New Feature: Commercial Photographers In Chicago

Featured Local Business: Commercial Photographer in Chicago

New Feature: Commercial Photographers In Chicago

Photography as a field of study can be many things: a technical skill, an artistic practice, a historical development, a theoretical or conceptual framework, or support for practices in other fields. Here at Local Business Watch, we are in awe of a gentleman who employs it as a commercial endeavor in the windy city of Chicago.

More about his fine work later, but first…

Considering A Career In Photography?

Many professional and corporate photographers will tell those considering a career in photography that the technical skills are the easiest part of the business, and alone are not enough to make a successful career serving a local business community. University career counselors may recommend to budding photographers to focus their study to illuminate what you have to say about the world and, to a lesser extent, how to turn that into a viable career or business. In the commercial field, most photographers are freelancers who work for many clients and have different tasks to accomplish every day.


Although the business of a corporate photographer is different from that of a commercial photographer, the career path will likely be similar: years of assisting and building experience before starting my own business. Focusing on a niche that better suits one's skills and core interests can be a great entry into starting such a business. This can help in an aspect unrelated to photography at all… building a network of relationships with a potential client base, to help facilitate a steady stream of business projects. As the industry stands right now, most follow the paths of specializing in corporate portraits, architecture, advertising or promotional content.

The glamorous careers as fashion photographers or art stars, brave status quo challenging photo journalists or documentary filmmakers isn't for everyone. Teaching at universities or work in support roles is still reachable, and the fields of photo editors, retouchers, printers, curators, designers, and archivists still exist in the digital age. We know a sizeable amount of our readers are photography enthusiasts. Below are some resources that can help you get started on turning a side hustle into a career.

Resources For Professional Photographers

Professional Photographers of America: Since its founding in 1880, the PPA has attracted more than 26,000 members in 54 countries. Photographers can prepare for and take the CPP exam to earn a professional credential that shows employers that their skills meet certain standards and ethics.

National Press Photographers Association: this organization was founded in 1946 when the first issue of National Press Photographer was published. The NPPA is dedicated to professional advocacy and continuing education for photographers working in journalism. Members receive exclusive access to discounts on insurance and products, are listed in the Find a Photographer database, and receive a subscription to News Photographer magazine.

National Association of Photoshop Professionals: NAPP was founded by Kelby Media Group and is based in Oldsmar, Florida. Subscribers have access to professional software tutorials, members-only forums, Photoshop User Magazine, webcasts, and an online photo support service.

American Photographic Artists : The APA has three main missions- Advocacy, continuing education, and setting professional standards for photographers in the United States. Members have access to discounted rates on commercial insurance, exclusive APA newsletters, training manuals and discounts. APA is headquartered in San Francisco and has six regional chapters throughout the United States.

Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Editing:
This course explores the basic tools and methods for creating and editing digital images. Students will learn image and video techniques, including enhancement, editing, and manipulation for various artistic, scientific, and commercial applications.

Seeing Through Photographs: this course encourages students to take a critical look at photographs in MoMA's collection. Topics include the difference between photographs and photographic images, how the context of an image influences its creation, photography as a means of communication, and historical storytelling through photographs.

Cameras, Exposure, and Photography: This course introduces students to all aspects of traditional and digital cameras, equipment, and accessories. Instructors will help students choose the right camera to produce the images they want. Trans Asia Photography Review: This international publication is edited by faculty from Hampshire College, the University of Wellington, and the University of Jamia. New issues of TAP are published twice a year and cover photography in Asia. Previous articles include commentaries on the work of Ai Weiwei, explorations of the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts in New Delhi, and a description of archival collection procedures used by Harvard University.

Photography Journals That Can Help A New Photography Business

Philosophy of Photography: this international journal contains articles dealing with the theory, techniques, critical approaches, and philosophy of photography. This journal is published twice a year and is edited by an editorial board from several academic institutions around the world.

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism : This journal highlights the importance of photography in new media. Authors may submit research papers, commentaries, case studies, book reviews, and opinion pieces on mass communication and journalism. New issues are published every two months. The editorial board consists of professional journalists and educators based in Rome, Egypt, the United Kingdom, and several U.S. states.

Open Arts Journal : This journal contains essays, reviews, and research papers on the visual arts. This publication is published twice a year and is edited by an editorial board that includes several members of the Open University.

Slightly Out of Focus : Photojournalist Robert Capa survived five wars to capture combat in astonishing detail through his photographs. This is his memoir detailing his experiences as a professional documentary photographer during World War II.

