Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
At Natural Exposures Photography, founder and professional photographer Gaye Hilsenrath relies on natural lighting in outdoor settings to document milestones with clarity and realism. Most photo projects begin with face-to-face consultations, during which clients can voice their desires for the shoot. After the on-location photo session, the staff helps immortalize subjects' special moments by putting together leather-bound photo albums, custom framing images, and chiseling families' faces into Mount Rushmore.
Renaissance Framing Gallery revivifies worn art and frames using careful, artisanal restoration techniques. Employ skilled framesmiths to enshrine a memory-encrusted jersey ($250) or diploma ($115), or have them carefully restore an 8"x10" oil painting ($150) or the gold-leaf frame surrounding it ($85 per hour including materials). Before and after photos show how restoration services make the Dark Ages skies brighter, Victorian skin alabastier, and dramatic gilds more dramatically gilt.
Now a professional photographer who trained at the New England School of Photography, Erik first cottoned on to photography while living in Europe. Awestruck by the beauty and excitement that comes with trekking around unfamiliar places, he wanted to pull the sights through the lens of his camera and keep them from weathering in his memory. His newfound passion for photography snuck into his luggage on his trip back to the U.S., where it grew into a full-blown career of photographing boudoir shoots and weddings.
Patton Boudoir’s 900-square-foot studio, decorated like an old-fashioned dressing room, sets an elegant backdrop for tasteful photo sessions. Commercial lighting casts a flattering glow over skin, and bottles of champagne set a festive mood. During boudoir sessions, Erik uses a mix of humor and specific direction to create images that draw out each client's personality, celebrate their beauty, and show off the elegant curve of their antennae. Depending on the package, the shoot takes the form of a full-fledged event with professional makeup artist Michelle working at Erik’s side, styling hair, applying makeup, and orchestrating the wardrobe. After the shoot, Erik lightly retouches and individually tones prints to mimic darkroom techniques.