At the tender age of 6, Mark Cafiero received his first camera. Though it was broken and filled with cartoons his father had drawn of Mark and his sisters, that camera sparked an early interest in photography. Since then, that spark has erupted into a full-fledged passion, leading Mark to become a professional photographer who has snapped photos for hundreds of clients, including celebrities and professional athletes. To share his spark with others, Mark founded Chimpsy, an resource that helps photographers of all experience levels calibrate their skills with casual in-person and online classes.
Available in more than 30 cities across the nation, Chimpsy's two-hour crash course features a hands-on shooting session and campfire-style presentation on topics ranging from camera anatomy to photo composition. For home study, online classes help photographers—beginners and aspiring pros alike—get more from their pictures through two-hour video tutorials that cover photo-editing software, shooting tips and techniques, and steps on how to build a photography business. From the comfort of their bedrooms, students can watch these professional photographer-led tutorials live or replay previously recorded sessions. Along with instructional classes, Chimpsy offers shutterbugs a place to submit photos for contests with monthly prizes or for feedback from peers, pros, and sentient picture frames.
The experienced, Federal Aviation Administration?certified flight instructors at A-Cent Aviation use their aerial expertise to help new flyers learn to navigate the clear Colorado skies. An FAA-approved, category IV AATD, fully enclosed flight simulator offers 120 degree, high-resolution visuals and can be configured to teach students the controls and trick to packing overhead luggage compartments in 25 different models of aircraft. VA-approved courses offer instruction for manning everything from recreational and commercial planes, to single-engine aircraft, with an FAA-testing center on-site to test developing skills. A-Cent Aviation also plays matchmaker by maintaining a small fleet of new and used aircraft to pair with lonely pilots, while a pilot shop provides access to shelves stocked with study materials, cockpit supplies, and pterodactyl repellents.
A high-intensity fitness center that shirks the crowded mechanical mishmash of big gyms for open spaces and innovative workouts, CrossFit South Aurora empowers its members with constantly varied exercises and tightly knit group classes. In addition to three months of unlimited gym time ($125/month), members will enjoy benefits including a diet plan, a personal food shopper, a Sunday fundamentals class to build up their initial skill set, and a complimentary tattoo of a kettlebell. Freshly inked athletes are then encouraged to check out CrossFit's schedule and sign up for a small-group class taught by a professional trainer with personalized guidance in form and technique. With motivational workouts scaled to each group member’s ability, classes can quickly lead to a more defined physique and measurably higher odds of surviving back-alley attacks and Matthew McConaughey look-alike contests.
Featured in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, BenchPrep's educational network prepares students to undertake difficult exams with confidence through innovative and interactive online content. Students can enlist in a field of study from BenchPrep's courses, forged with the aid of McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Wiley, and photocopies of Athena's classroom cheat sheets, to gain access to the site's comprehensive content, reporting, and score-analysis tools. Students cultivate their academic knowledge with content-specific reading material, videos, notes, bookmarks, customizable quizzes, and practice tests.
BenchPrep's innovative cross-platform technology allows online students to begin their studies on a web-based computer and continue their lessons in transit via iPhone, Android, or iPad. Lesson plans can also be downloaded to a smartphone device through the BenchPrep app to facilitate on-the-go learning without an Internet connection, handy for studying in signal-destroying subways or while time traveling to pre-WiFi locales. Upon completion, students receive a digital completion certificate.
Focused on community-building and self-expression, Working With Artists bestows dedicated, skilled photographic instruction upon fledgling shutterbugs during digital-photography workshops, instilling pertinent picture-taking knowledge alongside burgeoning technological prowess. Classes of 50 or fewer students learn the ins and outs of their digital portrait boxes, learning how to zoom with aplomb and adjust settings to create flattering outdoor photos or achieve a spooky flashlight-held-under-the-chin effect. Tote along your own camera for in-depth tutorials on camera function while developing practical skills and increasing creativity during the six-hour session, taking a quick break to eat a snack or build a tripod out of snack wrappers.
The Colorado School of Acting's directors, Elizabeth Horne and Troy Horne, combine their dual loves of stage and screen to impart acting chops to students of all ages and experience levels. Elizabeth—who has acted in more than 25 plays and 12 movies—and Troy—a sitcom and film producer who appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award–winning musical Rent—staff their team with veteran acting instructors, each of whom have more than 10 years of experience in the biz. During their classes, they teach students to focus and perform under a variety of circumstances, with workshops in subjects ranging from improv and commercial work to audition skills and voiceovers. They welcome kids for acting summer camps, where they introduce fundamentals of memorization, character development, and rehearsal. Instructors also help thespians develop with more advanced training, including filmmaking summer camps for kids, and a certificate program for all age levels that requires students to audition or present a signed permission slip from David Schwimmer.