Terry Vitacco Photography

May 18, 2018

Exposed Photography Showcase Photo Album 2018

November 6, 2017

Congratulations to COD 2017 Easter Seals Photographers!

College of DuPage Celebrates 18-Year Collaboration with Easter Seals 2017 37


May 10, 2016

COD Photo Program Students Unveil Their Portfolios at the Exposed Photography Showcase 2016


College of DuPage Exposed Photography Showcase Winners were: Lauren Laws, Meghan Daly, Ethan Chivari and Susan Krpan.


Kelly Anderson of Canon USA awards 1st Prize High School Portfolio winner Claire Pikul of Downers Grove South High School a Powershot G7X digital camera.


Dr. Jean Kartje, Professor Glenn Hansen, Professor Terry Vitacco and Distinguished COD Photo Program Alumnus Jeffrey Ross at the Exposed Photography Showcase.

There was excitement and anticipation in the air at the Exposed Photography Showcase 2016 on Tuesday, May 3rd. College of DuPage Photography Program students unveiled their portfolios, websites and marketing materials at the event. 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 internships.

High School students from 11 area schools also participated in the Exposed Photography Showcase. These included: Bartlett, Conant, Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, William Fremd, Glenbard North, Hinsdale South, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Willowbrook, and York High School.

We also had a presentation by Jeffrey Ross, our 2016 Exposed Distinguished Alumnus, who

Shared his journey from COD Photo student to international corporate and advertising photographer. www.jeffreyworks.com

COD College Portfolios were juried by:

Robin Tryloff, www.robintryloff.com

John Merkle, www.merklephoto.com

Stephen Serio, www.seriophotography.com

High School portfolios were juried by the Photo Program Faculty and Advisory Committee and were on display at the event. Certificates and prizes were given to four selected High School and College Portfolios.

The Exposed 2016 High School winners were:

1st Place, Clare Pikul of Downers Grove South HS

2nd Place, Caroline Stasica, York HS

3rd Place, Alessandra Lane, Downers Grove South HS

Honorable Mention, Madison Casey, Downers Grove South HS

The Exposed 2016 College of DuPage Winners were:

Best of Show

Lauren Laws

3 Jurors’ Selections

Ethan Chivari

Meghan Daly

Susan Krpan

Grand Prizes for best College portfolio included a Canon Cameras (EOS 70D body and lens, a Wacom Tablet and a one-year membership to the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). The Grand Prize for the High School Portfolio Winner was a Canon Powershot G7X camera.

All Exposed Photography Showcase winners received 1-Year Subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud Complete including all software and mobile apps, Equipment and supplies from Midwest Photo Exchange, Helix Camera, Gift Cards from PJ’s Camera, and Studio Sessions from Procam Camera.



March 7, 2016

Use Your Photography Skills to Illustrate Acts of Kindness – Enter the Envision Kindness Student Photography and Video Contest

Kindness 1

Kindness 2

Kindness 3

Kindness 4

February 22, 2016

Career Boot Camp Photo & MPTV Students Visit John Merkle’s Commercial Photography Studio


John_Merkle_Studio_1Photo 1821 and MPTV 1800 students enrolled in the Career Boot Camp class had the opportunity to visit John Merkle’s Commercial Photography Studio last Saturday, February 20th. There, they met with John Merkle (left) Larry Huene (center) and Fritz Geiger (right), all successful professionals who shared their knowledge and insights on the industry.
John_Merkle_Studio_2 Fritz Geiger, owner of Fritz Still and Motion Imaging, encouraged students to consistently be shooting to develop their personal style, “The best camera is the one you have with you.”

John_Merkle_Studio_3C.O.D. student Julio Guerrero takes notes during the discussion as the three photographers gave advice to students about what it takes to be successful in the photo industry today.

John_Merkle_Studio_4C.O.D. student Uwe Gsedl had the opportunity to share his own work with John Merkle.

John_Merkle_Studio_5Larry Huene, owner of Larry Huene Photography, shares his portfolio of client work with C.O.D. student Auste Kuncas.

John_Merkle_Studio_6C.O.D. photography students Chris Beach and Jess Callahan get a closer look of Fritz Geiger’s photography.

