Worcester Photo Studios unveils a picture-snapping emporium to customers and photographers alike. Inside the 10,000-square-foot facility, a dozen shooting areas surround sessions in a wide range of settings, and mammoth bay doors grant access to larger-than-life props, such as cars, boats, and scale replicas of downtown Worcester. For shutterbugs lacking their own home base, the studio offers a membership program that includes use of its spaces; in the future, the studio plans to install a classroom, salon-style stations, and a kitchen set, complete with fully functioning appliances and a fully functioning Emeril Lagasse.
Though Lauren Cooksey started out with just a Salvation Army camera in hand and three children in tow, the photographer and single mother was determined to fulfill her dream of achieving a successful career in her chosen art. Her talent and sheer willpower paid off; today, Lauren continues to snap shots under the moniker Cooksey Photo and has even enlisted one of those aforementioned toddlers, Tracy, to join her mission.
With 20 years of industry experience behind them, the mother-daughter photography team captures candid images of individuals and families, crafting prints with warm, sepia tones brushed with custom color. During photo shoots, the duo uses handmade sets and props to coax out the personality of each baby, graduating high schooler, or beloved mannequin. Afterward, they select the best image to edit before dressing it up with daubs of digital color. Finished prints from a family session spruce up a lonely end table, or a print from a pet photo shoot can enliven a mantel in a doghouse. The new in-home studio, which opened in June 2011 is also child-friendly.
Alter Ego Photo Booth lures out the glamorous, goofy, and gleeful sides of party guests with its spacious, interactive photo booths. The company features a roster of three themed booths, each equipped with studio-quality printers that spit out unlimited images on durable, self-laminating photo paper. Built-in iPod speaker systems, color-changing LED light shows, and green-screen technology enhance in-the-booth experiences, and on the outside, Alter Ego sets up candy bars, edible props, and other fun extras upon request.
Most Popular Service: Painting socials
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Brands Used: Blick canvas, acrylic paints
Pro Tip: BYOB; Call to make reservations or go on our website
Image-making expert Suzanne is a wife and mother, so she understands the fast pace and busy schedules most families keep. With her photography, she strives to capture the special moments that might otherwise be missed in the rush of daily life, keeping portrait sessions fun and natural, like organic carrots on roller skates. Use today's Groupon to capture the curiosity of a toddler before she's all of a sudden an accountant, or preserve the confidence of a high school senior before he begins a brand new social climb in college.
Supplying Western Massachusetts and Connecticut with floaty fortresses for more than a decade, K.E.C. Party Rentals stocks the area with inflatable castles, water slides, carnival games, and obstacle courses. Bouncers come in an inflatable rainbow of sizes, hues, and themes ($149.99–$349.99), with customizable motifs from favorite children's movies as well as combination bouncer-slides that allow kids to take gravity into their own tiny hands. Other air-filled arenas include the prismatic 40-foot Adrenaline Obstacle Course ($299.99 for up to six hours), and both dry and wet slides ($329.99–$499.99). K.E.C. also keeps easily bored partygoers from staging goodie bag riots with interactive carnival games such as Bingo Toss ($39.99), Giant Jenga ($49.99), and a Lucky Duck pond ($75).