It’s always been about the story! As a teenager, Monica studied literature, photography, journalism and book arts in college, telling stories with words, images and prints. Those multiple passions still fuel her : )
Monica became a full-time magazine writer and editor in the 1980’s, writing for national food magazines. She broadened that to freelance writing and photography while she raised four children, curious to explore a broad range of topics. At one point she was writing cover stories and columns for six different sections of the Chicago Tribune, addressing sustainability, women’s issues, gardening, business, architecture and food.
Her research into the revival of vintage recipes for a Chicago Tribune column was so compelling that it became Monica’s blog, lostrecipesfound.com. In turn, the process of researching, preparing, propping, food-styling and photographing the recipes for each story launched a professional photography venture.
Monica obtained a BA in journalism & English literature. She studied photography and book arts with Susan Kae Grant at Texas Woman’s University and followed her to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a letterpress printing apprentice to Bruce Beck at the Turtle Press in Evanston, which led to a variety of letterpress adventures, including printing whisky labels for Limestone Branch Distillery in KY.
Monica specializes in natural-light photography–food and portraiture are her favorites. Her food imagery has appeared in Bon Appetit and Food & Wine, as well as a book by Rizzoli. Recent portraiture assignments included photographing Chicago’s Top 50 Chefs and Top 50 Literary Figures.
Monica is a Northwestern University artist-in-residence participant, teaching seminars in using the camera as a creative problem-solving tool, Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI) @ Kellogg School of Management.
Monica has three antique platen printing presses–including a Chandler & Price and a Heidelberg, at her home studio and a separate studio and office at the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative.
Monica’s first book collaboration, with Chef John Coletta Risotto & Beyond was published by Rizzoli March 13, 2018. Monica wrote the book based on interviews with John and with rice experts while she was in Italy photographing the rice fields. After testing the 100 recipes for the book, she’s learned more about Italian rice than she dreamed possible.