Niki Broyn discovered her passion for photography when she started snapping shots of her four kids in 1996. As her children grew, so did her skills as a photographer, prompting her to found Nikibi Studio, where she currently captures the smiles of other families. She likes to incorporate her subjects’ passions in each photo session, taking pictures of musicians performing or cat burglars posing in front of a cracked safe. Niki also travels on location for special events, such as baptisms, and specializes in portraits for home, business, and commercial use—her shots never looking out of place above a mantle or in the pages of a magazine.
Lauren Oppelt and Blair Hopkins—the owners of Burlesque Me, Baby!—could have a whole business catering to the stars. In fact, Lauren has served as a stylist for Saturday Night Live and worked with celebrities such as Russell Brand and Tim Curry, and Blair's photographs have appeared in newspapers in multiple major cities. Yet the duo's passions lie beyond star-studded magazines, and instead they focus their collective talents on creating seductive, beautiful portraits of regular women, capturing their innate personality, confidence, and physical beauty.
Traveling directly to client's homes—and sometimes on tour overseas—Lauren and Blair photograph clients in two distinct "looks" inspired by burlesque and pin-up themes. During any given session, Lauren first works with the client's hair, makeup, and wardrobe to develop a smoldering ensemble. Blair then has ladies pose for her camera, directing them so that they feel at once comfortable and sassy. The two work with women of all ages and sizes, and always maintain a body-positive atmosphere. They also retouch the shoot's resulting photos, though they don't tamper with anyone's overall appearance beyond subtracting blemishes, stretch marks, and scandalous thought bubbles.
Though portrait and fashion photographer Zack DeZon specializes in personalized photo booths, the word booth is a misnomer. Built around a professional still camera and studio-style lighting, his open and visible sets seamlessly blend photo-booth and studio experiences. For each party or event, Zack collaborates with patrons on every aspect of their booth, including color, camera angle, props, and set dressing. Seamless white paper and high-contrast lighting make up his simplest sets, and customizable designs incorporate themes that range from film noir to hall of mirrors, which requires infinite photo booths. He can set up his mobile parties in nearly any location, and he mans the sets throughout each event to field questions and ensure everything runs smoothly.
Special Brides 3-D Photography immortalizes cherished moments by engraving images of weddings, engagements, and coming-of-age milestones into sparkling prisms. Their team of skilled designers and photographers specialize in high-tech 3-D photography, allowing clients to encase their loved ones inside a shimmering crystal without hiring out an expensive local wizard. The staff can create traditional 2-D pictures as well and place them into guest books, thank-you cards, calendars, magnets, and custom, handmade leather albums.
Rachel Knowles is no stranger to the spotlight. For two years after college, she acted in film, television, and theater productions, even penning her own off-Broadway play. In 2011, after her son was born, Rachel shifted gears from acting to another creative passion: photography.
Knowing a performer’s nerves firsthand, she maintains a pressure-free environment at each session, which she conducts at clients’ homes and other locations where they feel comfortable. At every one- to two-hour shoot, the natural-light photographer snaps a mixture of posed and candid shots of subjects, from expectant moms, newborns, and kids to whole families and wedding parties. Afterward, she preserves her clients’ favorite images with packages whose products range from prints and digital images to canvas collages.
Charity de Meer was raised on the photos in fashion magazines. Over the years, she developed her own keen sense of alternative fashion—as well as an approach to photography that's led her across the East Coast, and to the Caribbean and South America. Whether shooting portraits, weddings, or magazine covers, Charity adopts a photojournalistic approach to capture intimate moments. She wields her camera as the unnoticed observer instead of constantly directing her subjects on how to pose or pretend a giant spider is above them. Using natural light, color palettes, and creative composition, she captures her subjects in their natural state, whether in a gym's boxing ring or in a field of tall grasses. If desired, she can substitue colors with black and white in post production.