Friends for more than 20 years, Jen Buckerfield Dera and Angela Skruba-Bilen have had their cameras at the ready throughout college, law school, marriage, and the raising of their families, documenting these personal milestones on film. The two pals eventually decided to channel their photographic passion into Capture A Moment Photography, where they harness natural light sources to frame families, expectant mothers, and small celebrations in parks, backyards, or the protected airspace over a national monument. After each shoot, they assemble photos into a proofing gallery that remains online for 30 days, during which time patrons can select the pictures they want to preserve on a disk of high-resolution images.
Stephanie Karen prides herself on her craftiness. She says she strives to be a combination of MacGyver and Martha Stewart, creating beauty from unexpected sources. This penchant for discovery pervades her photography, which includes shoots of newborn babies, lingerie-clad women, and huge wedding events. Although she's been in the business for more than a decade, she still sheds tears at every wedding, feeling overcome by joy for the couple and empathy for the cake as it's hacked apart.
Beyond photography, she supplies customers with high-quality prints of her work along with high-resolution digital images. She prints pictures to almost any size, her professional equipment transforming blank sheets of glossy paper into keepsakes.
The woman behind the lens at Snuggles Photography, Britney Kalanik, falls back on more than three years of experience while capturing life's milestones in a tasteful, artistic manner. A mother herself, Britney relates directly to the families, parents, and children she works with, and applies the same passion she has for snapping shots of her own daughter to her professional craft. Inside her spacious studio or at an outdoor location, Britney bends every session around the needs of her clients. She specializes in maternity portraits but also uses her keen eye to shoot weddings, seniors, and newborns.
A bride and two of her bridesmaids strike Charlie’s Angels poses, their guns replaced with bouquets, in one image from Justin Hill’s portfolio of artful wedding shots. In another, a child tries on a floor length wedding dress, looking disappointed as its skirt polls on the parquet floor; in a third, a couple’s hands interlace next to Scrabble tiles that spell out “forever.” A proponent of candid shots, Hill nevertheless stylizes his photos with funky locations and unique composition, having a couple pose atop rustic railroad ties, honing in on their locked hands, or cropping out their faces to appease invisible relatives. To ensure smooth shoots, Hill keeps his cell phone with him at all times to answer any questions the couple may have.
Jen, a friendly Grand Rapids–based photographer, specializes in capturing the frenetic energy and inimitable adorability of small children with a photographic lens to be preserved in high-quality prints. Grouponers will receive a relaxed portrait photography session at her studio (a $75 value), where the enthusiastic camerawoman will translate the subject's unique personality into the Morse-code-like language of the shutterbug. Prepare for future bouts of sentimentality with a charming tableau of your tot’s early years, or strike a pose yourself to prove your existence to the Census Bureau once and for all. The session will yield a set that includes one 16”x20” print (a $65 value), three 8”x10” prints (a $45 value), and three 5”x7” prints (a $27 value) featuring your favorite poses, as well as an online proofing gallery.
Professional shutterbug Shannon Jacobs captures the culmination of formative high-school experiences through senior portraits. She strives to create personality-rich images that celebrate students' accomplishments by filling each frame with personal belongings, unique settings, and invisible friends who’ve been there since the beginning. To that end, she offers packages that include both studio sessions and on-location shoots as well as prints and digital files. When not taking photos herself, Shannon leads learners through the technical aspects of photography during workshops, allowing parents to capture kids in spontaneous moments and flattering light.
Photographer Ramiz Romaya has visited art galleries all over the world to find inspiration for his work, but he cites one artist—the 17th-century painter Rembrandt—as his greatest influence. He first encountered Rembrandt's paintings while traveling through Holland and was struck by his use of dramatic lighting. At Ramiz Romaya Rembrandt Photography, he strives to channel a similar style when aiming his lens. Natural light illuminates faces, and silhouettes create a feeling of mystery and passion. Romaya also leaves the comfort of his studio to snap senior photos, weddings, and family portraits, complete with family pets and family secrets.