Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Bobby rocked his senior photo session. What an awesome kid!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some sweet engagement shots

October is a great month for outdoor shots. Last week, we went to North Shore suburb of Highwood for Erin and Dino's engagement shoot. There were pumpkins everywhere in the attempt of breaking the worlds record of lit pumpkins. They were can check out photos, video, and comments at

Chicago Botanic Gardens is a photographer's dream with over 365 acres and 24 gardens situated on nine islands surrounded by lakes. This is where we started Erin and Dino's engagement session. We then took a unique personalized tour of the beautiful homes where some of the 80's movies were filmed and Fort Sheridan - a once US Army Post now renovated into residential neighborhood. The architecture is exquisite!

Thank you Erin and Dino for your hospitality (and for the freshly picked pears from your front yard)...Looking forward to your wedding at the Grand River on 9/10/11!

Closer to Dubuque, Todd and Kendra's engagement session was just as colorful and the light was just perfect. We had a lot of fun - and, by the way, like the new phone! Looking forward to your wedding in July.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Sarah and I took a few shots in this old barn, this was
one of my favs.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chris & Lara and Michelle & Jeff

Congratulations to Chris and Lara, we loved the Model A Ford
and Todd, their ring bearer. He was a good puppy!

Michelle and Jeff had a great day! We missed the rain or should I say the rain missed us.
We were able to enjoy the beautiful October day in the Galena Territories.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Telling the Story

Every now and then, it's great fun to just go crazy outside the 5x7 box.... Which is exactly what we got to do in working with Mr. and Mrs. Hackbarth on the design of their custom wedding album from JM Studios.

I really enjoyed thinking about the newlyweds showing this album to all their friends and family, telling the story of their wedding day with the turn of each page. The internet is a great way to share, but photographs often are lost to the immediacy of the mouse click. A print that you can touch, admire, and pass on to generations is simply a beautiful thing. 

Here are a few of my favorites from the book:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Honey, We're the Big Door Prize."

Jill and Alex came all the way from Austin, TX for their wedding at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, IA last week. Took some great photos and met some even better friends... Their fun and carefree personalities made for a fantastic and memorable day.

Thanks to Jill, Alex, and family for showing us a great time. You guys are the best!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nikki and Brandon

Nikki and Brandon officially became Mr. and Mrs. Bell on Saturday!
Beautiful weather, fantastic wedding, fun crowd. What more could two photographers ask for?

The happy couple even worked the camera in the super cool JM Studios red chair.

Congratulations and thanks for a great time, you guys rocked out...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer in Iowa

Drove back to Decorah yesterday from a busy weekend in Dubuque with Dad... could not help but notice the beauty of Iowa in the summertime. It really is quite serene.
Need to make an effort to stop and take photos during those drives. To think, I almost let this just pass me by.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A few shots from the Little Rebels photo shoot. Little Rebels is a new children and teen clothing store in Galena, Illinois.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yellow River State Forest Fire Tower

A trip up to Yellow River State Forest. Madison and I took the opportunity to photograph
the abandoned fire tower. Lights used were star light and a Bic lighter.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Milky Way from my house.
I think I'll try the fisheye next.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Go Red Team!

Music on the March last night in Dubuque, IA. Dad and I got to be right up in the action.

So hard to choose from our favorites! Congrats to the Colts, Colt Cadets, and the rest of the performing corps on a job well done. You guys rock!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Family Business

Mom is learning how to take sweet photos.

Shooting out the car on the way back from Minnesota yesterday. With just a little cropping and Lightroom b&w conversion... Boom! Awesome photo. Not too shabby, Mama!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tom & Jodi, Steph & Ben

Wow... What a great weekend to be a photographer! So much fun... Two wonderful weddings, a sweet lightning storm, Mom & Dad off to MN on Sunday, and a brand new camera body for JM Studios!

Here are a few of our favorites from this weekend... Congrats to the happy couples!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Book your wedding and get a free 10x30 custom made panoramic print

I have been working on perfecting a "family reunion" panoramic photo and thought it would be a great addition to weddings as well. This is one that I recently designed. The families were photographed separately and merged into one photo. I then added a background. This technique made it much easier than trying to get all of the group to smile at once.

