As memory cards replaced film reels, many photographers—both professional and amateur—felt befuddled by the new technology. That's where Digital Photo Academy stepped in. Since 2007, the business has facilitated workshops that explore all aspects of digital imagery, from operating cameras and uploading digital files to editing images and airbrushing realistic mustaches. Seasoned professionals lead the courses, helping understudies hone their use of light, framing, and timing. Students furnish their own cameras, and can tote along any ancillary equipment such as tripods, laptops, and flashes that relate to the course at hand.
No one has ever accused David Barton shortchanging them when it comes to spectacle. The bodybuilding guru’s eponymous gyms have been recognized by Interior Design for their pioneering, nightclub-esque décor. The soundtrack matches the design—live DJs frequently drop by the palatial studios, which reach up to 40,000 square feet, to spin high-octane sets. Based out of New York, the gyms have reshaped the luxury fitness landscape. However, their supportive staff’s primary focus is on reshaping patron’s bodies.
Aside from the interiors that draw on glam and punk influences, and locker rooms that create a spa-like feel without a mini-hot tub burbling in each locker, the gyms also boast effective fitness classes. Trainers lead students through group workouts that range from endurance spinning sessions to lower bodywork geared towards toning glutes. Alternatively, visitors can collaborate with personal trainers for more tailored programs, or sweat solo with strength machines, free weights, and miles of interactive cardio.
Roberta Allen uses the written word to express her spirit in the form of short stories, novels, and memoirs. The author of eight published books, including The Dreaming Girl, Allen shares her writing techniques in private workshops, using knowledge from her years teaching creative writing at The New School and Columbia University.
NY Loves Yoga is a friendly, neighborhood studio that caters to pliable physiques and buckram bodies alike with a chi-bending spectrum of styles and levels tailored to individual ability. Its experienced and passionate instructors guide students to a nimble nirvana, a state achieved by mollifying the mind and sculpting the body. In addition to drop-in classes, NY Loves Yoga provides workshops designed to further elasticize experts or introduce beginners to basic poses and yogic principles. Outside the studio, showcase flexibility and Zen-like focus by elbowing free plays from the jukebox while standing on one leg in an advanced warrior pose.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
Chef Toni Willard-Young wears more than one hat in her life. She earned her puffy cook's hat as a master chef with two decades of professional experience, but she's also a parent committed to healthy eating, seasonal produce, and hormone-free meats. Though her kitchen skills have earned her praise from the press as well as catering commissions from politicians and the embassy of her native South Africa, Chef Toni spends most of her time considering how cooking can make a positive impact in children's lives.
At her cooking school, called CTCA for short, Chef Toni's primary aim is introducing children to kitchen safety, food skills, and healthy eating early on. The school's philosophy stresses farm-to-table cooking and encourages youngsters to pick up social skills and nutritional knowledge as they learn to cook. Along with classes that cover cooking and etiquette, CTCA hosts private events and regular Tween Culinary Socials, where attendants casually learn new recipes, listen to pop music, and share images of their creations on social-networking platforms. Though most classes are for kids, a BYOB parents' class imparts healthy recipes designed to appeal to children, who otherwise tend to eat still-life paintings of fruit instead of the real thing until they hit puberty.