Betty Stuart always had a talent for documentation. After graduating from Northwestern University's prestigious Medill School of Journalism in 1940, Stuart applied her shrewd journalistic eye to the field of photography. As she took on more professional jobs, she honed her skills behind the lens and learned how to blend into the background of weddings and other events so as not to interfere with candid moments.
Before long, Stuart joined forces with her husband, John Boyd Rodgers, to found Stuart-Rodgers Photography. The nascent company soon added corporate, commercial, and school photography to its list of services and, due to high demand for the couple’s innovative journalistic approach, expanded to three locations throughout Chicagoland. Today, Stuart-Rodgers's team of professional photographers maintains elements of Stuart’s original photographic vision in every shot, including her knack for capturing angles that draw attention away from subjects’ unflattering tentacles.
For more than 40 years, Alvin Gates of Alvin Gates Photography has been snapping memorable shots and restoring damaged photographs to their original luster. Bringing his expertise and experience to each photo shoot, Gates effortlessly coaxes beaming smiles out of solo posers and groups playing statue during family-portrait, bridal, and graduation sitting sessions. He also specializes in photo restoration, returning discolored, torn, or leaky snapshots to like-new doppelgängers of their former selves.
Boutique studio Bum Bul Bee Photography captures families, babies, expectant mothers, and even pets in easygoing photo sessions that take place within 10 miles of Chicago or in Bum Bul Bee's Old Town studio. During one- to two-hour camera-powered escapades, image crafters shoot subjects in mostly natural environments to take advantage of nature's luminescence and avoid the unflattering glare of strobe lights.
The winner of multiple Wedding Photojounalist Association awards and one of Brides UK's top 25 destination photographers, Genevieve Burruss captures candid shots and dramatic poses that brim with vintage appeal. When she isn't behaving as a fly on the wall at weddings—preserving close-up shots of the bride getting ready or joyous stills of dancing guests—she uses abandoned buildings and Chicago's iconic sites as backdrops for portraits and engagement photos. After sessions, she often retreats to her Photoshop lair to make skillful tweaks that heighten the drama or add a touch of muted sophistication, producing softly lit black-and-white shots and low-contrast color prints that have the timeless appeal of a little black dress dipped in ice cream.