del nakamura

Del Nakamura

marketing manager

portrait, food & event photography

graphic design

social media management

video production

Del Nakamura is an Illinois native and longtime Chicagoan, with a BFA in photography from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he was fortunate to study with the influential and provocative Barbara DeGenevieve and Bea Nettles. His studies also included a three year concentration in Graphic Design.

After graduation he relocated to Chicago and worked artistic director for a number of years called Nomenil Theatre Company, founded by friend and performance artist Allen Conkle and fellow Columbia College alum Courtney Evans Taylor. He collaborated on lighting, props, sound, video/photography, graphic design and promotion.

Eventually he took a position as Director of Marketing at a trendsetting vegetarian eatery, The Chicago Diner, from 2005-2014.

Working in small organizations has unique appeal, challenges and rewards. It informs how to get the most from limited resources. Wearing many hats, he developed a marketing strategy using customer research, brand management, social media, web presence/e-commerce, graphic design, food styling/photography and merchandising.

Consequently, over a 10 year period the restaurant experienced a surge in popularity, a quintupling of revenue and has now been recognized among the Top 25 Best Vegetarian Restaurants in the World.

Food styling, photography and retouching is showcased in "The New Chicago Diner Cookbook", Agate Publishing, 2013. It features a clean, minimalist style. He also wrote the Foreword & Introduction.

In 2016 he began as a contract partner and then in 2017 became Marketing Manager for Northalsted Business Alliance. He presided over all aspects of marketing for the chamber of commerce including the community's festival events Chicago Pride Fest and Northalsted Market Days, whose combined annual attendance now tops 200,000 visitors.

Serving in a community focused role is an important honor and source of pride. The neighborhood continues to thrive as a commercial and cultural touchstone, recognized as an LGBTQ+ landmark by the city of Chicago in 2019.

His visual design philosophy is an amalgam of East Asian heritage and American culture, inspired by simplicity, abstraction, optimism & technology. He is a decades long vegetarian, loves Chicago, enjoys bicycling, fresh water aquarium keeping, coffee, contemporary art, sci-fi media, digital gadgets, and cats.

Work History

  1. Northalsted Business Alliance
  2. The Chicago Diner

Select Clients

  • Newman Properties
  • Kit Kat Lounge
  • A Dog’s Best Friend
  • Lark


  • Instagram: @digidel



  2. — Twitter
  3. — Instagram
  4. — Facebook