What I find so beautiful and interesting about Photographer Arielle Gallione's work is that the viewer can read how much attention she puts into each moment. So when I got to know a bit more of her story, it became evident that not only is @ariellegallione extremely talented and skilled but she's using those qualities to be brave and caring. "The moment for that was the real turning point for me was when I realized that photography had saved me, in more ways than one. At the beginning of last year, I was becoming increasingly unhappy with where I was in life, and had tried getting into grad school for three years without any real success. I felt defeated. There was a week around this time last year where I had severe anxiety attacks for a week straight (like had to take off of work bad), and I felt so lost. The following week, I went to an "instameet" not knowing a single soul, and that was a big deal for an introvert like myself. A few days later, I met up with a guy who I'd been following on Instagram for a few months, and he gave me the subtle push I needed to really start learning how to be a good technical shooter instead of just a hobbyist. With every waking moment of free time over the next four months, I was shooting and editing and shooting some more, making it a point to learn something new every time I picked up my camera. My skills grew exponentially within that time, and people started to notice. My work load began to increase, and I had gotten to the point with my 9-5 that I could only make myself happy by leaving. So at the end of July, I left (very amicably, those people are my freaking family and I love them so much.) It was overwhelming at first, and I was constantly second guessing myself, but it has been one of the best decisions I've ever made.
I was recently in Lesvos, Greece, helping provide humanitarian relief to Syrian refugees (my degree is in Exercise Science) and it has made a lasting impact on my life and work. You can see some of the photos on my Instagram, or you can head to my tumblr, ariellegallione.tumblr.com, for both photos and blog posts."
- Brianna @campwilson
Hi guys! My name is @ariellegallione, and I'm so excited to show you around the city that will forever have my heart. I am going to start you guys off with a classic Chicago view, as seen from the John Hancock Center. You can catch this view one of two ways-- riding up to the 94th floor with 360 Chicago, or going up a little further to the 96th for cocktails at the Signature Lounge (21+.) When I'm going up, I usually go to the Lounge with friends for a few drinks, but if you're looking to take full photographic advantage of the views, definitely check out @360chiviews.
(at 360 Chicago)
Good morning from Chicago! In case you missed me last night, I'm @ariellegallione and I'm sharing some of my favorite places and hidden gems around my city. On Mondays, coffee is a must, and there are many options to choose from here in Chicago. @intelligentsiacoffee brews some of my favorite, and their cool and quaint little shop in Logan Square is one of my favorites to visit. Pro tip: if you venture to this location, skip the latte and go for the Black Cat Shake (espresso blended with @jenisicecreams, need I say more? 😍)
It's pretty grey here today, and I was initially going to post a summertime photo to remind myself that warmer weather is only a few months away, but then I saw this perfect, snowy masterpiece taken by my friend @sirbruceleroy and had to share it with you guys. If you come to Chicago and want to feel like a local, ride the CTA. It is one of the easiest transportation systems to navigate, and you can buy a day pass for under $10. You'll be able to leave the Loop, check out some awesome neighborhoods, and not have to pay a small fortune for every Uber/Lyft/Taxi drive you'd be taking instead.
Ever had your life changed by a piece of pie? Come to @bangbangpie and let the answer to that question be "YAS." In Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, this place is always packed (don't let the line intimidate you, it moves quick!) and will not disappoint. The pie menu changes to reflect the best seasonal options, and there's also a savory menu that is always on point. Whatever you decide to get, get a side of biscuits too... Because biscuits. Pro tip-- if you come in the warmer months, stay for a while and enjoy your pie on the outdoor patio!!
Like contemporary art? MCA Chicago should be added to the itinerary for your next trip to Chicago. This museum is always much less crowded than the main attractions, and always has a few pretty unique exhibits to check out. If you're lucky, you'll be in town during MCA Prime Time, a newly developed after hours series that happens only a few times a year and allows local artists, chefs and cultural organizations to make use of the venue, setting up unique installations and experiences for attendees to enjoy.
