I 100% believe there are no coincidences in life, and this fantastic shoot with Malik is just more of proof of that! This past weekend I traveled to Chicago to celebrate with my friend, Ari Afsar, who was performing her final time as Eliza in Hamilton: An American Musical in Chicago. After Ari’s last performance, we all went out to celebrate with her as a large group, and many people came throughout the evening to wish her well. As I waited on my drink at the bar, I saw Malik, who is a crazy talented member of the Hamilton crew, and we got to chatting as we waited. We wound up talking a good portion of the night about intentionality, how to be the best versions of ourselves, our dreams and where we saw ourselves in the coming years. You know, totally normal bar talk! At the end, he commented he’d love to shoot together, to which I agreed wholeheartedly (I’d peeked at his Instagram in the past and LOVED his feed, ha!), and said “Hey, what are you doing tomorrow? I don’t have a studio this weekend, but we can wander Chicago and see what’s up.”

And, thankfully, he was free that next day! So after a fantastically “coincidental” hair appointment left him fresh and camera ready on Monday, I met up with Malik and we hit some of the local spots I’d seen but never photographed — my favorite thing to do!

Malik is truly one of the kindest, most down to earth people I’ve met, and the fact that we just hit it off and dug deep right off the bat was such a wonderful breath of fresh air. He’s a genuine soul, and those are my favorite kind of people to photograph; you can see it in his eyes, in the way he walks, and the way he presents himself. He’s real, his heart is genuine, and you feel a kindred connection when having a conversation with him. Talk about a wonderful treat for the weekend; getting to hang with him and capture him in his element was a joy, and I think we created some killer images to promote his style, as well as solid head shots to put his best foot forward in the future.

Malik, I’m so glad we crossed paths on that Sunday evening! You are truly an incredible human, and I’m so honored to have the opportunity to chat with you, hear your passions, and get to photograph you! You’re amazing in Hamilton, and I can’t wait to see what you get into in your next adventure as well.

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Chicago Portrait Photographers - Hamilton: An American Musical - Malik Kitchen



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