As a former fashion print model, Michael Huhn knows how to work a camera. He proves he’s just as talented on the other side of the flash, however, during photo shoots at his New York, LA, and Miami studios. The Brooklyn native—whose images have been published in a self-titled book—specializes in portraitures, in which he plays with light and shadow to create dynamic shots of clients.
Lively photographers play off their high-energy subjects, moving around the studio as families, kids, and pets laugh, play, and display their natural character during relaxed in-studio portrait sessions. While cute and cuddly subjects often light up PortraitBug's flashbulbs, the photographers welcome a variety of other subjects, from families and expectant mothers to professionals in need of resume-worthy headshots and teens looking for the right glamour shot for their social-networking profiles. A link to a password-protected gallery grants continued, unlimited access to any previous shoots, shareable with friends and relatives for direct viewing and ordering.
Internationally exhibited contemporary painter Rebecca Schweiger could let her dreamy forest landscapes and densely textured abstract oils speak for themselves. Instead, she constantly reaches out to other budding artists, helping them represent their own authentic voices in paint, through 10 years in her Upper West Side studio, The Art Studio NY. Schweiger's work with pupils in locations from Costa Rica to Israel to Texas inspired her to open her own studio, where she and her team of instructors lead students through workshops in painting and drawing landscapes and tastefully nude fruit.
As any parents who've found themselves replacing careworn Wiggles albums or humming along with an accidentally memorized Raffi tune can attest, children are hardwired with a natural love of music. At The Early Ear, a staff of dedicated instructors nurtures this budding appreciation by encouraging musical curiosity and imagination. Their music programs—which are suitable for kids from 4 months to 5 years old—engage young minds, with sing-along activities and group exploration of the violin, guitar, accordion, cello, and other folk instruments. The teachers also show students the basics of reading music and decode the subtle jokes left in each of Beethoven's symphonies. Kids can also experience the power of music through dance classes, which teach them to express themselves through movement and eventually link steps together in order to flaunt new moves for their friends and family at the end of the course.
Whether you're locking eyes with one of his tiger portraits or attending his pencil-drawing class, one can't help but ask: how does Jerry Winick find the time? His own artwork alone is an exercise in patience, as his pencil drawings can take up to three months to finish. They capture animal faces and Brooklyn streets with striking detail and clarity, so much so that people often believe they're looking at photographs. But, in addition to sketching out these award-winning snapshots, Jerry also runs Pencilworks Studio, a venue for burgeoning artists to mingle and learn.
Here, he leads classes in his chosen medium—pencil—for both children and adults. His personalized instructions help students reproduce a photo on paper, all without tracing or resorting to the Xerox machine they've hidden under their shirt. The studio hosts other workshops as well, helmed by Jerry's daughter Michelle and other professional artists. Depending on their area of expertise, instructors can teach guests how to work with watercolors or experiment with different cartooning techniques. Michelle also arranges birthday painting parties for kids, which supply enough materials for everyone to make an original piece. The staff can even travel to offices and oversee team-building art exercises that yield a collaborative painting.