Lightshed Photography Studio’s three heads—Daniel St. John, Kendra Hack, and Robert Reynolds—are not just photographers, but well-rounded visual artists. St. John began his career with pencil sketches, whereas Hack spent years sculpting, and Reynolds wielded a paintbrush well into college. The trio’s medium-spanning backgrounds shine through in their shots of weddings, families, and high-school seniors, which pop with bright colors or elegant black-and-white contrasts edited in after the shoot.
The photographers divide their portrait shoots into two parts, seguing smoothly from traditional poses to more experimental shots as subject-selected tunes thump in the background. Beforehand, subjects hash out their shoot’s details in a consultation which covers specifics from proper dress and prop options to which Madam Tussauds' figurine will pose as their spouse. Afterward, subjects spend a viewing session perusing the best 40 or so proofs from the hundreds of shots snapped in their session, enjoying complimentary coffee or wine in the process.
Dan Doke discovered his passion for photography as a teenager, eventually turning his beloved hobby into a career after purchasing his first studio in his 20s. After building a thriving business with portrait and senior-photo portfolios, Doke moved his studio closer to his family and began to focus on wedding photography full time. Today, the seasoned shutterbug dangerously overloads his mantelpiece with a wealth of awards and honors, ranging from a membership in the Society of XXV to his status as a Photographic Craftsman from the Professional Photographers of America. Doke’s polished black-and-white and color prints have graced the covers of more than 30 magazines, including Gala, La Bella Bride, and Studio Photography, and his expertise won him a spot in 2005 as a photographer at an inaugural ball for President George W. Bush, where he was responsible for capturing candid portraits of heads of state, governors, lawmakers, and dignitaries. Along with the team of photographers he has personally trained, Dan produces high-contrast, post portraits of families and pets that range from traditional outdoor and studio shots to high-concept editorials.
Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
The skilled framers at Around the Corner use high-quality materials such as hand-painted bevels and machine cut, acid-free matting to preserve works of art within an aesthetic framework. The store’s frame-fabricators specialize in conservation techniques, assuring that important pieces are equipped to endure the torments of time. Choose from a staggering selection of frame and mat-board samples to enshrine an old portrait of relatives or pay homage to a memorable BLT. Around the Corner crafts handsome displays for 8” x 10” pictures ($85), jerseys ($250+), and frames diplomas ($95–$125), which means newly graduated can proudly present their PhD without having to worry about their kids using it as paint-by-numbers adventure.
Fast Frame originated in Europe and now has more than 300 locations worldwide. With the understanding that people are prone to changing their minds, the teams at these 300 Fast Frame stores back up all their custom-framing projects with a 30-day design guarantee, giving patrons a month to decide if they want to swap their memorabilia for one of more than 2,000 other frame styles, paying the price difference if applicable. For each project, a team with more than 60 years of combined experience performs the work onsite, generally completing designs in less than a week and sometimes on the same day. In addition to photos and diplomas, customers can commission shadowboxes or framing of bulkier items, such as jerseys or baby’s first rap sheet. For all finished projects, Fast Frame secures its craftsmanship with a lifetime warranty.
After devoting years to protecting precious pictures and keepsakes from environmental harm, the Middlesex Framing crew has amassed an inventory of highly protective materials. Acid-free matting keeps photographs and certificates from deteriorating over time, UV-protection glass guards against sunlight’s discoloring rays, and museum glass deters bandits who somehow made it across the living room’s laser alarm grid. Partnering with Larson-Juhl, the crew is able to access more than 1,500 molding samples and matting combinations—ensuring that each piece is both protected and enhanced by its border.