Learning to See Creatively : This hugely popular book by Bryan Peterson emphasizes how people's perspectives on a situation differ. The eye can be a rich field of ideas; you just have to know how to look. Peterson's book shows you how to bring your creativity to your work.

LensCulture : This Paris-based online magazine is known among professional photographers for its outstanding annual awards ceremonies, such as the LensCulture Student Photography Awards and the LensCulture International Exposure Awards. The magazine accepts submissions in dozens of categories, including Fine Art, Urban, Alternative Process, Still Life, Festivals and Portraits. The magazine also publishes book reviews and interviews with professional photographers.

Nature Photographers: the official publication of the Natural Photographers Network, a professional organization dedicated to nature photography. The magazine features galleries in the following categories: Flora, Birds, Environmental Photojournalism, Wildlife, and Human Interactions with Nature.

Featured Local Business: Barry Butler, Chicago Photographer

Self-taught Chicago commercial photographer Barry Butler got his start more than 20 years ago. He has taken pictures all over the world, but he is best known for his pictures of Chicago. He was known as “Chicago's Picture Poet” by WGN-TV reporter Mike Lowe.  His work has been on TV, in books, in ads, and on the covers of music albums, among other places.

Click To Follow Barry Butler Photography On Twitter

Not only do his photos show up every day in local and national news, but Barry has also been on the Weather Channel, CNN-Espanol, WGN-TV, iHeartRadio Chicago, WBBM-AM Newsradio, Fox 32 Chicago, WGN-Radio 720, National Public Radio WBEZ, WLS-AM, CBS-2 Chicago, ABC-7's Windy City Live, WCIU-TV, to name a few, to talk about his work behind the scenes or share his experiences in the field.

Barry was named “Chicago's Best Photographer” by readers of the Chicago Reader newspaper in a poll for 2021.  Both the Huffington Post and Thrillist have said that his work is some of the best photography in Chicago.

Barry's first photography book, “Chicago, A City Above All,” came out in July 2020. It has more than 100 pictures of the Windy City.
The book has four parts: “Light,” “Drama,” “Spirit,” and “Flow.”  His images show amazing sunrises and sunsets, views along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, how the city celebrates holidays and sports, and dramatic weather across the Chicago landscape.  In August 2022, Navy Pier asked Barry to make “Water Brings Life to Chicago,” a 16-month photo show about the water system in the Chicago area.

Barry is also on Facebook, Twitter (click his profile image above to follow him), and Instagram, where he posts pictures he took that day.  You can try to catch him on the ground, on top of roofs, or in the air in a helicopter taking pictures of Chicago.  In Chicago, he is often scouting locations or working behind the camera with his assistants Chopper and Tuskar.

You can discover more of Mr. Butler's many media appearances easily by searching in Google Maps for “Barry Butler Photography”, and going to his In The News section at his website.

Barry Butler is today's Local Business Watch's featured ‘Use Your News' business.  Right on, Barry!




Expert Chicago Plumber: Find The Hidden Leaky Pipe Plumbing Clues Before The Season Changes

Is your Chicago water bill increasing in spite of a decrease in household consumption?

You may have a plumbing leak in your home.  That plumbing leak in your home will raise your water consumption, which will result in a rise in your water bill.  If your home has a plumbing leak, it should be addressed promptly.  Not only do leaks increase water bills, but they also cause water damage to furnishings, encourage mold growth, and increase the danger of allergic reactions and mold poisoning. As a result, these are the main reasons why you may have a plumbing leak and why you should immediately contact a professional to repair it.

Constant leaks or pouring water from pipes can not only cause structural damage to your home by causing moist walls, but they can also significantly increase your power cost.

Almost every home, workplace, or structure utilizes a variety of plumbing systems, including pipes, valves, faucets, and tanks, and as a result, drains and pipes may become inoperable.  This is the time to seek out experienced plumbers if you require plumbing services.  It is critical to maintaining the plumbing infrastructure in industrialized countries of the urbanized world in order to reduce water waste and improve public health.

This article's information is intended to provide an overview of the overall value of plumbing services in relation to the problems below that they solve.

Our Plumbing In Chicago Has Been Hit Especially Hard With Rainfall

It's true, Chicago and much of Illinois have been hit with unexpected record rainfall for over a decade.   All this record volume of water has often exceeded its capacity.  Many homes in these areas deal with backflow from sewer systems where large volumes after a big rainstorm sit.

With the possibility of more rainfall coming soon as we move into Spring weather and rain showers, it's a good time to check on any Chicago plumbing system's pipes.  And that includes the connections extending into a yard to the street's sewer system.  Are they cracked, worn, or split?  What could be causing it? Have tree roots moved the pipe, stressing its integrity?  What can we spot today, to avoid expensive water damage tomorrow?

