Exposed Photography Showcase 2018 at College of DuPage Photography Department

May 18, 2018

Congratulations to the 2017 College of DuPage Easter Seals Photographers!

November 6, 2017

Click here to see:  Easter Seals 2017 Photos by Jim Svehla



2017 Exposed Photography Showcase

May 5, 2017



College of DuPage Photography Program students proudly displayed their portfolios, websites and marketing materials at the 3rd Exposed Photography Showcase May 2nd.  We celebrated their visual communication skills as they presented their work to the business community, district residents, college and high school students, family and friends.

The COD Photography Program aims to launch our students’ professional careers and provide them with valuable real world experience at Exposed. Students share their portfolios and marketing materials, receive feedback from a diverse group of people, discuss their images, network, meet prospective clients, employers, and are offered jobs and internships.

Students from 9 regional high schools also participated in the Exposed Photography Showcase. These included: Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, William Fremd, Glenbrook  North, Hinsdale South, New Trier, Niles West, Palatine, and Willowbrook High Schools.

We also had a presentation by Brian Powers, our 2017 Exposed Distinguished Alumnus, who shared his journey from COD Photo student to award-winning Photojournalist at the Des Moines Register.

 COD College Portfolios were juried by:

Laurie ShoulterKarall, ASPP, Consultant

Kevin O. Mooney,

Brian Schilling,

High School portfolios were juried by COD Photo Faculty and Advisory Committee Members:

Brian Matsumoto

Rob Krueger

Robin Tryloff

Russell Phillips

 The Exposed 2017 High School winners were:

1st Place, Clare Pikul of Downers Grove South HS

2nd Place, Grace Baek, of Downers Grove South HS

3rd Place, Hailey Rodden, of Downers Grove South HS

4th Place, Mason DeMay of Palatine HS

Honorable Mention Ivy Bukowski Downers Grove South HS

Honorable Mention, Stephanie Ebeling, of Willowbrook HS

The Exposed 2017 College of DuPage Winners were:

Best of Show – Joanne Barsanti

3 Jurors’ Selections – Susan Krpan –Josh Merrill – William North

Grand Prizes for best College Portfolio included a Sony ILCE-7M2 Mirrorless Full-Frame Camera and 24 to 70mm Lens, a one year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud software, a one-year membership to the American Society of Media Photographers/ASMP, and a Certificate for the 2018 Self-Employment in the Arts Conference/SEA. The Grand Prize for the High School Portfolio Winner was a Sony DSC-RX100M3 digital camera.

The second highest point total Jurors’ Selection College Portfolio Winner was Josh Merrill, who received a Canon 80D DSLR camera with Lens Kit.

The Second-Place High School Winner was Grace Baek, who received a Canon Powershot G9x Mark II digital camera.

All Exposed Photography Showcase winners received 1-Year Subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud, Fine Art Digital Photo Paper from Ilford, Gift Cards and equipment from Helix Camera, PJ’s Camera, Procam Camera and custom Exposed water bottles from Lively Bottle.














COD Photography Student Mike Sears Publishes Exclusive Photo Essay on top competitor Devhonte Johnson, Ju Jitsu Training at Unity, for

March 24, 2017

Mike Sears 1

Congratulations to COD Photography Student Mike Sears, whose photo essay on top Ju Jitsu competitor Devhonte Johnson was published by To see the whole story,

Mike Sears 2

Mike Sears 3


Mike Sears

Congratulations to COD Photography Students Tonia Jackson (left) and Zlatka Burtis (right). Their work was chosen for the Self Emploment in the Arts Juried College Art Show. Their photography will be on display through today at the SEA Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Lisle. (

February 25, 2017


College of DuPage Photo Student Bryan Van Zanten wins “Best in Show” at 2016 Veterans’ Art Exhibit

December 1, 2016


Bryan Van Zanten is a 20 year retired Master Sergeant Marine Corps veteran. He is currently enrolled in Photo 1201, Tools and Techniques of Digital Photography. He won “Best of Show” in the 2016 Student Veterans Art Exhibit with his image titled “Star Spangled Banner”. The  Student Veterans Art Exhibit is on display at the Wings Student Art Gallery in the  Student Services Center  Room 2210, until December 16, 2016.


