The first Ebert Studio opened almost 100 years ago on Chicago's west side. Since then, four successive generations have preserved memories for countless families in studios that now reside in Oak Park and Hinsdale. At the helm today is Jeff Ebert, the great-grandson of the studio's founder. Jeff makes a very small distinction to give you the big picture—"It's not so much that it's photography," he says, "but it's photographing people."
Making people feel comfortable and look better is just one part of his job. The next part is to create "a piece like a painting that can be hung above a mantle and somebody can be proud of for years and years to come." As the latest in a line of artists stretching back to 1915, Jeff does that well, harnessing the power of passed time and using it to build a portfolio that showcases families, weddings, animals, and individuals. Some of his notable subjects have included Cardinal Francis George, Walter Payton, and film director Christopher Columbus, known for his historical documentary of babysitting, Home Alone.
MWD Photography has snapped portraits of children, pets, families, and other subjects with professionalism and poise for more than 30 years. With a one-hour photo session at the MWD studio, one of the company's shutter sorcerers can produce an image that humanely captures the personalities of up to four subjects, clones them, and then releases them back into the wild. With today's deal, customers will choose a favorite pose and receive a full three-sheet set of prints, ideal for gifting to doting relatives and indifferent strangers alike. Between March 24 and April 9, the studio will be home to a pack of disarmingly lovable bunnies to help accentuate springtime pictures, intensify the adorability of toddler photos, and give carrot portraiture a gritty sense of danger.
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.