter of time before you can test drive the Roadster, the fastest car in the world.

THE ROADSTER: 0-60 under 2 seconds…

The video below shows people yelling and screaming as they ride in the Roadster while accelerating from 0-60 in 1.9 seconds.

Ride along with passengers screaming as they go 0-60 under 2 seconds (source Tesla YouTube)
Tesla Dealership coming to South St. Louis County. Source Google Maps
Tesla Dealership coming to South St. Louis County. Source Google Maps

World News Clayton Closing – Hotel, Restaurant and Multifamily Units Coming

World News Clayton Store Closing Sale on Jan., 27, 2022. Credit Craig Currie
World News Clayton Store Closing Sale on Jan., 27, 2022. Credit Craig Currie

World News Clayton at the corner of Forsyth Boulevard and South Central Avenue is closing permanently and HDA Architects plans to redevelop the property into multifamily units, a hotel and a restaurant at street level.

World News Clayton Est.1967 – Closing Feb. 2022

When I visited World News Clayton, a gentlemen was taking care of customers at the back register where all the magazines, books and publications were on display. I asked him did he have any World News editions. He kindly explained that they never published a paper. He added, “We call it World News because when we started, we sold newspapers from all over the world.” He said they have been a magazine shop and convenience store from the beginning. The place opened in 1967 and will close around the middle of February.

World News Clayton building on Jan., 27, 2022. Credit Craig Currie

It is strange because the reviews are great; everyone likes this place….a lot. The Facebook post below explains why they are closing in detail.

Facebook Post:
“Despite the efforts of the loyal staff, (manager Mike Flavin, and assistant manager Kathy Neal) the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2019-2021 has reduced the sales volume of World News in Clayton to the point where it is no longer as profitable as it once was. The store was always dependent on street and walk-in traffic and both have been affected greatly by the reduction in local work forces and associated pandemic closures over the last two years.”

Other retail and services that will be effected by development:
D.O.S is a buy, sell and trade store for mostly clothing
Luke Wells Law Specializing in Injury and Criminal Law
MATPS: Missouri Alternative Pre Trial Services
A1 Shoe Shine
Pasta Plus is an Italian focused restaurant.

Hotel & Apartments, 777 Olive Street, Downtown St. Louis

The 17-story Chemical Building, at 777 Olive Street, was sold to Campo Architects for $5 million. This is the same building where Kessler Mroz Jewelry resides, on the ground floor. Campo is known to take buildings like the Chemical Building and build a mix of apartments and hotel rooms on the upper floors and retail on the ground floor.

Campo Architects are currently working on the Shell building along Tucker Avenue as well. There is a lot of rehabbing going on in Downtown Saint Louis, and I pray it continues. Please subscribe by hitting the bell so you don’t miss what coming next in St. Louis. Thanks and have a nice day.

Model Chi Anderson Nails It During Photoshoot in St. Louis

Model Chi Anderson nailed every pose during a professional fashion photoshoot by Photographer Church at Church Productions Studio. Chi and Church collaborated with Stephany Smith along with her beautiful designs on Sunday, January 15, 2022. It lasted about three hours but it seemed a lot less since everyone was having so much fun.

Church was amazing. They way he plays with light is next-level and he goes for the dramatic. He intentionally tries to do something different and by doing this he turns out master pieces. I call him Rembrandt with a camera since Rembrandt liked to play with lighting as well. It is the same lighting but Rembrandt used a brush of course.

The day in short was pure energy. Designer: Stephany Smith @willowpiperlu Model: Chi Anderson @chi_themodel Photographer: Church @thatguychurch

Dr Martin Luther King Jr. ‘I Have a Dream’ 1963 Washington D.C.

Celebrating Black History Month

Dr Martin Luther King Jr.giving his 'I Have a Dream' speech during the March on Washington in Washington DC on August 28, 1963 / commons wikipedia
Dr Martin Luther King Jr.giving his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech during the March on Washington in Washington DC on August 28, 1963 / commons wikipedia

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963 began his 17-minute speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

He departed from his prepared text, possibly at the prompting of Mahalia Jackson, who shouted behind him, “Tell them about the dream!”

