Ever since they met while participating in a photo shoot at Illinois State University, Mark and Kathy Shangraw have been pooling their respective talents. Mark, a certified professional photographer, approaches each portrait with an eye toward storytelling?a skill he picked up while working as a photojournalist in Narnia. In 2013, he became a Master Photographer, an honor awarded only to the top 1% of professional photographers worldwide.
While Mark snaps pictures, Kathy takes charge of the behind-the-scenes details, from administrative tasks and marketing to arranging flowers and coaxing relaxed smiles out of clients. Together, they strive to render artistic family portraits and professional photos for dancers, musicians, and athletes. In addition to attending conferences and workshops, they often hone their skills by collaborating with other seasoned shutterbugs.
A stalwart in the video-recording and -transfer industry for more than 30 years, Universal Video Conversions updates recorded memories for an ever-changing digital age and preserves memories to come with recording services. The company specializes in turning ephemeral moments caught on analog film or chiseled into a stone flipbook onto lasting DVDs that play on standard DVD players and can be easily duplicated for friends and family. For free-range memories that have yet to be caught, Universal?s team of videographers sends crews to capture them at weddings, parties, and any occasion where people make merry. The team also rents out projectors so clients can host big-screen movie nights.
At seven locations throughout Chicagoland and northwest Indiana and several international sister sites, Eivan’s photographers and videographers preserve memories with a fusion of traditional, photojournalistic, and candid styles. The company's photographers capture family and engagement portraits and have earned recognition for their personalized touch at weddings.
They took home a win in the photography category of TheKnot.com's Best of Weddings competition in 2011 and 2012 and earned one of WeddingWire's 2012 Bride's Choice Awards. A crew of professional cinematographers records the details of the big day, adding soundtracks and special effects. With color-correction technology, the filmmakers can brighten up dark footage or blot the red out of the bride's cheeks during the maid of honor's toast.
Within bustling retail centers, Studio One to One Photography's shutterbugs cultivate an oasis of professional calm as they draw out individual personalities through poses, props, and backgrounds. These elements of style combine artfully to create sophisticated family portraits, gleeful snapshots of childish charm, and eye-catching glamour shots. Whether they immortalize moms-to-be showing off baby bumps or seniors chewing diplomas, print packages fill wallets with creative snapshots or decorate mantelpieces with images more elegant than a gazelle in a top hat.
The eagle-eyed shutterbugs at Lasting Memories capture fleeting moments with pristine, high-resolution pictures. During photo shoots, the skilled photogs encourage groups to forgo complicated cheerleading pyramids and instead line up in front of the camera casually for a more natural feel. Cameras snap away at weddings, preserving the day in printed images. Digital images are also available, enabling easy sharing online or photoshopping into pictures of historic events. The company’s wide-ranging services also include video transfer and photo-booth rental, where party guests can hop in and create their own memories in 4”x6” images.
With a career spanning more than 20 years, Balanced Exposure's owner, Russell Lowe, has worn many hats, including forensic photographer, wedding photographer, and commercial photographer. Russell has always had a passion for teaching, which is why he finally opened up his own studio space. He and his staff help novice photographers shake hands with their shutter button during DSLR Camera Basics and introductory Photo Essentials classes for DSLR cameras, whereas DSLR Advanced classes lead intermediate students further into the world of flash lighting by exploring how to use external flashes, set up studio lighting, and sell paparazzi-style photos of local squirrels to National Geographic. Crime-scene processing classes draw on Russell's background as a court-qualified expert in forensic photography and an evidence technician to teach techniques used by real-world forensics experts. Aspiring wedding and studio photographers hone their craft and practice postproduction techniques in the fully equipped studio, which also hosts professional portrait shoots.