When photographer Annamarie Garcia peers through her lens, she scopes out moments that reveal her subject's personality or capture the emotion of milestone events, from weddings to pageants. In the last 10 years, Funny Face Family Photography has blossomed from a single shutterbug to a team of eight determined to artistically frame smiles and disprove the existence of bunny ears. Using whimsical backgrounds and props, professional lighting, and wardrobes, the photo team snaps families in kinetic poses and couples with love-locked eyes. In addition to dynamic in-studio work, flash poppers travel as far as Houston to shoot weddings, senior photos, or UFO sightings, and they can even set up shop at the hospital to capture images of proud new parents and their bundles of joy.
Colorband PhotoArtisans are Roy Groat Jr. and Jamie Chen, whose photographing abilities transform beautiful scenery into beautifully crafted images. Before on-camera debuts, models have the option to meet with the photographers and discuss the shoot. During the portrait session, the picture makers will make pictures while subjects pose through two outfit swaps and two background changes (a $150 value). Emphasis is placed on creating great images in the studio with minimal digital darkroom enhancement. However, digital manipulations can be added upon request, from adding texture overlays or halos to simply shuffling faces around to confuse future generations.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
At Denton's, which opened in 1942, preservation specialists ensconce works of art and memories inside custom-made frames, premade frames, and shadow boxes. Although prices vary based on size, material, and whether or not the artwork was pilfered from the Guggenheim, many projects average between $100 and $200. Choose a basic black frame with clear glass to encase a 16"x20" movie poster ($75), or outfit that same 16"x20" in a higher-end frame with conservation matting and a hard glaze of glass ($150). Demure 8"x10" prints stay sharp-looking in custom casings ($25+), and decorative shadow boxes ($330+) safeguard 3-D objects such as jerseys, baseballs, or Rollie Fingers's mustache.
Studio Innovations lives up to its name, and the proof is in its galleries of quirky and original portrait sessions. Whether photographing babies, high-school seniors, or genius babies graduating high school, the staff never hesitates to incorporate creative props into the high-contrast, boldly colored prints. Nowhere are the studio's ace editing skills more on display than in their pinup shoots, which capture coquettish frames of ladies amid vintage kitchen and dinner backdrops. Gals can transform their best shots into a calendar, deck of playing cards, or leather-bound portfolio.
The backdrop for pictures at AnnaMarie Photography can be customized to match the feel of any session, as can the wardrobe full of tutus, dresses, ties, and hats that photo subjects can don. The photographer captures a range of subjects both in and out of the studio: toddlers, teens, expectant mothers, recent grads, pin-ups, and wedding parties. She even snaps scenic photos of outdoor scenes, such as boats in a harbor or boats in a kiddie pool so they give a proper pout.