James Forni is the founder of Octane Rich Media, a Chicago-based studio specializing in immersive storytelling for the digital age designed to convert online, mobile and retail audiences. James is a nationally-recognized director of branded entertainment, short films, tutorials and advertising. His creative work for beauty, health, consumer products and travel campaigns has received top honors and awards from The Webbys, the W3 Awards, Studio Daily’s Screen Genius Awards and Gold Magellan Travel Awards.

Photography has become an ever growing component of James’ creative output as clients demand more cross-channel solutions. His photography work has appeared on the, and James is a regular participant in The Santa Fe Photography Workshops. Click here to view CV.

In his own words:


My voice in photography evolved from my motion work, focusing on emotion and storytelling. I’m used to conceiving the frames before and the frames after the peak of every scene in narrative art forms. As a result, I strive to deliver the peak scene in the imagery I create for myself and my clients.

I find the process to be less crowded, so to speak, in photography. Where cinematography sometimes requires legions of professionals working in an integrated fashion, photography allows me to reduce distraction and be immersed in the moment.

The rise of multi-function cameras in still and motion has benefitted clients and content creators alike. But it seems many more photographer’s are engaged to create motion content then directors are engaged to capture still photography. As a director immersed in photography, I’m cognizant of how each discipline has shared visual vocabulary as well as very distinct sensibilities. My goal is always to respect the process for each medium yet be open to how ideas for both stills and motion can cross-pollinate to elevate my work. In the end, I believe there is still something magic that stands apart from craft that makes a great image happen and I take that inspiration out every time I lift a camera to my eye.