Dr King Jr. then spoke from his heart:

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

Now known as “I Have a Dream” speech, it is regarded as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory. The March, and especially King’s speech, helped put civil rights at the top of the agenda of reformers in the United States and facilitated passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

*Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during the 1963 March on Washington. *Photo by Warren K. Leffler *Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Collection. *Public domain, per http://www.loc.gov/
*Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during the 1963 March on Washington. / Photo by Warren K. Leffler, Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Collection. Public domain, per http://www.loc.gov/

King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.

Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor. The photo below shows a sign on I-75 for the portion of  S.R. 574 that is dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Florida.  (source wikipedia)

I-75 Hwy sign that showing the portion of S.R. 574 dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in Florida/photonews247.com
I-75 Hwy sign that showing the portion of S.R. 574 dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in Florida/photonews247.com

Sony 85mm F1.8 Lens Tested in Low Light

I filmed this entire night with the Sony 85mm 1.8 lens with the aperture fully opened at 1.8 and the results were amazing. The location was Historic Main Street in St. Charles, MO during Christmas. The camera I used was the A7SII set at 30fps with the shutter speed set at 1/60th of a second.

Sony 85mm 1.8 Lens used for filming an historic street in the Midwest USA during Christmas celebration at night. Credit Craig Currie

There is something about the 85mm lens that turns a normal shoot into something magical and I love it. Whether it is the compression or the low light capabilities, the lens just outshines them all when it comes to footage like this in my humble opinion.

I had the Sony A7S2 camera on the Zhiyun CRANE PLUS Gimbal for stabilization. I forgot to mention that my ISO was set to Auto since the lighting would change drastically while I was walking around.

Please note that the 85mm F1.8 lens is over $500 but there are other makes such as the Meike 85mm F1.8 that do a great job for less than $200.

Drone Flying Inches from People at City Foundry, St. Louis

A drone was flying a bit too close during the Saint Louis Exotic Car Show at the City Foundry Market in Saint Louis on Saturday September 18, 2021.

Watch drone with open blades fly too close to people during City Foundry STL Car Show in September of 2021. Credit Craig Currie

We were all thrilled while seeing the low flying drone but after the thrill was gone, we thought about the dangers of this and what could have happened.

So bring your hardhats for this years Exotic Car Show to keep yourself and your family safe from the low flying drones. The Car Show was amazing and well worth the risk but keep your eyes opened for incoming drones to be on the safe side.

Fundraising with Style at Neiman Marcus St. Louis in Plaza Frontenac

Joan Berkman Head of St. Louis Press Club.
Joan Berkman Head of St. Louis Press Club. Credit Craig Currie

Fundraising and high-fashion go together like milk and honey when referring to fundraisers held at St. Louis’ Neiman Marcus store in Plaza Frontenac. It was 2019 when I first worked a fundraiser at Neiman Marcus and was stunned by how beautiful everything was…including the people.

I got to see some of the biggest names in fashion which included Susan Sherman, Dapper Dan, Tania Beasley, Brandin Vaughn, Joan Berkman, Penny Pennington, Miran Halen, Phyllis Langsdorf, Huda Jasmine, Michael and Shereen Fischer to name a few.

Susan Sherman of Saint Louis Fashion Fund attends fundraiser at Neiman Marcus St. Louis credit craig currie 2019
Susan Sherman of Saint Louis Fashion Fund attends fundraiser at Neiman Marcus St. Louis credit. craig currie 2019

I felt like I was in a castle filled with kings and queens, one more beautiful than the next. These local icons and celebrities are as smart as they are beautiful. They give a lot of money and donate a lot of time to make these fundraisers come alive. Whether it is Joan Berkman, of the St. Louis Press Club, raising money for scholarships, or Susan Sherman raising money for the St. Louis Fashion Fund – which helps support local fashion designers in our area – it is all for the greater good.

Below are photos (2019-2021) of the fun part of the fundraisers at Neiman Marcus which includes some of the nicest people in St. Louis that happen to be trailblazers and the best in their fields.