Author Archives: T. J. Hine

Gallery Show at OGGI Chicago

Hi devoted readers! Just a note to let you know that I am part of a gallery show at Oggi Chicago, 2451S. Oakley. This show is produced by the Chicago Creative Coalition, which I not only belong to, but as C3 special events coordinator, it’s my job is to set up these shows. Curated by gallery owner Margo Rush, there are 12 C3 fine artists showing their work.

I have a few fine art photos in the show, but I’m really highlighting my reclaimed wood photo frames and designer mirrors. Frustrated with the types of photo frames available in the marketplace, I decided to build my own creating new works of art. I have found uses for the multitude of “junk” I have collected, beautifully incorporating found hooks, knobs, and bars onto my mirrors. I am learning to use stained glass and mosaic tiles to enhance the frames, making each an individual unique piece.

Also showing are my C3 pals: Carolyn Aronson (jewelry, Swedish trolls, encaustic paintings); Kaitlyn Keely (photographs); Cynthia McEwen (jewelry and egg tempura paintings); Nate Marks (acrylic paintings); Paul Thomas Minnihan (watercolor paintings); Robert Irving Potter III (photographs); Laura Marie Sanchez (mosaics, mixed-media, and glass art); Danielle Tanimura (digital collage); Michael Tanimura (tricolor composite photographs); Robert Tolchin (photographs); and Mary Wagner (parametric drawings).

If you get a chance, stop down. We will have a closing night party on Friday, March 22, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Any questions or comments, please let me know!


T. J.

Posted in General Tagged , , , , , , |

Summer Soba Salad with Sweet Sesame Dressing

Summer may be over for this year, but it doesn’t mean we can enjoy a summer treat! This beautiful salad recipe with Japanese overtones can be found in Acid Reflux Cooking for Dummies. Authors Patricia Raymond and Michelle Beaver put together a hearty and healthy salad.



The salad contains both Wakame—a sweet-flavored seaweed imported from Japan—and thin buckwheat noodles called Soba, which is the Japanese word for buckwheat. Wakame can be found in the better grocery stores or health food stores. The salad dressing consists of Shoyu, a soy sauce made from fermented soya beans, and Mirin, which is a rice wine similar to sake. It is often used in Japanese cuisine and, compared to sake, has a lower alcohol and higher sugar content.

1 medium cucumber, finely sliced

6 radishes, finely sliced

1/2 cup dry wakame, finely sliced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

One 12-ounce package soba noodles

Sweet Sesame Dressing (see the following recipe)

1/2 cup water

5 kale leaves, stalk removed and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon crushed toasted black sesame seeds, for garnish

1 – In a medium bowl, place the cucumber, radishes, and wakame; add the salt, and let sit for about 15 minutes.

2  – Cook the noodles according to the package directions, rinse under cool water, and drain.

3  – Pour the excess liquid off the vegetables and add the noodles.

4  – Pour the Sweet Sesame Dressing over the salad and mix gently. Let sit for 15 minutes.

5  – In a shallow pan, boil the water. Add the kale and cook over a high heat for 1 to 2 minutes to blanch the leaves.

6   -Serve on a bed of blanched kale garnished with the sesame seeds.

Sweet Sesame Dressing

3 tablespoons shoyu

2 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

6 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

In a small bowl, place all the ingredients and mix together.

A simple salad to make with a bold taste. Enjoy.
Any questions or comments, let me know!

T. J.

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized

Skydiving Accolades

Hi all,

Unlike most sports, skydiving does not often get the recognition in the press, unless it’s a tragedy. As the 2014 jumping season comes to a close, I would like to send out kudos to the jumpers around the world that have garnered accolades.

There have been many state records across the country this year, which include every discipline—sit fly, head down, canopy piloting, and belly flying. Congratulations to each group that took the time to organize a record in their state and at their DZ.

Congrats go to the POPS sequential record, held in Eloy, AZ, in April, for building a 2-pt 62-way formation, although that record was short lived. A POPS group bested the 62-way with a 2-pt 72-way in Deland, FL, at the beginning of November. I was a part of that formation!

Two groups get special congratulations for outstanding accomplishment. First, a group of woman skydivers converged on Eloy and built two World Records—Women’s Sequential and the World Sequential—beating the 2-point 106-way made in Deland in 2013 with a 2-point 117-way.


Women’s 2-pt World Record. Photo courtesy Gustavo Cabana

Secondly, a German contingency invaded Eloy in early November and set a German National Record of 214.

One of the greatest accompaniments in our sport in recent years was Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking high altitude jump of 127,852 feet set in October 2002, besting the previous record set in 1960 set by Joe Kittinger.