All Photos by Lauren Laws

September 14, 2015

Profoto Lighting Demo Thursday, September 24 in the COD Photo Studios with Joe Lavine

Profoto FlyerProfoto Lighting Demo at College of DuPage Photo Studio Thursday, September 24 with Joe Lavine
September 14, 2015
Profoto Flyer
Joe Lavine is coming to College of DuPage next Thursday, September 24th at 3 p.m to demo Profoto’s latest lighting equipment to our students. His specialties are commercial still life photography and education. He runs a commercial studio in Denver (link below), and taught at the college level for 18 years. He will speak in MAC 276, the COD Photo Studios.




We hope to see you there!

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 4.24.29 PM
Samples of Joe Lavine’s Editorial Work.

April 7, 2013

See Photo EX Club’s New Show – “As We See It”


“Snake” © Joanne Barsanti


I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception of the Photo X Club’s latest exhibit,”As We See It,” last Friday evening. It was wonderful to see the beautiful work on display and catch up with many students and alumni.

Congratulations to our talented photo students and alumni that participated in the show: Joanne Barsanti, Marita Blanken, Noriko Buckles, Aline Fetter, Gabriella Guganovic, Aichen Ho, Joan Kalmanek, Judy Kinal, Linda Markese, Tom Phelan, Ann Schulke, Bob Szerlong, Holly Tyson, and Tina Tyson-Dunne.

The COD Photo Ex Club is comprised of students, alumni, and local photographers. Guided by faculty advisors, club members work together on critiques, invite guest speakers, and enter the art world by exhibiting their work.

Below is a story by Krista Coltrin for the local media, reprinted with her permission.

An exhibition from the College of DuPage Photo EX Club highlights a body of artwork from 14 artists representing students, alumni and local photographers.  “As We See It,” a photography collaborative, is the fourth and final in a series of art education programs featured at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street, West Chicago and will be on display from April 4 – 28, 2013.

The Photo EX Club began in 2010 as an extension of Photo Exhibition, a course taught by part-time faculty member Mary Dew at College of DuPage (C.O.D.) in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, that immersed students in the overall process of how to create an exhibition in a jam-packed summer program.  According to student and Club member Joanne Barsanti, the course built momentum within the participants.  Said Barsanti, “Students were so energized after they finished the program that they wanted to keep going and continue developing the concepts behind the coursework.”

The Photo Exhibition coursework initially involves the editing and selection of a cohesive body of work consisting of approximately 10 – 12 images for each student.  This creates the student’s portfolio which is reviewed by teachers, peers and professionals.  The individual students then select four to five of those images to be placed in an exhibit.  Simulating a “real world” art gallery experience, jurors from the photography staff then select the final images that will appear in the exhibit.  Rounding out the experience, students plan all aspects of the exhibit from developing titles and producing promotional materials to pricing, hanging the artwork and planning the reception.

Barsanti explained how the Photo Exhibition coursework broadened the conceptual process behind her own portfolio of work and explained that she was already planning to take the course a second time, prior to completing the first course.  “Not only did I learn a lot from the first class but I gained the confidence for what to do and how to do it for the second class,” said Barsanti.

She spent the year in between the classes photographing a series of flowers against the darkness of her basement, shining mini flashlights against them to highlight unusual forms.  After unexpectedly finding a “face” in one of the images, “Orchid Woman” became the inspiration for “Flowers with Attitude,” a leave-behind book that became her calling card for her second round of the Photo Exhibition course.  It was so successful that she was invited to exhibit at other galleries as a solo artist and as part of a group.  She also plans to include several of these images in the Gallery 200 exhibit.

Aline Fetter is a new member of the Photo EX Club, a student in the photography program and works part-time in the photo lab at C.O.D. after a 20 year career in advertising as an account executive.  She chose to attend C.O.D based on the quality of the comprehensive photography program and the convenient location.  When asked about her participation in the Club, she responded, “I like the idea of the additional support group with my peers.”  She also noted that the Club organizes activities, such as a recent photo shoot at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, and a visit by a crime scene photographer as a guest speaker.

