Portrait Session Information.

We offer family and senior portraits on-location in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, in the city and in southern Wisconsin, as well as in our studio in downtown Algonquin.  Our on-location photos are mostly taken outdoors using natural light, while our studio shots are taken with both natural light and with our studio lighting.

Our portrait sessions are planned around your schedule and your interests, but if we’re on location, then it’s best to schedule these in the hours before sunset.  At our studio, we can shoot at any time during the day or evening.  We collaborate with you in planning for locations, wardrobe, and details.  Your session will move at a fun and relaxed pace with laughter and joy.  Our goal is for the session itself to be an experience you will want to repeat.

Our fine arts styles of portrait photography emphasizes finding the most beautiful way to take a photo.  We want you to look natural and for your pictures to bring our your natural beauty.  We like to help you relax and laugh, which always leads to your real smile.

While many of the photos will be posed, you can also expect some photojournalistic pictures of the moment that are not set up.

Here are some sample newborn and baby photos.

Here are some sample family sessions.

Here are some sample senior portrait sessions.

You can also click on the thumbnail links over on the left to see individual sessions, or visit our blog for individual sessions.

Our portrait sessions begin with us planning together with you.  We find the planning session to be extremely important as we want to prepare you to have a successful and really fun session.  We can do the preparations over the phone, or you can meet us at the studio.  We can help you decide between a studio shoot or on location. If you would like the session to be on location, we help you choose a great location where you can relax and be yourself. Let us help you select the clothing you will wear for the shoot and answer any questions you may have.  Check out our Pinterest Boards for ideas on locations in the city of Chicago and in the northwest suburbs, from Lake Forest to Geneva.

The session is meant to be fun, so if you don’t laugh at least a few times, then we’ve done something wrong. We plan for enough time for a variety of shots and poses. Before we wrap up, I’ll check with you to be sure we’ve gotten all of the shots you wanted.

Once the session is complete, you’ll come to our studio a few days later for a viewing and to select images for your wall prints and/or for an album.  We can assist you in deciding which portraits you would like displayed in your home as well as photo gifts and pictures to share.

People often ask us for ideas about clothing in their photographs. We always recommend that you wear what makes you the most comfortable, so you can be yourself.

In terms of colors, start by thinking about where these photos might be featured in your home. If you’re planning to hang the photos in a specific room in your home, it can be good to choose colors of clothing that complement the room. In a room with bold and bright colors, a photo with people wearing a similar pallette of colors will look the best.

Remember that the clothing when you dress in shirts with ties and dresses or suits, the photo feels more formal.  If everyone in the picture is wearing jeans and t-shirts, a more relaxed mood is conveyed.

There is no one best way to dress, but we do recommend wearing mostly solids or simple patterns.  A busy pattern can compete with the other people in photo as well as the background.  We know you’ve chosen all the details carefully, and would not want one dress to take too much away from the overall picture.

For family sessions, think of your family as having one big outfit. The pieces all need to look good together, but that doesn’t mean they all have to match exactly. Often, families can begin with one piece they want to wear – a pretty patterned skirt, for instance – and generate outfits from there.  You can pull colors from the initial item of clothing and coordinate an entire look. Beth is happy to help you with that process by sharing ideas and collaborating with you.

Clothing in a photo all sets the mood. Bold colors suggest energy and fun, while more muted tones can be calming and sophisticated.

In a one-hour session, it’s best to choose one look.  If your session is longer, you should consider changing outfits in the middle.  You might have a casual look and also a formal look. For individual sessions, or couples sessions, you can bring a second and third set of clothes to change into


We do charge a creative session fee of $50 for a 1-hour session, and $100 for a 2-hour session.  Along with that, there is a $300 minimum print-order with each session.  While other photographers charge additional fees for larger groupings of families (more than five individuals, usually), we do not charge additional fees unless we have to travel to your location and bring our lights and backdrops.  We have photographed family groups with as many as 50 family members in the group shot.

Contact Beth at 847-989-2782 or email her at beth@ronmckinneystudios.com with questions or to schedule your session.