In October 2014, Alan Eustace broke the World Record for Highest Altitude Skydive by jumping from a balloon at 135,890 feet over Roswell, NM. He also earned the world record for speed, reaching Mach 1.23.

Congratulations to all the teams from around the country (and a couple international) that competed and won medals in the U.S. National Skydiving competition held in September at Skydive Chicago. My 8-way team won Intermediate Silver!


Silver Intermediate—Capt.; Chuck Finley, Sally Finley, Me, Chad Follis, Video; Henrik Csüri, Amy Romig, Casey Wiggins, Missing; Lisa DeSimone

We are already seeing plans to break records in 2015. Try-outs are under way for a world record head down formation of 170 coming to Skydive Chicago in July. A 2-pt 202 is also in the works and talk of a 3-pt large formation is being considered! Looks like another great year for records being broken.

Currently the world championships are under way in Dubai—good luck to all competitors and come back home safely and with medals.

Any questions or comments let me know,


T. J.

Posted in Skydiving, Uncategorized

Tuna Steaks with Ginger-Chili Glaze

Everyone should learn to cook. The best way to start is from the beginning or the basics. This tuna recipe is from Cooking Basics for Dummies for Wiley Publishing ( Authors Bryan Miller, Marie Rama, and Eva Adamson show us that even the most basic cooking can be delicious.


Tuna Steaks with Ginger-Chili Glaze Makes 4 Servings A touch of a spicy kick enhances the flavor of this tuna. Add Steamed Broccoli and a basic rice pilaf to complete a healthy meal.

4 tuna steaks about 6-7 ounces and ¾ inch thick

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup white wine or white grape juice

1 tablespoon red chili paste

½ teaspoons dried ground ginger

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


1 – Season both sides of steaks with salt and pepper. Melt butter over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet.

2 – Add tuna and cook until lightly browned on both sides (Approx. 3 minutes per side).

3 – Transfer steaks to a warm platter, cover with foil. Leave the cooking butter in the skillet; scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits.

4 – Add the wine or grape juice, turn heat to high, cook until half the liquid evaporates (Approx. 1 minute)

5 – Lower heat to medium. Add chili paste, ginger, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Stir continuously until all ingredients are well combined.

6 – Add steaks (and any juices on the platter) to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 1 minute or until warmed through, turning once to coat the tuna in the glaze. Do not overcook.

7 – Remove steaks to individual plates, spoon a little sauce over each serving

Try this recipe and invite me for a taste!

T. J.

Posted in Recipes

Quick Chicken Tostadas

Hi all, For almost 10 years we have been working for Wiley Publishing, which produces the Cooking for Dummies series. ( We have just finished our 24th insert for them with titles from Basic Cooking to BBQing, from Books for cancer survivors to afflictions like diabetes. We have also covered diets like the Paleo, Mediterranean and Chia. Quick Chicken Tostada is from the Diabetes Cookbook for Dummies 3rd edition, authored by Alan L. Rubin, MD and Cait James, MS. This recipe courtesy of Heather Dismore Hine-Photo-QuickChikTostada Quick Chicken Tostadas Makes 6 Servings Although Mexican foods are often considered high in fat and cholesterol, most ingredients such as beans, chicken and olives are very healthy. Cutting out or limiting, the fried tortilla, extra cheese and high-fat sour cream makes these tostadas light and healthy.  

6 whole-wheat flour tortillas

Nonstick cooking spray

¾ pound cooked chicken

¾ cup salsa

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon chili powder

1 cup diced red pepper

Salt and Pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon minced cilantro or green onions (optional)

2 tablespoons minced black olives (optional)

6 tablespoons low-fat sour cream (optional)

3 tablespoons prepared guacamole (optional)

1 – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray tortillas lightly with cooking spray. Place tortillas on cookie sheet and into oven, toast until crisp (approx. 2-3 minutes) Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven to 375 degrees

2 – Mix the chicken, salsa, cayenne pepper, chili powder, red pepper and salt and pepper to taste, together in a mixing bowl. Top each tostada with one-sixth of the chicken mixture.

3 – Top each tostada with one-sixth of the cheddar cheese, return to the oven. Cook until chicken is heated through and the cheese is melted (Approx. 5-7 minutes)

4 – If desired top each tostada with ½ teaspoon cilantro or green onions, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1 teaspoon black olives.

A great quick recipe – try it!


T. J.

Posted in Recipes

Hine Photography: A Brief History

Hi All,

In the 30 years that I’ve been in the advertising/photography business, the industry has seen many changes, some good and some bad. Change in the industry has meant change in my own business, and T. J. Hine Photography has been fortunate to have had great clients over these years.