If you book a wedding package with JM Studios before July 31st, I will add a custom designed 10 x 30 panoramic print for free (over $150.00 value). The photo can either be of your wedding party or your family - you decide. Just mentioned that you heard this on our Blog.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


It's summer and the bugs are out. This one was on my kitchen screen window. Shot with a 70 - 200mm lens with a 12 mm extension tube attached. Looks like I need to clean the screens.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 it's been awhile since I have blogged. Truth is I am getting into our busy season and I have many projects up and coming. So this is the kick off for the season. We just got back from a
destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Molly, Jason and their fun friends and family gave my wife Beth and I a week to remember. It was sublime. Thank you, Molly and Jason.
The arch photo is interesting because it was extremely crowded down on the boardwalk. People were gathered in celebration of Labour Day or El Dia del Trabajo, to watch the sunset. We watched the crowd and at last we had an opening. Click. Off camera flash with a 1/4 CTO filter combined with a pocketwizard gave the fill light needed to illuminate and Molly and Jason's faces.

Take care.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bridal Show at Fairgrounds

Today (January 31) is the Cumulus Bridal Show at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds. We were unable to contribute this year due to a prior engagement. Last year we had a lot of great response and booked some great weddings.

If you are interested in seeing if JM Studios would be a good fit as your wedding photographer, please give me a call at 563.543.4957 or visit my website at I am also starting a new page on facebook - become a fan!

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Friends

One thing that we enjoy about bridal shows is meeting new people and making new friends. The bridal show at the Grand River Center on Saturday was no exception. JoAnn and her crew know how to do things right. Not only did we meet many new brides-to-be and their friends/family - but also some great business that help assist with making that special day memoriable for years to come.

Our booth was in between two great reception facilities...Mary Kay and Brittani from the Hotel Julien and Ashley and Nettie from Rocky Waters Vinyard/Winery in Hanover, IL were great to visit with. We also were able to visit with other vendors from wedding planners, photo booths, and other photographers. All in all it was a great day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Exciting Week Ahead

Here we go! We are looking forward to an exciting week of photography related adventure. First, it's off to Nashville for the Imaging USA 2010 Imaging Expo. We will be exploring all of the latest technology and imaging techniques. On Saturday, January 16, we look forward to Kat FM and Cheryl-Ann Bridals "A Grand Event" Bridal Extravaganza, located at The Grand River Center. If you are getting married or even thinking about getting married, you owe it to yourself to meet all of the fantastic wedding related businesses in the Tri-State area. Caterers, jewelers, bridal shops,'s all there. Stop by and say Hello.

Have a great week.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hello Blogosphere!

To keep everyone updated on new experiences and undertakings of JM Studios, here it is our very first blog! Right now, we are in what one might call wedding "off season" here in the Midwest... but this in no way means that we are taking a break. JM Studios is busier than ever and loving every minute!

JM Studios owner, Jeff McMullen, (though I prefer to call him 'Dad') has been off on so many ventures, it's hard to keep up! Recently he updated his website to include new photos and info, and lately has been booking and meeting with bride-and-grooms-to-be to help them prepare for their big days in 2010. He's also been taking senior portraits and family photos, including our own family's on Thanksgiving in our annual makeshift studio- set up wherever the family get together happens to be. This is always tons of fun for our whole family because everyone gets to take their turns in the "photo booth".

Aside from that, Jeff is, as always, eagerly trying new experiments with his photography and learning about new gadgets and techniques. In fact, we both just recently got set up with Adobe Lightroom 2 and can't get enough. After a wedding in November, he used the program to edit the photos, and I think he's in love. No, seriously, he even left me a voicemail a few weeks ago just to say "Madison... I love Lightroom!" Keeping up with new technology in the world of photography is very difficult, but necessary, and my dad's dedication to always making himself and his images better really shows- and continues to pay off in the form of happy clients.

Jeff is in Nashville, TN with his wife, Beth at an Image Expo. In his own words, via Facebook status, he is enjoying "learning about all the newest coolest photography stuff." Knowing my dad, he is probably having tons of fun before the Expo taking lots of photos. Hopefully if he gets some down time he will post some sweet photos for us on here.

That about wraps it up for me, I'll leave it to Jeff now to make his debut out into the blogosphere!

--Madison McMullen