A bright expanse of white, edged with swooping lines of chartreuse green, welcomes clients arriving to partake in Hairsoda’s trifecta of hair, beauty, and photography services. As clients sink into a row of matching chartreuse salon chairs, stylists shear locks shorter, swath manes in colour or foils, and apply Kera Straight formula to tame unruly heads of hair. Behind the chairs, a photo studio snaps pictures of people and pets looking to memorialize affectionate memories or disprove rumours of vampirism. Elsewhere in the salon, aestheticians treat bodies to beauty services that include brow threading, professional makeup, and manicures and pedicures, all set among lime-coloured furnishings, styling stations, and wall accents.
MAB Ventures Inc., an arts and entertainment agency, does whatever it can to expose the local community to art. In its staff's hands, that could mean connecting clients with a collective of artists seeking custom commissions, hosting art workshops, or organizing art exhibitions that allow the general public to interact with local artists.
One such exhibition is the annual Art World Expo, which showcases everything from painting and photography to fashion and jewelry. The exhibitions often follow a theme?such as 2014's circus theme?and feature live musical performances, fashion shows, and body-painting competitions. After browsing the wares of various artists, expo attendees can purchase their favourite pieces or award the creators with homemade Best in Show ribbons. Proceeds from Monstars and Beasts Haunted House support the Make and Break Arts Foundation, which support arts initiatives like Art World Expo in BC.
Named Vancouver's best wedding photographers in 2009, 2010, and 2011 by Georgia Straight readers and listed as one of the 25 most inspiring Canadian photographers in Weddingbells Magazine, Blue Olive Photography's married shutterbug team Reilly and Miranda Lievers has expertly framed families, couples, and kids for more than 9 years. In between publishing their work and presenting lectures and instruction to photography peers, the Lievers set up shoots at clients' homes or locations of their choice to capture each subject's individuality. They also assist their patrons throughout each step of the process by dispensing tips on clothing, pre-session preparation, and how to advance from bunny ears to elephant ears. The Lievers rendezvous with customers for postshoot image-review meetings, where they can scrutinize each image and decide which shots suit Blue Olive's line of pictorial products, such as gallery wraps, custom-designed holiday cards, and gift books. In addition to a signature 8"x12" print, Blue Olive Photography grants half-price discounts for all returning patrons as well as s?ances to retrieve any camera-snatched souls.
Reflecting on this childhood, Chris Keating sometimes feels as if he didn't exist. His parents' divorce left him with very little tangible evidence of his formative years, so he's spent his adult life as a photographer making sure children can look back fondly at warm family memories. Chris Keating and his Calgary staff have made this a reality for more than 3,000 families since opening the doors to Towne Photography in 2006. There, the professional photographic crew shoots posed and candid shots of families, children, couples, and babies at picturesque parks or against their studio backdrops, and they also snap triumphant graduate portraits, intimate prenatal shots, and provocative passport pics that make border crossing a breeze. Their ironclad guarantee allows unsatisfied clients to request reshoots, reprints, or resizing on all photographs, and they vow to remake or recapture any artwork that sustains damage over the years. Chris also takes his photographic knowledge on the road to conduct Betterphoto Workshops across the United States and Canada, teaching novice photographers how to artistically preserve their most precious memories.
Armed with a diploma in commercial photography and a photojournalist’s sensibilities, Kim Bellavance possesses an artistic flexibility that enables her to shoot in a wide range of styles. Fashion, for instance, has always been Kim's main inspiration, and it comes through in her industry-quality headshots and elegant boudoir photos. But like a mountain bike that has learned to obey vocal commands, she can instantly switch gears to capture the organic moments that occur between family members during urban family-photo sessions or weddings. In her spare time, Kim keeps a camera close at hand, putting on clinics to initiate students in the craft.
Founded with the objective of simplifying the often overcomplicated art of digital photography, fotoscool employs a team of seasoned instructors—each a longtime professional with a celebrated career—to guide photography students through seminars and workshops held across the country. Keeping their overarching objective of simple-yet-entertaining instruction in mind, savvy teachers design each session to get participants on their feet with hands-on activities such as interactive exercises, on-location shoots in scenic locales, and bonding human-camera trust falls. In an effort to branch out of the classroom, fotoscool also periodically hosts tours that ferry photo enthusiasts to scenic far-flung locales for extended shooting lectures and on-site experience.