Documentary Filmmaker Margaret Byrne, Telemundo Newscaster Alex Lechuga and Commercial Photographer Paul Audia shared their expertise with College of DuPage students at the “Breaking into the Photo/Video Business-How to Get Noticed and Get Your First Clients” panel discussion sponsored by the Self Employment in the Arts Conference (SEA) and the Motion Picture TV Dept.
The SEA Conference will be held this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20 & 21 at the Lisle Hilton. For more valuable information on how to kickstart your career in the arts, go to
The Creative Boot Camp Class visited Jimi Allen Productions, a subscription-based media, marketing and branding firm in Aurora last week.
Jimi Allen, the Lead Creative, started as a photojournalist. His passion is for people. He has photographed presidents in Washington, scientists in Dubai, missionaries in Portugal, and priests in Tibet, weddings, corporate events, portraits, and much more. Using photojournalism techniques, he aims to document his subjects and communicate a unique, inspiring story. His interdisciplinary education and visionary mindset is what fuels the culture of his studio. He has a Master’s degree in Visual Communication from Ohio University.
Jimi explained to the Creative Boot Camp students how his vision led him to build his business, develop innovative media strategies and create a new kind of community. He’s currently developing a co-working space called the Gravity Building, which is adjacent to his studio at 76 South LaSalle in downtown Aurora. Jimi’s approach to development can best be described as “hands on.”
From launching his own photojournalism business with one camera out of a local Starbucks, to conceptualizing – then producing MoGa, an innovative, portable moving gallery, to designing and then reconstructing the historic home he lives in today, Jimi told students he had to create his own opportunities. The intimate, hands on connections he fostered are his calling card.
To build a profitable media marketing company, he realized he had to quickly identify what had to be changed and updated for his clients. When they were losing income due to a lack of effective business storytelling, he relied on his interdisciplinary approach.
He developed a unique, forward-thinking solution to their problem. In 2012, Jimi Allen Productions became Bureau Gravity, a subscription-based media, marketing and branding firm. At 56 S. LaSalle St., Gravity Building will begin offering desk space for rent this fall.
Thanks again to the Valentines for Veterans Volunteers – All of you demonstrated your many talents, teamwork, and professionalism to all the veterans we photographed. It was great to see you all using the skills you learn in classes in a real-world project that gives back to the community. I was touched by your enthusiasm for this service project. and am sure the military families were, too. I hope we can do it bigger, better and serve more families next year.
Dear Photo Community,
Please come to the Tuesday, Feb. 3 Photo Club Meeting at 4 p.m. in MAC 284 to learn about
our Valentines for Veterans project and to sign up to help.
We need Photographers, photo assistants, Lightroom processors, model release and paperwork helpers,
runners, guides to show military families where the Photo Studios are, etc.
Hope to see you there,
Dear COD Community,
I would like to announce the COD Photo Club’s Service Project, Valentines for Veterans.
Photo Student volunteers will photograph military families on Saturday, February 7 from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.
Military families will have a FREE 20 minute professional portrait session and go home with a CD of Valentine
photos to send to their loved ones in the Armed Forces. Reservations are required.
Email JoAnn Hartley at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your appointment.
Feel free to share this, and we hope to hear from military families that we can serve.
Photo Program Coordinator