Bright eyes and toothless smiles are regularly flashed at Little Nest Portraits, where the photographers specialize in children's portraiture. Owner Laura Novak and her quirky, talented staff love to fish for spontaneity and smiles during in-studio and outdoor photo shoots. Like backwards magicians, their trick is preparation: they chat with families beforehand to run down the session, pick up personality traits, and dish out tips such as what to wear. After frames are snapped, their home-design specialists can augment the prints with accessories such as hand-painted frames, canvas wraps, and gallery mounts.
Moments are captured in the comfortable studio, which creates a natural aesthetic with charming textures and a blend of modern furniture and antiques. Not content with merely decorating walls and mantels, the studio also strives to make its community more beautiful, giving back to a number of charities and working with school fundraiser programs.
Professional photographer James Cucinotta snaps pictures with a photojournalistic style and creative techniques to transform life’s ephemeral moments into enduring art. During a session, families of up to six, mothers-to-be, babies, and humans who have woken up as bugs relax under Cucinotta's friendly manner to expose long-dormant smiles in the natural light of the great outdoors or the indoor arena of a professional studio. Customers can follow up their session by fawning over images online and perfecting flaws, such as animal transmutations and phantom second heads, through the magic of Cucinotta Images' digital retouching. The favored photo will then materialize as a family of one 8"x10" and twin 5"x7" doppelganger prints.
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.
In its 2,000-square-foot studio, DollFace's professional snapping duo, Darah and Siobhan, strives to unleash the buried bombshell in clients through expressive, elegant boudoir photography. Aspiring sirens begin their 30-minute mini sessions and subdue belly-dwelling butterflies by filling the studio with their favorite tunes and a few swift sips of bubbly. Hair and makeup application is available for an additional charge; once ready, kittens slip into the more conservative of their two outfits to help ease into the flashbulb's glow in front of the camera's honest lens. Once power suits have been stripped down, women are welcome to improve the appearance of a variety of set pieces with their presences, either taking direction from the photographer or vogueing to the beat of nature's drum—the heart.
The staff at Tommi Salon and Spa pamper clients in an airy space with third-floor views of the center city. Stylists trim tresses beneath broad windows in the salon, which also offers services from coloring and straightening to ornate wedding-day updos. The spa swathes clients in a luxurious, but minimalist aesthetic. Footbaths glow blue, purple, and green along a sleek white banquette with six pedicure stations. Other services, such as facials, massages, and waxing, take place in four private treatment rooms; aestheticians also create custom-blended treatments inside a dedicated Spa Lab.