Ed Hoppe Biography & Comments

ED in the "Military" his Start:

Ed was introduced to photography one Christmas morning, when he received a "Brownie Hawkeye" camera  as a present. He attended Tomlinson Tech, a fully accredited school by the Southern Association of Colleges in St. Petersburg Fl.  After graduation, photography was the career of his dreams. Ed enlisted in the Air Force where he was given the opportunity to use his photographic skills when he was assigned to Japan.

On the right,  Ed Hoppe in his Kimono In Tahikawa Japan. Ed had to travel throughout the far east covering assignments for the military; one of them was to photograph a pictorial of Japan and the countryside. You would never know where you could be assigned next; Korea or one of Japan's outer islands? Interesting learning experience for a young man just out of school in the States.

Ed covered photo assignments for the Air Force and traveled most of Japan as well as the Philippines and the States... Finding Japan as a favorite location. Ed was stationed at Feamcom Air Force base in the town of Tahikawa Japan. At the time of the picture of Ed in his Kimono, he was stationed off base in Japan; This  gave Ed the learning experience of making new friends and been exposed to a different culture, the one he admires and respects so much.

While Ed was in Japan one of our planes crashed into Mt. Fuji at about 11,000 feet altitude; the lucky pilots I understand, were saved and walked away from the crash site as they had heavy snow that year. Ed recalls that location photography covering assignments in remote areas could be difficult in those days as the Air Force was using very bulky 4x5 cameras, film holders, as well as hundreds of flash bulbs. Flash bulbs? ... yep, one flash at a time!  Changing bags had to be part of the camera gear in order to load and unload the film holders...

Finally, the Air Force  started using 35mm cameras instead of the old 4x5 speed graphic ones. That made Ed's  day... He loved the switch to 35 mm. This was also Ed's opportunity to use Nikons for the first time. Soon Ed managed to purchase his own before leaving Japan; Since then, He has always been a "Nikon man". Photography was hard in those days; only film and lots of time in the darkroom, processing film and printing. He also mixed chemicals and did darkroom work. These passed experiences have been of great help to Ed, because of his previous knowledge with the photography process and the usage of cameras, today he can relate and understand photoshop and the digital world in a unique way. He has taught himself photoshop and feels that his background made it much easier.

Ed was stationed in New York,  Florida, California, Wyoming, Philippines and of course,  Japan where it all began for him. After serving four years in the military, Ed was Hon. discharged in 1957 and began looking for work as a  photographer in Chicago.

After Ed's unforgetable Tour of duty in the Air Force
He worked for Fran Burn Studio in Chicago

Ed's first photography job after the service was with Fran Burn's studio. Fran's studio was located over the famous Riccardos Restaurant , just off Michigan Ave. in downtown Chicago, about one block from the Billy Goat Tavern where the "Cheezborger" "Cheezborger" first got started on Saturday Night Live. Ed still laughs when he thinks of John Belushi screaming; "Cheezborger, Cheezborger, no fries, no Coke-Pepsi", The Billy Goat was also a hangout for Mike Royko and other good people in show biz, many celebrities from CBS would stop in as it was not far from the CBS building.

Ed covered many assignments for Fran. The studio's main clients at that time were "CBS of Chicago" &  the Chicago  Bears; they kept them very busy. Ed was assigned to photograph the Irv Kupcinet show over the next two years at CBS, where he met many of Kups guests just before air time; for Ed, it was surreal to meet some of these stars, a great experience; he was full of admiration.

 One guest who stands out was a tall, handsome looking guy named Clint Eastwood, Clint was the new star for "Rawhide" at that time;" and he really looked the part!" said Ed. After two years with Fran's studio, Ed moved on and was hired by a great studio & advertising photographer, also located in the same neighborhood. It was the famous Valentino Sarra studio on Ontario St.

Ed Hoppe, "Advertising Photography" at Sarra's

Ed started working for Valentino Sarra: I'm sure a familiar name to some of the largest advertising agencies and art directors in Chicago and New York. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn from the very best: Ed remembers, that Sarra had a wonderful imagination when creating his images. He was quite a showman and was very creative; he made hundreds of TV commercials, and was very active in Chicago for years. At that time most of the still photography was taken with an 8x10 Deardorff camera.

Valentino, always tried to inspire his young assistant photographers; at that time, it was Ed Hoppe, a greenhorn in the advertising world. Ed was very grateful to work with Sarra who was from the "old country" and spoke with a wonderful Italian accent; He would say: you can-a-do it Ed! - then he would give Ed a project to see how he would handle it, somewhat of a test... Ed recalls that he had to make a triple layer printing job in the darkroom, something Ed never tried before. There was no photoshop in those days for printing layers; only exacto blades and masking materials for working with images under an enlarger; a real challenge!  Sarra was very please with Ed's results and the final print.

