Shelly Ivy's parents probably figured they were indulging a passing phase when they bought their 8-year-old daughter a blue camera with a flash bulb. As it turns out, that gift steered Shelly toward a career in photography that fully manifested when she opened Ivy Studios Photography with her husband Brandon. The duo specializes in wedding and portrait photography, and their work regularly graces Wedding Wire's Bride's Choice awards. Sharing a fondness for rock 'n' roll, they bring an enthusiastic energy to their clients' photo shoots, which commemorate occasions ranging from happy nuptials and momentous graduations to the fire walk that closes out every family reunion. When they're not focusing lenses on brides or setting up surveillance on ring bearers, the pair stages introductory and advanced photography classes that help students fluently maneuver around their digital cameras.
Justine Miller has always done her best to preserve memories. As a young girl, she would watch the Christmas lights on neighbors' houses, blinking hard to hold onto the festive images and etch them into her mind. Today, she still does her best to capture the magic that happens in everyday life. Instead of using expensive lighting equipment or posing her subjects in elaborate scenes, she shoots outside in the natural light and encourages her clients to act naturally so she can capture their real emotions. That may explain why some of her favorite photo subjects are people at their happiest: brides on their wedding day, children at play, newborn babies, and adults lounging in extra-large diapers. Though she prefers to hold sessions outside, she does schedule studio sessions for clients upon request. After a session, she performs light editing on frames before posting them in an online gallery, which clients can peruse to select the images they’d like to print.
Marvelously Made Photography's expert image-crafter creates angelic photos of expectant mothers and newborn babes in comfortable, relaxed photo shoots. Perfect for new or soon-to-be parents or as an alternative to staid shower gifts such as baby polish, the sessions take place at the home of head photographer Kathy Smith, whose living room transforms into a memory-capturing photo studio with the help of equipment such as a black background and photographic lighting. Smith is sure to set aside enough time to ensure enough time for babies to forget their work-related stress and relax into placid, picture-taking moods.
A fifth-generation native of the Grand Canyon state, photographer Amy Armenta of the aptly named Arizona Moments Photography captures idyllic images of her subjects, using nature as her primary backdrop. Sessions for high-school seniors, newborns, families, and moms-to-be spring to life in on-location shoots, and both formal and candid wedding shots help to create lasting memories.
When Mike Maez purchased his first digital camera in 2001, it was love at first snapshot. Swapping his previous day job for a life behind the lens, Maez has since filled his portfolio with more than 40 magazine covers, publishing work for Getty, the Boston Globe, and corporate clients including AOL, Microsoft, and Ford. This infectious enthusiasm extends to his portraiture, helping him immortalize wedding days, graduations, or sack-race victories with complete photographic packages rendered in digital formats or appealing albums. Mike also teaches students to become self-sufficient shooters with photography workshops, during which classes combine hands-on experience and classroom work to teach pupils how to attractively compose and light their shots.