Welcome to Caplan Studios!
Caplan Studios began in 2009 as a creative outlet for TV Meteorologist Mike Caplan to work behind the camera and not only in front of it. Urged on by fans of his photos, Mike began selling prints of his nature photography at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Morton Arboretum. Demand for his work soon grew in a new direction-portraiture. Capitalizing on his technical ability and even more so on his gregarious personality, Mike quickly established himself as respected portrait photographer. His ease with clients is evident whether working with professional models or lens-shy families. Mike says, “I truly enjoy being on both sides of the lens. But when I'm in the TV studio, there's no feedback. I like the immediate response I see when I coax a laugh or other natural expression from my clients.”
Luckily Mike's wife, Laura, shares his love of photography. Initially, she served as his artistic muse, serving as his model as his skill with lighting improved. Whatever mastery he achieved as photographer was more than matched by her emergence as an amazing model, striking poses and expressions that continue to make her the envy of those who see her beauty in person, on-line, or in print. Laura has also become a wonderful photographer and innovate editor. Her abstract prints have been created into photo studio backdrops available from Silverlake Photo Accessories. Her artistic vision often finds her lying prone taking a close-up of a discarded bottle while a few feet away, Mike is photographing a mountain vista or thundering waterfall.
Mike and Laura relish their separate vision as well as their unity of purpose: to create images that are appealing and to deliver a photography experience to their client that exceeds their expectations. That's right. Photography “experience.” Taking a photo is a small part of it. The quality of the time spent together during the session, the timeliness of the delivery of images, and the overall quality of the work performed create value. A “big box” photo outlet or Uncle Joe with his brand new shiny black “pro camera” might be cheaper, but there is no substitute for choosing a professional photographer who knows the craft and how to bring out the best in people. That's where Caplan Studios excels.
While staying busy with clients ranging from weddings to headshots to family portraiture, Mike and Laura still carve out time for personal photo projects. One week that might involve driving 5 hours away in the dead of winter to photograph a rare Northern Hawk Owl. Another could find them traveling to Iceland to create striking images of giant chunks of glacial ice on a black sand beach.
There is a rich tradition of passing along and sharing knowledge among photographers. Caplan Studios hosts several workshops each year for beginners and enthusiasts alike, spanning topics from fundamental exposure and composition to advanced Off-Camera-Flash techniques. Mike has been an instructor for the Associated Professional Photographers of Illinois and also teaches two courses each year at The College of Lake County with his friend and colleague John Petrovic.