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Meet Us

Mega creativity. Big personalities. Lots o’ talent. All in A Little Photo Studio. Our cozy house of creatives goes way beyond your average photography studio. Each of us brings an expertise and an eye to ensure the best process and most artful products. We know that you come to us because you want a guide through this experience and some help wrangling the littles. We don’t just shoot and send you files. We laugh with you all the way and work with you to get artwork up on your walls and books on your coffee table. We've got this.


Melissa Salvatore - Owner/Head Photographer  Melissa has spent her life pursuing her love of photography. After finishing her Bachelor of Art with a Minor in Business. Melissa traveled the world making pictures. From Peru to Italy to Indonesia, she then spent a year in Ireland under a Fulbright Scholarship where she taught photography as a therapeutic form of communication to deaf children. She returned to the states and moved to New York City where she ran a portrait studio, Classic Kids Manhattan, on the Upper East Side. Through her experience, which ranges from photographing athletes, celebrities, families and children, she realized that working creatively with people is what makes her heart happiest. She landed in Chicago in 2011 and opened A Little Photo Studio to build on a decade and a half of following her passion. Melissa and her husband, Mike - along with their boys, Bennett and Owen, and their first "child", Koozie the dog - are happy fixtures in the Chicago community-centered entrepreneurship world. Their businesses, A Little Photo Studio and Heritage Bicycles, are blocks apart and take work-life integration to hyperlocal levels. Melissa is honored to be continually developing her style, creativity, family, and career all at the same time.
Garrett Baumer - Post-Production Manager / Photographer Nothing gets past Garrett, our Post-Production Manager, when it comes to digital perfection. More than a decade of experience in photography and post-production makes him the wizard behind the curtain (well, it’s a barn door but you know what we mean). His efforts elevate our work, refining every detail for our archival prints, canvases and books. When he isn't busy mastering the print and edit world, he spends time behind the lens shooting for our commercial clients with Field Creatives and showcasing his fine-art work in gallery exhibitions. With an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago, we love that his skills blend artistry and technical expertise.



Megan Gulotta- Studio Head Megan came to us with a ton of passion and drive. So much so, that she made the actual drive from Indiana to Chicago for 4 months every morning. Chicago has since gained a new resident and we are grateful to have her as a fresh city girl. She came to our studio with a background of wedding photography, an industry she jumped into at the very young age of 16. Megan started school with the thoughts of becoming an elementary school teacher due to her love of kiddos, but took the direction of working with A Little Photo Studio to combine both of her passions of photography and kids. Her love of adventure keeps her searching for outside  explorations. Her last escape was with her camera in tow to Iceland. When she is not working hard at the studio or traveling, she is home snuggling her dog, Gus. Freshman year in high school she was asked by her economics teacher "what do you want to do after school?" Megan replied, "I want to work for a photo studio in Chicago." 


Lauren Nieves - Lead Studio Assistant Lauren is our ever-so-outgoing Studio Assistant. She is a recent graduate from Columbia College Chicago where she is received her BA in photojournalism. Her deep love for travel and adventure brought her to Dublin, Ireland for a semester at the Dublin Institute of Technology where she studied photography, book-making and film. Between work and creative photography projects, she always makes time to pay a visit to her nephew, Ryder, and her family dog, Tueri. We are lucky to have this puppy-loving, kid-wrangling and hard-working Chicago girl on our staff to always step up to any task thrown her way. 



Nico Fernandez - Post-Production Assistant / Associate Photographer When not working hard at the studio editing, trimming, packaging, framing and all other aspects of getting the final works into our clients hands, you will find Nico on stage all over the Chicago theater scene. Nico is a professional actor, storyteller and imagination explorer. He is the creator of his own stage play, that was later adapted into a short film. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with BFA in Acting and instantly began exploring the world of photography in the many realms of shooting film, retouching and editing video. Nico started focusing on headshots in 2017. His inside knowledge of what Actors need and being side by side with them in the audition room gives him the edge on specializing in headshot, conceptual, and promotional photography. He has sat on the other side of the table with casting agents. Not only was this helpful as an actor, but also as a photographer, this helped him see what makes a headshot really standout from the stack.


Sydney Jo Walters - Associate Photographer Sydney "aka SydJo" embodies the master act of balancing kids and creative work. She’s a proud mama to Lincoln and his little brother, Julius, along with their family French Bulldog, Prince. Her formal artistic training includes a BFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Art Education from SCAD. Her informal training includes growing up in south Florida where, in between sailing and exploring, she worked on crafty DIY projects like screen printing. Sydney's creative hand not only comes out in her photography through our studio, but also in her shop, Grey Boy, a cute and clever clothing company for “littles” that goes beyond selling kids’ clothes. By weekday she is teaching at Lincoln Park High School as the Art Teacher. She specializes in Event Photography and Studio Pop-Up's with our studio and commits her weekends to making sure your memories are documented in style. 



Jerry Oswalt - Event Coordinator Jerry spent his childhood copying comic book graphics and then grew up to receive his BFA in 2009 from the American Academy of Art with a focus in Oil Painting. He began exhibiting paintings around Chicago in 2009 and has had portraits commissioned by several private collectors. Jerry ran a photo entertainment company for 5 years and operated over 275 events that spanned from weddings to corporate. We were able to snag him up to coordinate and host our private events along with heading up social and studio-run events. His love for pets brought him to meet his now fiancé, Alyse, while walking dogs and they adopted their cats Gizmo and Puffins to live with their pup Stella. Jerry is a jack-of-all trades when it comes to the creative world and always finds the fun in people and events while making sure the tasks are checked off! 




Alex Donnelly - Short Films (Vignettes) 

With a firm belief that every experience & every story has something worth telling, Alex focuses on opportunities to capture those unique moments of sincerity and truthfulness that may pass us by without a camera in hand. His education at Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Cinema Arts & Sciences has allowed him to hone skills used to make feature films into short films for families & events so that everyone can have access to cinema quality memories.