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 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 a favorite art pieces or memorializing a sibling's failure to color within the lines.
Natalie Hathaway's Studio N specializes in freeze-framing façades of newborns, children, and families. During private one-hour studio sessions, Natalie captures funny faces, pulchritudinous poses, and photogenic cowlicks in front of a background chosen to match personalities and outfits. Sessions can include up to three children photographed in classic portrait style. Accentuate individuality by borrowing props from the studio or toting along personal items such as a beach ball, teddy bear, or Jean-Luc Picard action figure in its original packaging.
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.
Over her years of training—some under award-winning Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Steven H. Dayan—aesthetician Julie Kline has learned the power a simple skin treatment can do for a person's complexion. At her intimate studio within A Tamara Berry Studio, she calls on enzymes from natural sources to jump-start purification and renewal processes, and she anoints faces with more advanced chemical peels to obliterate the signs of aging. Some of her treatments don't require a single touch: when adjusted to a precise color, her range of light therapies can kill blemish-causing bacteria, boost the production of wrinkle-banishing collagen, or spotlight a talented freckle with Broadway aspirations. Microcurrent facials use painless low-level lasers to firm and tone facial muscles. Julie uses the skincare tools she's assembled to customize her treatments to each client's individual skin issues, whether they involve acne, sun damage, aging, or another aesthetic problem.
Signature service: Stunning Photography
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: The finest photo lab in the country
Pro Tip: Be confident—you're coming to experts, and we'll probably be creating your favorite portraits ever.