The close-knit team at Spa 4 Paws promise to treat each canine client as if it were their own pet. To that end, they dry dogs by hand after baths and carefully groom them in spa services that include extensive brushing and "paw-di-cures." During massage sessions, dogs can find relief from stiff muscles and the anxiety caused by their own constant barking. The spa's mobile grooming unit brings its dog-soothing expertise to clients' driveways. Customers can also give back by donating pet food to the spa's pet pantry, which then distributes it to the pets of families in need.
Located in Sears stores or at adjacent offices, Sears Optical's independent optometrists screen peepers to determine accurate prescriptions and diagnose any health problems. As doctors position a refractive device over the eyes, flipping through lenses of varying strengths, patients describe the level of clarity with which they can see the purple zebra dancing in the far corner. In addition to the prescriptive exam, doctors may use eye drops to dilate the pupil to scrutinize the retina.
When Nicole Joelle's parents placed a slim, pink 110 camera into her 6-year-old hands, it was love at first sight. As she watched her first photos materialize underneath the chemicals of her 7th-grade darkroom, she knew her life would revolve around her passion. And it has. Since graduating from the Art Institute of Colorado, Nicole (or Nikki to her friends) has captured intimate images of families and young couples at Contemporary Photography while striking a subtle balance between her subjects and their environment. Family portraits pop out against a simple black background or studio setting, while engagement photos travel to sentimental locales to pick up the textured exterior of a red-brick wall or the peeling paint on an old storefront. At Contemporary Photography, Nicole presents a distinctly modern and mature take on boudoir sessions, framing skin and lace in soft folds of studio lighting. Her photo studio also hosts workshops with trained instructors, helping gets students past questions like "When should I use flash?" and "How do I Photoshop the lens cap out of my self-portrait?"
The Colorado Rockies are her backdrop. The sun is her flashbulb. And any passing elk automatically become her creative assistants. Gwendolyn Mayfield of Butterflykiss Portraits has turned the world into her studio, posing couples, families, and even pets before the natural splendor of the Fort Collins area. Her lightly posed shots burst with the personality of her subjects, whom she encourages to bring any props and outfits they’d like. She uses fast shutter speeds to capture movement—a child throwing a snowball, a golden retriever bounding through a park—or switches to pastoral portrait mode to capture fantasy shots of young girls in fairy costumes or knights atop steeds. Gwendolyn’s range and creativity seem to know no bounds, as she switches seamlessly from touching military portraits to intimate boudoir shoots shot in private settings. Whether working with seniors, mothers-to-be, or photogenic crash-test dummies, Gwendolyn approaches each shoot with an open mind and spends up to two weeks editing her photos to perfection before presenting them to clients in an online gallery.
Growing up surrounded by '69 Camaros, Oldsmobile 442s, and Firebirds in her family's auto-body shop, Ashley Meier easily developed a love of craftsmanship and nontraditional works of art. Combined with her inherited small-business know-how, it was perhaps inevitable that she'd start her own creative endeavor. BlueHaus Studios specializes in spontaneous, evocative portraits that capture the inner character of her subjects without leaning on her camera's X-ray filter. She supplements her engagement, wedding, graduation, and family pictures with event-planning services and small-business consulting. Through hard work and a discerning eye, Ashley makes her way by forging lasting memories.