GODFREY, IL – McGilvrey Fine Portraits has been chosen as the December 2021 RiverBend Growth Association Small Business of the Month award recipient.

Photographer George McGilvrey notes that one of the unique offerings from his studio is the prints and albums they provide to customers. “We take pride in offering prints and albums, so people have them to enjoy for generations, not just digital images to have on their phone or on a disk in their desk drawer.”

George McGilvrey with RBGA President John Keller

In business for 20 years, McGilvrey had operated his photography studio solely in Paris, Ill., and its surrounding region until closing in 2000, when digital photography took over as the preferred choice over film. “It would have been a great expense to make the changeover then,” said McGilvrey.

“When my wife Kimberly and I married and moved to this area, we started the photography studio up again. We still do work for returning and new customers in the Paris area while also continuing to build our presence in the River Bend,” McGilvrey shared further. Their East Alton studio opened in 2015.

As the husband-and-wife duo has noted on their website, “We are inspired by the love we have for making people more confident while feeling beautiful. We have photographed many different subjects in many different places around the country. We are surrounded by both natural beauty and interesting people. Our photography tells your story.”

“I do what I do because I like to show people their best side and help them see themselves as others see them. What they see in the mirror isn’t always accurate,” McGilvrey added. “I enjoy the look on people’s faces when they see the finished product. It’s extra special when they say, ‘Wow, I look good!’”

McGilvrey Fine Portraits, as the name suggests, offers fine portraits as part of their photography services, but also much more. They also offer professional headshots, senior photos (including black and white sessions), real estate photography, and a full array of other photography services that include weddings, engagements, maternity, family, children, event, and even school dance coverage. They will also travel to your location to capture the shots that help tell your everyday life stories.

“I have done complimentary sessions for many folks as well,” said McGilvrey, “especially high school seniors that may not be able to have professional portraits otherwise.”

As for challenges, the one they face the most comes in convincing people of the need for their services. “Everyone with a camera thinks they are a photographer and so many offer ‘cheap’ services,” said McGilvrey. “It’s hard to convince people that they want, and need, professional images and physical prints, not just digital files.”

McGilvrey consults with potential clients before they are in front of the camera, customizing each session and creating the style of images the clients want. “Every session is different and needs to be treated that way.”

“We also realize that everyone isn’t our ideal customer. Quality portraits are a luxury, and they do not fit in everyone’s budget,” he added.

Choosing to become a member of the RiverBend Growth Association was a sound business decision for McGilvrey Fine Portraits too. “Our business allows us to meet many good people that we may not have become acquainted with otherwise. As a member of the RBGA, I am pleased with the way they promote our business, including through social media and as well as through their website, and with their added networking opportunities. I enjoy participating in as many of the RBGA events as I can.”

To learn more about McGilvrey Fine Portraits and all the possibilities they offer to clients, visit them online at mcgilvreyfineportraits.com or call (217) 822-3189.

Located in East Alton and Paris, Ill., their studios serve clients throughout the greater Madison County and Riverbend regions, as well as the greater Edgar County area.

The RBGA’s Small Business of the Month Committee recognizes a different member business each month for its outstanding efforts and leadership in the community. Committee members include Jacinda Dunlap, Brenda Eardley, Kristen Ryrie, Leslie Schobernd, Martha Schultz, Amy Smith, and Kathy Weaver. To learn more about membership in the RiverBend Growth Association and the Small Business of the Month recognition, visit the RBGA website or call their Godfrey office.

The RiverBend Growth Association is the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization for the 11 communities known as the Riverbend. For more information about the Growth Association, please visit www.growthassociation.com or call (618) 467-2280.


This article was prepared for the RiverBend Growth Association by Melissa Meske Publications, macmeske.com.