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Sandro Tolentino: Founder of Loophole Media

 

Hopeful entrepreneurs could take a few notes from SCU senior Sandro Tolentino, who has developed a lucrative new business model somewhat unintentionally. It all started right here on SCU’s campus with a few friends looking to make some extra money with some spare time and an innovative idea.

A psychology major, Sandro put his entrepreneurship minor into practice last school year when he came up with the idea to start a production company called Loophole Media. He knew that his former roommate, senior Nick Seabright, is a great photographer, and his housemate at the time, senior Jacob Hellinga is an excellent videographer. With both already having the equipment needed to create the production company, he had the perfect team. Sandro realized that, “Nobody’s taking pictures now; we could get in this niche market.”

Today, Loophole Media has managed to create a name for themselves through their own work and through gaining attention from SCU, who has hired the company to work on multiple projects for them. Their first professional job for SCU was a video for the School of Law, which took about three weeks to film. They did everything from writing storyboards, to interviewing, to signing contracts.

“We had to go through all this legal stuff too, which was pretty cool, ‘cause it was like, ‘We’re actually doing this,’” Sandro said.

Though never trained formally in photography or videography, Sandro bought his own camera and has learned from his two partners. He also cited his dad as a source of inspiration. Growing up, his father was an avid photographer, sometimes much to his displeasure.

“I used to always get mad at my father for going to my dances or basketball games just taking pictures– so many pictures,” he said. Sandro says his dad now jokes that he is a better photographer than him.

 

From left to right, Nick Seabright, Jacob Hellinga and Sandro Tolentino

The three have spent the past year building their portfolio with a variety of projects. While shooting for Greek life events and the social scene at SCU constitutes much of their work, Sandro hopes for even more in the future of Loophole. “My goal is to tell a story that really affects somebody,” he said.

So what makes Loophole different from your typical production company? It can be broken down into a few key elements: First, they are students, making it easy to form connections with other students and the University. This gives them an understanding of the social scene unlike any outsider.

When it comes to money, no, their services do not come free. But at the end of the day, it’s not all about the money for them. Recalling a time when he photographed a Gospel choir event here on campus, Sandro said, “I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t feel like I needed to make a bunch of money.”

 

As for branding of their company, they refrain from using watermarks. A production company that does not use watermarks or heavy branding is almost unheard of in this day and age, but Sandro explained their decision saying, “It just kind of ruins a picture sometimes. We don’t need to. It’s more fun to be like, ‘You guys have your photos.’”

The combination of their status as students, reasonable fees, and lack of heavy branding has created a “cool” factor unlike anyone else in their market.

When asked if he ever gets tired of being behind the camera instead of in front of it, Sandro said no. “I enjoy capturing the moment and bringing people back to good memories. The right picture or video can evoke lots of emotion. I like bringing people back. I like stories.”

To inquire about their services, email them at loopholephoto@gmail.com. For updates and samples of their work, check out their FacebookYouTube and Instagram.

 

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