Professional vs. Amateur


There is more to photography than a pretty smile. A professional photographer

knows how to capture the ‘true you’. A smile that shows in your eyes.


Someone who has been working with people, taking portraits for years, 

knows how to make them relax, laugh and have a good time during their 

session. That is essential to capturing your ‘real’ expressions. 


A professional photographer isn’t just taking pictures. He is creating portraits. 

He is posing you in the best, most flattering ways, to acheve the best

end results. 


Big Ed has 42 years of portraiture experience. The ‘Studio in the Country’ 

has expansive areas and many complementary backgrounds for a 

variety of looks.


A dressing room with mirrors and plenty of lights to comfortably change outfits.


Exceptional lighting that is found only in a professional photography studio.


Big Ed’s studio also has landscaped grounds to accomodate outside sessions.

No need to travel anywhere... but we can when needed.


After your photo session, you can choose your favorite portraits as early as the

next day, depending on scheduling. Then view them online with your family and



Once your prints are chosen, you can rest assured that each pose undergoes

complete enhancement and retouching of flaws. Orders are turned around

quickly, typically within two to three weeks of ordering.


Big Ed’s wants you to enjoy your portraits for years; so all your selections are

finished with a lacquer coating to protect them from Ultraviolet light.

However, should you ever need additional or replacement portraits, our digital 

archive contains copies of all your finished portraits.


July 9, 2012

"We have worked with Big Ed's for many years. He has captured

wonderful family memories for multiple generations. Big Ed's is

easy to work with, professional, creative and patient with all ages!

His studio provides a beautiful backdrop for outdoor photos as well.

We are always very impressed with the end results and fortunate

to have such a high quality studio in our area." 


Ann Goodman


Booking:     Pay Session Fee

First Appointment:     Portrait Session

Memory Book or Folio payments are due at the end of the session. Special prices are only good at this time. This is also the time to schedule a viewing appointment.


Second Appointment:     Viewing

View your portraits and choose your images. Choices will be placed online within 24 hours. Proof prints can be made available for a cost of $1.50 each. Proof prints are unretouched and will remain the property of Big Ed’s. Proofs must be returned to studio when ordering.

Third Appointment:     Ordering

Schedule a third appointment when ready to order your portraits. 50% of the order balance is due the day the order is placed. Order balance must be paid in full at time of pick-up... 2 - 3 weeks after ordering.



Senior Wear


Here are a few guidelines that you, as a Big Ed's Senior, should know to prepare for your portrait session. Go through the list. If it leaves you with some unanswered questions, contact our studio by Email via our website or call 563-285-4368.


We should try to start on time. If you are running late or are not ready, we'll have less time in the Camera Session to create your images. Call if you need to prepare at the studio... hair, makeup, etc., so we can schedule extra time in the dressing room.


Avoid bold busy patterns, and busy logos!!! Solids shift the attention to you. Remember, Grandma, Mom & You all need to be happy, so bring Dressy, Medium Dressy, and Casual attire. Also, the variety will give you a wider range of looks to choose.

Vary the colors. Everyone has a favorite color, but if you bring all one color it will be boring.

Vary the style, not all tank tops, t-shirts, etc.

New clothes are not always best... you don't know how they will 'hang' on you. If you have something your friends say is a good look for you, go with it. It's a pretty sure bet.  

Make sure your clothes flatter you.  If you think you have larger arms, avoid the sleevless styles.

When you're getting ready for your session, organize your outfits on seperate hangers. It's easier for me to see when you get here and for you to put on when the time comes. Putting clothes in a bag leaves them wrinkled. Time taken to remove wrinkles cuts down the time spent in front of the camera.

We will do close ups and full lengths of most outfits, so dress head to toe.

Most of the time dark clothes look better on dark backgrounds, and light on light backgrounds.  If you have a preference, choose your clothes accordingly.

The shinny Neon colors like Mustard, Hot Pink and Flourescent Green are not good for portraits. The lights reflect off them and discolors your skin. 

We don't like to tell you what to wear. We do portraits of everything from formals to swimsuits, and sometimes just a touch of that is good. We want your images to look the way you feel you should, but keep it PG. What's appropriate on some, is not on others.


Contrast is what makes Black & White work so well.  So if you are very fair, dark clothes around the face is the best.  If you are very dark then white should surround you. Dark bottoms usually work the best for this by far.


Makeup should only be slightly heavier than normal. I like to call it evening makeup.

No clumps in the mascara, please. Get some new stuff, it looks so much better.  

Avoid the makeup with "sparkles" in it.  It may be cool in action, but with still photos it can look like a 'zit' when the light hits it just so.  

Avoid makeup with SPF in it. It makes you shine too much.  A bit of translucent powder can knock out shine without changing your color. Bring it with you in case touch-ups are needed.


