photo updates from Jim and Mary Whitmer

Assignment Photos


I had a great photo shoot this week with the local and national YFC team.   It was a powerful strategy session for fixing broken patterns for kids in crisis.  Please check out

Symmetry event

Honoring Those Who Sacrificed Their Lives

Memorial Day Weekend – 2014

Remembering those who died

Envision3 – Location Shooting

I visited Envision3 yesterday in nearby Bloomingdale – and discovered a great team of high quality image and business professionals – who really understand insight, innovation and communications. Check them out: www.Envision-3.comEnvision3 for blog 2

China Update

I continue to serve as part time Director of Communications for Bibles for China, a wonderful 501c3 organization raising funds for one purpose: to deliver Bibles legally and openly to rural Chinese Christians. The need for Bibles continues to grow quickly because the Church in China is expanding at an amazing rate, especially in rural areas. These are some of my images and I have been designing layouts like this for the Bibles for China FaceBook page. (

Yamaha Golf Car Photo Shoot

Had an excellent new shoot project last week for the Yamaha Motor Car company. The assignment was at the Village Greens Golf Course in Woodridge, IL, and worked closely with General Manager Byron Evans. See the links below for the company web site, and their agency, Nelson Creative out of Atlanta.

Yamaha Motor Car Company:
Nelson Creative:

Book Covers

From the very beginning of our photo career, we have worked closely with publishing houses near and far.  Here’s a collage of cover photos on our credit list.

Victory Weekend – Overview

The Victory Weekend event was extraordinary.   There were 3 days of music, BMX demonstrations, Christian Hip-Hop, Xteme strength shows, worship and ministry, interviews with NASCAR drivers – and it was all shown live on the first-ever FaceBook streaming TV network, iFBtv. (see link below)   Here’s a photo collage to feature all 3 days of events.

Victory Weekend FaceBook Page

Interactive FaceBook Page

Victory Weekend – Bristol, TN

My current assignment is Victory Weekend – being held at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN, and I’m working with the Steve Wingfield team putting on an extraordinary event adjacent to the “fastest half-mile” track in the NASCAR circuit.  The opening event last night featured an interview with 3 Christian NASCAR drivers, the music group Sidewalk Prophets and evangelist Steve Wingfield.  (Steve was also  invited to do the invocation for last night’s race.)   So, what’s the Harley Davidson doing in this collage?  It has been donated as a “give-a-way” for the concluding program Saturday night.

You may want to see more information at: The Victory Weekend Web Site.

Flood Damage – Minot, ND

The dramatic headlines about the devastating flooding in Minot, ND, have faded.  But the dirty, hard work of restoring homes and property is quietly taking place everywhere you look.  I’m covering this story for the Disaster Relief work of the Southern Baptists.  (please see their web link below this photo.)  The hands-on work by various state SB conventions are called “mud-out teams.”   The bottom center image is pure muck, covering the entire basement floor – but it is carefully scooped up and removed.  This is “mud-out” at its best.   All of this work is done by volunteers – and there is no cost to the homeowners.    These people and the work they do is amazing – and the best quote I heard all day:  “If someone paid me to do this, I’d quit.”   They are Godly, caring people, reaching out to families that have encountered a tragic turn of events in their lives.

 North American Mission Board Disaster Relief

MMA Fighters

A fast-growing sport – Mixed Martial Arts – is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills, from a mixture of other combat sports, to be used in competitions. Here’s a Heavy Weight contender, Gabe. I photographed him in my studio and produced this video.

Salvation Army Convention

I’m currently on assignment with the Salvation Army for their National Advisory Organizations Conferrence in Orlando, FL. I’m working with their blog writer, Laura, and they posted this collage on their blog today. Here’s the link to their blog site:

Winning Booth Design and Display at NRB

Each year, the National Religious Broadcasters have an enormous exhibition at their annual convention, and the leadership team selects one of the booths as the “best of the show.” This year, the Israel Ministry of Tourism was selected. I was contacted by the company that produced their display, ExpoPlus, which is a full service trade show general contractor. They asked if I had a good photo of the display. I had taken a series of vertical shots to assemble in a panoramic view, but didn’t have the time during the convention to use the software to put it together. However, it worked out this week, and here’s the image I provided for them.

ExpoPlus web site:

Nicole C. Mullen – NRB Convention

We’ve just finished another full convention photo coverage for the National Religious Broadcasters in Nashville.  One of our favorite artists is Nicole C. Mullen – we began a friendship with her when she was a part of the Ralph Bell Celebration team for the Billy Graham organization.  As always, she performs with flavor, style and authentic worship.

Here’s her web site:

Jerry Jenkins Photo Shoot

I spent the day yesterday with Jerry Jenkins – he was in Chicago for meetings at Moody, and asked me to do some new photo work with him.  His next novel to be released soon, “The Brotherhood,” is based in the city of Chicago.   Jerry is an outstanding author, but likes to be known for his role as husband, dad and grand dad.  I’m glad I can call him a friend.
Click above to visit the Tyndale web site for more information on this book.

