Sylvia Sepulveda became enamored with vintage pin-up photography because of the props. A frequent thrift-store shopper, she had planned to start a blog about her purchases but found that taking and editing their pictures was more satisfying than writing the posts. She turned her lens onto human subjects shortly thereafter and now generates inventive and sensual snapshots at Indie Girl Photography. Sylvia doesn't shy away from whimsical impulses both during and after her shoots. Based on the dialogue between her and the client, she suggests poses that can result in simple, flirtatious portraits or playful, old-timey advertisements. Her retouching finesse then works two types of magic, serving to add backdrops—ranging from a retro kitchen scene to a patriotic battleground—as well as remove sources of insecurity, including blemishes, stretch marks, and mismatched shoes. She deftly adjusts lighting and angles to flatter clients of all body types, and she pairs outfits that clients bring from home with her own stock of accessories, such as a vintage aviator hat or a video camera.
Apart from her boudoir-style shots, she experiments with fantasy and alternative styles. Her galleries display models cast as robots, angels, and superheroes, among other supernatural roles.
La Dolce Photography's cofounders Alan Bogusky and Dan Zitofsky began their own photography venture after Alan left his band's photo shoots dissatisfied with the photographer's work. Striving to capture a personal essence that was missing in those photos, the duo works with other seasoned shooters who immortalize over-the-shoulder gazes during photo shoots outdoors or within a spacious studio. The brick-walled space hosts meetings between passionate photographers, in-house professional makeup artists, and their prospective subjects. After sessions, editors retouch images to ensure immaculate skin, flawless lighting, and a background free of phone booths trying to jumpstart modeling careers.
La Dolce's photographers learn to keep subjects at ease and spot their cardboard-cutout replacements with the aid of trainers from affiliated Miami and London studios. For outdoor sessions and workshops, La Dolce partners with outdoor-nature photographer Jeff Berkes, whose lens has captured extreme weather and landscapes for publications such as National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, and Outdoor Photographer.
Armed with an army of innovative and certified shutterbugs, Olan Mills Portrait Studio provides families with high-quality portraits, continuing a mission that was established more than 75 years ago by founder Olan Mills Sr. Skilled in the art of capturing infants, children, families, and bunny-ears-giving ghost orbs on film, Olan Mills’s experienced smile snappers will take a series of poses amid a variety of backgrounds and lighting options. The studio is equipped with a selection of props—including numbers for birthdays, toys, and boxes—and patrons may bring their own photo-enlivening items from home. The resulting photos find their way to prints in natural color, black and white, or sepia tones; they can also be immortalized in the studio's signature Old Masters style, a canvas brushed with highlights to recreate look of an oil painting. Like the gentlemanly mariners of ages past with their full schedule of sea-battles, the photographers welcome appointments, but do not require them.
LifeArt Imaging’s lead photographer, Stacy, spent years searching for a photographer to capture her six children’s growth from infancy to maturity. Constantly disappointed by her findings, she took up a camera herself and has since aided many mothers in similar situations. At 1,500 square feet, the studio Stacy helms has plenty of room to prevent subjects from feeling confined during their shoots, and its full bathroom offers privacy for primping or reviewing the difference between a smile and a sneeze. Nestled in the Piazza at Schmidts in the Northern Liberties neighborhood, the studio’s location near varied sources of family-friendly fun is another attraction, although photographers can also shoot clients in their homes or in outdoor venues’ flattering natural light. Afterward, the studio can make prints of images or emblazon them on purses and photo albums.
At Blush Pinups & Salon Blush, a CityVoter 2010 Best Hair Salon finalist, women of all shapes and sizes transform into sultry pinup girls with the help of hair, makeup, and photo services. A visit to the salon begins with vintage hairstyling and the application of makeup, both of which are modeled after WWII–era glamour icons such as Jane Russell or a cross-dressing John Wayne. Next, owner-photographer Alanna Ralph discusses the photo-shoot concept with the vintage vixen before snapping steamy pictures of her coyly playing records on a gramophone or stretched out on a velvet chaise longue. Alanna then retouches the images before adding them to CDs, photo books, and other available formats.
Styledelphia owner Jessica Saint is a former model and modeling director who doles out a wealth of fashion-industry insight accrued during 10 years in the business. Now, along with a team of instructors and photographers, Jessica leads classes that show how hair, makeup, and wardrobe can mesh with one’s personal interests, career goals, and affinity for jumping out of moving cars. More niche classroom sessions, such as body-painting, vintage-hairstyling, and stage-makeup workshops, round out a creative-minded curriculum. Styledelphia’s expertise in retro styles adds realness to the studio’s boudoir-photography branch, which takes clients to shoot photos at old-timey locales such as Darling’s Diner and the hospital room where the Liberty Bell was born.