After spending years designing kitchens and handcrafting cabinets, John Barlowe opened Frame Shop Art Gallery & Gifts to celebrate and showcase great household art. A member of the Professional Picture Framers Association, he's won awards for his custom-frame designs, which pair his meticulous woodworking skills with elements such as football skin to accent displayed pieces. As a premier partner of Larson-Juhl, he has access to thousands of ornate American hardwood borders and gilded moldings crafted with more than 100 years of company expertise. Each artwork or photograph squeezes between Tru Vue glass and Bainbridge mats and backboard, a sandwich framers can often complete in as little as 24 hours.
In addition to displaying art, John and his team specialize in various photo services, from printing images to transforming ordinary snapshots into caricatures or watercolors with artistic photo treatments. They also prevent boxes of family photos from falling victim to age, disasters, and swamp monsters’ thumbprints by digitizing large collections.
Professional photographer Bella Silva Cacilhas and her all-female staff aim to unleash each subject's most sensual personality traits in 90-minute boudoir photography sessions. Clients meet for a pre-session consultation at their bedroom or at Bella Studio to determine their session's theme and preemptively choose poses. Bella employs dramatic lighting to capture flattering angels of intimate posturing, and subjects can make up to two costume changes using their own sultry wardrobe pieces and supplied accessories such as scarves, hats, and zebra-print construction helmets. Each session produces 35–50 shots for transfer to a private online gallery, while the session's best image achieves existence in real space-time as an 11"x16" print. Staff expertly check and retouch each photo for blemishes before proofing. Subjects can augment facial canvases with Face by Julie Gray makeup for an additional $20.
At Pictures Plus, teams of framing technicians help preserve and display customers’ precious artwork and images with mounting and framing services. The walls of the studio beckon to visitors with rows of leather, pewter, and enamel frames for protecting art and family photos. They can also peruse shadow boxes, good for preserving and presenting medals, seashells, and collections of celebrity toenail clippings. The shop’s Urban Ashes collection allows framing experts to preserve Michigan's precious natural resources through the use of locally salvaged materials and scrap ash wood.
The 5,100-square-foot studio at Photo Studio Group is a blank canvas upon which a community of visiting and member artists stages their craft. For an hourly rate, photographers can click their shutters at a professional studio backdrop and use lights, backgrounds, and grip equipment on a first-come, first-served basis. A series of workshops bring the ins and outs of the industry into focus, including a class on studio techniques that covers set design, hair and makeup collaboration, and teaching mannequins to hold a pose. Photo foundations workshops focus on topics such as camera equipment and composition, and Photoshop workshops introduce students to the image-enhancing software and other Creative Suite applications. Photo Studio Group also hosts a pro lecture series, where esteemed photographers and designers chat about their techniques in a casual setting.
The artisans at Frameworks have designed more than 300,000 pieces since they first opened in 1975. Their skilled designers print, mat, and frame photos of all sizes in-house with materials culled from their three retail locations and warehouse facilities. While artisans fill shadowboxes with sports and entertainment memorabilia, staffers keep shelves stocked with fine art prints. Imaging specialists artfully enhance, edit, and enlarge photos to create striking decorative pieces, such as a family portrait to adorn your mantlepiece or a picture of your oven to keep your toaster from forgetting where it came from, its mom. They can also employ graphic design techniques to create historical time-lines or collages of company events. To present clients with handmade works of art, Frameworks partners with artists who specialize in watercolors, oil paintings, and professional photography.
Whether she’s snapping shots of Lil Wayne’s sparkling grin, the urban landscape of Detroit, or the Arab American National Museum, photographer Asia Hamilton inspires people to view the world from a new perspective. Her photography raises awareness on issues of waste and consumption, and strives to unmask the beauty hidden in a cityscape.
When she’s not on a globetrotting, eye-opening adventure, she’s teaching aspiring photographers at her studio, Nozomi Live Photography & Design. She demystifies photography concepts such as lighting and composition before taking shutterbugs out on urban excursions, where they can practice techniques in the bustling city. She helps her protégés feel more comfortable using their cameras’ manual settings, making the picture-snapping devices feel like an extension of their bodies without duct tape or cybernetic surgery.