Photographs of precious moments are the greatest gifts relatives can leave behind for their descendants, aside from genes for cowlick-resistant hair or hints to where the inheritance is buried. Pass on a transgenerational treasure with today's Groupon: for $50, you get a one-hour, in-studio photo shoot for up to four people, plus 20% off any prints, at Gooch Too in the West Loop (a $100 value). Photo shoots are by appointment only, with the studio keeping hours Tuesday–Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gooch Too's Renee Gooch pours a professional career of commercial and fine-art photography into snapping candid and whimsical shots of children, work that earned her a nod last year in Time Out Chicago. During the 60-minute session, Renee shoots documentary-style shots as parents and progeny roam the studio, crisscrossing cascading rays of light as it spills through floor-to-ceiling windows, coloring on walls of chalkboard, and slumping into pintsize beanbag chairs filled with such rejected jellybean flavors as shrimp-chocolate-chip. Renee looks to keep the shoot simple, encouraging kids to laugh, play with toys, and just be themselves. For the best photos, she recommends parents bring a few simple outfits that splash a bit of color but that avoid logos, name brands, or chainmail and plated armor.
Two weeks after the session, Renee uploads a private online gallery of 30–40 images. From these images, clients can select favorites for discounted prints that range from 4"x6" and smaller for frames and wallets (normally $15) to 20"x24" ($110) to hang on walls or cover up the rectangular hole your kids dug in the living room. Twenty high-resolution digital images can be burned onto CDs (about $200, including 20% discount), or the entire session can be placed onto a disc (about $400, including 20% discount).