Denis Harsh Studio logo
Home ยป

Bloomington Peoria Champaign Photographers

Hi, we are Denis Photographers, a photography studio for Bloomington Peoria and Champaign.

We are one of the most trusted, experienced photography studios in Illinois. Our specialties include portrait photography, wedding photography and school pictures.

Most of our clients are the girl or family next door, even though we have photographed weddings for NFL Quarterbacks, MLB Pitchers, NASA Rocket Scientists, Senators and Official Portraits for University Presidents. Stop in sometime to visit us and check us out. Let us create the best photographs that you have ever had taken.


Family Portrait Photography has long been a specialty of ours. The more the merrier! However, groups require a much higher skill level in order to arrange everyone so that they look good both individually and together. Denis is simply one of the best there is at doing this!

For many years, photographs have been very an important part of family history, treasured by ancestry researchers. Some family groups will be generational pictures, and may include three or four generations, with parents, children and grandchildren, and possibly great grandchildren.

Psychologists write about how important it is for children when parents decorate their home with large wall portraits that build up a child’s self-esteem. With a family group portrait, this implies inclusion, and helps the children feel like they really belong in the family unit.

Sure, it’s a lot of planning to get everyone together, which is why the holidays are such a popular time for family photography. We can come to your home to capture your family in their natural setting that will be meaningful to everyone. At many homes, we have also been able to take some outdoor portraits in the yard. Also we go to special locations such as big hotels with a gorgeous lobby, especially when your family will be getting together there. We also photograph families outdoors at parks. Depending upon how many people there are in your family group, we may be able to have you come into our studio. Many times this is the most convenient option.

Get them together and we will help you keep them together. Call us at (309) 827-4606. Time waits for no one.


Senior Portraits are what we have been known for just as much as for our wedding photography. We have been known as the “go to” place for those who want really creative senior pictures.

Students really like coming into our studio where they have the convenience and privacy of changing into their different outfits in our dressing rooms. They also appreciate our experienced advice for choosing which outfits will look best in front of the camera. Plus, many will bring curlers or a curling iron to plug in for styling their hair, or a special lighted mirror to use when applying makeup.

The most important thing is our photography, which makes a student look so great. Lighting is one of our strong skills, and Denis is great at using light to accentuate each student’s best features, and using shadows to minimize anything that may be less desirable. Equally important is the ability Denis has to ‘un-pose’ people and put them into positions that feel natural and relaxed and not feel posed or stiff. Countless times mothers have come into our camera room with their daughter or son and told them to “sit up straight”. But Denis will respond with “no, no, no, go ahead and slouch; get comfortable”. Boy, do the moms ever have a puzzled look on their faces when they hear him say that!

This blends in with what may be one of our best benefits. When it comes to high school seniors, one thing for certain is that students are neither professional models nor are they professional actors. Most people are very, very nervous when it comes to being in front of a camera when it is pointing at them, and students are no exception. Sure, some people may clown around or show off, but it’s only a cover up to hide the intrinsic nervousness and the fear of how others are going to view them. Some have previously said that the thought of getting their picture taken is worse than going to a dentist! But Denis has an innate ability to make his subjects relax, feel confident, and capture their very best, natural expressions. Seniors have said to us “I actually enjoyed myself”. Another senior said, “I even laughed”. One mother said, “I don’t know how you did it. He will never smile for pictures, and somehow you got that s*^t eatin’ grin of his!” Other moms have said, “I can’t believe the ability you have to capture a good expression on their faces!”

Isn’t THIS what is most important in photographic portraiture, capturing the subject at their very best? Rarely does it “just happen”. It must be cultivated and brought out of each subject then skillfully captured. It is certainly a huge challenge that comes with a big potential for failure. But it is a challenge we look forward to and welcome with every client.

Call us to plan and book your senior’s session, at (309) 827-4606.


When it comes to children, whether you are planning on newborn photography, baby photos, or special children’s portraits that capture your child before he or she grows up, there is no place more convenient than bringing them into our studio. The studio is warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and much safer for the little ones.

We have photographed many children in our studio over the years. We love the challenge of capturing the little ones so much, that we will soon be offering children’s specials. In addition to our work, you are going to like the special prices, so check our website often for the announcements.


Since the 60’s, Denis and his hand picked staff have acquired a top reputation with a hard to beat experience of having photographed approximately 3,000 weddings, taking millions of wedding photographs, and we are still going strong. We would like to create fantastic photos for you, too.

Never fear, we will not photograph your wedding the same way that we did for your parent’s wedding, and the contemporary images on this website should be a testament to that.

Some bridesmaids have said they liked how “organic” the style was in which we were arranging everyone. Brides have said they never expected to be able to have pictures like ours in a small town like Bloomington. Parents, who of course have experienced weddings before, have said that they have never seen wedding pictures like ours. Plus many, many we talk with have simply said ours are the best that they have ever seen.

Check out some of the testimonials on our review page and see for yourself. Call us before your date is booked, at (309) 827-4606.


Business Portraits at Denis Photographers is another one of our specialties. Whether you need an Executive Portrait to display in your company offices or a head and shoulders close-up for the website, newsletter and business cards, our images will make you look better. Plus, our studio is very convenient to use.

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.


My career began as a photographer in the Bloomington Normal twin cities while I was a student in Normal. I moved to Bloomington into a commercially zoned building when I made the jump to go full time in 1973.

In 1975 I opened a studio on the third floor of a downtown Bloomington office building, the Eddy Building at 427 North Main Street, in the business district. One year later, I moved into another unit on the second floor of the Eddy Building, which quadrupled my studio space. I was able to build a large camera room there with a ten-foot high ceiling, a white coved wall and floor and motorized backdrops.

Business grew tremendously and we were soon out of room again. In 1980, we purchased the studio building on Bloomington’s South Main Street that formerly housed Nitzel Studio for many years, and later, Bloomington Camera Craft.

Originally built about 1927, this well-known studio more than quadrupled our studio space again. Now we were on the first floor, with the front door right on South Main Street for easy access and convenient, free parking. This is a fantastic portrait studio with a lot of history. The lower level came with one of the biggest darkrooms that I have ever seen. It is where Dale Nitzel first began Dale Color Lab, which grew into one of the largest color labs in America.

With our background in the McLean County area, if you are looking for a portrait or wedding photographer near Bloomington, look no further. You will not find a more qualified professional with more experience and creativity than we have working in this area of Central Illinois, or one more familiar with the area.


Although our studio is located in Bloomington Normal, we travel to Peoria, Champaign, Urbana, Allerton Park near Mahomet, Clinton, Pontiac, Lincoln, Starved Rock State Park near Utica, LaSalle, Peru, Pekin, Canton, Ottawa, Eureka, Morton, Monticello, Gibson City, Rantoul, Decatur and Springfield often.

We serve clients in Chicago, Rockford, Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook, Downers Grove, Lisle, Elmhurst, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Lincolnwood, Lombard, Oak Brook, Oak Park, Rosemont, Bartlett, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows, Wheeling, Plainfield, St. Charles, Joliet, Wheaton, Willowbrook, Woodridge, Belleville, Collinsville, Edwardsville, Litchfield, St Louis, St Charles MO, O’Fallon MO, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.


If you are looking for a Bloomington Peoria or Champaign photographer and you would like to book us, please contact us at (309) 827-4606 for further information. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.

Bloomington Peoria Champaign Photography at Denis Photographers. Theft or duplication of this actively monitored content is strictly prohibited and aggressively pursued. Denis Photographers, 1011 South Main Street, Bloomington, IL 61701 - (309) 827-4606 - Copyright © 2018