Meet new ILEA Chicago member - Audia of Audia Motion and Still


Meet Audia....

A photographer, an artist, an in-the-moment visionary, Audia knows how to find the signal through the visual noise for over 20 years. His focus on the details, nuances to seeing the light has benefited magazines, bridal gowns, celebrities from presidents to Vera Wang to anyone in front of his camera. Audia captures moments that aren’t just beautiful, but make you feel.

My mother continually told me as a child I was a big daydreamer. I dream big! I thought everyone did. Ideas roll out of my mind at the speed of light. Maybe not the speed of light but close to it. BTW, they tried clocking my big dream ideas on the Large Hadron Collider but it was broke that day. I eventually grew up, kind of, and went into radio for 6 years. That was fun and I thought I would become the next Mancow, Larry LuJack, Greaseman, etc. 

After harboring excitement about the first time I had a camera in my hand and took a photo, around 7 or 8 years old, I decided it was time to do something with my speedy HUGE, BIG and FAST dreams and a camera was the perfect conduit. I learned from the school of hard knocks, books (pre internet), and any photographer, famous or otherwise, that would put up with me asking a bazillion and a half questions. I photographed in crazy conditions. An underground coal mine, NY runways, babies, weddings, presidents, beer ads, (ok the beer ads were difficult but had loads of fun) and whatever I need to do to make those big, fast dreams work for me or for you. 

All of these challenges and experiences along with those who came before me, make up who I am and what I see at a magnificent moment in time. Sometimes it’s with a still camera seeing the beauty or smelling the changes in light and sometimes it’s seeing the ending of a video before most people imagine the beginning. Whatever it is, it was gifted to me and I try to embrace it, utilize it, and pass it on or be the conduit to those that can’t. 

Getting to Know You Q & A ...

Who/ what inspired you to go into event photography?

I knew the moment my parents asked me to take a photo of them with the brownie, it was magic. It took me awhile to get here, but the road and experiences were worth the ride!
Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away?

2 beautiful children and 2 exceptionally beautiful grandchildren are a big part of my life. And my wife, too! And my wife and I used to skydive, a whole lot. And I traveled in the US and Europe for 2 months to photograph a book for the Pope. Seriously. It’s really cool and comes out in October but I can’t talk about it so you didn’t hear this from me.

What do you love the most about what you do?

It sounds corny but besides skydiving, I am so immersed in the moment and the wonder of people and life, I loose myself. 

Where did you grow up?

Fairmont, WV. Small town. Coal mines. Pepperoni rolls. Mary Lou Retton. But close enough to Pittsburgh.

What's your event / photoshoot gone wrong horror story?

When I moved to Chicago, one of the first gigs was shooting runway for the Merchandise Mart. I was shooting with a hasselblad and black and white film. The shoot was to be in W Magazine. The leaf shutter on the camera broke after the first 3 or 4 shots. I didn’t know it until the film was developed. Most of the images looked really cool, like a long exposure drag. However, that’s not what The Mart or W was expecting. I managed to get a few images to publication and found a way back into the hearts of The Mart that lasted over 10 years.

What made you interested in participating in ILEA? 

I was photographing Vicki Bowman for some new portrait/headshots and she talked so highly about the organization and how it might be a good fit, I was hooked! Thanks Vicki!

For more information on Audia or Audia Photography Motion, you can reach him at





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Meet ILEA Chicago member - Howard Wallach


Meet Howard Wallach....

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning?

Always the pleaser, always the solutionist, hospitality came naturally to me. I distinctly remember DJing my first ever wedding. I loved the advocacy, the intimacy of the planning process, the rush of all the moving parts coming together. Non-stop with my questions: Why this way? Is there a better way?This led me to providing Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and theme party entertainment. I could introduce staging and screens and intelligent lighting with party motivators. More intricate coordination to make sure that every person in the room, from the youngest to oldest, had a complete and thrilling experience.

Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away?

Easily the biggest influence in my life has been my big-hearted storytellingfather, John Wallach. Kind to all: bank teller, servers, laborers – that he left people feeling better for having interacted with him made a huge impact on me.He lit up every room he was in. This panache for handling the spotlight rubbed off on me. When I’m on stage, I leave it all on the floor.

What do you love the most about what you do?

No two days are alike. I enjoy a fast-paced schedule filled with travel, fitness, and family. My week is sprinkled with performing, networking and industry events. While A-Z Entertainment continues to grow, I have a talented team of professionals supporting our clients, I still stay personally involved in all of them.

Where did you grow up?

Skevanston ( the border of Skokie and Evanston )

Always the organizer, Always vying for attention.Maybe a bit too rambunctious for my teachers. Ok, definitely . . . School pals could count on me for reciting back movie lines and celebrity impressions faithfully. I grew up playing ping pong, baseball and pinball. I dabbled in photography and theater. Larger than life were my childhood heroes: Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, & Evil Kneivel.

What's your event gone wrong horror story?

Early 90s. When performing at a bar mitzvah at Jim McMahon’s Restaurant, the entire building lost electrical power. Determined not to disappoint, my team ended up striking our set, driving to the family’s home and we were able to complete the young man’s celebration with his family and friends like nothing happened. Recently ran into him as an adult - great vibes, great memories!

What made you interested in participating in ILEA?

Never underestimate the power of a little fun mixed with some interesting people!  Sometimes it’s about taking a selfie with someone who’s influenced you or sharing a business idea with someone you admire, or making a connection that can lead to finding your next mentor. I thoroughly enjoy paying it forward; presenting best practices, lessons learned, and sharing ideas.


-Howard Wallach   





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