Bright eyes and toothless smiles are regularly flashed at Little Nest Portraits, where the photographers specialize in children's portraiture. Owner Laura Novak and her quirky, talented staff love to fish for spontaneity and smiles during in-studio and outdoor photo shoots. Like backwards magicians, their trick is preparation: they chat with families beforehand to run down the session, pick up personality traits, and dish out tips such as what to wear. After frames are snapped, their home-design specialists can augment the prints with accessories such as hand-painted frames, canvas wraps, and gallery mounts.
Moments are captured in the comfortable studio, which creates a natural aesthetic with charming textures and a blend of modern furniture and antiques. Not content with merely decorating walls and mantels, the studio also strives to make its community more beautiful, giving back to a number of charities and working with school fundraiser programs.
This week may bring Michael Kors and Bebe, and next week could feature Ann Taylor and Seven, but no matter when someone stops in Eye of the Beholder Consignments, items from high-profile brands can be found on the shelves. Handbags may carry names such as Prada, Coach, and Juicy Couture, and clothing may hail from Talbots, Chico's, and Coldwater Creek. The shop also stocks shoes, business suits, and maternity wear for expectant mothers and dudes who just want to get closer to their children by dressing as a nanny. A portion of proceeds goes to charities such as the Baltimore Humane Society and the American Cancer Society.
Though now stationed behind the camera, Melissa Jewel's fascination with photography began in front of the lens. Drawing on her posing experience, the former model strives to maintain a laid-back atmosphere during every shoot. To help achieve this, Melissa hosts sessions snaps a mixture of posed and candid pictures at comfortable locations, which can range from a family's favorite park to her own professional photography studio. In addition to family and boudoir portraits, Melissa accommodates pets, couples, expectant moms, and newborns, whom she photographs when they're eight-weeks old, five- to eight-months old, and one-years old. All of her sessions result in CDs full of edited images, all of which include full printing rights.
What began as a children's portrait studio in 1985 has evolved into Fotographia—an independently owned photography studio where veteran shutterbug Bob Grichuhin captures images of the whole family. Grichuhin has earned certification as a master photographer through the Professional Photographers of America. His work has been recognized by institutions such as the Maryland Professional Photographers Association, and he has served as a judge for a print competition held by the Delaware Professional Photographers organization.
In addition to family portraits and wedding photography, Grichuhin memorializes the smiles of high-school seniors. He snaps his way through both in-studio and outdoor sessions, traveling to a variety of locations or using the natural lighting in his own portrait park—a garden more floral and inviting than a welcome mat painted with Monet's Water Lilies.
Ironically named, Our Little Studio utilizes the biggest studio of all: the outdoors. Here, husband-and-wife team Travis and Angie Hill capture clients interacting with their surroundings amid natural light and scenic backdrops. Whereas Travis fields most of the wedding sessions, Angie revels in shooting artistic portraits. In either occasion, their subjects leap from backgrounds with sharp focal contrast or merge with their environments with the smooth, blended edges of a pastel painting. Clients can behold these images afterward with access to an online viewing gallery.