One man crouches low, weapon resting on his shoulder. Another stands erect, a pair of binoculars held to his face. An entire military squad of toy soldiers stands ready for eternal battle within a shadow box crafted by Neal Raffensberger. The shadow box is one of 4,000 framing options showcased inside Raffensberger Photography & Framing's red-brick façade, where professional photographer and custom-framing specialist Neal and his assistant help patrons conserve their most beloved mementos. Multitudes of frames, mats, mountings, and glass—including conservation glass that blocks 99% of color-dulling UV rays—come together to display anything from photographs and posters to jerseys and wisdom teeth. Neal, who first dabbled in photography at the age of 5 in his father's basement darkroom, also flaunts his artistic eye behind the camera in the store's onsite studio. Families, couples, and proof-seeking Bigfoots can capture history in portrait sessions, which use digital photography to allow for immediate viewing after each shoot.
A soft focus surrounds the subjects in Love Photography's images, lending warmness to a close-up of a bride wearing her veil and dreaminess to a sultry couple posing together in a boudoir session. During these shoots, Love Photography’s team of photographers makes subjects feel at ease by scheduling complimentary consultations before the shutter even starts snapping. Like William Tell shooting an apple off his son’s head, the staff believes that practice makes perfect, and they’ve been practicing their photographic aim during weddings, family portrait sessions, and kids’ photo shoots since the studio opened in 1970.
People are so concerned with showing their love on Valentine's Day that they often forget to capture it instead. Photography is a proven method for freezing time and securing momentous memories on rectangular sheets of gloss. With a spacious, state-of-the-art photo studio built on two acres of photogenic land, Christopher Norris Photographers is home to four expert photographers with more than 30 years of picture-taking experience each. Commemorate the visible love you share with another, your family, and your infant cousin's newly sprouted third row of teeth, or record a new set of headshots to replace the ones you glued inside all the magazines in your local bookshop.
After spending years designing kitchens and handcrafting cabinets, John Barlowe opened Frame Shop Art Gallery & Gifts to celebrate and showcase great household art. A member of the Professional Picture Framers Association, he's won awards for his custom-frame designs, which pair his meticulous woodworking skills with elements such as football skin to accent displayed pieces. As a premier partner of Larson-Juhl, he has access to thousands of ornate American hardwood borders and gilded moldings crafted with more than 100 years of company expertise. Each artwork or photograph squeezes between Tru Vue glass and Bainbridge mats and backboard, a sandwich framers can often complete in as little as 24 hours.
In addition to displaying art, John and his team specialize in various photo services, from printing images to transforming ordinary snapshots into caricatures or watercolors with artistic photo treatments. They also prevent boxes of family photos from falling victim to age, disasters, and swamp monsters’ thumbprints by digitizing large collections.
Family owned and operated for 30 years, Frame Center provides decorative and museum-quality framing services for original artwork, prints, and other memorabilia. With roughly 2,000 frames and hundreds of mats to choose from, mounted and framed pictures under glass start at $29.95 for an 11" x 14" frame, $45.95 for 16" x 20", $69.95 for 24" x 36", and $74.95 for 32" x 40". Prices can increase if you opt for higher-quality wood frames, which many customers choose to enhance velvet portraits of Courtney Love unearthed from the basement of the Louvre. Available mats range from paper and museum-grade conservation material to hand-wrapped fabrics. Frame Center's experienced staff also frames shadowboxed objects, photo portraits, and diplomas ($100+), as well as needlepoint or cross-stitch pieces ($70+). Although you can always nail art projects onto a refrigerator door, a wall display offers a longer-lasting opportunity to display your children's illustrations ($24.95+) of Hannah Montana clones playing poker.
Melissa Lopez faced a daunting task: a group of five friends all wanted to do their boudoir shoots back to back in one evening. She could see the potential wreckage—the ladies racing to make their shoot on time, makeup sessions running long, costume pieces getting lost—but she agreed to the plan anyway. As it turned out, her fears were warranted, but Melissa had never been one to let a challenge wear her down. So when her subjects reached the height of pandemonium, she decreed, "I don't care if we're going past midnight. Let's get these shots done." The ladies' stress receded, and the evening turned into a party complete with strawberries and champagne.
Shoots like these show why Melissa and her husband, Dustin, chose the name One Red Door Photography: it symbolizes their shared passion for capturing images full of life. In addition to boudoir shoots, the duo's services range from portrait sessions to video solutions for small businesses—an area of particular importance for Dustin, who comes from a lineage of restaurateurs going back to his great grandfather in Spain. Dustin's passion for photography, video, and helping small businesses also led to his Google Trusted Photographer certification, a distinction for photographers who capture panoramic shots of local businesses for Google Maps with Street View.