The Intro to Photography class is produced by Monte Zucker Photographic Education (MZPE), which provides quality professional photographic instruction. More than 30,000 enthusiastic students of all levels have attended their photographic tours on three continents over the past seven years to learn how to combine the power of technical expertise and artistic vision to create beautiful photos and films. In addition to offering the tours, MZPE produces instructional books and DVDs, as well as teaching in-depth photo-master classes around the world. The 2002 United Nations Photographer of the Year, celebrated photographer and mentor Monte Zucker once stated, "I don’t photograph the world as it is. I photograph the world as I would like it to be." Continuing on in his memory, current instructor Bob Ray teaches with an entertaining, passionate presentation that focuses on learning immediately in class. The experience provides an aspiring photographer a comprehensive set of tools to reach his or her artistic potential.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
As the morning begins, a row of toddlers takes turns tumbling feet over head while their parents guide them into the correct movement. Later, school-age kids sit in a circle, legs stretched before them as they try to touch their toes. The trained staff of My Gym Children's Fitness Center imbue kids with life skills through music, physical activities, and games. Many classes incorporate physical exercises with social and developmental skills, while summer camps are also available seasonally. All classes take place in a well-padded room, led by staff trained in child development and fluent in Muppet.
Dedicated to promoting overall well-being through personal training, nutrition counseling, and stress-management programs, Absolute Wellness Group's staff consists of professionals including fitness instructors and a licensed massage therapist. Clients can swing by one of two locations for fitness boot camps alongside therapeutic services such as reiki, acupuncture, and massages. Absolute Wellness Group also regularly hosts an assortment of programs, including running programs designed to help runners of varying experience levels improve their cardiovascular endurance without actually having to spell "cardiovascular."
Fitness Fusion’s certified trainers employ an ultramodern arsenal of fitness equipment to shape soft physiques, improve flexibility, and enhance vitality during custom personal-training sessions. To actively avoid monotonous workout routines, such as bench-pressing encyclopedias, fitness experts work one on one with visitors to forge a creative and challenging regimen that’s tailored to their individual needs and corporeal cues. Each one-hour personal-training session includes 30 minutes of intense, sweat-manufacturing exercise, followed by an additional 30 minutes of supervised cardiovascular training. Clients shed excess pounds comfortably in Fitness Fusion’s private studio, stocked with free weights, benches, and cardio tackle outfitted with built-in TVs, iPod plug-ins, and holographic visions of their future svelte selves.
Momentum Fitness Center embraces guests of all ages, shapes, and sizes, with one stipulation: they must be female. At the women-only gym, the owner—a woman tired of trying and failing with fad diets—and more than 40 female employees foster an atmosphere of encouragement to help other gals get in shape. Like minimalist interior designers, they believe a simple approach yields the best results and incorporate this philosophy into nutritional counseling and women-only fitness classes. The instructors lead almost 100 classes per week with something for all tastes and skill levels, from Intro to Mat Pilates to BodyCombat, a fast-paced sequence of karate, boxing, kung fu, and tai kwon do moves.
The ties of camaraderie also seep into the common workout areas, two of which host cardio and strength equipment. That’s in addition to four studios for classes and group training, a private Pilates Reformer studio, and a sauna. While moms are in class or enjoying a mani-pedi or massage at Breathe Salon, kids gather at the childcare center.