Soon after Ed's indoctrination with the darkroom "test", Sarra had accepted an assignment for Goodyear Tires. We were to go on location for Goodyear Tires in their factory and also another location on the salt flats of Utah.  Ed recalls that at the factory, Ed had to carry Sarra's luggage in a wicker-like vintage handwoven rattan suitcase, complete with a belt wrapped around it.  The Good Year factory was a very busy place;  Ed can still remember the smell of hot rubber tires coming off of the assembly line. Ed mentions that he will always wished that he had worked a longer time with Sarra as there was so much to learn from him.

After the factory, Sarra had to go to New York and Ed had to go to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to help shoot the Good Year Tire AD with Mickey Thompson - Mickey was a race car driver and was attempting to break the land speed record in his Thunderbird race car, running on Good Year tires. Thompson's car, the  “Challenger” (what an assignment! Ed said in wonder) Mickey made the world record run and went over 400 miles an hour in his piston engine Challenger. I believe Mickey hit a remarkable 406 mph. Ed was on the flats for over a week to help get the perfect shot for the  Good Year Ad.

The photo on the left is a picture of a tired & weary Ed Hoppe on his location assignment for Valentino Sarra of Chicago. He was standing next to a rented Hulture camera, a 70mm camera with a 40 inch lens;  also a platform that had to be attached by bolting it to a rented car. The platform is at Ed's feet in this picture; wires had to run from the main camera to a second camera near the track in order to shoot simultaneously, this was a challenge in itself!  Oh, see the flashlight on top of the camera just left of Ed's head?  This was "Ed's guiding light" in order to find the camera in the middle of the night... real high tech back then!

After assisting and shooting for Sarra for a few years, Ed was offered a position as a photo editor for Field Enterprises Educational Corp. of Chicago.  Sarra, went on to shoot hundreds of TV commercials. Later, I found out that he had retired and was living in Puerto Rico, cultivating orchids in the center of the island .

Field Enterprises Educational Corp. of Chicago : "World Book, Childcraft, Science Year Book"
Ed Hoppe was the Only Staff Photographer for Nine years

Field Enterprises Educational Corp were the publishers of World Book EncyclopediaChildcraft, and Science Year Book. Ed was working for World Book when they were located in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago near the Chicago River, not far from Michigan Ave. When Ed mentions World Book, he is really referring to the "group" of books: as he was the photographer for all of the publications.

Ed started out at World Book as a photo editor, yet Ed have no idea why he began as a photo editor with his background as a photographer.  Ed could never understood why World Book would need to contact other photographers for simple photos that could have been taken by Ed , providing they had an in house studio. Ed soon moved on to be the only in-house photographer after he organized and set-up  the photo studio at Field Enterprises.  It reduced the overall cost of sending out requests for freelancers and made it easier for all to work as a team.

Ed covered many assignments for them; A fantastic education! Below are just a few images that Ed shot for World Book and for his own stock photo files. Way to many images to list here, but this will give viewers an idea of just a few of the topics that Ed covered.


Ed in the second photo above - was coming out of the caves when photographing the Mark Twain Story in Hannibal Missouri; the place where Tom Sawyer & Becky got lost, guess what?  Ed got lost as well, but only because the caretaker of the caves forgot that Ed was still photographing the underground chambers in the caves and turned the lights off.  Ed was lucky as when his flashlight went out, he managed to flash strobe lights until he saw daylight, much like Becky and Tom experienced but they managed to get out by following a light streak in the cave.

Ed covered articles from A to Z from subjects ranging from classic cars, open heart surgery, farm articles, pictorial of The Mark Twain story and more. Ed covered interesting personalities like Alistair Cooke, the journalist and the famous Sir. Edmond Hillary the Mt. Everest climber.  Ed was also responsible for copying reproduction quality images of the paintings that would appear in fine art articles within the pages of their publications.  All of the State Paintings for World Book had to be photographed. Each State article had an introduction painting that would be of interest for that State. Georgia; possibly a peach painting, Florida, beach painting, and so on.

Ed had to copy each painting for reproduction; some of the paintings were difficult to photograph because of the media being used as well as the artist techniques; heavy oils, acrylics, pastels, charcoals... all needed to be dealt with differently when it came to lighting.  Ed was very interested in photographing fine art paintings in those days & still is to this day. It was always a challenge to light them, as every painting was different.  (Just ask any commercial printer that prints art "on press" for galleries or artist; the better the copy, the better the reproduction)

Today, Ed realizes that "World Book" & the Group, was a great educational experience for him. Ed was a photographer but at the same time he aquired knowledge in fine arts, history, science... in the school of hard knocks.  There was always something new to shoot. The challenge of this photography introduced him to new techniques and made him an independent thinker.

