Inside Ultimate Exposure Tanning Centers' 34 Chicagoland locations, a full lineup of UV- and spray-tanning equipment infuse skin with a healthy summer glow year-round. Individual sessions in the automated spray-tanning booths—such as VersaSpa—or UV beds gild bodysuits for nights on the town, and unlimited monthly packages fashion a continuous golden hue previously only available to sunbathing satellites. The salon stocks a variety of tan-accelerating lotions from Swedish Beauty, Australian Gold, and Designer Skin, which deepen bronze hues and moisturize skin to fashion a long-lasting radiance.
Black Label Boudoir's founder and photographer, Dina Sampras, highlights the distinctive beauty of each of her clients through elegant and relaxed private boudoir sessions. Subjects are put at ease by Dina's reassuring guidance as they slip into alluring lingerie or camouflage-colored rain ponchos to create gift-worthy photographs for anniversaries, birthdays, and weddings. As clients shift from pose to pose, Dina captures the most flattering angles using natural lighting and contrasts tailored to the situation, resulting in muted color or black and white shots that are truly unique to each client’s personality and sensuality.
Dina caters to clients with individual packages and pinup parties that spice up girls’ nights out by helping each woman unleash her inner, domesticated spirit tiger within the company of encouraging pals.
British ex-pat and award-winning photographer David Simm counts celebrities, business tycoons, and the Archbishop of Canterbury among his former clientele, and currently holds the title of chief executive of the Professional Wedding Photographers Network. Stateside, the artist supplements his nuptial snapshots with family portraits and corporate photography. A master of composition, color, and restoration, Simm also sells instructional programs that cover Photoshop, proper lighting, handling multicultural weddings, and preventing photobombs from quirky uncles.
Regardless of which of the hundreds of Target Portrait Studio locations you meander into, you can always count on a similar experience. Tucked into Target retail locations throughout the nation, each studio boasts a staff of professional photographers, premium lighting equipment, and advanced digital cameras. The seasoned crew takes pains to customize photo sessions to suit each customer's vision, setting up desired backgrounds and props before guiding families and high-school seniors through a mélange of poses. Afterward, customers will work with a professional to personalize their portraits with different special effects and styles, such as black and white or sepia tone. They then pick up their physical portraits at the studio in 7–10 days. If they don't feel like holding their breath that long to see the final products, they can access the images in an online gallery within 24 hours of the session, at which point they can order extra prints for gifts, collages, and greeting cards.
Winner of several contest awards from the Wedding Photojournalist Association including photographer of the year in 2012, Steve Matteo still remembers his early days as a news photographer for a small suburban weekly, rushing back to the newsroom to watch the film slowly develop and a sliver of history take shape. Though he went on to tackle more exciting assignments and career changes—working at the Daily Herald, compiling images for UIC's yearlong City 2000 photo project, and photographing Princess Diana's visit to Chicago in 1996—one thing hasn't changed: the thrill of knowing that his camera has memorialized a story forever.
Today, Steve is equally at home shooting for Fortune 500 companies and clients such as Northwestern University as he is creating individual portraits. When he photographs a wedding, he uses the same ingenuity and photojournalistic eye that he honed while working as a sports photographer for HBO Sports and the Associated Press—photos he took of Sammy Sosa in 2003 appeared in numerous media outlets, including MLB.com, after Sosa's broken bat was found to be filled with cork and Cracker Jack prizes. His wedding photography, meanwhile, has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, and garnered a 2012 Bride's Choice award on WeddingWire.com.
It's a big leap from the bustle of an athletic field to the solitude of a darkroom, but Calumet Photographic made the transition seamlessly more than 70 years ago. From its origins as a Chicago sporting-goods store, the company evolved into a one-stop shop for cameras and darkroom equipment and eventually into an innovator of photographic technology. In the 1960s, Calumet's most brilliant minds were behind the development of the Caltar large-format-lens line and nitrogen burst film.
Today, Calumet Photographic continues to manufacture and sell professional photographic products and software across the globe, boasting more than 25 retail stores throughout the US and Europe. Their shops abound with both new and used high-quality cameras and equipment, rental gear, and knowledgeable technicians eager to help customers find the right equipment for the job. The company’s extensive online catalog enables shoppers to purchase equipment from around the world and have it shipped directly to their home, studio, or mall photo booth they’ve claimed as a studio.