Covenant Village of Northbrook

One of my favorite clients is the marketing department at the Covenant Village of Northbrook.  I often have the chance to work with Darlene and her team in developing new marketing materials by photographing the people, staff and places in and around their property in Northbrook, IL.  Yesterday was one of those days, and these photos are a good sampling of what I get to see, experience and document when I’m there.   The residents know how to really enjoy their golden years living in a unique and high quality facility.

You may enjoy visiting their web site:  The Covenant Village of Northbrook

Deep in the heart of China

My second trip to China was like no other.  I traveled to some remote, rural areas, where Christians are thriving and growing in numbers.  One of their most serious limitations is the availability of Bibles.  That’s where VOCA comes in – we maxed out our current funds and delivered (personally) 7,500 brand new Bibles.  The joy and emotion was exceptional.  I wish you could have been there – but I hope this video will give you a flavor of what I experienced with my team.

Faces and Places – More from China

I returned home from China a week ago today, but the “faces and places” are still with me in so many ways.   The culture and character of the Chinese people gave me a wonderful opportunity for such a variety of imagery.  (click on the collage for an even larger view.)  My work with VOCA has been challenging but rewarding.  If you can, visit the VOCA FaceBook page.   We’d love to have you become a “fan.”

NRB Convention – 2010

One of the more challenging and fascinating photo shoots of the year for Mary and me is our annual coverage of the National Religous Broadcasters convention in Nasvhille.   Each year, there are unique and notable speakers and guests, and this year’s events included Mike Huckabee, Chuck Colson, “Son of Hamas” author Mosab Hassan Yousef, and music guests Keith and Kristyn Getty and the Gaither Vocal Band.

Compassion Success

I was covering Founders Week at Moody Church in Chicago this week, and one of the keynote speakers was Wess Stafford, the President of  Compassion International.  Before he began his message, he introduced 5 Moody Bible Institute students, all of them were former Compassion “sponsored” children from developing countries.  Each of these students is doing exceptionally well, and they are an amazing tribute to the success of what sponsorship can do for a young child from a needy place.
For information about sponsoring a child, visit Compassion International.

Nov. 9th – Berlin Wall Anniversary

Today is the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall, the world-famous structure that divided East and West Berlin.  And I had the privilege of being at that wall a few weeks later on an assignment.   The photos in this collage include the Brandenburg Gate and Check-Point Charlie, one of the most well know military check points in history.  It was a unique opportunity for me to be precisely at the place that history will talk about into the future.

Berlin Wall anniversaryThe most popular “tourist souvenirs” became pieces of the wall – and even though there were vendors hawking the physical remnants of the wall, I was able to grab my own personal “memories.”   This photo shows a couple chunks I picked up on my own.
pieces from the Berlin Wall 2

Louisiana State Prison at Angola

Possibly the most extraordinary prison in America today is the State Prison at Angola, about an hour from Baton Rouge, LA.   Warden Burl Cain (author of Cain’s Redemption) hosted Ruth Graham and friends this past weekend, and I was doing the photo work to document the teaching ministry to the inmates. We walked among, talked to, and had fellowship with with life-sentenced murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals. They were like brothers to everyone on the team.

This was my third visit to Angola, and come away each time very moved by the depth of spiritual understanding and true spiritual freedom that these guys have.

Angola Presentation Page- blogjpg

Ruth Graham’s ministry web site:
Ruth Graham’s photo site I manage for her:
Ruth Graham’s new book from Simon & Shuster:  Fear Not Tomorrow, God Is Already There

Production stills at Total Living Network

I had a wonderful opportunity recently to partner with the Total Living Network to do the production stills of the taping of a promotional video.  The featured spokesperson was Gavin MacLeod, a well-known TV actor, noted probably best for his role as the captain on The Love Boat TV series and the Mary Tyler Moore Show.   The new product series is called “Character Classics,” published by the Character  Building Company, and written by very well known children’s author Tony Salerno.


To learn more about the above:

The Total Living Network
For more information on Character Classics, please contact Carie Villotti at 630-801-3627 or email her at

Character  Building Company

“Listen My Son” Abingdon Press Book Cover Photo

We had the privilege this month of working with senior designer Rick Schroeppel at Abingdon Press in Nashville in doing a custom photo shoot for a new book entitled “Listen My Son.” It’s always a pleasure to turn over the digital files from a shoot and our Photoshop work to a creative individual who can really do justice to our work. We are very pleased with the result of this new product. You can see dozens of other book designs by Rick at his site, Elm Tree Design Studio.

We have been fortunate to consider Abingdon Press and the United Methodist Publishing House a part of our client base for over 30 years.


The author of this book is Lee H. Butler, Jr., a professor of theology and psychology at the Chicago Theological Seminary and is well known as an African American pastoral theologian.

Book Cover Project

A recent project was the photography for a book cover from Harvest House Publishers. We did the original shooting in our studio, and then Terry Dugan, a long-time friend and business associate of The Dugan Design Group, ( created the finished art for the book. We have both worked with Katie Lane, the Director of Marketing at Harvest House on previous covers. ( The modeling agency we like to use in Chicago is Shirley Hamilton, Inc., and we’ve worked with Laurie Hamilton there for many years. ( The author, Debra White Smith, is well-known and recognized in the book industry. (