At Fundamentals Family Learning Studio, a team of CDA- and Commonwealth Child Care–certified staff members keep close watch over whippersnappers, engaging them in stimulating activities while their parents enjoy a night out. Within the vibrantly colored hardwood-floored studio chock-full of toys and games, lads and lasses can spend an evening mingling with peers while parents indulge in grownup pastimes, such as attending a show or an all-you-can-eat asparagus buffet. Experienced CPR-trained staff members scrupulously supervise little ones split up into small groups as they whip up culinary masterpieces in the play kitchen, relax and watch movies, and recreate Rembrandt's Night Watch during arts-and-crafts sessions. Infants and toddlers cavort in a separate room with age-appropriate toys and snooze in a quiet napping zone, and older kids romp virtually with computer games.
Morgans' Fine Art Photography's trio of intrepid photographers tame free-ranging images of families, expectant mothers, children, and high-school seniors with clicks from their clever cameras. Hordes of up to 25 pose proudly, minus the interference of wind or the unintentional beard of bees, inside Morgans' 8,500-square-foot studio, or decamp to the adjoining portrait park for a face-flattering bath of sunny natural light (a $75 value). Groups can also gather for a custom-picked on-location shoot at environs within 25 miles of the studio. Following the session, the studio’s team will polish raw visual ore before transferring it to several physical and digital surfaces. Use a dozen note cards (a $35 value) to jot down birthday reminders, keep avatars looking shipshape with 10 Facebookable images (a $39 value), or employ the 11”x14” print (a $239 value) as a visual aid during debates on the line of succession for dad’s title as King of the Barbecue.
Photographer Travis Salisbury’s two favorite subjects are people and landscapes, which makes him a fitting match for capturing the curves of the human form during boudoir shoots. Travis sets up shoots in a modern, turn-of-the-century condo or at his clients’ homes for photos imbued with a personal element that only reclining on one’s own coffee table can provide. Clients slink in and out of their favorite lingerie, tantalizing their partners with the implications of what lies beneath. Once the shoot is complete, Travis returns to the studio to finish and retouch each photo to create a gallery of shots in sepia, black and white, and other finishes that help set a unique mood for each pose.
Campus Quilt Company's garment surgeons Frankenstein your favorite T-shirts into commemorative quilts and pillows, allowing you to preserve memories while also resurrecting your wardrobe. Stuff a prepaid box—sent to you by Campus Quilt Company—with worn and weathered tees, and then ship them off for a total transformation. In two to three weeks, the castoff clothes will come back in quilt form, ready for use in bed concealing, body covering, or badger cuddling. Prices vary depending on the size of the quilt, with a 9-square blanket costing $129 and the 12-square version costing $155. Campus Quilt Company also offers wee quilts ($180+), which transform baby wear such as bibs, booties, and onesies into functional fabrics. All sizes of T-shirts can be used, and customers can specify whether they'd like a cloud or a loop pattern on their memory cloak.
Mark's Hallmark hosts unique gifts and Hallmark greeting cards that creatively accent any holiday or special occasion. In the absence of sufficient stashes of construction paper for homemade coupon books, offspring can bestow a Mommy & Me or Grandma & Me keepsake journal upon hard-working matriarchs, both of which include a recording feature where gifters can personalize a message with their own dulcet tones ($24.99 each). Decorative keepsakes such as the Willow Tree Angel of the Heart figurine gift set bequeath knick-knack lovers with a heavenly mantelpiece accent ($14.99), and a trio of candles from Yankee Candle Company greets Mother's Day with aromas of sun and sand, pineapple and cilantro, and lilac blossom ($19.99). New mothers can outfit fresh progeny in a Mud Pie baby outfit ($27.99+).
While the fraternity brethren milled about parties discussing Jack Kerouac and sipping cheap lagers, Jack Counts was busy working. In the late 60s, the entrepreneurial college student carved out a niche snapping his shutter during fraternity parties and selling prints dubbed Party Pics to members. Over time, Counts spread his business across multiple campuses, photographing graduation ceremonies and special events and processing the prints in his own lab, Candid Color Systems. With Glamour Shots, Counts’ business yet again expanded from special-events photography to include portrait shoots with an emphasis on flattering female subjects.
At each Glamour Shots shoot, a brigade of expert shutterbugs and cosmetologists gets subjects ready for their close-ups with style-enhancing makeovers and photo shoots that result in high-quality pictures and prints. After a personal consultation with the styling team, clients undergo an airbrushing treatment and hair sculpting. Depending on their package, models strike up to 30 poses, quick-changing into different outfits to capture a spectrum of looks, from professional career woman to professional career woman in a bear costume.
Clients pour over proofs immediately after their session, and a professional lab generates each print on quality Kodak paper within 10 to 12 days after the session, with touchup services available to display pristine complexions. Shots are available in a variety of product forms, including prints, calendars, photo books, and canvas wraps. To ensure that none of the photos evaporates from living memory, a slideshow presentation houses the proofs of the entire day's shoot and sets it to music or field recordings of yaks performing Beethoven.