Ed worked with over 50 staff artists as well as many editors at World Book and the group. He still keeps in touch with World Book artists: Paul McNear and Paul Wagener and a few others.  Paul McNear is doing well, now living in Florida and has his own art-studio http://www.paulmcnear.com/artist.html . Paul Wagener lives in GA. and is retired, but I understand he is in good shape and is still active in art.  I miss my old friend Bill Cassin we both started the same day at World Book. Bill left World Book and worked as the photo editor for Laidlaw Bros, another publisher.  It was a great gig at World Book; lots of good times, good friends and good memories

Ed mentioned that it would be difficult to follow the new mode of specialization in photography if he ever left his position with World Book. However, Ed did leave World Book to open his own advertising photo studio in Chicago. Ed wanted to always remember what he had learned at World Book: always do your best, keep a positive attitude and focus on excellence..... Also, try to keep up with the fast pace of technology. Just one that first came; FILM TO DIGITAL, we never thought about leaving our film!

Ed's own Chicago Advertising Studio

Ed left World Book to open his own Chicago Advertising Photo Studio where he photographed many product assignments as well as editorial work. He had great clients when it came to product and advertising. Chicago at that time was known as a "product' town; Sears, Montgomery Wards, and many others were located in Chicago. Even though a product town, Ed shot direct for many advertising groups,  publishers, as well as Ad agencies and designers. One of the larger accounts was The Whirlpool Corp. A fun group to work for;  they also make a good product. I belief that they came out with one of the first side by side refrigerators. They are somewhat difficult to photograph with food in them. (not a lot of room for lighting.)

After only a couple of years on his own, Ed photographed one of the last Marlboro men that Leo Bernett had used in those days. In fact, Ed discovered the model pictured to the right. Ed saw this rough looking cowboy at a sports show in Chicago. The cowboy had never modeled before; Ed  asked if he could take test shots of him for his photo samples.  As things turned out, the model came to Ed's studio, they did the test shots, and the new model became one of the last Marlboro man for the Leo Burnett advertising agency. Ed also placed a sample of this cowboy in his Wisconsin People gallery & WI food page. Check it out. The cowboy's name is Tony. Tony, was very flexible in his ability to change himself in character. See if you can find a picture of him within my WI people or food galleries. He looks different in every situation. There were other assignments that came out of the agency, like old Morris the cat for Nine Lives cat food. Morri's trainer was so good that he had this famous cat do anything; including typing!


Ed was always looking for "Character" models to use in his advertising products and shootings, Not only like the Marlboro man type, but just everyday people, rough, timid, beautiful, not so pretty, funny, etc.  One of the first new models that he found was a young JoBe Cerny, he is the timid waiter with a group of rough looking beer drinkers in the left photo.  JoBe's modeling career really took off after Ed's test shooting, people liked him a lot!  It's Ed's understanding that he made 105 commercials that year after the test shooting.  JoBe was the Pillsbury Dough Boy and made the Cheer advertising to get him off to a good start; a great start! Like Ed's old boss Sarra, Ed likes to help his models and friends. This is JoBe's web site:   www.CernyAmerican.com  (a nice guy to work with.) The other models that Ed was testing in the beer shot? Not sure if they relocated from Chicago or not.  Ed remembers seeing  them from time to time in Ads. The model in the blue shirt has been in many films; still plays the tough guy. Ed moved and relocated his studio to Boulder Junction WI. Would love to know how the other models are doing these days.

Ed's Present Location In Boulder Junction, Wi - Doing it in The Woods with Ed Hoppe

After many years in Chicago, Ed decided to follow an old dream that he had: being an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman, Ed always gravitated to the Northwoods of Wisconsin, knowing that someday he would make "the big move" and he did. He constructed a studio in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, in the town of Boulder Junction, famous for it's fishing lakes, majestic woods and wildlife. Ed shoots product and lifestyles as it relates to our area. Ed photographs in the studio as well as in location photography. He shoots: hunting gear, fishing images, hunting scenes and equipment, guns, as well as art images and paintings... Ed has many stock images of the northwoods and what it offers,as well as other subjects: food live styles,product ...we have images of Puerto Rico, call us for your needs. The images are indexed with keywords for easy access.


Ed has been based in Boulder Junction Wisconsin for well over twenty five years now. The other benefits of being here of course are the many lakes in this area; about 194 lakes within nine miles of the studio. The forest is mostly owned by the State, and all in all, it offers great potential for location photography of sport related images.  Ed doesn't need to rent a tree stump as a prop anymore: In Chicago,  Ed once had to rent a tree stump as prop for some outdoor products; fishing gear and a knife. He had to rent it three times and was invoiced for pickup and delivery as well. Thats over! In fact the prop was given to Ed as a going away present when Ed left Chicago.

