Frame-Arts Hawaii's staff crafts attractive hangings that serve to protect their contents with such amenities as acid-free mat boards and nonreflective glass. Hundreds of framing choices stack up inside the shop, drawing the eye as soon as it rolls in the door. In addition to framing traditional artwork and photographs, the staff offers services for displaying sports jerseys, mirrors, and collections of autographed Social Security cards.
Expressions Portrait Design’s portfolio captures families, graduates, babies, and even pets. More than 100 backgrounds unfurl on set, letting subjects surround their poses with almost any mood or theme. After the flash has gone off and the “freeze time” switch has been flipped again, color effects and image editing add more options for customization. All photo packages include standard prints, but custom framing, greeting cards, and canvas images also are available to surround portraits with gallery-caliber fanciness.
In 1988, Natalie Brown-Aiwohi began working as a makeup artist at Headshots Hawaii. A month later, she was promoted to manager. In 2010, after 22 years as manager, Brown-Aiwohi purchased the studio herself and built a new location to house it at the Aiea Town Square. Immediately, she transformed a franchise that had been known for its 1980s-style glitz into a full-service photography studio that captures images of clients just as they are. “After all the glitz and glam, people wanted to look like themselves—they wanted more of a natural look,” Brown-Aiwohi told Pacific Business News in 2010, shortly after the move.
Today, Headshots Hawaii is the only remaining Headshots franchise of dozens that had opened in the 1980s and 1990s, and Brown-Aiwohi’s dream is still going strong. As a partner of the Miss Hawaii Pageant, Headshots Hawaii snaps photos of reigning Miss Hawaiis, drawing on Brown-Aiwohi’s experience as a former pageant queen and model. Photographers also shoot images for weddings, businesses, aspiring models, and airtight alibis, tailoring the style to suit the client. Brown-Aiwohi gives back to the community with charitable work, such as supporting events to benefit homeless teens.
At Hawaii School of Photography, a symphony of clicking shutters and flashing lights fills the various classrooms during digital, traditional, and professional photography classes. As a school devoted to commercial photography, the company offers classes on DSLR basics, how to create lighting, and how to advance a career as a professional photographer. Courses are held in the studio or on-location, and the website also offers online course and free lessons. The school and studio is helmed by award-winning professional photographer and lighting expert Dr. Stephen Dantzig, whose work has appeared on 22 regional and national magazine covers and who's published many books and articles on the art of lighting.
Award-winning photographer James Anshutz focuses his lens to snap subjects in vibrant settings and often evokes a sense of humor alongside the beauty in his work. Believing that input from clients is key to capturing their most natural selves and any ghosts following them, Anshutz welcomes feedback and suggestions during shoots. Subjects guide the portraiteer with their unique creative and collaborative energies, ensuring each shoot ends with a string of one-of-a-kind photos. Afterward, Anshutz preserves unedited memories of the session on digital CDs and can edit images with basic retouching to bring out the best in subjects and remove all showboating squirrels.
Award-winning photographer Dawn Nash understands that the best pictures happen when her subjects feel beautiful and loved. As the founder of The Romance Specialist, she translates these ideals into precious photographic keepsakes during shoots held at her brand new La Mesa studio. Whether she's capturing traditional portraits or teasing out sultry sexiness during boudoir shoots, Dawn encourages unguarded moments with the help of in-studio privacy and an all-female staff.