While working as a makeup artist in Southern California, Pixies Photography cofounder Kelly was floored by how ordinary most of the models appeared. She realized that perfect beauty could only emerge after intense cosmetic work and postproduction edits—and that, therefore, anyone could achieve it. So, she teamed up with salon-owner Stephanie to establish a studio where women of all backgrounds could tap into a starlet's confidence and poise.
Before their shoots, the duo oversees hair, makeup, and wardrobe services before capturing clients in sultry pinup poses, drawing from a closet full of vintage costumes and lacy lingerie. They then fade imperfections from the proofs according to the subject's wishes, which might request a light re-touching or a full overhaul. The sizzling portraits appear as prints, photo albums, and calendars, which make for playful gifts to significant others on an anniversary or prospective employers after an interview.
Arctic Star Contractors’ licensed and insured staff oversees and implements home remodeling projects from the initial planning stages to the final turns of a screw. The 15-year veterans perform interior and exterior construction work on homes and commercial buildings, as well as execute new construction projects. They also paint interior and exterior walls and surfaces with a professional craftsman’s attention to detail.
Sinks. Sump pumps. Water lines. Code compliance. The fully licensed, bonded, and insured contractors at Affinity Plumbing have seen it all—and know how to fix it. They bring their plumbing expertise to every sort of project or mishap, whether it's installing a new system during a home remodeling or unclogging the drain after Bigfoot crashes at your place for a few weeks.
Owner and principal photographer Amy Zellmer approaches every shoot from two angles. With a modern style of traditional photography, each shot is composed and framed to fit alongside family portraits from any decade. But with the addition of her photojournalistic skills, her photos also tell the story of her subjects, capturing their emotions in a single, telling moment. The all-female staff at her studio shares this dual focus to shoot families, weddings, and private boudoir sessions.
Amy requires an engagement session before the wedding day with every couple she works with so that she can develop a relationship with the soon-to-be-weds and find the photography style to match their personality. She incorporates this same communicative approach in basic portrait sessions, often taking pictures in black and white to emphasize emotions or the stark contrast of an oreo. Amy coaches natural poses from her subjects during boudoir sessions that build confidence and reinforce her belief that women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful.
“Stocky.” Justin Yule remembers when others used this adjective to describe him, an observation he considered to be a nice way of saying that he was overweight. It wasn’t until his dad invited him to work out at the gym that Justin discovered a passion for fitness and a desire to chisel away the stockiness he carried. Since achieving his goals, he has kept up his fit physique more than 22 years.
Justin also channeled his passion into a bachelor’s of science in physical education with a concentration in adult fitness. He used his extensive training to devise the curriculum for Look Great at the Lake Boot Camp, which he also founded. Justin calls his program the “fitness revolution,” mainly because it breaks exercisers out of the tedious routines they often fall into at the gym or when their friend Sisyphus asks them to push his rock and promises he’ll only be gone for five minutes. Every one of Justin’s workout moves come in three levels, each scaled to challenge exercisers of different strengths and experience levels. He also relies heavily on body-weight resistance exercises, and coaches provide guidance and support to clients in reaching their goals.
Justin considers the most valuable part of his program to be the camaraderie that he encourages among his participants in and out of the boot-camp classroom. He organizes charity events and parties so that groups can mingle and become a cohesive unit working toward a single goal. To further ease his clients’ path to fitness, he also offers nutrition programs, online exercises and tips, and education in the form of newsletters and fitness books that he’s penned himself.
Rather than hauling unwieldy lighting equipment to every photo shoot, Jennifer Togal relies on natural sunlight to illuminate her subjects. For all of her on-location photo shoots, Jennifer whisks her clients—engaged couples, newlyweds, and even youngsters—away to idyllic settings such as woodland trails and sandy beaches. Once there, she uses her friendly manner and professionalism to put clients at ease in order to capture moments as natural as her lighting. During the shoot, she snaps candid shots instead of positioning clients in traditional portrait poses, such as seated in a wingback chair or bent over limbo-style. Afterward, Jennifer preserves her client's favorite pictures with various-size prints, digital images assembled on CD, or negatives launched into space where they orbit earth forever.