Posts Tagged ‘Linda Bergonia’

AAS Digital Photography, May 2010
Company Name: Bergonia Photography
Job title: Principal
 How did you get this job?
I wanted to pursue Chicago food photography after graduation. I met a number of chefs from a project I did at the Chicago Gourmet food festival (on a press pass) during my photojournalism class. I have pursued those contacts in an attempt to access the food industry from a slightly different tack. Thus far I have shot for a number of Chicago chefs as well as for commercial clients that I met through these contacts. I network quite a bit -and send out slideshows of recent work to potential clients. I worked with a social-media company and re-did my website to include a blog, and I try to Twitter and Facebook often (probably not often enough).

What do you do?
As of late, I am adding HDSLR video to my workflow and am currently shooting my first still/video commercial shoot. I am also doing a bit of demonstration/doc/storytelling — and shooting a promotional piece as I pursue my first cookbook assignment. (Wish me luck!). I feel that the combination of still and video will serve me well in an industry that is moving more and more into Web applications. I hope to develop a niche that will take me farther afield than just Chicago.

Biggest piece of advice to further job seekers at Harrington:
As I am just starting out, I don’t know that I am qualified to really give advice at this point — but in my portfolio class, one statement (from a fellow student) seems to have stuck with me.  I was presenting some of my work with chefs and lamenting a bit that I wasn’t sure how I could really make a career financially feasible pursuing this avenue — as chefs in general have great food, but not much in terms of a budget for photography. A buddy in the class said to me that it was obvious that I loved what I was doing, and that I could figure out how to make it work. I think that it is true. Perhaps I may have to balance it out with other jobs to make the numbers work, but if you truly love what you do, give it all you’ve got, and you can figure out the angle to make it work. Passion, joy — and commitment to doing the job right — will shine through. Clients will recognize it.

Recorded March 11, 2011

This graduate story is unique and may not represent typical experiences or outcomes for our graduates. Graduates should expect to pursue entry-level opportunities in their chosen fields. Examples of such entry-level opportunities are listed in the Harrington Career Guide.

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Earlier this year I highlighted Linda Bergonia, a Harrington alumna, whose exciting career path eventually led her to Food Photography – check out the interesting three day feature here. Linda is still keeping busy and innovating as she goes along: I recently caught wind of her latest project, FollowSpot Media, where she has pulled  together a team of other food professionals, marketing, video and social media partners to create gorgeous marketing videos and push them out on the interwebz.

FollowSpot Media creates engaging (food related) online videos to achieve their clients’ business goals. Linda shares, “We are storytellers who create a new solution to marketing problems. We are changing the web-based video model. We have pulled together a strong partnership with team of experts who are truly passionate about food and telling the stories behind the chefs who make it. We focus on this art as a specialty, not merely an area of service. We shape your message with an innovative approach to appeal to your audience.”

Their story telling passion for food is clear in a few great examples of their work featured below:

Girl and the Goat’s Sauteed Cauliflower

One of the partners that comprises FollowSpot’s team is Forward Motion Media; another Harrington Graduate, Jon Hamblin, is a part of the FMM team and worked on the video below, a sake program preview for the newly opened Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar:

Union Sushi Sake

Other FollowSpot team members include Total Dish Marketing and Nimble Social Media, also integral in taking Union’s concept to market.

It’s always very exciting to see what our alumni are up to in the field! If you are an alumni of Harrington College and interested in sharing your story, email it to me at info@harringtoncollege.com

About Linda Bergonia:
Linda Bergonia is an alumna of the Harrington College of Design and heads up the  FollowSpot Media team. In addition, Linda owns her own photography firm, Bergonia Photography, which specializes in food, chef, and restaurant photography. Linda Bergonia works closely with chefs and other food-and-wine professionals to create photographs and video that do more than show an image–they tell a story. Visit Bergonia Photography at www.bergoniaphotography.com.

