The Sylvester family had bartending in its blood. Whether it was Uncle Mickey holding court with 40 years' worth of regulars or Tony Sr. mixing one of his signature Skip and Go Nakeds, they exemplified the easy grace and no-nonsense craftsmanship found in a true barman's barman. That dedication to well-poured drinks carried over to Tony Jr., who has spent the last 35 years training mixologists nationwide through the curriculum of his ABC Bartending Schools. Taught behind fully functional bars, his courses educate students in topics ranging from drink recipes and equipment setup to flair moves and alcohol awareness. His schools also emphasize employment; after graduation, students can take advantage of a nationwide job placement service to land gigs in Miami nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, or the bar cars of Chicago's El trains.
As memory cards replaced film reels, many photographers—both professional and amateur—felt befuddled by the new technology. That's where Digital Photo Academy stepped in. Since 2007, the business has facilitated workshops that explore all aspects of digital imagery, from operating cameras and uploading digital files to editing images and airbrushing realistic mustaches. Seasoned professionals lead the courses, helping understudies hone their use of light, framing, and timing. Students furnish their own cameras, and can tote along any ancillary equipment such as tripods, laptops, and flashes that relate to the course at hand.
Roughly translated, tae kwon do means "the way of the foot and the fist." With more than 2,000 years of history behind it, the ancient martial art mixes movements of karate and kung fu with Korean kicking techniques. Since 2001, Cincinnati TaeKwonDo Academy has shared this authentic style of tae kwon do with students of all ages—some as young as 4 years old.
Today, the academy divides itself into four age-appropriate programs. The Lil Leaders program, for instance, teaches young kids the basics, focusing on the eight specific skills—including coordination, speed, and structure—that are critical to performing tae kwon do and escaping the time-out corner. On the older end of the spectrum, the Impact Teens and Adult program splices tae kwon do training with functional fitness drills and reality-based self-defense practices.
Shirley Compton’s eye for the unexpected is apparent from her photography portfolio, whether it’s in the serenity of a lighthouse peeking over a thicket of ocean grasses, the delicate curve of a flamingo’s neck, or the neon-green lettering of an industrial engineer’s class shirt. She brings this eye to her sessions with families, engaged couples, and graduating seniors and then to her studio, where she edits the day’s shots into pleasing pictures.
Rather than posing their subjects in front of bland, lifeless studio backdrops, the photographers at LMents Design use the beauty of nature to add vitality to their photos. They snap shots as their subjects wander through some of Dayton’s most picturesque settings, whether that means strolling through colorful trails in the fall or playfully tossing snowballs at each other in the winter. By coaching their subjects while also respecting the power of candid moments, the team delivers photos that capture a sense of fun and freedom.
What makes your business stand out?
People come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. Because of this, our portrait packages do too. No two people ever want the same thing, so we tailor each session and each package. We're not afraid to think outside the box.
What inspired you to start or run this business?
Ever since I was in high school and my parents let me play with their Nikomat 35mm camera, I have been hooked on the lens. I have been taking pictures ever since.
What is your most popular offering?
Our two-hour portrait session is by far our most popular package. It gives the client plenty of time for wardrobe changes, multiple locations, and a DVD full of fantastic photos to share with friends and family.
Anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
It may sound cliché, but we are not happy unless you are happy with the photos we take. You can trust in Organic Focus Photography to listen to what you want, to photograph what you wish, and, hopefully, to surprise you with something unexpected.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
The best reactions are always from parents that are amazed we caught a particular pose or face from their child. The scrunched up smile of a toddler with his trucks or the puckered face right before she blows all the dandelion seeds off the stem—seeing a parent's love for that child and appreciation for capturing that moment is beyond words of praise.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Life moves so quickly. Kids grow up so fast. Elders we grew up with are absent in our adult years. Every picture we take, we make life stand still for that one moment in time. We love capturing these moments that you may never be able to capture again or redo again. It gives us great joy to be able to share that moment and provide our customers with a lasting impression that they can cherish and pass on for years to come.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Free street parking
Most popular offering: Two-hour portrait session
Pro Tip: Make a list of expectations—it helps us get to know you and what you are looking for.