The two young brothers smile shyly from beneath their caps, their suspenders and bowties slightly askew on their small frames. From behind her camera, Tracy Snyder gently asks the older boy to lean in toward his little brother, and as a mischievous smile breaks across his face, she captures the fleeting grin with the click of a button. A champion of immortalizing moments such as this one, Tracy prides herself on creating essence-capturing portraits thanks to her skill for forging relaxed connections between herself and each of her subjects.
Tracy—a shutterbug with years of experience both behind and in front of the camera—founded Little Rascals Photography as a means of exploring the timeless appeal of old portraits, which is often lost in modern portraiture. This predilection for the past is evidenced in her signature sepia and black-and-white shots that hearken to bygone days, thanks to vintage costuming and careful lighting. Tracy further upholds this old-world approach to photography by hand-tinting her monochromatic shots with pops of color. Her strengths in creating vintage looks also translate to the modern photographing style she uses when taking high-school senior portraits. Each carefully arranged shoot is held either in Tracy’s studio, which houses indoor settings with stairs and windows, or outdoors amid the scenic picket fences and waterfalls found throughout the historic village of Sharon Woods Park.
Photographer Christina Brown manages to cast everything in a flattering light. With a degree from The Ohio Institute of Photography informing her techniques, she snaps subjects against natural backdrops that lend each shot its distinct personality. An expecting mother stands against a field of growing ferns; a graduating senior launches into the air with a smile; a newborn rests soundly in his parents’ hands. In black and white or in highly saturated color, Christina’s images are precisely composed without feeling forced, an aesthetic that carries across her regular in-studio or on-location shoots, as well as wedding sessions that capture the big day better than embedding a hidden camera inside the cake.
Mary Cherolis’s passion for visually capturing memories has carried her through a successful decade of snapping images since graduating with her photography degree. At the helm of Red Bricks Photography, she relies on her knack for capturing clients’ natural moments and dynamics as she documents portrait shoots and special events, from the wobbly steps of toddlers to the wobbly steps of high school graduates. Mary’s husband Dave can also be found behind the lens at Red Bricks, bringing his videography talent to events such as weddings. Together, the husband-and-wife team gives clients the benefit of still and moving images on their important days with the ease of hiring a single company for their photography needs. After any kind of shoot, the pair offers prints of shoot images, along with other options such as online galleries, gallery-wrapped canvases, and cards.
Between their regular photo sessions, Red Bricks Photography gives back by snapping images of departing and returning military members through Operation: Love ReUnited.
Essenza Studio describes itself as a "fine-art portrait studio," a distinction illustrated by its portfolio of crisp, framable shots of children, weddings, and high-school seniors. When capturing nuptials, the photographers blend their fine-art approach with photojournalism, immortalizing the events with a blend of candid shots and studied composition.
For 50 years, the owners and staffers of Plaza Artist Materials & Picture Framing have encouraged the artists of their community. They visit local fairs and set up booths for kids to color and craft, and they do workshops, demos, and classes for artists of every age. As their name implies, they also outfit art makers of all skill levels with top-of-the-line materials, such as Gamblin oil paints, Prismacolor pens and markers, and custom frames perfect for saving favorite art pieces or memorializing a sibling's failure to color within the lines.
Sherri Barber, preserver of gleaming smiles and curator of glossed memories, frames expressive portraits within her professional studio. Individual portrait sitters or beach-volleyball teams can show off their aptitude for staring intensely into the middle distance or grinning at nearby props as Sherri snaps shots for about 60 minutes. Once all personages have been fully documented, photographees can peruse a photo gallery, culling pictures spoiled by closed eyes or falling ceilings, then immortalizing the best shots in an 11”x14” print and two 5”x7”s.