Before ever capturing the intimate, personal moments of a couple’s wedding or a child’s smile, Bill Melonides focused his talents on a broader audience. As a student at Columbia College in Chicago, Bill worked as an intern on several motion pictures and TV shows and soon moved his attention to still photography, with its artistic simplicity and darkrooms’ relaxing chemical baths. Several years later, Bill honed his shutter eye and became the head photographer at MVP Studio Photography, where he specializes in memorializing weddings that share the traditions of his Greek Orthodox heritage.
Wielding high-resolution digital SLR cameras, Bill and his creative staff photograph weddings of all faiths along with portraits of children and families, finishing off each session with sets of retouched, color-corrected prints. MVP Studio also provides a range of photography services, from securing handmade wedding albums with library bindings to converting old VHS tapes to high-quality DVDs that won’t jam as often in the VCR.
The photographers at Za’s FotoXpress are equipped with more than precision-engineered cameras: they also bring familiarity with a variety of cultures and traditions. They carry their understanding to birthday parties, weddings, and other milestone events, where they zero in on the spontaneous moments and details that make each gathering unique. Once the last flashbulb has popped, they transform shots into fully edited digital images and slideshows, and can also integrate pictures into websites.
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.
With the help of Bespoke Photobooths, cheek-to-cheek smiles, fish faces, and festive smooches are captured instantly, allowing them to be splayed across refrigerators and photo books as mementos of happy gatherings. Suit-garbed attendants stand by and welcome up to six guests into the spacious photo booths, where partygoers can don an array of novelty props and pose before an LCD screen. Immediately following the camera flash, the booths kick out strips of color or black-and-white photos, with borders bearing custom text or dates marking weddings, birthday parties, and obedience-school reunions. The company can also arrange keepsakes such as photo books and DVDs for the hosts as a permanent reminder of their special day.
The shutterbugs at Doris Photography alternate between candid shots and casual poses of their subjects, drawing on skills they've honed for more than 20 years. Their flashbulbs flicker for weddings, headshots, and passport photos, and they capture images of newborns to adorn the book jackets of babies’ first novels. Far from a conventional photo studio, Doris Photography rents out its automatic photo booth, sends videographers to events, and creates custom slide shows and invitations.
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.