Let's investigate this together below.

Chicago Plumber

If you see any of the following, you should immediately contact a plumber.

Are you continually on the lookout for affordable plumbing repairs?
This most likely indicates that something is amiss with your plumbing.  Investing in new pipes can result in significant cost savings in the long run.  Water pressure issues are not typically the result of clogged pipes, but they can be.  When debris or corrosion accumulates in your pipes, it can obstruct the flow of water and cause it to spray out of your faucet.

The Inevitable Plumbing System Pipe Degradation Peculiar To Chicago

Corroded pipes are more brittle than regular pipes, making them more prone to leak.

Corroded pipes are frequently difficult to repair (and maybe impossible), so it is preferable to replace them.

Pipes that have cracked or broken are one of the most common causes of leaks in modern homes.
Cracks occur for a variety of reasons like Abrasion and degradation, Pipes of poor quality, and even temperatures below zero.  Worn pipes are easily damaged, even more so when the water pressure is strong.
Microcracks form as a result of the pressure and eventually evolve into full-blown cracks, resulting in water leaks.

Now, while this is all true in pipes in general, Chicago pipes have 1 more additional stress… our decade-long record rainfall.  Our plumbing systems have been overwhelmed by a record volume of water passing thru the sewer systems under our feet in all of Illinois.

That additional stress has resulted in many a basement being overflooded with sewer backup during and after major rainfalls.

If you have an older plumbing system, upgrade it immediately to avoid future leaks.

Installing new pipes eliminates this accumulation, restoring normal water pressure.

Naturally, this can be difficult to detect if your pipes are concealed behind walls.  However, if you observe these corrosion indications, you should consult a plumber about replacing your pipes.  When it comes to dirty pipes, another issue is the potential of germs, mold, and other microorganisms becoming entrenched.  These germs offer a major threat to the health of your family, as they are capable of causing a number of ailments.  Perhaps you left unwashed dishes in the sink for an extended period of time or flushed food scraps down the drain.  Bacteria quickly infect these areas and endanger your health; when you make meals, these bacteria can readily enter the contents and contaminate them.

Contact a reputable plumber to clean your pipes of clogs and other plumbing issues.

Enlisting the assistance of experienced and qualified plumbers ensures that any large or minor plumbing problem is resolved quickly, permanently, and affordably.

If your home's pipes are made of substandard material, cracks and leaks can occur.
Invest in a high-quality PVC, metal, or galvanized steel pipe.

Pipes are exposed to extremely low temperatures during the winter, which causes water to freeze.
By insulating outside plumbing in the winter, you may avoid such situations and safeguard your property from water damage.

Because the majority of drains are concealed, many homeowners neglect to clean them until a clogged sink or toilet arises.  Unfortunately, clogged drains consume more time than a few minutes when you use the plunger.
Additionally, they create drain pipe leaks.  Clogged pipes obstruct the flow of sewage into the treatment plant.
This can result in broken pipes, causing havoc in your home or yard.

If you don't want septic waste floating in your yard or sewage backing up into your toilet or sink, you need routinely clear your drains to avoid obstructions.   Among the other measures are the following:

Avoid pouring grease down the drain.  Do not flush personal hygiene products into the toilet (even if they have a “flushable” label).  Place a strainer over the shower drain to keep hair out of the pipes.

Finally, avoid drain cleaners that contain strong chemicals. Chemicals can degrade metal pipes, increasing their susceptibility to wear and leakage.

Decade Long Record Flooding in Chicago Illinois

Decade Long Record Flooding in Chicago Illinois

Local water utilities provide high-pressure water to high-rise buildings and fire hydrants in your neighborhood, but that pressure may be too high for your home.  As a result, a pressure regulating valve is installed to lessen the pressure of the water entering your home from the mainline.

When the pressure in the pipes surpasses a specific level, often about 75 psi, it can create cracks and leaks.

Increased water pressure is typically indicative of a faulty pressure reduction valve:

Water leaks occur in a variety of ways, from tiny drops to constantly running toilets.

When you turn on the faucet, water spits out Knocking noises coming from the pipes

Appliances such as water heaters suffer from unexpected wear and tear.

A competent plumber can resolve low water pressure issues in your house and save you money on pipe repair and appliance replacement.

Your plumbing system moves, shifts, and separates as a result of structural movement.

For instance, when foundations shift, buildings quake, or fractures form, your plumbing system may be impacted.  Movement displaces pipes, loosens joints, and generates friction, all of which contribute to premature pipe wear.  Structures can also move as a result of natural forces such as earthquakes.  If you are anticipating plumbing work at your house, you should contact us immediately.  Even if you can't see your pipes, if you know what to look for, there are still some visual warning signs that they need to be replaced.

