Designs of Distinction augments the memories of celebratory gatherings with a large array of rentable activities, furniture, decorations, and more. Themed birthday bashes gain a main event with inflatable bounce houses ($275) shaped and adorned in a variety of decorations such as jungle animals, spaceships, and castles. Designs of Distinction will deliver, set up, and subsequently take down and take away the chosen bounce house rentals. Hosts of functions that prohibit jumping can peruse Designs of Distinction's inventory, decking party halls with eight-foot Oscar statues or white leather couches ($275). The Groupon can be applied to more expensive items—such as a rideable mechanical bull ($995)—to ensure quality carousing.
Photography instructor J. Ambrozic started his career on the other end of the lens, working as a TV actor and Banana Republic model. The Renaissance man still appears on camera and works in talent management, but as a photographer, he's more interested in the faces of other people?and sometimes elephants. His diverse portfolio spans portraiture, landscapes, and action shots of animals. All of his images share a virtuosity that he unpacks for students during his DSLR classes. Teaching a mix of technical sophistication and composition techniques, he shows students how to snap captivating masterpieces of their own. Students can practice their new skills in Ambrozic's studio, a naturally lit oasis with crystalline views of the city skyline and the occasional giant lizard monster.
Not content being the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists’ overall winner for 2011 Best Monthly in Ohio, a few of Ohio Magazine’s staff members walked away with individual awards themselves. A captivating and descriptive profile of Ohio naturalist-illustrator Julie Zickefoose, “Our Lady of the Birds” by John C. Bruening, was named Best Artist Profile, with second place bestowed upon a fellow Ohio colleague, Jennifer Rogers. For her full body of work in 2010, Linda Feagler was awarded Best Arts Reporting, and not to be left out, Lesley Blake wrangled in the Best Graphic Design/Navigation award for the magazine’s online counterpart.
But it’s not the awards that keep subscribers coming back. Within the glossy pages of each monthly issue lies a veritable treasure trove of historical tidbits, compelling stories, shopping tips, and event information—all focused around the Buckeye State. In sections such as Travel, readers delve into written and pictorial chronologies of in-state excursions, as well as extensive resources detailing where to find the best hotels, which destinations are best in which seasons, and which desserts the local police enjoy in the event you get pulled over for speeding. The Food and Wine section profiles tempting culinary destinations, and Home and Garden leads green thumbs around the state to the most verdant nurseries and the most beautiful home gardens.
Melissa Lopez faced a daunting task: a group of five friends all wanted to do their boudoir shoots back to back in one evening. She could see the potential wreckage—the ladies racing to make their shoot on time, makeup sessions running long, costume pieces getting lost—but she agreed to the plan anyway. As it turned out, her fears were warranted, but Melissa had never been one to let a challenge wear her down. So when her subjects reached the height of pandemonium, she decreed, "I don't care if we're going past midnight. Let's get these shots done." The ladies' stress receded, and the evening turned into a party complete with strawberries and champagne.
Shoots like these show why Melissa and her husband, Dustin, chose the name One Red Door Photography: it symbolizes their shared passion for capturing images full of life. In addition to boudoir shoots, the duo's services range from portrait sessions to video solutions for small businesses—an area of particular importance for Dustin, who comes from a lineage of restaurateurs going back to his great grandfather in Spain. Dustin's passion for photography, video, and helping small businesses also led to his Google Trusted Photographer certification, a distinction for photographers who capture panoramic shots of local businesses for Google Maps with Street View.
The same versatility that helped Lauren McClintock transition from active duty in the army to photography informs her wide-ranging photo portfolio. A wedding photographer with an eye for lovey-dovey moments, McClintock has also drawn on her BS in Photojournalism to capture stark portraits of Cleveland’s homeless.
During her photo shoots, McClintock gets to know her subjects before showcasing their personalities in her portraits. During shoots in the settings where subjects feel most comfortable--which range from church socials to hammocks strung between two recliners—she composes her images to capture authentic moments and sensory memories. She honors the keepsake nature of photographs with high-quality prints, emblazoned on long-lasting acid-free paper.