Shutterbug Kristy Ter Haar knows that the key to taking a good photo is making sure your subject feels comfortable. So, she welcomes customers into a studio set up to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere. She can also take shoots outdoors at her clients' favorite location to take advantage of natural light while families romp through piles of fall leaves, fields of bright flowers, or kiddie pools filled with pasta.
Kristy specializes in capturing memories of babies and kids under 5 years old, but her ability to put subjects at ease makes her a popular choice for engaged couples and high-school seniors as well. After her shutter has clicked for the last time, she touches up blemishes and converts selected shots to black-and-white or sepia tones during the editing process, and can then print them onto paper, canvas, or the pages of a shiny new photo book.
The photographers, designers, and programmers at StudioThirty3 combine their skills to build websites and capture magical moments. For events in Grand Rapids or across the globe, their wedding photography and videography services go hand-in-hand with their photo-editing and color-correction skills, which they use to remove the appearance of any blemishes or lingering ghosts. In addition to nuptials, they snap artistic images of nature and landscapes as well as portraiture.
Dan Johnson fell in love with photography using a simple point-and-shoot in high school, toting his lens to summer camp, onto rollercoasters, and through marching-band performances. This love has grown into a successful career as a wedding and portrait photographer—one he pursues with his wife, Jodi, in their spacious Grandville studio. Dan and his team deftly capture senior portraits, snap romantic, lively wedding photographs, and preserve images of babies and newborns for use in embarrassing one's children in front of their future spouses. The pair also creates wholesale prints through their sister company, GoProPrints.com.
A bride and two of her bridesmaids strike Charlie’s Angels poses, their guns replaced with bouquets, in one image from Justin Hill’s portfolio of artful wedding shots. In another, a child tries on a floor length wedding dress, looking disappointed as its skirt polls on the parquet floor; in a third, a couple’s hands interlace next to Scrabble tiles that spell out “forever.” A proponent of candid shots, Hill nevertheless stylizes his photos with funky locations and unique composition, having a couple pose atop rustic railroad ties, honing in on their locked hands, or cropping out their faces to appease invisible relatives. To ensure smooth shoots, Hill keeps his cell phone with him at all times to answer any questions the couple may have.
Jessica Christensen has spent much of her decade-long career photographing models prone to unexplained screaming fits—babies. Families in her First Year Baby Club enjoy a year’s worth of quarterly photo sessions, which document their tot’s transformation from a baby to a baby who makes mortgage payments. For subjects with more birthdays under their belts, Christensen captures lifelong connections in vivid, high-contrast shots of parents and children or newlyweds.
Christensen also helps budding photographers to compose their own professional-quality images with hands-on photo courses. Her introductory sessions focus on camera settings for point-and-shoots and DSLRs alike. More advanced workshops explore the shores of Lake Michigan and other outdoor venues, and they frequently involve portraiture practice with live models, rather than the less expressive faces of text-message emoticons.
At Electric Elm Studio, professional photographers Lacey Peacock and Andrew Schimdt apply care and vision while capturing important moments in their clients' lives. Before each session, the photographers meet for a consultation with their clients to discuss desired results and strategy. They then provide their custom photography services during portrait sessions, weddings, graduations, and other family milestones such as baby's first parking ticket. After each shoot, Lacey and Andrew fine tune the images and provide clients with the option to order prints and CDs loaded with digital images.