I started in the business when I first moved to Chicago soon after college. I got a job at one of the largest catalog studios in the world, Kranzten Studios, in March 1981. I began as an assistant and moved up to junior photographer within six months, working on catalogs such as Sears, Montgomery Wards, Spiegel, and a plethora of smaller ones.

My firs professional shot. Kranzten Studios 1981

My first professional shot. 1981

I got an opportunity to work for famed food photographer, Dennis DuBiel, in September 1983. There I learned a great deal about this specialty, and it started my passion to shoot food, although it would be some years before I could break into the food advertising circles on my own.

I freelanced with the catalog studios and assisted many advertising photographers, honing my skills by taking in tips and tricks from everyone. In 1987, I met David Pazdernik, owner of Pazdernik and Co., on the softball field. His regular shooter was heading to New York to pursue his dream of fashion, and David was looking for a replacement. I fit the bill. We did small ad jobs, inserts, and small catalogs for clients such as Sears, WTTW, Reliable Home Office, and a golden opportunity, Playboy Catalog.


Keita - Playboy Catalog 1988

Kieta – Playboy Catalog 1988

Being a longtime catalog shooter, I had no problem photographing the non-clothing items; however, I had not done a lot of model shots. But it looked to be fun, so I jumped right in. I enjoyed the experience, but my passion was still to get into food photography.

My relationship with Pazdernik led to my first studio in fall 1988, sharing space with famed background artist Doug Funkhouser. (This is not counting the months that I shot in my apartment basement!) With a studio, I started to get editorial work, picking up trade magazines like Bakery Magazine, Prepared Foods, Dairy Products, Modern Baking, Packaging Digest, Packaging World, and others. I’m proud to say that several of the front covers I shot won awards for their publishers.

Playboy 1988

Playboy 1988

I was introduced to stylist Christianne Ingegno, and we began working on food shoots for Food Product Design. Then we met Dan Stricevic of Stricevic and O’Connor, and my food photography business finally materialized. We worked on clients such as Keebler, Edlong, and the National Dairy Board.

Through the years, I’ve worked for such familiar names as Zenith, Nightingale-Conant, International Harvester, and Facets Multimedia among others, but my big break came in 1999 when food packager Shurfine International hired me to shoot a redesign for an entire food line. This led to an 18-month photo shoot. Near the end of the job, Shurfine was bought by Topco Inc., and I had the opportunity to work on multiple brands, producing some award-winning packaging for them.

Salute to Excellence Award Category: Kitchen & Cooking Product: Domestix Culinary Masterpiece Bakeware Collection label

Salute to Excellence Award
Category: Kitchen & Cooking
Product: Domestix Culinary Masterpiece Bakeware Collection label

I was shooting for my good client, Karlin Foods, at about the time I was switching from film to digital. I convinced owner Mitch Karlin to look at shooting digitally. He was convinced, and we never looked back. This changeover was in the spring of 2001, and I have not shot a sheet of film since.

My love for cookbooks got a kick in the pants in 2005 when I started working for Wiley Publishing, publishers of the “Cooking for Dummies” series. I have shot 20 cookbooks and counting. I also produced two promo cookbooks with stylist and recipe developer Lisa Bishop. I’ll write more on those later.

Today we have added a great group to our client list, including Bar-S, Land O’Frost, Taylor Farms, and some small mom and pop businesses. Hine Photography continues to grow, offering our clients great value, timely production, and beautiful photographs.

Any questions or comments please feel free to add.

T. J.

Azbee Awards of Excellence National Award—Gold Category: Front Cover/Photo Client: Packaging Digest magazine Product: Budweiser Go for the Gold

Azbee Awards of Excellence
National Award—Gold
Category: Front Cover/Photo
Client: Packaging Digest magazine
Product: Budweiser Go for the Gold

Low Carb Cookbook for Dummies

Low Carb Cookbook for Dummies




Posted in Uncategorized

Hearty Beef Stew

Hi all,

Fall is here and the temps are going to drop, it’s a good time to make this hearty beef stew. This recipe was developed and photographed for a beef stock package. Lisa Bishop put this delicious recipe together.


