TTMMH- Round Two

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve been terribly caught up in the hustle and bustle of life lately- the busy at work, house hunting, puppy loving, errand running, family shenanigan hustle and bustle. I’m really bad at slowing down, even for a second, to appreciate all of the small pieces that come together and make my life so wonderful (especially since giving up caffeine for lent- only 27 more days!).

There’s a trend scooting around the interwebs over the past couple of years that I’ve been too lazy to jump onto that focuses on happy things or things we’re thankful for everyday. I tried (and failed) once before, but once again I’ve decided that I’m going to collect a weekly list of the little smiles and warm fuzzy nuggets I encounter and while I might not always share them here, I thought you guys might enjoy so of my recent Things That Make Me Happy:

Homemade Sunday Brunch:

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Happy Baby Outtakes:

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Dinners out with Family:

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Unorthodox Words of Encouragement:

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Twinning:

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Snapchats from friends that know you all too well:

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Puppy Lovins:

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Suprise 12-Egg Omelettes:

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Relevant Birthday Presents:

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I challenge all of y’all to pay closer attention the little goodies- making an even $20.00 at the gas pump or an extra cherry in your shamrock shake. See how it changes your outlook and general disposition.

xoxo-Jacqueline

Happy Christmas!!

We’ve been blessed again this year with a fantastic staff, loyal customers (who are also our friends), and a full calendar!

Each Christmas, we try to find time in our busy schedule to all be off at the same time for some fun.

This year, we had dinner at Dwight’s Station 343. A beautiful restaurant with FABULOUS food- we had a ball being together outside of the work environment (though we love being at work also!) and doing a Secret Santa gift exchange.

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Merry Christmas from your Image Group Family!

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Testing 1… 2 … 3

The Groupies are ALWAYS on the go!
County to county, school to school, event to event- everywhere we go, with everything we do, we take test shots to make sure everything is golden (light ratios, color balance, etc.)

Due to the sheer awesomeness of our staff (with a little sense of silly self-preservation thrown in,) we quite often come back home with fun images. These “tells” show our different moods, hair color phases, and the special interoffice comradery.

These are our favorite and most common test photo go-to’s.

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Tongue

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Specials

Illinois Veteran’s Home- Manteno

A couple of months ago BJ’s wife, Nancy, presented us with a fantastic photography project idea- The Veteran’s Project.

Reminiscent of Richard Avedon’s revealing style of celebrity photography, we would make emotional portraits of military veterans while documenting their wisdom and incredible journeys. BJ immediately explained the project to his photojournalism class at Olivet, who enthusiastically came on board. The project then quickly snowballed to include Dr. McLaughlin’s Multimedia Storytelling class, ROTC, and the university’s marketing department.

We made connections with the Illinois Veteran’s Home in Manteno, who was more than willing to become a part.

It’s all come together beautifully and this week, we’ve spent time with numerous veterans from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, etc. learning of their journeys both militarily and civilian. We’ve made personal connections with these incredible individuals. Full of life, they approach each day with joy and passion having experienced so many different eras of time.

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So often we take life and people for granted. It’s unreal the things you can learn by simply putting away your smartphone and listening to the knowledge of those who have paved the way before you. I challenge everyone to reach out to a grandparent, parent, great aunt, whoever… and just listen. Listen to their passions and their memories. Heed their advice and cherish their time.

The project still has a week to go, and everyone is thrilled to show off the final project. Standby to see the results!

Don’t Blink!

Hello friends!
So sorry we’ve taken so long of a hiatus on the blog.
Oh you know- the usual excuses… life get’s busy, the Holiday season is jam packed, yada yada and all that jazz.

So as our 2015 introductory blog post, we would like to introduce a super sweet (sea salt caramel truffle ice cream sweet) new promotion!!

Introducing IG’s Watch Me Grow Program!!

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This package includes five sessions, a $450 print credit, an 8×8 custom-designed fine art book, and a dedicated online image gallery to span your pride and joy’s first year.
JacePlease call us for more info if you’re interested! We’d love to meet your nugget and follow them as they grow into greatness!

Where Does My Money Go? -Investing in Us

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We’ve been noticing a lot of buzz going around about the differences in pricing between various photography studios- especially with the closing of many chain studios in department stores.

We wanted to put in our two cents about where your money goes when you hire a photographer (specifically us) and why prices have recently risen across the industry.

