Our Story

Walk through our door, and you’ll get it right away: you’re in a neighborhood shop that’s welcoming, creative, unpretentious, eclectic—a meditation studio wrapped around a beehive. Pretty things to look at, interesting objects to ponder, artwork and frame samples everywhere. A bit “off the beaten track”, but well worth the journey.

“PAINTED LIGHT” refers to the process of adding oil color to black-and-white photographs—the passion that started things off back in 1990. My diverse background in photography, multi-media, filmmaking and inventing cocktail punches left me unfit for a regular job. I began hand-tinting photographs as “art” pieces, and showed them at weekend fairs.

But the true calling for my fledgling business was revealed in one little sample among all others: a hand-colored photo restoration of the West Virginia home my father grew up in. Customers regaled me with stories of their own photographic tragedies and, not knowing even where to take them, this service seemed to fill a huge gap.

Hand-tinting is only one aspect of restoration and so it has been my work with antique black-and-white and sepia images that really built this aspect of the business, connecting with customers’ desires to deepen their relationship with their own histories through their family photo collections. After establishing myself in the eclectic community of Andersonville on the far northside of Chicago, custom framing services were added and we became Painted Light Photography & Framing Gallery. This combination of services—in addition to being the neighborhood “general store” carrying gifts and artwork—has allowed us to grow into the “small shop with expansive capabilities” that we are today, including those cocktail punches served at every art opening and party I host.

At Painted Light we set ourselves apart by providing customers with a attentive atmosphere in which to address their individual needs with openness and sensitivity to both aesthetics and price, giving our customers above-and-beyond a “bottom line” approach to doing business. We take the small jobs as well as the big ones, approaching every project as a unique challenge, and we try our best to do whatever the client needs in the time that they need it. We have become known for our personal touch, wide range of available services and options, and executing projects with skilled and creative craftsmanship.

As of this writing in 2010, we are now in our 20th year of business. I hope you’ll pay us a visit!

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