“Star Spangled Banner” by Bryan Van Zanten

From the mid 90’s I had been a fan of Ansel Adams, purchasing some prints as decor for the living room. After that I began experimenting a bit with film, nothing serious, just trying to shoot more artistic shots,” he said.

 Bryan bought his first digital camera in 2003, a Sony point and shoot, which he used to take pictures as he moved from station to station around the US. When friends and family were shown the pictures he had taken, they often asked why he was not selling any of his work.

He said ”After leaving the Marines, I returned to Illinois as most of my family lives in the suburbs of Chicago. In December of 2012, I saw Christmas ad  inserts with some good prices so I decided to get an entry level DSLR. As I learned more, I began to discover how much I did not know.”

Utilizing his GI Bill from the military, he enrolled in the College of DuPage (COD) to earn an Associate’s degree in Photography.

“College of DuPage was close and also had a pretty expansive photography department so it met my needs nicely”, he said.

He entered the Photo Program to  become a better photographer, to experience multiple  photographic techniques and to explore the types of photography that interested him.

Bryan said “If it happens to lead to another career –  then fantastic!”

To see more of Bryan’s work – go to his  Instagram page.


“Still Afloat” by Bryan Van Zanten


“Shadow Dancers” by Bryan Van Zanten

Congratulations 2016 Easter Seals Photographers – 17th Annual Photography Exhibit Gallery

November 7, 2016



Meaghan Tschetter stands with her portrait of Layla at the 17th Annual Easter Seals Photo Exhibit Opening Reception.

College of DuPage Photography Department in Partnership with Easter Seals  17th Anniversary Photography Exhibition

On October 27th, 24 children from Easter Seals DuPage & the Fox Valley were featured in the 17th Annual Photography Exhibition.  For the last 17 years, the College of DuPage (COD) Photography Department has partnered with them to showcase the beauty and daily lives of children with special needs.

In 2000, Terry Vitacco, Professor of Photography and Coordinator of the Photography Program at the College of DuPage, agreed to have her Visual Storytelling students photograph Easter Seals children. “I saw this as a great vehicle for them to have a meaningful, real world assignment for their final project,” said Vitacco.

Every spring, COD Visual Storytelling students are paired with children from Easter Seals and photograph the daily lives of the families to document the challenges and accomplishments of children with different disabilities by creating photo essays with their still images.  In addition, they produce short movies about their subjects to be shown on the COD i-Site Photography website and Easter Seals’ website. The photos are also entered into a juried competition and the selected images are showcased as large format prints for the exhibit.

“Ever since the first show in 2000, the exhibit continues to grow,” Vitacco says.  “Because there are more families that want to be featured than there are students, I ask past students to participate.  We call them our ‘Special Forces’ photographers and in this way everyone can be accommodated.”

The exhibit itself not only brings joy to the families being photographed, but it also brings awareness to those who have never experienced the world of special needs children.

Students get to know the family and become friends with the child they are photographing. This helps breaks down stereotypes and increases understanding about families with special needs children.

“We are truly thankful for this collaboration with College of DuPage,” Theresa Forthofer, President & CEO, said.  “Together, we create inspiring images that illustrate what is possible for the children and families that we serve.”

“I think the most important thing my students learn by doing the Easter Seals project is that their photography really makes a difference,” says Vitacco. “The families that see the photos hanging in the Easter Seals lobby are encouraged and heartened that their child can enjoy life despite their challenges.”

The exhibition will be held on Thursday, October 27th at College of DuPage. At the conclusion of the event, the photos will be brought to the Villa Park Center to be hung in the lobby.  Easter Seals is continuously grateful for the partnership with the COD Photography Department.