One man crouches low, weapon resting on his shoulder. Another stands erect, a pair of binoculars held to his face. An entire military squad of toy soldiers stands ready for eternal battle within a shadow box crafted by Neal Raffensberger. The shadow box is one of 4,000 framing options showcased inside Raffensberger Photography & Framing's red-brick façade, where professional photographer and custom-framing specialist Neal and his assistant help patrons conserve their most beloved mementos. Multitudes of frames, mats, mountings, and glass—including conservation glass that blocks 99% of color-dulling UV rays—come together to display anything from photographs and posters to jerseys and wisdom teeth. Neal, who first dabbled in photography at the age of 5 in his father's basement darkroom, also flaunts his artistic eye behind the camera in the store's onsite studio. Families, couples, and proof-seeking Bigfoots can capture history in portrait sessions, which use digital photography to allow for immediate viewing after each shoot.
In the last 40 years, Portrait Scene's photographers have helped to memorialize special moments in the lives of thousands of children, teens, and adults across the country. By constantly working with families, they have mastered the art of calming toddlers and keeping parents still enough to say or even pasteurize cheese. Outdoor shoots make use of natural tones, such as those of crystal-blue lake waters and green, leafy trees. In the spring months, photos brim with the pastel buds of tulips and the shine of bluebirds applying makeup for the first time all year.
Armed with an army of innovative and certified shutterbugs, Olan Mills Portrait Studio 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 recreate 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.
Photographic craftsfolk Larry and Wendy Bosely—who have been plying their trade for more than 20 years—brought in associate photographer Bailey Setzler in 2006, creating an artistic triumvirate that offers portrait sessions for seniors, kids, families, and lovebirds. At their Temperance studio, they can arrange both indoor and outdoor areas for posing. They also hit the road and travel to their subjects to document important milestones, from walking down the aisle at a wedding to ripping apart a mortarboard right after graduating from high school.
New York Institute of Photography graduate Jeffrey Brown and his aesthetically savvy wife Jamie put women at ease during sultry boudoir sessions emphasizing confidence and comfort. A consultation precedes each one-hour shoot, allowing subjects to choose their wardrobe, aesthetic, and the physical features they wish to highlight. Photos are captured "in the round" within an elegant camera room that boasts a decorative array of specialty vignettes and sets. About two weeks following the shoot, photos are unveiled in the multimedia room so models can choose which setup they’d like to use for their custom 8"x10" portrait. The Incognito Portrait Design studio is nestled in a luxurious New York–style loft decorated with breathtaking wall portraits, soothing music, and a dressing suite armed with a battalion of cosmetic amenities, including blow dryers, curling irons, and hair products. The value of the 8"x10" portrait can be used toward a custom wall décor portrait, and all snapshot subjects should call ahead of an appointment.
With more than 50 years of combined experience snapping and framing shots, the artists at Schwabe Studio Photography usher fleeting moments into the future during in-studio and on-location sessions. They specialize in photographing families, newlyweds, and soon-to-be-graduates, who can choose from seven unique senior portrait sessions. Sports-themed shoots showcase young athletes in action, and birthday parties inside the studio capture youngsters dressed in whimsical costumes. Once each session's shutters have snapped shut, the photo artists easily print out the digital images, which, unlike film images, need not be developed inside a stolen cocoon.