The meteorologist said to stay inside. The Polar Vortex has come loose from its mooring and slipped into North America bringing with it snow and record low temperatures. -42F will cause frostbite to exposed skin within seconds. Most Chicagoans had no choice but to hunker down in their homes – Many with toilets refusing to refill from frozen pipes below. Definitely, stay inside! As temperatures plummeted and the snow deepened I defied warnings and went out for a photographic experiment. Layered in high performance outerwear and wool I climbed into my car to scour the neighborhoods looking to photograph Chicagoans crazy and bold enough to be on the streets. As expected I found plenty. Some working theit jobs or shoveling out stuck cars. One guy’s van had just caught fire and another had ventured out in slippers to feed her pigeons–a daily ritual. What I’d not expected was the easy rapport I’d have with them all. The thing about extreme events is that it unites us. When we all experience the same unpleasant thing, empathy towards our fellow person develops. I believe that it’s a human survival instinct – or just misery loves company. So a quick introduction was enough to get them on board. Slipping my business card into their mits, I expressed my gratitude and slid away. These are a selection of portraits from 4 days in the Polar Vortex during the first week of January 2014.