Though Jerry and Caroline Rizzo aren’t the original owners of David Eric Photography, they felt strongly about keeping the studio’s name when they took over in February 1992. But the David Eric name isn’t the only element that was saved during the transition. The Rizzos and their team of photographers proudly uphold the studio's traditions of excellent customer service, which includes giving ample attention to every client—from wedding couples and boudoir models to newborns—before, during, and after each shoot. And it is with this patience and attentiveness that the studio has gone on to earn high praise from The Knot and Wedding Wire.
When cast members from The Real Housewives of New Jersey stopped at Marra's Restaurant for a bite, the owner asked neighboring photographer Mike Kortoci to take a picture. The ladies loved his work so much that, after a tour of his studio, they asked Mike to film an on-camera segment for the show. Snapping shots of celebs isn't uncommon for Mike—according to Ridgewood News, his famous clientele has included the Baldwin brothers and America's Next Top Model –winner CariDee English.
For the most part, however, Mike lends his artistic eye and more than 20 years of experience to creating customized portraits for his everyday clients, including kids and families. He snaps primarily black-and-white images during on-location shoots and inside his 2,000-square-foot studio. Afterward, he retouches clients' favorite shots, removing red eye or blinking specters, and preserves them on canvas or watercolor-paper prints.
Beyond its work staging traditional photo shoots and portraiture, Garden State Photo Studio's team of event photojournalists is dispatched to special occasions to tell their stories. As celebrations such as weddings, sweet sixteens, and bar mitzvahs unfold, photogs follow the belles of the ball, snapping or videotaping a chronology of candid moments with their professional-grade digital cameras and lighting equipment.
Garden State?s traveling photo booths fuel party-time fun and memory-making. After attendants set up the stationary photographer, party-goers pile in as the booth snaps pictures of the revelry. Instant images are printed onto strips and posted online so that guests can relive the memories later or ask the photo booth accusingly why it took so many pictures of Karen.
At Westwood Gallery, owners Mike and Lore Fitzsimmons celebrate their love for beautiful artwork with museum-quality preservation and framing of paintings and pictures. Everyone on staff boasts a background in art, allowing them to match a painting's style and period with the perfect frame and also consider the decor back at the customer's house. They can create original oil paintings from photographs, restore weathered paintings and photos, and brighten up bathroom vanities and bedroom walls with custom-framed mirrors. As longtime residents of Westwood, the owners promote the local creative community by hosting gallery parties, setting up photography exhibits, and challenging passersby to define "art" in one sentence or less.
As the recession deepened, Metro Art & Frame owner Bo Okuyan found that demand never slackened for one market of art collectors: parents. Mr. Okuyan's business savvy caught the attention of the New York Times' Michael Winerip in 2010, who noted that a steady supply of finger paintings and crafts had caused Bo to rethink his definition of art. “All kids are artists, that’s how we look at it now,” he said. Whether upgrading fridge-hung stick-figure portraits to a permanent gallery or framing a more traditionally priceless painting, Mr. Okuyan and his staff begin with a complimentary consultation, tailoring each project to fit home or office aesthetics and personal style. Metro Art & Frame's acid-free mats center photographs, oil paintings, or post-modern puddles of spilled milk in an ornate, gold-leafed frame or elegant black one. Five types of glass and two flavors of plexiglass guard sensitive paintings from light damage with UV protection, and the shop's selection of contemporary and classic prints lets patrons fill in the gaps in their home galleries.
A part of the Big Apple Art Gallery family, Bob's Frame Shop boasts a fully ensured, skilled staff that custom frames items of all dimensions right in the studio. Their services range from basic framing—which comes in a choice of 8,000 different styles—to specialty shadow boxes, which immortalize 3-D memorabilia such as a graduation cap or a treasured sports jersey belonging to the hockey-obsessed family dog. The experts outline pictures with cotton, linen, and silk mats, which are sliced with a computerized mat cutter for shapes and letters contoured to precise specifications. Delivery to the surrounding neighborhood is available, and the accommodating establishment welcomes customers seven days a week.