Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
Yakety Yak Wireless specializes in cell phones. The shop stocks new and used models from brands such as Verizon, Samsung and Apple; the technicians inside it, meanwhile, can draw on more than two decades of combined experience to fix old phones. Their repairs address problems from cracked screens and water damage to faulty sensors and speakers that blast the chicken dance during important calls. Yakety Yak Wireless also vends accessories such as cases and earbuds.
The team at Lynn Greene Photography has been snapping shots together since 2006—long enough to know that the most important part of their job is, by a happy coincidence, also the most fun. Each session begins with some lighthearted goofing around, establishing a playful tone that helps most people strike a relaxed pose. Their clients range from families to high-school seniors to sexy boudoir models, and they never fail to elicit a natural smile from any of the above. That said, they know when to get serious. They often help out corporate professionals looking for business headshots to separate them from the pack.
Immediately after holding an in-studio or outdoor session, clients are invited to preview their images at the studio. While there, they can decide which pictures to preserve as prints, in coffee-table books, or on fake dollar bills.
At Cellular City, teams of skilled technicians repair a wide range of phones and gadgets. Specialists render cracked screens and faulty charger ports on Androids, iPhones, iPods, and iPads or accessorize smartphones with earbuds, Bluetooth headsets, phone mounts, and screen protectors.
In the acoustically-treated practice studios that fill their brand-new facility, Music Time Academy’s instructors arm students as young as five years with the rent-to-own flutes, trumpets, or violins they need to tangle with any musical challenge that might cross their paths. The school’s curriculum is not limited to juvenile jongleurs, with students of virtually any age brushing up on their banjo, mandolin, piano, bass, or vocal abilities during lessons calibrated to the tastes of each pupil.
This modularity is made possible through the diverse roster of instructors, whose ranks include classical ensemble guitarists, rock 'n' roll ukulele players, effortlessly controlled jazz trumpeters, and a stray punk-druid mandolin player from Brighton, England. These eager teachers are equipped to foster virtually any sort of musical interest, whether students wish to show off in regularly scheduled recitals, find a friendly place to hone their skills, or compose a national anthem for their Dungeons and Dragons setting.