Professional vs. Amateur

Hiring a professional photographer is an investment.  The pictures you will come away with become more valuable as time goes by.  You can’t bring back the time, and as we all know it goes by much too quickly. Given the digital age we live in today, photos are accessible every second of everyday.  This is where hiring a professional photographer is essential. The saying, “You get what you pay for” is absolutely true in the photography world. Be wary of deals that seem to good to be true as most often they are just that. While there are exceptions to this, make sure that your photographer is professionally trained and can deliver top quality images in any situation. While an amateur or friend that dabbles in photography might offer you a disc of all of the images for a steal- it’s inevitable that the disc will become corrupted, get chewed on by the new puppy, or lost in the file drawer. It’s a gamble whether or not that photographer friend still has the images to replace your loss. Here at Image Group, you will always be working with professionally trained photographers, designers, etc. You will always receive finished edited images- ready to print into timeless heirlooms. We strive to be the absolute best that we can be for each and every client.

One-on-One Client Interaction

Every time you call the studio, a real person will answer the phone to address any questions that you may have. Everything we do is custom and personal every client that we encounter, becoming a part of our Groupie family. We say hello when we run into you at the grocery store, a football game, or at a restaurant and genuinely hope things are going well!

The Products

Every finished product that is placed into a client’s hands has been carefully handled to ensure the highest quality. Our products are all created with archival materials that will last for generations and are guaranteed not to fade with time.

The Experience

We believe that every client is special and treat every interaction as such. Part of your investment includes a fun and friendly experience to capture the personality and uniqueness of every individual, group, family, and event. We truly love what we do and want to share that with you.

The Breakdown

When it comes to booking any kind of photography services- portrait, senior, family, wedding, commercial, etc. there are costs involved that might not be common knowledge to the client.

A typical session encompasses all of the following aspects, including the behind-the-scenes:

  • Professionally trained photographer(s)
  • Top-of-the-line photography equipment (camera bodies, lenses, light modifiers, backgrounds, etc.)
  • Fully insured equipment/staff
  • Session pre-planning by client/photographer/assistant
  • Photographer/Assistants time during session and travel for session if applicable
  • Access to all of the studio’s resources (locations, props, etc.)
  • Professional retouching and editing of files using industry standard programs and equipment
  • Dedicated time to view, select, and order favorite images
  • Online gallery viewing/ordering
  • Highest quality printing and production with exclusive use of archival inks and premium-lustre photo papers
  • Highest quality, custom designed products (albums, canvases, etc.)
  • Custom order packaging by in-house production staff

 The Bottom Line

The bottom line when it comes to hiring a professional photographer is that you will get your money’s worth when it comes to service, quality, and time. We know that things can get expensive- don’t let our prices scare you! We will work with you to make sure that you walk away happy and satisfied!

Times Gone By

I don’t know about you, but I love looking at old photos and hearing the stories behind them.
Photographs are so important to history.
They give a tangible quality to things that might otherwise just be stories or verbal descriptions.
Being able to see history makes it real, makes it relatable.

Recently, three rolls of film were found in my Grandpa’s home labeled “Honeymoon ’52” and the family wanted to see what was on them.
I packaged up the film and sent them in to be scanned.

When they came back- we were thrilled!
Grampa had never seen the photos (they were developed but never printed), and included photos from his honeymoon and his service in the navy in Holland.

Grampa’s memory is razor sharp and we got to hear stories all about the photos, including names of people, cities, etc.
Such a great treasure!!

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I’m sure if you want to hear some stories, my Grandpa would love to share!
Do you have any old photos that you love?
We’d love to see them!

Sweet Summertime

My family has a strong love for fishing- particularly amongst the men.
Frequent fishing trips to Canada, Southern Illinois, and every fishing hole in between were a staple for all of the uncles, cousins, etc.

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This weekend was extra special for fishing, as all of the women were allowed (or invited themselves) to tag along.
From cigars to 8lb catfish, the day was an insightful look into what the boys get away with when they leave the girls at home.

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While I can’t speak for the rest of the girls- I wish the boys would’ve let us in on their fun sooner!
We had an absolute blast.

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Papa might’ve had more fun than any of us- look at that adorable face!!

What are some of your favorite summer past times?!

I Still Shoot Film

Kylie’s and my favorite photographic medium is black and white film.

While at Olivet, we were both required to take two darkroom classes and we fell in love.
The ability to control every little piece of your image- from exposure to development to printing, is something that I adore.
There is nothing like getting your hands wet in the chemistry and spending hours in the darkroom creating.

While I don’t get to shoot film and get into the darkroom as much as I’d like, I still shoot film!
Here are some of my favorites:

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Prom Season!

Prom season is always full of gorgeous weather, glittering dresses, dapper suits, and stunning photos.

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Here are some of our favorites from the past few weekends:

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It all makes me wonder why there aren’t more fancy occasions for adults!!
(Grown-up prom anyone?!)

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This year we introduced our open photobooth- a success!

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So much fun!!
What were some of your favorite prom moments?!