Armed with nothing but a Polaroid camera, a young Carrie Schluckbier created portraits for her very first clients: stuffed animals. Though her passion for photography has remained the same since her childhood years, her skills have only improved. These days, she photographs professionally for Capital Boudoir alongside fellow shutterbugs John Porter and Mike Burns, whose publication credits include The Washington Post.
The trio not only shares a dedication to their craft, but also a dedication to making their guests feel beautiful and comfortable. Before having clients step in front of the lens, they have them select flattering outfits and sit down for a cosmetic session with resident makeup artist Gina Robinson. Once subjects are gussied up, the photographers coach models through a series of poses, capturing each sultry, yet tasteful look in artfully composed images. During post-shoot viewing sessions, clients can determine which pictures they want to retouch and preserve with prints or full-back tattoos.
The Metropolitan School of the Arts—formerly the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center—was founded more than 14 years ago. This multidisciplinary performing-arts organization takes a holistic approach to teaching and encouraging performance-arts skills, creating performance opportunities in dance, music, and theater for a diverse population of students of all ages and abilities. Its students have gone to perform on Broadway, at The Juilliard School, and in highly esteemed companies, such as the Mark Morris Dance Company, The Washington Ballet, and Ford's Theater and Signature Theater. Youth programs include year-round programs in dance, theater, music, music-theater, and acting, as well as a performing-arts program in the summer, all for children as young as 2. Adult classes range from basic to advanced, including ballet, jazz, and tap lessons, plus yoga and ballet-barre fitness workouts.
Owned and operated by artist Kelly Hutchinson, Kelly's Art & Frame is home to a 2,800-square-foot art gallery where original paintings, watercolors, and limited-edition prints line the walls. Onsite custom framing services combine archival materials and meticulous work to properly preserve drawings, sculptures, and cherished pieces of ABC gum. With fellow artist Carol Fogelsong, Kelly also leads art classes, teaching the fundamentals to students during intimate group sessions.
Gallery Lafayette offers customized-framing treatments and original prints, watercolors, and gifts. Using special conservation glass and acid-free mat boards, skilled frame-ologists protect prized photographs and collectibles from the damaging effects of light, humidity, acidity, and Father Time's righteous fists for unblemished wall hanging. The average custom-framing order is around $180—combine two Groupons and frame your favorite oversized obedience-school diploma or Ken Burns–autographed placemat. Inside the gallery, customers will find an assortment of gifts featuring pen-and-ink illustrations of classic Old Town landmarks such as Captain's Row and Gadsby's Tavern. Images are magically transferred onto tote bags ($30), tea towels ($15.95), and more. Snag a set of eight note cards ($12.95) to start a one-man letter-writing campaign to rename the Route 1 IHOP to the William Howard Taft Memorial House of Pancakes.
Today's side deal to Fitness on the Run gets you two personal training sessions for $55, up to a $160 value ($100 value for new clients). Many of Fitness on the Run's trainers come from busy careers in politics and government, so they know how difficult it is to make fitness a priority in the midst of a heavy workload and fast-paced career. Your trainer will provide the motivation and support, so all you need to do is pencil in your session. With a variety of specialties and approaches, your trainers will maximize your efficiency, for a workout that boasts better results with a decreased risk of injury from incorrect form or overworking. In an effort to help the procrastination-inclined, this Groupon expires on March 30, 2010.