The bride stood under the photographer’s lights, resplendent in her wedding gown, as her family looked on from a distance. As she and her photographer, M. Chen, prepared for the shoot, she was handed a package—a prewedding gift from her soon-to-be husband. When she lifted the lid, she immediately burst into tears. Inside laid a photo of a great dane puppy—the dog she’d always wanted, which her husband planned to give her on their wedding day. As she ran to hug her mother, Mr. Chen ran after, shooting image after image, capturing the exact moment she fell into her mother’s arms. These quick reflexes have been honed through his nearly 30 years as a sports photographer and professional fly swatter, and he draws on photojournalistic techniques to compose a traditional portrait or snap once-in-a-lifetime, candid moments.
Regardless of specific approaches, he consistently draws from the landscape style of Ansel Adams and the dramatic lighting techniques of Monte Zucker. His work as a photojournalist and private portrait photographer has earned him more than 300 publications in the glossy pages of New York Daily News, Popular Photography, ESPN Magazine, and Professional Photographers of America magazine. When not snapping on-location engagement shoots, family portraits, or boudoir sessions, he passes on his technique through traveling photography seminars, hands-on workshops, and by gently tapping the heads of his students. Though formerly designed only for professional-level photographers, these classes instill confidence and camera basics in beginners. As he frequently finds new class examples and takes feedback from his students, Mr. Chen frequently fine-tunes the curriculum after each seminar.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
From 18 studios scattered around Los Angeles, Lori Moran Music Studios’ armada of instructors offers all-ages voice, piano, guitar, violin, and composition classes. With teachers who have worked on films such as Dreamgirls and Dance Flick, world-touring operatic productions, and Grammy-nominated choral CDs, the school can cater to virtually every musical taste—from classical to jazz to pop. Students choose the emphasis of their lessons, whether they want to work on their public performance skills, write their own songs, sight-read scores, or simply be able to play musical chairs during a power outage. Many will also get the chance to show off in recitals, concerts, and showcases.
Michael "Rocket" Blackstone was born into a family of pilots, and he began flying with his father at age 8. Now with 25 years of experience and 14,000 hours of logged flight time, Michael chooses to share his passion for flying with novice aviators and eager thrill seekers, taking them into the skies in one of four stunt aircraft, including a vintage-inspired, open-cockpit biplane.
After a brief safety talk on the ground, he and his pilots use these planes to take customers on adrenaline-pumping thrill rides, as seen on Eye on L.A.. These flights crisscross the skies over the California coastline, reaching speeds of up to 250 miles per hour. Passengers can even take the stick after takeoff, regardless of their experience level, and help the pilot guide the plane through basic aerobatic maneuvers, such as performing a loop, taking it into a roll, and skywriting a knock-knock joke within sight of downtown.
Michael and his pilots also lead flight-training sessions that teach students the basics of aerobatics over the course of several skyward outings with pre- and post-flight briefings. For a more tranquil excursion, they fly sightseeing tours of downtown Los Angeles or Long Beach Harbor and take passengers on chartered flights to Catalina Island.
We are a blue collar facility with a primary objective of getting results. We are not a gym! The distinction between Virtus and a “corporate gym” is evident from the minute you walk through our door. We train you to execute real world movements under heavier loads, longer distance, with greater intensity.