"Beauty photographer" Chad Finley has no qualms about labeling himself, but he doesn't put a similar label on beauty itself. At his eponymous studio, Chad captures beauty of all types, from women donning face paint to men with wistful stares. Besides framing gorgeous poses, Chad brings his models outside for sessions amid lovely locales, such as beaches and canyons. When he isn't busy publishing his work in magazines, Chad snaps headshots for aspiring actors and portraits he preserves as digitally retouched files.
Linda Wehrli has raw talent. Since age 5, she has re-created her world through drawings and paintings and has channeled her sense of self-expression through playing the piano, abilities that led her to study formally with instructors from Juliard and Cal State Northridge. Now, with her works hanging in private collections, Linda passes on her knowledge to students at Pastimes for a Lifetime.
She teaches students of all skill levels and ages—6-year-olds to seniors—to hone their creativity into life-like or abstract drawings and paintings. Her classes aim to build a foundation of aptitude in one particular medium, such as drawing with pen or charcoal or painting with oils or acrylics—and the necessary supplies can all be purchased at the on-site art shop.
Tapping into her musical talents, she also helms piano lessons, teaching students to read and play music. Her confidence-building approach helps beginners and advanced players alike become better musicians, and inspires those once spurned by a piano that wouldn't settle down to become reacquainted with their abilities. To further their studies, pianists can go home with a book she co-published with her husband.
According to Claudia Goodman, she doesn't take pictures; she captures moments. As she presses her eye to her camera's viewfinder and lines up the image of a family, individual, event, or pet, she strives to capture the feeling of that instant in time, to capture the truest essence of her subjects. Against natural backdrops—such as the ocean, the beach, and the enormous alien spacecrafts that constantly patrol the Los Angeles skyline—she immortalizes the infatuation of couples, the unadulterated curiosity of children, and the gentle snoozing of kittens.
Orlando Deral is a man of many talents. Using hi-definition cameras, he leads his staff in capturing images on both print and film. They also handle media needs in all stages, from storyboarding commercial spots to optimizing music videos for the internet. But the studio's real focus is on weddings, wherein a photographer and cinematographer help tell a couple's story through engagement reenactments or a rundown of their special day.
A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
Specializing in prenatal and newborn photography as well as baby and family photography, Nancy Rodriguez takes that same sense of immortalizing a moment in time during photo shoots for expectant parents, newborns, and the family of photogenic models they all grow up to be.