Terry Vitacco is a Professor in the Photography Department at College of DuPage and the Faculty Advisor to the Photo X Club.  According to Vitacco, participation in the club has many benefits. “The best benefit for students is the experience of presenting their photography to the community in group shows.  They learn that it takes more than just good photos to make a gallery show come together.  The skills that the Photo X Club develops contribute to having a successful photo business in addition to a cohesive body of work that shows their point of view,” said Vitacco.

Christine Carroll of Naperville is a C.O.D. photography program alum and past president of the Photo X Club.  She currently works as a professional photographer shooting commercial images for Etsy-based stores, family and children’s portraiture and participating in group and solo exhibitions.  She credits the photography program at C.O.D. for developing her knowledge and technical skills to pursue a career as a professional photographer.  “However, it was the Photo Ex Club that created a bridge between the classroom and ‘real world.’ It allowed me to gather with other photographers, including students, commercial photographers and photography enthusiasts, which created an atmosphere of collaboration as well as providing networking opportunities,” said Carroll.

The public is invited to view the show located at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street, West Chicago.

Gallery 200 has served as an incubator for creative talent for the surrounding area for the past seven years and is proud to welcome a series of exhibits in collaboration with educational art programs in 2013.  Participating in the Featured Artist Series are programs from South Elgin High School in January, Blackburn College Department of Visual Arts in February, West Chicago Elementary School District 33 in March and College of DuPage in April. This exciting collaboration will showcase the abundant creative talent that resides in West Chicago and the surrounding communities, and is evidence of the supporting role of Gallery 200 as a venue for developing, emerging and proficient artists of all media.

Gallery 200 is a cultural initiative supported by the City of West Chicago and the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, and is one more reason West Chicago was named an Illinois Arts Friendly Community in 2007. Gallery 200 is open Thursday and Friday from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. For more information, including a complete list of current art classes, call (630) 293-9550 or visit www.gallery200.org.

March 3, 2013

Photogfind – “Not as Creepy as Craig’s List.”

Photogfind.com sticker

Photogfind.com sticker

Geraldine Teotico, came to speak to my final Creative Boot Camp class yesterday.

She is a COD Photo Program alum who is now a freelance photographer shooting weddings and family portraits since she left her corporate job.

Photogfind.com is her new website. “It’s a new lead generating tool for photographers,” said Teotico. “It’s much less creepy than Craig’s List,” she said. It’s a marketing company for people who love photography.”

Geraldine Teotico tells Creatvie Boot Camp students about Photogfind.

Geraldine Teotico tells Creatvie Boot Camp students about Photogfind.

How does it work?

“Clients Create an event, and photographers in the local area may sign up to do the shoot. It’s a very simplified way for an average person to find a photographer.”


Photographers can list themselves in Photogfind for free. “They put in a short profile like they do in Twitter and up to 20 photos representing their work. Since people online have a short attention span, we keep it brief.”

“Right now it’s free,” said Teotico, who is hoping to add more traffic to her site. In the future Photogfind may charge a transaction fee if you get a lead that becomes a job.

“We are trying to change people’s paradigm about when to hire a photographer. We want people to hire photographers in their neighborhood for things like kid’s birthday parties, tours, group outings, etc.”

Students/ those starting out would benefit from this service. It’s a way to make people in your local area know what you do, and you can link your website to Photogfind.

Another benefit would be for pro photographers looking for an assistant or a second shooter for a wedding or other event. She is also hoping that party planners and anyone hosting a social event will put Photogfind on their radar.

If you have any questions about Photogfind, you can contact Geraldine Teotico at: gteotico@photogfindcom.


February 24, 2013

Who Says You Can’t Make a Living Doing What You Love?

Highlights of the SEA Conference

Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23

I attended the 13th annual SEA (Self-Employment in the Arts) Conference at the Lisle Hilton with my colleague Jennifer Piehl and our Creative Boot Camp students.

COD Creative Boot Camp students (center and right tables) listen to award-winning musician Tom Sharpe’s talk and drum performance during the February 22 Keynote .

We attended a variety of informative sessions, including Shooting a Conference for a Magazine Spread, led by Crain’s Chicago Business Staff Photographer Erik Unger. We also heard from panels on Utilizing Social Media as a Tool for your Art Business, and How to Create and Present and Effective Portfolio. Students attended sessions on Contracts and Business Forms Basics, Overcoming Under earning, and signed up for One on One Mentoring Sessions. Students also interviewed artists and researched prospective clients for their Final Project.

