When Bill Burlingham opened a photography studio in the late 1970’s, it was a one man show. He lived and worked out of a two-flat on Dempster Street in Evanston where he and his wife also began to raise their family.
Specializing in still photography at the time, Mr. Burlingham spent most of his early days working in textbook photography for Scott Foresman. Changes in the textbook industry forced him to look elsewhere for work. He soon migrated towards non-profit work and also collaborated on annual reports for small to mid-sized corporations. He eventually moved the studio from his home to a storefront on Ashland and Lake.
As Mr. Burlingham worked out of his home and later the storefront studio, his young son Elliott often watched him and would occasionally be allowed to help him out. While in high school and college, Elliott was hired by his father to work on a project basis.
“I’ve been assisting my dad for as long as I can remember,” says Elliot Burlingham who is now a college graduate and his father’s business partner at Burlingham Productions.
Elliot joined his father five years ago and the business began expanding into video production while continuing to offer expertise in still photography. The newly created father and son team moved their offices from Ashland Avenue to the current location at 1904 Greenwood Street. Today it is a multi-media production company with a full-service, HD-equipped studio.
The large office space, which they lease with a local photographer and share with four other tenants, has a 1,500-square foot studio with 16-foot high ceilings and sound tile, ideal for shooting digital photography and video. The facility includes a dressing room, a makeup vanity, a kitchenette, a loading dock, wireless internet access and ample parking. All the tenants have access to the studio, and it is available to rent.
Bill Burlingham says he feels fortunate he and his son have been able to navigate the industry of video and web production together.
“These days, most photographers are finding themselves working less and less as companies turn to the web for marketing materials,” he says. “When Elliot came on board we were struggling to find our direction, but we were able to anticipate the boom in high definition web videos.”
Today, Burlingham Productions offers its clients a wide range of digital media choices they can blend to meet their needs—from executive and staff portraits to editorial and annual report photography to commercials and podcasts.
Burlingham Production’s video concept is simple.
“Our goal is to make video easy and affordable,” says Bill Burlingham.
“In the past, film and video were very expensive and required large equipment,” adds the younger Burlingham. “The advancement of technology has made high quality video much more accessible to everyone.”
“Since working with video and the web, our client list has expanded far beyond the boarders of Evanston and the north side of Chicago,” says Bill Burlingham. “But we nurture and cherish our Evanston clients the most.”
Some local clients include corporations and non-profits such as the Evanston Community Foundation and the Evanston RoundTable (see their monthly videos at evanstonroundtable.com).
As far as working together, Bill and Elliot agree they make a good team.
“It’s a good fit,” says Bill Burlingham. “We continue to discover our strengths and weaknesses. Owning up to that as father and son can be challenging, but we have fun and enjoy what we do.”
Elliot Burlingham says what he likes most about his job is being a part of every aspect of a project, from dealing with the client, to shooting a video, to editing it and getting it ready for the web.
Bill Burlingham agrees with his son and adds, “We aren’t just called in at the very end of a project to shoot a picture or take a video. We are consulted as experts from the beginning. Our clients rely on us to take care of the technical details and I have always enjoyed being a part of a creative team.”
1904 Greenwood St., 847-864-9027.