Please make sure you are clean shaven.  Retouch of stubble gets very costly and makes you too 'soft' looking.  If you really want a 'scruffy' look, we can do that first, then shave and continue.  Same with a goatee. If mom doesn't like it... do it first, shave it off, and everyone's happy.  Don't worry, I have a mom too.


Do not change your hairstyle or get a haircut right before your session!  Let it be more natural, more like you.  Quick and easy hair changes during the session are OK, but make it simple and quick, so as not to lose camera time. Bring your hair care tools and products with you, as needed.


Keep it simple. We want the attention on you!  If you have different jewelry for each outfit, put it in a plastic bag and hang it on the hanger with that outfit. Organization will save you 'change' time and give you more 'camra' time.


TOO MANY TO NAME. Bring in things that help define who you are right now.

If you have a complicated setup, we may need you to be the early morning or late day session to allow for time needed.  

Props can be about anything you can imagine, so don't worry about surprising us. Maybe you'll come up with something we haven't seen yet.

Please tell us what your thinking when booking, so we can schedule the time needed.


Most glasses glare, some are impossible. To be safe, talk to your optometrist. Most will 'loan' you an empty set of frames, similar to yours, for your photo session.

Sun glasses are very cool for some outdoor shots.


Tan lines are not cool in portraits.  Vary your swimsuit or use a tanning bed to minimize this problem.  

DO NOT overdue your tanning. It is not attractive. It makes you look shinny and more coarse.  

Sunburn and peeling skin do not work. So be careful as your session approches.

Tanning from a bottle gives you a funny color.  Nowadays, people think anything can be 'fixed in photoshop'. But this is about the worst and will cost extra.


Don't worry about minor breakouts, we retouch blemishes. We even offer an inexpensive option to retouch your entire Folio or Memory Book.


Pets are fine but they must be house broken. Have someone along to tend to the pet and they must be kept on a leash, indoors and out.

Please mention pets when booking.


Family and friends are welcome to watch your session.  They may even be a big help... who knows, we may put them to work holding lights or reflectors. HOWEVER, if we feel they are distracting you, it may be best to have them wait in the front offce. This is a tough decision, but sometimes we do our best work when it's one on one and small groups are always best.

Also, family and/or friends can be incorporated into your portraits, for a minimal fee, if you desire.


If we could control the weather we would never have to work again!!!

Overcast is good. We don't need sun, just light.

If it's raining or windy, we will go ahead with your studio work at the regularly scheduled time, and reschedule your outdoor session. Then when you come back it won't take very long. There is little else we can do.


Tell us at the time of the shoot if you wish to have any of these retouched.  There will be a small charge for additional artwork. Most can be hidden with camera angle.


Check out your foundation wear for each of your outfits at home to avoid problems.  Flowered underware showing through white pants is a not good. Bra straps showing with a sleeveless shirt. You can't tuck them in cause they will leave bumps. Let's be thorough. 


NAILS SHOW!!  If your nail color is chipped or neon, repaint them a more subtle color. We will be doing some casual barefoot shots so don't forget the toes.  



Family Clothing


The thought put into this aspect of a portrait is very critical.  

Families studio: The bigger the group, the less confusion we want to see with the clothing.

We want a family to all look like they "are going to the same party". By this we mean the same season, same formality... using complimentary solid colors, or toned down patterns.  

Avoid bold patterns and colors, it 'draws the eyes' to the clothes on one person and does not enhance the group as a whole.

If possible lay the clothes out on a white sheet on the bed and see that all the colors you pick compliment each other.  With a variety of colors in a group, I will need to scatter those with the same color, rather than clumping all one color in one area, this is essential to balance the images look.

Think about where you are going to hang your large print. If there are colors in the room that you wish to accent, choose your colors accordingly.

Is there a formality you wish to match in your home? Maybe you already have a casual family portrait and would like to do something more formal this time... or vice versa.

If your are interested in Black & White, it will eliminate the color issues but not the bold patterns. Small children in the group can wear brighter colors and bolder patterns because their smaller mass allows it.

Families outside: Outside portraits should be kept very casual as some of you may be sitting on the grass. White is NOT a good color for outside portraits. Keep in mind, the larger the group, the more difficult it is to position everyone in an outside setting. We do locations if you have something specific in mind, but the important thing is for you to get your portraits done. Sometimes it's difficult to get extended family together and scheduling at the studio allows us to move inside if the weather is bad. Then we get results rain or shine.

Very large groups are not a problem. We can accommodate 70+ in our studio.

Yes, there is much to think about when getting a large group together, but the dividends are HUGE for many, many years!  

Call us if you have any questions or concerns at 563-285-4368.