Big Star Studios is run by a duo of best-friend photographers who capture models' personalities and emotions by taking time to get to know their clients in custom-tailored portrait sessions. Before the first shutter is snapped, the photographers befriend their subjects, sitting down to discuss hobbies, lifestyles, and fantasy football draft rankings. The informal chitchats are used to tailor the hour-long shoots, which can be held in the duo's newly opened studio or at a more personal location, such as a favorite ice cream shop, a park, or the backyard of a complacent neighbor. During the portrait sessions, friends, couples, and families are encouraged to relax and act naturally as the photographer's lens is focused on moments of joy, love, and laughter.
Capture Everything Photography emerged when professional shutterbugs and best friends Melissa Smith and Melissa Herndon joined their rival businesses into a dynamic partnership. The two Melissas enjoy creating a rapport with clients, believing that learning about their personalities contributes to the results of photo shoots, and their photography style appreciates bold, bright colors and an upbeat mood. Willing to travel up to 30 miles from their studio, Melissa and Melissa join up with families, couples, and solo singles at picturesque locations ranging from the beach to the woods to a favorite bus stop. Studio shoots often employ props such as vintage furniture, chairs, and playful backdrops depending on subjects’ desires and the color of their mood ring.
A graduate of UNC's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Sweet Sassafras Photography owner and head photographer Sabrina Short cut her photo-framing teeth in the scenic surrounds of Chapel Hill. But, though she's no longer a student, Tobacco Road remains her muse, as Sabrina has contributed her keen eye to area publications such as Chapel Hill Magazine, Durham Magazine, and the WEEKLY. She also takes advantage of the area's natural beauty and historic landmarks with on-location shoots, framing clients against notable sites such as Duke Gardens and the UNC Arboretum.
The experienced photographers at MAC Photography capture stylized images that seem plucked from the pages of a storybook. During more than a dozen themed photo shoots, they provide vintage props and intricate costumes, capturing nostalgic fishing-hole scenes or whimsical portraits of children dressed as fairies. Rather than falling back on clichéd poses such as families standing in a row or pets emulating the evolution of man chart, they capture surprising images: a bridal party holding aloft bright umbrellas, a desaturated picture of a boy reading picture book to his little sister, a family gathered on a couch in the middle of the woods. After shoots, a retouch artist airbrushes away skin imperfections to produce magazine-quality shots.
Coming to photography after an eclectic career that has seen him earn a PhD in biblical theology and win a Computerworld Smithsonian medal for contributions to technology, Falcon—The House of NyghtFalcon's founder and head photographer—specializes in emotionally powerful, naturally lit photos that reveal unseen perspectives in familiar sights. His handpicked photographic associates undergo three years of apprenticeship before donning the mantle of full partner. Basic and advanced seminars mix photographic theory with hands-on learning, teaching students how to master cameras' arcane functions, frame shots, and determine the shutter speed at which time folds back in on itself.