Keep an eye out for these types of situations, as they can result in leaking pipes.
Employ a plumber to conduct professional inspections following an earthquake or if you fear the foundation of your property has shifted.

But one of the big problems here in Chicago is the tree roots that almost every home's yard has near their plumbing lines.  These roots can not only bend and move a pipeline over the years but also crack them to get inside for moisture.

These have been the toughest problems for plumbers to deliver a solution that is affordable and fully opens the obstructions.  Until now.  There are now engineered tools that can not only safely chop and remove the roots inside the line (without tearing up your yard) but even clean the inner surface of the pipe of other matter and corrosion that can lead to other degradation of the pipe.

Drain Cleaning in Chicago

Roots Growing Into An Underground Pipe

Even Toilet Leaks Can Also Be The Culprit

Before we discuss phantom flushes (spoiler alert: they are not phantoms), it's worth reviewing the fundamentals of toilet anatomy.  To begin, there is the bowl that contains the water and the cistern that contains the mechanics.

When the toilet is flushed, a chain attached to the handle raises a lid that covers a hole in the cistern's bottom.
This allows water to flow into the bowl's siphon tube.  As the siphon tube fills, it suctions water from the bowl until it empties, producing the distinctive sucking sound.  Once the water has drained from the tank and into the bowl, the tank's fill valve begins to reintroduce water into the tank, where it flows into the bowl.  On the fill valve is a lever with a rubber balloon attached.  The balloon floats on top of the water, gradually filling the tank until the fill valve closes and the flushing operation is completed.

One of the first things you can do if your drain is clogged is to attempt some tried-and-true procedures.
Your parents or neighbors undoubtedly advised you to pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain and wait for the chemical reaction to take effect.

It appears to be a straightforward remedy to a little issue, yet it is not always effective.  This may clean your pipes slightly around the obstruction, but it is unlikely to eliminate a significant clog that is impeding water flow.

Drains that become clogged can be more than just a tremendous inconvenience.

They restrict you from using the faucet, which might significantly complicate your regular routines.
You cannot do dishes and hence cook a nice supper if your kitchen is a complete mess.

Perhaps it might occur in the bathroom and result in a day without showering, which would be bad enough in and of itself.  The lengthy wait for plumbers might be intolerable, which is why many individuals take matters into their own hands.  Keep these points in mind prior to performing a do-it-yourself drain cleaning, and you should be OK.  Take your time and don't be afraid to call in the specialists if you find yourself in a bind.

It is critical to thoroughly inspect and test all drains in your home, including those in the sink, bathtub, shower, and washing machine.  If your drain is clogged or slow, use a plumbing snake to unclog it.  A plumber's snake, alternatively referred to as a drain snake, is a flexible auger tool used to clear a clog that has caused a blockage.
Additionally, the plumber's snake or drain auger is useful for a variety of tasks, including unclogging obstructions that are difficult or impossible to unclog with a plunger.  Here's a new problem tho… the 21st century clogged drains are made of things more than hair now.  Handi-wipes… hello.

When hair and debris enter the drain, bathtubs, showers, and sinks become clogged.  Repairing and maintaining a home is time-consuming and labor-intensive.  There are service companies that provide a broad range of plumbing and gas services for business and residential properties. But many of them apply the same old Rooter tool to these new 21st century clogged drains.  The prudent course of action is to contact a local plumber who can provide new superior technological answers to all of these new domestic plumbing difficulties.

Okay, so what's next?

Who to call to troubleshoot our plumbing repair problem?

You should pick a plumbing team that is professional, well-trained, and educated about regulatory requirements and safety precautions.  If you want the services of a plumber, there are a few things you can do to expedite the process.

They shall adhere to all applicable construction and safety codes while doing their duties.

A competent plumber is capable of installing or repairing any type of plumbing system.  It is critical to maintaining a plumbing-free structure or residence.

Tip: Ask your plumber if they know about, and can deliver Hydro Jetting drain cleaning service.  That is a good bellwether question to test if your plumber is staying current with new drain cleaning technology.

The more information you can supply regarding the problem and your plumbing system in general, the more easily the plumber can estimate the cost.  Take mobile phone pics of your problem from different angles.  Your plumber should be able to give you a reasonable quote (absent surprises when actually looking at it IRL) over the phone or webchat.  A plumber that can communicate well his solutions to any plumbing problem greatly helps YOU make the right call.

Today, plumbing is a well-established profession, with a high need for competent and efficient plumbers.