Depending on the assignment, overall, the move to Wisconsin was a good one for Ed.  In the past, when Ed was shooting film, it could sometimes be difficult as the film had to be sent to Chicago for processing. Ed once was shooting for a Chicago food company and the food had to be shipped to Ed to be photographed, then the film had to sent back to Chicago for film processing ..... That was a bummer for sure... until digital came along.  What a relief and time saver!

At one time,  Ed missed not being closer to Gamma photo labs for film processing;  they were only one block from his Chicago studio... However, that problem has been resolved thanks to digital cameras, computers and photoshop.  Ed has thousands of stock images that relate to our lifestyle here in Wisconsin. Rustic everything, guns, bows, boats, chainsaws, shoes, even the People can be somewhat rustic with their camo clothing... whatever it is, it's real.  At a clients request professional models are sometimes used from the city; but most of the time we use local people. "They have the experience and dress for the part" The man in the camo jacket with the gun, works for UPS and worked out well for this shot. The product: was the gun and camo clothing. The woman in the red jacket was my assistant; she was standing next to a great old log cabin


Ed sometimes shoots images  in combination with his stock photos. The photo of the autumn hunting scene is just one example of what Ed can offer to his clients. If weather permits, Ed would of course shoot both the product and the background at the same time. However, if you run into bad weather conditions, then the option would be to photograph the camo & gun in the studio with controlled lighting,  then add or drop in a stock image as a background, your choice! This is just one option that can be considered and can be a life saver if deadline is an issue.

This shot of the hunter was photographed, assembled, and put together in about two hours by Ed.  Working in photoshop for added control isan alternative that Ed likes to offer to his clients.

Lots of advantages in our area for photography if you select the right photographer. Feel free to contact Ed directly for your advertising needs.

In addition to assignment and stock photography: Ed is very interested in Wildlife art and Nature posters.  Check out his gallery: "art cards & posters" and  Limited Edition prints on canvas and more.

Home Away From Home-Late Winter/Early Spring:  Shooting in Puerto Rico

In addition to Ed's Boulder Junction WI studio, Ed and his Wife visit Puerto Rico frequently; at least once or twice a year as they are always adding to their stock photo files of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. It's a must to go on location to bring back more stock shots for our files. 

Ed and Rosa travel to Puerto Rico on assignments, catering to the Resort Community and publishers interested in Puerto Rico. (Puerto Rico towns promotions is our specialty). Ed has been photographing Puerto Rico for over thirty five years and is very interested in the culture, people, food, and environment. After all of these years, Ed just recently found out that Valentino Sarra, the photographer that gave him his first break as a advertising photographer, retired to Barranquitas Puerto Rico, a small mountain town located in the central region of the island. Sarra was 105 years old and grew beautiful orchids in Barranquitas. It is amazing , both of us in Puerto Rico all of these years without running into each other! What a pity!

If on an assignment to Puerto Rico,  Ed can provide the resort owner with original images, or offer them personalized stock images. In other words, vacation stock images that will mostly highlight their resort  and location.  As a rule, their guests can related to the photo . The panoramic image above is a good example thats characteristic of personalized stock photos, in this case, the beautiful beach of the famous Villa Cofresi Hotel & Restaurant in Rincon, Puerto Rico. The image of the beach front was taken from the resort, viewed at sunset with a landmark being Desecheo island; the island shown on the horizon. 

Below are samples of some images related to the Villa at that time.

Eds wife Rosa, is from a small town on the island of Puerto Rico. She assists Ed in assignments , helps with designing art cards, limited edition prints, canvas prints as well as the stock photography. She is a stylist and prepares food  helps in production.  Rosa was a bilingual teacher and does creative writing in English and in Spanish for many of our cards and posters as well as client services using English and Spanish for brochures and other publications. (Please visit our Puerto Rico gallery-people, food, nature )You may be interested in the limited edition canvas prints of nature and wildlife.  Ed has good contacts in Puerto Rico; a good location for Vacation Images as well as food, people, nature, and or course beautiful resorts.

Ed has acquired several good clients in Puerto Rico; working with the resorts and the many towns. Ed can help with town promotions, and advertising projects.  He loves Rincon Puerto Rico where he stays when visiting the island, but travels throughout the island shooting stock photography.

Ed says that he is most inspired and attracted by the Campesino or Jibaro in the rural areas: their rustic hands,  interesting faces... but most of all, for their kindness and  simple beauty of their hearts. (See PUERTO RICO   Gallery-People.) If you have any stock photo needs for you're advertising, please contact me. Time permitting, Ed  sometimes will shoot on speculation when in Puerto Rico, it all depends on what your needs are.  Ed is very interested in the Puerto Rico culture and the changes that are taking place. If your are interested in images for any of your projects pertaining to Puerto Rico, please feel free to contact Ed or Rosa direct. 715-385-2904  (I would love to work more with the Puerto Rico Tourism, please call anytime. )