Graesen is a photographer with a video background. His passion for being behind the camera started during his college days when studying video production. But his path to visual art started long before college.
In high school, Graesen studied architectural drafting. He had been a talented sketch artist growing up and felt this would be an interesting direction to put those talents. Graesen found drafting to be a natural talent and often finished his projects first. Wanting to absorb as much knowledge as possible, he soon began playing with the 3D modeling and animation software available in the drafting lab. He taught himself the program and shared his knowledge in 3D modeling with his teacher. By the second year of attending the architectural drafting class, Graesen was granted independent learning to continue pushing his boundaries in 3D modeling. Upon graduating high school, he was awarded with the Most Outstanding Drafting Student award.
Wanting to continue in a more artistic career path but retain his currently developed 3D skills, Graesen attended the International Academy of Design & Technology. There he was determined to study a variety of skills to wet his creative appetite, learning some web design, graphic design, video production, and 3D modeling. His first interest at the school was to continue down the path of 3D modeling and animation, but that interest changed after his first video production class.
It was only the Intro to Video Production class when it was shown that Graesen had yet another natural talent. The instructor assigned a project to create a short video in groups to evaluate our level of production skills early in the course. Graesen’s very first attempt at a video was a tribute music video, as most college students produce. However, upon completion of this video, the instructor raved about the talent behind it and used it as an example of how a production should look. The instructor was most pleased with the natural flow of editing.
It was also here where Graesen put real use to a still camera as well. Even though photography was part of Graesen’s studies at this time, it hadn’t taken off as a passion at the time. His mind was still buried in video.
After graduating college and standing out in numerous courses, Graesen’s first career start was as an audio/visual technician for live events. Though this wasn’t the ideal job, many on-site production skills were learned that weren’t taught in college. It was here where practical knowledge when working with audio was learned.
After regularly hearing that Graesen is too talented for the audio/visual technician position, he eventually moved on to better things. His A/V employer asked how they could keep him on staff after announcing his movement to CBS Radio in Chicago. It was here he put the skills from college and his previous employment to use. He had worked with Chicago’s B96, 93XRT, 670 The Score, 104.9 Fresh, Jack FM, US99, and WBBM 780 while employed by CBS. Some productions for these radio stations included recording and editing the 2009 Southside Irish Parade, 2009 Pride Parade, several interviews at the 2009 Chicago Bears Training Camp, an interview with Little Steven of Bruce Springsteen, an interview with Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, an interview with Flo-Rida, live performance of the Indigo Girls, live performance of the Ting Tings, and more. He was also the official photographer for 670 The Score’s roast of Ozzie Guillen (former White Sox coach) and a live musical performance of the Danny Mac Show’s parody songs.
It was also during his employment at CBS Radio that Graesen found new passion in photography. He had started like most photographers start, experimenting with his camera by snapping photos of almost anything. This eventually led to local musicians taking notice and requesting his services.
Currently, Graesen is employed at a local university assisting faculty with multimedia for their online courses and continues to be behind the camera. He also licenses his photos for stock photography or other uses and sells fine art prints as well as other products that feature his photos. Photography lessons are also offered.