Good morning from Chicago! Breakfast and brunch are serious business for us here, and my girl @rach.esq is one of the people whose feed I will creep whenever I'm in need of a solid recommendation for a meal. Located near Wicker Park, @hash_chicago serves its namesake as well as other tasty breakfast and lunch options from 8-3 six days a week. How good does this meal look right now?! 😍
As a wedding photog, the Cloud Gate (aka the Bean) is somewhere that I frequent with my clients. It's been a classic Chicago spot since its birth in 2004, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to check out this tourist spot, and the surrounding Millennium and Maggie Daley Parks, during your stay. But, if you do want to catch it like a local, go at sunrise. Minimal tourists, and you can usually snap a photo of a vacant bean before the crowds start to form.
(at Cloud Gate)
Happy Wednesday! If you're just joining the party, I'm @ariellegallione, and I'm sharing some of my favorite places around Chicago this week. That being said, our next stop brings us to @floriole, one of my favorite cafes in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Trust me, the pastries are worth the visit-- they are ahhhhmazing and there's a ton to choose from. Added bonus: the natural light that pours in during the day is dreamy for a photographer like myself.
Evening from the Windy City! Best part about sunsets? You never see the same one twice. And, they're pretty glorious in this city. If you're coming in the summer, you must get out onto Lake Michigan. It's a spectacular way to see the city, and if you don't know anyone with a boat, there are many options to choose from. Get sea sick? Try an architectural river cruise instead! Either way, it's an excellent way to soak in some beautiful views.
(at Lake Michigan)
Happy almost Friday! Need a cup of brew to help you get through the day? Check out Dollop Coffee Co (they have a few locations, but there are two near the Mag Mile and also one in the Loop.) The cafes are always cozy, and it's a great place to hang, read a book, or get some work done.
(at Dollop Coffee Co)
Looking for a great view during your stay in Chicago? Head to @skydeckchicago. While this is usually a tourist spot, photographers dig the occasional trip up to capture these views in varying weather conditions. Some of the coolest photos I've seen from here usually are taken in the fog. If you've never been, I'd recommend making the trip up-- this view is definitely worth it.
(at Skydeck Chicago)
I have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet, and macarons are one of my absolute favorite treats. Stop by Alliance during your next trip to the Windy City, you won't regret it!
(at Alliance Bakery)
Happy Friday from Chicago! As a photographer, my favorite thing to do around the city is to explore the streets. Street photography is one of my favorite things to shoot, but walking around often leads to different and unique views of the city. Don't hesitate to venture off of the Mag Mile next time you're here, I promise it's not that scary!
Already thinking about what you're going to eat for brunch this weekend? So. Am. I. Brunch is a way of life in Chicago, and @adamsoko is one of my absolute favorite Chicago food accounts to follow. I died on the inside when I saw this churro pressed waffle topped with chicken breast Milanese, crispy pork belly, maple syrup and hot sauce from @madsocialchicago on his feed. 😍😍😍😍
(at MAD Social)
My favorite place in the Loop to catch some peace and quiet is the Harold Washington Library. The architecture never disappoints, and the building is full of beautiful natural light (aka a photographer's dream.) What are your plans this weekend?
Whenever anyone asks what my favorite neighborhood is, I can say without hesitation the West Loop. It's filled with awesome restaurants, and is home to so many beautiful and eclectic spaces like @sawadacoffee. And whenever someone asks me who my favorite Chicago Instagram account is, I tell them about my girl @alinatsvor, who snapped this photo from inside of Sawada. Happy Saturday from Chicago!
(at Sawada Coffee)
Remember that one time I said I had a sweet tooth? Well, @sherriesavorsthecity, aka pastry chef extraordinary at @sweetmandybs, makes me want to ruin my diet before I can even start it. Sweet Mandy B's is, in my biased opinion, one of the best bakeries in Chicago and you should definitely plan a stop here during your next stay. My favorite treat is the carrot cake cupcake, but this Reese's cheesecake looks out of this world. 😍😭
(at Sweet Mandy B's)
Hi guys! @ariellegallione here with my final post, featuring one of my favorite spots in the city. I am forever grateful to call this place home. If you're not lucky enough to say the same, I suggest you give @choosechicago a follow for all of your Chicago food, drink, and sight seeing needs. Thank you guys for following along!!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
(at North Avenue Beach)