Videos courtesy FollowSpot Media. Photo courtesy Bergonia Photography, videos courtesy FollowSpot Media

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This feature is continued from yesterday…

Throughout Linda Bergonia’s professional career, a few things became evident: she allowed her interests to guide her, worked hard to pursue opportunities as they became available and continually kept education as a high priority to help launch her into where she wanted to grow. “My growth has been organic and somewhat restaurant-like, in that I concentrated on quality and service. The clear thing after graduating from Harrington is that I’ve still got so much to learn. I think Harrington’s Associate Program was a good start — but not the end all.  I continually participate in online classes, seminars, classes and tutorials,” Linda said.

Linda is currently based in Chicago, has four children and an amazing husband of 22 years. When she’s not working she loves to travel, cook and read (food magazines, of course!)

Professionally, Linda has been busy photographing commercial clients, building a portfolio that showcases Chicago Women Chefs, working on a time lapse restaurant project, and furthering working relationships with other chefs such as Top Chef Stephanie Izard – photographing in her Chicago restaurant, The Girl and the Goat – and Paul Virant, of Vie in Western Springs and soon to open in Chicago Perennial Virant. In an interesting aside, Bergonia has also become active in the film world, pursuing video to add to her arsenal of talents.  She has been working with filmmakers at 20K Films to offer a specialized video product to Chicago’s food world. 

Many thanks to Linda for sharing your story: you are truly an inspiration to us all, and we can’t wait to see where you go and what you do next! Till then, I think it’s time to grab some lunch, these photos are making me hungry…

About Bergonia Photography:
Bergonia Photography specializes in food, chef, and restaurant photography. Linda Bergonia works closely with chefs and other food-and-wine professionals to create photographs and video that do more than show an image–they tell a story.

Bergonia Photography also offers specialized, artistic-leaning family photography projects. The goal is to use background and photography skills to interpret your family and yourself, not just fill a wall spot.

Visit Bergonia Photography at www.bergoniaphotography.com.

All photos courtesy Bergonia Photography

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This feature is continued from yesterday…

From Finance to Culinary School, Linda Bergonia eventually allowed her love for photography lead her to pursue a degree at Harrington in Photography, although she wasn’t able to stay out of the kitchen for long…

“While at Harrington, I was able to secure an internship with a very talented food photographer in Chicago — which was invaluable, as I saw first-hand how a successful studio was run.

Also, during a photojournalism class at Harrington College, I attended Chicago Gourmet, secured a press pass, and passed out my business cards to every chef I met.  Upon follow-up, a few invited me into their kitchens and let me take photos for their websites in exchange for access.  Not a bad exchange, and in return, I obtained an unguarded look at their work, their kitchens, their genius, and relationship with their staff. I used my camera to get into their lives, get into their kitchen, and show what they’re really all about.

The first chef that I photographed was Joshua Linton, of Aja.  I photographed Josh in his kitchen a number of times, documented the change in his menu/restaurant name from Ajasteak to Aja — a more chef driven Asia-inspired menu.  His enthusiastic embrace of my work allowed me to compile a book for my photojournalism class which has served as a proxy for the type of relationship I would love to develop with chefs,” Linda shared.

Linda’s passion for the culinary process is clear in her photography – see some examples below!

All photos courtesy Bergonia Photography

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It’s not always clear where your passions and interests may ultimately lead you in life. Harrington Digital Photography Alumna, Linda Bergonia’s professional career took several interesting paths before ultimately leading to the establishment of her own small business, Bergonia Photography.

A far cry from her first career in finance (Masters Degree in Business, Northwestern University), Linda Bergonia decided to pursue her passion for cooking and studied at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.  Linda then paused to raise a family of four in Chicago.

Linda’s interest in photography eventually led her to return to the classroom to pursue a degree in Photography from the Harrington College of Design. Linda shared, “Photography is a second career for me — I guess really a third. Harrington, which I attended as one of their older students, afforded me the much flexibility and encouragement.  The interaction with much younger students and educational staff pushing me to succeed was intoxicating.  I attended only part time, two classes at a time, and every summer off.  It took four years, but afforded me time to determine what I really wanted to do, and the time to develop a relationship with the professors– as well as to develop my craft.  I decided midway through Harrington’s Photography program to combine my two loves, food and photography.”

Keep reading tomorrow to learn how Linda got her foot in the door to culinary photography…

All photos courtesy Bergonia Photography

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