Colin and Angela Thomas share more than their love for each other. As co-owners of Thomas' Photographic Services, the married duo shares their mutual passion for pictures, combining their distinctive photographic specialties to form one suite of services. Angela excels at traditional portraiture, carrying a large black bag that contains toys, treats, and tricks to capture the attention of pets and children. Colin, on the other hand, enjoys more creative forms of portraiture, capturing candid moments and facial expressions. Colin also enjoys retouching old and new photos, whether that means removing redeye or hiding evidence of having worn a powder blue tuxedo.
The couple spends a lot of time and effort reinvesting in their community outside business hours, even going so far as to found The Homewood Project. With this endeavor, they collect photography from neighbors and businesses to build a town yearbook, which serves as a living history of the area.
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.
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.
Bill Buchelt, élan Photography's lead photographer, calls upon his 20 years of experience and a portfolio boasting such subjects as Michael Jordan and Julie Andrews to capture patrons' personalities in flattering photos. Buchelt photographs families, individuals, and seniors posing naturally in a comfortable, professional studio or among the verdant greenery of a nearby park. For a more specific shoot, the studio's photographers travel for on-location portraits and corporate sessions and offer complete wedding packages to capture couples' vows, dances, and cake-induced food comas.
Marc Hauser’s photographic expertise comes from years of experience. As a 13-year-old freshman at New Trier High School, the Wilmette native launched his boyhood hobby into adulthood with an apprenticeship under Playboy-contributing photographer Stan Malinowski. When one of the magazine's art directors visited Stan's studio, he noticed Marc's prints on the table and turned to Stan and asked, "Would your assistant like to go to California next week and shoot Carly Simon?"
Throughout the next few decades, Marc shot John Mellencamp in a muddy field for his cover of Scarecrow, Led Zeppelin in a construction site in London, and the Doobie Brothers watching Amish people cross a field in front of McDonalds. He even spent a year's worth of weekends hanging out in dive bars with the Hells Angels, earning their trust so he could take their portraits.
"I'm just capturing these little moments where I leave them alone," Marc says about his approach to taking portraits. He photographs subjects in their natural state—often shooting family members while they're distracted and talking to each other—and he'll go to extreme lengths to capture a unique photograph. He speaks in funny voices to amuse kids and barks to get dogs' attention. He lets subjects dress up and hands them props from his collection, such as stuffed elephants or loaves of bread. Above all else, Marc makes sure his clients feel comfortable so he can focus on getting the right shots with his Canon 5D Mark II.
By forging this connection, Marc captures unique and striking images using simple parameters: shooting in black and white, with one light or natural light, or around a table in his studio. This approach to portraiture has earned Marc more than 100 awards, including Clios for advertising and a Grammy, as well as the public's fascination—a billboard of his portrait of Dennis Rodman stopped traffic on the Kennedy Expressway.