Brodie Sturm and Mike Castillo listen as Crain’s Chicago Business Staff Photographer Erik Unger critiques photos students shot during his Shooting for a Magazine Spread Workshop. Unger has been published worldwide, including publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Forbes Magazine, London’s Daily Telegraph and Italy’s Panorama Magazine.

Boot Camp Students also heard from keynote speakers such as musician Tom Sharpe www.tomsharpe.com, who won the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and Greg Forbes Seigman, www.gregforbes.com who spoke about how the lessons learned from art can build our businesses as well as impact our communities in a positive way.

Photojournalist Erik Unger shows students his flash as he discusses what he includes in his camera bag to be prepared for his assignments.

 Quotes from Erik Unger

“Look for moments. Look for interaction. Shoot insurance pix first to cover your ass. Build on that and work around the outside of the main event. Look for what will set you apart, make you look different and lively.”

“What makes great photography is access. The best pictures are from the best access. That’s why backstage passes are best.The goal of a photographer is to show people pictures they won’t see otherwise.”

“You don’t go into photography for the money. You have to make sure you get paid what you deserve.”

Panelists (left to right) Eileen Braun (Ceramic Artist) Margaret Peot (Costume Designer) Erik Unger ( Photojournalist) and Janet Bloch (Director of Lubeznik Art Center) give students advice on preparing their portfolio.

Advice from the Portfolio Panel:

“Don’t show everyone that you can do everything. They might not care. When you look at art and it’s amazing, it’s that thing that they thought of that was original and true to themselves.”

“It’s important to show up on time, be polite, kind and civil. Be interested in them. That’s always remembered equally to the work. Put your best foot forward.”

“There should be no misspellings in your Artist’s Statement. Your portfolio should be the best of your best! You are competing with professionals, even as a student.”

“Everyone should have a website. To be a serious artist you have to update it every 6 months. Take out older work and put in new. Clients want to see your website changing. People are watching.”

“Submit to juried competitions. Start looking for opportunities as a student. Answer calls for artists in group shows. See if you get chosen.”

Advice from the Social Media Panel:

“Social media is a tool and you have to learn how to leverage it. These tools should galvanize your community and promote you.  Social media is a tool that has an incredible reach, but you need to make it meaningful.”

Advice from musician Tom Sharpe:

“There’s a connection between mental and physical fitness. I run 3 to 5 miles daily. I don’t do drugs and alcohol. For me, it’s mental – I want to have a clear head. For me, there’s no time not to have a clear head.”

“You don’t have time for stupid things. You are your decisions. Keep it positive. Keep the train rolling. Everything is circular. Make your decisions positive and watch how that grows.”






February 16, 2013

Creative Boot Camp Class tours Tom Maday & Kristen Barker Studios

COD Photo Program Alum Jeffrey Ross and Commercial Photographer Tom Maday
look over marketing materials during the Creative Boot Camp studio tour as Photo student Courtney Penzato looks on .

The COD Creative Boot Camp class toured the studios of Tom Maday and Kristen Barker on Saturday, February 16.

Creative Boot Camp  is a new field studies course that focuses on meeting and networking with successful photographers/videographers, and other industry professionals. Next week the class will attend the Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference at the Lisle Hilton.

Students were given insights  into the photographers business practices as well as good information and advice on marketing, assisting, social networking, building a successful website, self-promotion, and collaborating with other artists.

Tom Maday showed students his website and stressed the importance of updating it with new work as often as possible.

Jeffrey Ross shows students the large format camera in Tom Maday’s studio.


Jeffrey Ross introduces Photographer Kristen Barker at the beginning of her studio tour as Producer/Sound Engineer Sean McConnell looks on.

Photographer Kristen Barker (left) talked to COD Boot Camp students about her work creating still photography, videos, and music for her commercial and wedding clients with Sean McConnell (middle) and Chris Barker, (right) her husband and partner.

Photographer and musician Chris Barker tells students about the new Valentine video the bytheBarkers Studio just produced.

Kristen Barker explained the collaboration that goes on in her studio. “We have to communicate well with clients and know their brand and demographic. Everyone here wears many hats. Our job is to make life easier for everyone. There is no room for ego.”

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