Beef Stew

4 to 6 servings

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1 1/2 pounds boneless chuck or bottom round, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup baby carrots, divided

1/2 cup sliced celery

4 cups beef stock

Bay leaf

1 cup quartered petite red potatoes

1/2 cup peeled red pearl onions

1/2 cup mushrooms

In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Dredge beef in flour mixture, and shake off excess. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef in batches, browning well on all sides. Remove beef; set aside. Add garlic, ½ cup carrots, celery and sauté 3 to 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add beef, beef stock and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low 90 minutes, or until meat is tender. Add remaining carrots, potatoes, onions, and mushrooms, and cook 30 minutes more. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste, and fresh chopped herbs, if desired. Remove bay leaf, and serve.

Give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out.

T. J.


Posted in Recipes

Curried Pork Satay

Hi all,

T. J. Hine Photography has produced photographs for many  recipes used in cookbooks, recipe cards and packaging.  It’s time to share them here!

This recipe is from the cookbook Lime, produced and photographed by me for a promotional piece. Recipes developed and styling by Lisa Bishop.



Makes 4 appetizer portions

For classic satay, seasoned chunks or slices of meat are placed on bamboo skewers and grilled or barbequed. This rendition packs the punch of curry, crushed red chilies, and lime.

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon green or red curry paste

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon crushed red chilies

1 pound very thinly sliced boneless pork

Bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes. Whisk together lime juice, honey, curry paste, coriander, and red chilies. Place pork in a single layer in a shallow glass dish and cover with lime mixture. Cover and marinate at least 30 minutes or overnight. Thread meat onto soaked skewers. Grill or broil 2 to 5 minutes, or until done, turning once. Serve hot with peanut dipping sauce and a traditional cucumber salad, if desired.

As always and questions or comments let me know.

T. J.

Posted in Recipes

National Skydiving Championships – Recap

Hi All,

Team-pic Nationals is almost over and what a great event! We started out a little rough with the first two days being hampered by weather, but great days on Saturday and Sunday (albeit a tad cold) put us back on schedule to start 8-way Monday morning.

Intermediate-DrawA briefing was held Sunday evening, and my team—Adrenel8!—was given No. 1704; we would be on the second load in the morning. We got the draw (the skydive formations we would be required to do), and we spent time walking through each formation from jump No. 10 to jump No. 1. We felt confident in the draw and headed to bed early; we had a 6:15 a.m. call, with “wheels up” at 7.

It was not to be…rain stalled jumping Monday morning, by 2 in the afternoon, we were released for the day, with another 6:15 a.m. call the next day.

Tuesday morning was blue skies and brisk temps—with some pretty wet grass! The first plane took off at 7:00; Adrenal8! was in the air by 7:10. We had a great first round, and the competition was on. Omni-Skore-finals-chartWe finished 8 jumps that day with Motiv8 having a substantial lead. Adrenal8! was in a tight race for second with Octo-Gun, which carried into the last dive the following day. Luckily, even with a bad 10th jump, we beat Octo-Gun by one point to take the silver medal.

Congrats to Motiv8 and Octo-Gun for a terrific competition and a shout out to the guest team from Qatar, which ended up with enough points to take second. (Guest teams cannot medal in the U.S. Nationals.)

Check out more scores and pics at and

T. J.

Posted in Skydiving

Building of a Tower

Hi All,

I have been shooting editorial for years. The editorial jobs usually are not as challenging as advertising or packaging jobs, but I enjoy them and they help pay the bills. A few years ago, we got a call from our client at Food Engineering magazine, who wanted to shoot something different for his cover—a sandwich. Not really a challenge (I thought) but we did need to bring in a stylist. The idea the client had was a “tower” sandwich, 8-9 in. tall. Now that’s a challenge!


The sandwich would be used to illustrate the cover story, “The Top 100 Food Companies: How They Stack Up.” We would be using a multitude of products from these companies to illustrate the “stacking up” aspect of the story.

It didn’t take long on the day of the shoot to realize we would have to build the sandwich on set; we would not be able to transport it from the kitchen very easily. We had no layout, just a concept and a size dimension for the cover. We built a simple table set and approximated the sandwich size and location, leaving room for the actual products (jars, bottles, food containers, etc.). We also needed room for cover copy and the magazine title.

We chose products by color and texture to balance the elements for a good look, not considering weight. As the sandwich grew taller, the weight was pushing down on some of the lighter and less dense food, so we had to back up and add lightweight foam core and skewers to keep the weight of the top layers from smashing the bottom layers. It ended up being quite the construction project from HinePhoto-Tower-backthe backside!

The final shot took 5 ½ hours to build and includes five kinds of bread, lunchmeat, cheeses, BBQ chicken, polish sausage, tuna, tomato, onion, and bean sprouts…a sandwich only Dagwood Bumsted would love!

All questions or comments welcome.

T. J.

Posted in Behind the Scenes