Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Portrait Innovations operates digital-imaging studios throughout the country that use advanced technology to capture and print family memories in about 60–90 minutes. Before the session, adults can browse the open studio space's selection of different poses, props, and backgrounds while children entertain themselves at a Lego table and beg invisible friends to make an appearance for the camera. Photographers use handheld digital cameras to memorialize smiles during the session, utilizing the studio's lighting system to enhance candid images. Patrons then view and select their favorite poses, adding special effects to design and create personalized gifts such as portrait books, calendars, canvases, and mugs. The team prints the high-resolution portraits on archival-quality paper with a high-capacity Fujifilm Digital Frontier system.
Solar Control Window Tinting swathes panes in professional films that diffuse sunlight and maintain even-keeled climates in cars, homes, and offices. Residential and commercial windows don sheer or dense privacy films from brands such as 3M and Piper, which block up to 99% of UV rays, trap warmth in the winter, and block heat in the summer, keeping energy consumption in check and environments comfortable. The coatings also protect art and upholstery from sun damage, and can reduce the number of flying shards should storms or soprano houseguests shatter windows.
Solar Control’s techs apply the same surface savvy to car windows, precision-cutting film to fit individual panes or covering vulnerable auto paint with weather-resistant urethane film. While technicians work on rides at the company's headquarters, drivers can settle into plush couches, peruse satellite TV channels, and join a free WiFi network in the waiting room.
Olan Mills Inc. provides families with high-quality portraits, continuing a mission that was established more than 75 years ago by founder Olan Mills Sr. Skilled in the art of capturing infants, children, families, and bunny-ears-giving ghost orbs on film, Olan Mills’s experienced smile snappers will take a series of poses amid a variety of backgrounds and lighting options. The studio is equipped with a selection of props—including numbers for birthdays, toys, and boxes—and patrons may bring their own photo-enlivening items from home. The resulting photos find their way to prints in natural color, black and white, or sepia tones; they can also be immortalized in the studio's signature Old Masters style, a canvas brushed with highlights to re-create the look of an oil painting. Like the gentlemanly mariners of ages past with their full schedule of sea battles, the photographers welcome appointments, but do not require them.
A young child is plopped down in front of a gray backdrop. ABC blocks are haphazardly strewn around them as hot, bright lights radiate into their eyes. This child, unsurprisingly, is not in the mood to take a beaming portrait. Copper Creek Photography eschews the generic stiffness of a standard kids' portrait session in exchange for a casual, laid-back shoot—in-studio or on-location—that allows kids to roam about as they please. In addition to kids' portraits, the seasoned shutterbugs at Copper Creek also offer shoots for high-school seniors, individuals, couples, and weddings. Customers can choose whether they want their portraits or special-event photos shot in color, sepia, or traditional black-and-white.
At Masterpiece Center for the Arts, instructors rekindle artistic creativity and help students find the medium that best inspires and challenges them. The center’s curriculum spans subjects as diverse as nature photography, henna tattoos, creative writing, and edible arrangements. Along with baseline classes in painting, drawing, and sculpture, students can delve into creating cartoons or glass mosaics, or they can take a 10-week class in cinema-style special-effects makeup.