Tag Archives: photographs

that day when I met Trudeau…


I usually love my job. Like everyone, some days are better than others. I hardly ever have really bad days. And sometimes, I have the best day ever.

Yesterday happened to be one of those days.

This happened.


I swear I am not celebrity obsessed. OK, so maybe I like who I like, and when who I like is beautiful in his words and actions, then it is someone I can feel slightly obsessed about.

So, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

I spent the afternoon and evening listening to an articulate, empathetic world leader talk about the future in a room filled with UChicago students. It was refreshing and interesting and hopeful.

And then I literally photographed and photographed and photographed him with guests at an evening reception. Everyone in the room seemed to want a photo and PM Trudeau obliged until he was basically one of the last people left in the room. He spoke to EVERYONE. He listened to EVERYONE. And it was really something to see.

I usually don’t make it a habit to get my photo taken with University guests, but as I spoke with one of his equally kind assistants, he asked if I would like a photo with him.

I hesitated for less than two seconds. And then I said, “Yes, I would really like that.”

Best. Day. Ever.

MokenaGram 1.15.18



1001 Things I love about my town. Looking outside my front window during snowfall on January 15, 2018 and seeing someone buzz across my neighbor’s yard on a snowmobile. I (heart) Mokena.



I bought my first camera when I was 12 years old.

That sentence is absolutely true. That sentence was also the lede of my entry into the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Photojournalism competition. I didn’t win, (thanks to Elian Gonzalez – another story for another time) but just having the Chicago Sun-Times editors believe I had a chance at the Pulitzer was certainly one of my career highlights.

The reaction of people when they find out what I do for a living ranges from jealousy to starstruck. It’s so funny – I am almost embarrassed sometimes to admit that I have this crazy, fun, amazing way to make a living.

But truthfully, it is the only job I have ever had.

My dad, my grandmother and my grandfather all loved to take photos. Grandpa Lachat favored Kodachrome, and boxes of his slides are still in my aunt’s possession.

My dad didn’t buy that first camera – a Kodak 126 that I saved $12 to purchase. But he did buy my first real 35mm camera – A Canonet QL 17 – for me. That camera got me through a couple years shooting for Inscape, the student newspaper at Mother McAuley High School, until I was able to save enough money for a Canon AE-1 Program from Able Camera on Kedzie in Mt. Greenwood.

So, the photography bug runs deep and wide on both sides of my family. And I caught it at a very young age. Gram used to let us kids take photos with her camera. It was magical and fun, and all these years later, it still is.

Why do I do what I do? The joy that great photography brings to the people who entrust me with documenting their families, their children, their weddings, mitzvahs, birthdays and anniversaries gives me my own joy times ten.

I do this because it is magical and fun. I do this so that my own daughters see that passion should be a part of what you do to make a living. I do this because it is joyful and important to those I serve.

I can’t imagine doing anything else.

MokenaGram 05/12/16


MG_051216Morning Fog

Fog settles Wednesday morning, May 11, 2016,  at the Hickory Creek Forest Preserve on LaPorte Road in Mokena. photo by Jean Lachat

MokenaGram Flashback



The One that Started it All

This photo of the Ebert Farm Service grain elevator on Front Street was the first photo shot and published – two years ago in the Mokena Messenger. You can see it here: http://www.mokenamessenger.com/mokena-gram.

I had just watched the documentary, “Finding Vivian Maier,” and was feeling inspired as I drove down Front Street. The idea of a weekly column was born and though it no longer lives in the pages of the Mokena Messenger, I still love shooting it almost every week right here in Mokena!

Please subscribe to keep an eye on my columns, and I’ll be seeing you around town.

just another day.


sunflower.Some of the best photographs happen to pop into my life when I least expect it.

I usually turn on 193rd Street from Wolf Road to head towards home, but I missed the street (probably on my cellphone!) and ended up turning on 194th. It’s not a beautiful corner, basically an overgrown empty lot on the corner, but a few spots of color caught my eye.

The sunflowers growing there were beautiful, but it wasn’t the right time of day to shoot them. It’s all about the light! I promised myself to check it out over the next day or two to see how the sunflower looked at different times of the day.

After about three stops and some weird looks from passers-by, I hit the jackpot during a late evening stop. The sky was warm, almost a shade of orange and turned this flower on, as if by a switch.

It’s always nice to get a heavy dose of beautiful on a regular day.

I really think God gets a kick out of doing that to me.


see this photo at: http://www.mokenamessenger.com/mokena-gram-1 in the Mokena Messenger every week!

the power of love.


momanddad1momanddadrecentHappy anniversary mom and dad.

You made it.

50 years of wedded “bliss.”

Five kids, 15 grandkids.

Countless amazing, true friends.

A house in Chicago. A house on Saddle Lake.

Ups and downs and sideways and standstills.

For better or for worse.

In sickness and in health.

You never wavered from God or from each other.

We are all the better for it.

We love you.