Valley media company creatively adapts for 40 years

There’s a quaint studio located in the East Valley that houses beautiful backgrounds, sets and camera equipment that can make any business owner or musician feel like a rock star. With its innovative technology, it is no wonder why so many different customers flock to Image Ave Studios, which is located on the border of Chandler and Gilbert. While the brand-new studios opened just three years ago, this video production company has deep roots in Arizona that go back almost 40 years.

Founded in 1972 by Arizona native James Rinkenberger when he was just out of college, the company started out offering only photography and other media production services. As the business became successful, Rinkenberger discovered an opportunity that would allow him to expand his business and reach more clients throughout the Valley. Rinkenberger decided that in addition to his photography services, he would also offer video production services to local companies.  From this concept arose Video Media Productions in 1975, which strived to create videos for businesses that would increase business-to-business communication.

“The challenge for me was, ‘Does anybody want what I do?’” Rinkenberger said. “I wanted to create clear and concise images to communicate. I have been passionate and overzealous about this topic because visually, in the 1970s, people just were not trained properly.”

The studio quickly made a name for itself in the Arizona business community and soon, Video Media Productions landed big-name clients — including the United States Supreme Court for a campaign to allow cameras in the courtroom; the National Guard during Operation Desert Storm; various cities to promote Senate bills; and with President Ronald Reagan on a public service announcement for the Boy Scouts of America.

As Video Media Productions continued to evolve, Rinkenberger wanted to create a definitive space for producers and their clients. So, in 2009, James founded Image Ave Studios, a company that combined his video and photo companies and allowed both businesses to operate as one entity. Very quickly, however, the company faced challenges because of the economic crisis. Despite the economic setback, Image Ave Studio was able to stay afloat by continuing to think of methods that differentiated itself from the competition.

“Starting in the middle of a recession, it made my company more creative and more efficient,” Rinkenberger said. “It is a whole new world now because there are so many creative kids and they offer their services cheaply. The only difference is that we have more experience with creating and meeting the needs of businesses today. We have had to re-invent ourselves and we have had to find more ways to fit in. Our success back then doesn’t mean anything now.”

Even with early hardships, Image Ave Studios has proved that it can stand the test of time. As Rinkenberger approaches retirement, he hopes his company will live on and that his love and passion will be shared with generations to come.

“My dream for the future of my business is, I’d like to pass the studio down to someone,” Rinkenberger said. “It has to be someone who is passionate and loves making communication processes for businesses like I do.”

Image Ave Studios
175 S. Hamilton Place, #115, Gilbert