The Power of Place

Most of the time, the subject in front of the camera is a person. They have a face that tells the story of the photo, but no offense to us human beings, sometimes we are not very subtle at getting our message across– this coming from a very Italian woman. A place has a more delicate way of telling us what has happened and what is yet to come.

Here are some of the places we have traveled recently and have stayed with us.

A graduation I’ll never forget.

Golfing on the riverfront.

The Maxson/Summers fairytale wedding.

A farewell before a demolition.

A celebration of Hospice’s 35 years.

A quiet glimpse of Kankakee.

Photographers love places. They are uninterrupted, natural, and beautiful for the very reason of being overlooked, forgotten pieces of time. Very often, we forget that a place has a history, it has served a purpose and will continue to do so even after we pass by.

It can be a decked out venue or an untouched landscape, a place has a lot to offer if we take the time to look. So I want to challenge everyone to look around. At your home, those cracks on the sidewalk, your summer vacation location… anywhere!

Sweet Summer Time

The unbeatable warmth of the sun, the delectable smell of freshly cut grass, kids laughing, parents relaxing, fans blaring…the clear signs that summer is finally here. Yes, the warmest season is upon us, and it’s time to ring in the days by the pool and the nights sitting under the stars.

Take a look at what we’ve been doing during these lazy, hazy days!

Look at all that green!

However you spend your summer, whether it’s on a beach, sliding down a water slide, or taking a much-needed breather at home, we at Image Group wish you all the best. Stop in and tell us all about your trips… just know we’ll be extremely jealous of you.

Stay safe and have fun!

Photographers are Storytellers

Despite what many people think (me, included), there is more than one way to tell a story. Writers use pen and paper, actors use themselves, painters use… paint.

Photographers are no different. They use a camera and their imagination to stop those moments that may be forgotten, but really, they can do so much more.

They can document a school’s milestone.

They have the ability to capture a child’s true nature.

They have the skill to immortalize the perfect shot.

They can catch a glimpse into a young couple’s beautiful future.

Never underestimate the power a photographer has. Holding a camera and pressing a button are only the mechanics. Stopping time, creating hidden possibilities, and putting story to subject is the magic beneath it all.

They’re illusionists, they’re artists, they’re storytellers.

Graduation is here!

Graduation Day.

It’s the day all of your hard work is honored and celebrated. It’s the day  you remember all of those sleepless nights, all or nothing projects that required your undivided attention, and those papers… all of those papers that were your keys to the Emerald City.
Well, this is what your hard work looks like in the end.

Sort of.

But no matter what your hard work looks like, you deserve to be honored. Studying, cramming, etc. is no easy task (speaking as a recent graduate myself). It’s planning, writing, not sleeping, eating junk food, crying… I got off point. What I’m trying to say is, no matter what you do during your educational career, graduation is the day where you get to reflect on what you have done and what you are going to do.

So grab that diploma, hug your loved one, snap a selfie.

Do what you gotta do to celebrate you.

From all of us at Image Group, congratulations!

You deserve it.

Introducing: Bert and Ernie

Yes, you read that right, but the two additions to Image Group are not puppets who live on Sesame Street. They are state of the art photobooths we recently acquired and already fallen in love with. Seriously, we can’t get enough of them!

Thanks to Nick at Open Air, Bert and Ernie (a joke I made that seemed to stick) arrived, and after some building, programming, and playing the two are now up and running. They are ready for dances, weddings, corporate events– anything!

They even had their first appearance at Reed Custer High School’s Prom, and they were a blast!

The photobooth is back! Let us know if you are having an event and want Bert and Ernie there to capture the moments you want to relive again and again.

We supply tools, you supply the smiles.


A Moment to Remember (ft. Christina and Derek)

Get ready to fall in love with Christina and Derek… because we did!

What started as a family session turned into a surprise engagement that made the entire studio burst into tears and smiles.

It all began when Oachia Irvin—Christina’s mother—contacted the studio about a family photo session…with a twist. Her daughter’s boyfriend was going to pop in and pop the question, so being the savvy woman she is, Oachia looked to us to catch Christina off guard…and on camera.

Come March 29th.

While Derek, Christina’s boyfriend, hid in one of our offices, Oachia, Tyrone, and Christina were being photographed by BJ. To Christina, it was a typical family session—until the man of her dreams asked her to be his wife.

She said yes.

It’s moments like these that we live to capture—these moments of pure happiness, pure love, and joy.

Thank you to Oachia for letting us be involved in this wonderful day.

And many congratulations to Christina and Derek.
We all wish you a beautiful, blissful future!

A Year in Review (AKA The Blog is Back!)

Hello again from the groupies!

The past year has been one of our busiest yet—so busy, in fact, that we’ve neglected to update our blog in almost exactly a year (whoops!). We promise we’re still here, though, and we’ve got plenty to fill you all in on, including weddings, babies, and new additions to the groupie family!

This year, the studio has seen plenty of changes. We’ve had tons of fun shooting for several new schools, like BBCHS. It’s always a pleasure to get to know the students and share in their moments of school pride.

The groupies also welcomed two new members to our staff. Hannah (left) and Taylor (right) are both graduates of Olivet and former students of BJ. Hannah has filled the role of Project Manager, and Taylor is one of IG’s photographers. We’ll get to know them a bit more in future blog posts.

Family has always been important here, and ours has expanded quite a bit recently. Last March, BJ’s second grandson, Caden, was born…

…and he just had his first birthday!

In September, we had the privilege of photographing Meredith’s wedding.

And then, in November, our very own Brittany got married!

This winter, we saw little Bennett enter the world.

And Beckett turned two!

Life has certainly kept us all busy, and we look forward to whatever new adventures await us! More to come soon!

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:

Happy Baby Outtakes:

Dinners out with Family:

Unorthodox Words of Encouragement:


Snapchats from friends that know you all too well:

Puppy Lovins:

Suprise 12-Egg Omelettes:

Relevant Birthday Presents:

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.


A Day With Frankie


Frankie the Russian Tortoise is bored today. Oh look! There he goes scuttling away to explore the studio.


He comes across a camera case with a hard shell. No, it’s not a giant tortoise. Nonetheless, Frankie wants to be a photographer too.


Frankie gets distracted by a warm vent. Heat is good for his complexion.

He makes his way to the backdrop and tucks his head in.
Frankie thinks he can blend into the background. But he can’t.


Miraculously, he climbs a wooden stool and sits. Frankie is waiting for his family so they can get a group shot. But his family lives in Russia. They didn’t get the memo.


He descends the stool and continues on his journey. He sees Bj’s office with the door open. Frankie knows he’s not supposed to go into his dad’s office.


But he does it anyway.


Frankie heads up front when he hears someone come in. Frankie is good at greeting customers, but he keeps his distance so he doesn’t get stepped on.


Frankie hops back into his tank to relax. His little legs can only take so much travel in one day.


It’s time for a nap. Perhaps more fun will come tomorrow!

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.


Merry Christmas from your Image Group Family!