"I believe every person is a handmade work of art," confides Amy, owner of Darkroom Divas. The ebullient photographer ditches stagnant portrait sittings for shoots that accentuate each subject's inimitable qualities. Crisp lines and contrasting textures set off senior portraits, and unconventional locales make each wedding portrait a shared journey in itself. For her boudoir shoots, Amy edits each image, smoothing the skin and touching up blemishes to render each photograph worthy of appearing in a magazine or on limited runs of the two-dollar bill.
Amy also turns a fresh eye to the community, teaching beginning and advanced photography classes as well as offering up her shutter skills to charities such as the Shiawassee County Humane Society.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
Up-to-the-minute cellular technology populates the shelves of the Sprint Store By Wireless Revolution, allowing customers to peruse a huge selection of phones and accessories. Everything from smartphones and tablets to earbuds, cell-phone cases, and chargers help make digital tasks easier. Among its name-brand equipment are products from Apple, Motorola, Bluetooth, and, of course, Sprint.
Canfield Jenkins' experienced photographers, Andrew Jenkins and Jackie Palmer, set subjects at ease and capture stills of children, families, and high-school seniors on film in a custom-designed studio. During approximately 30-minute mini sessions, gussied-up children aged from 6 months–16 years don one outfit to romp through a century-old Victorian home and its lush grounds. The photographer's lens winks to take picturesque snapshots in which photographees embody preset themes or characters such as little sweetheart, rockstar, little ballerina, chalk artist, and black and white models. After the shoot, clients will choose three of their favorite images from a collection of 10 to frame within a mini desk display that parents or guardians can proudly show off at work.
Even as a young child, Theresa had a penchant for seeking out animals in need. Her parents and relatives can endlessly recount stories of her rescue attempts, which continued until her husband, Earl, emphatically insisted that three dogs were enough in the family. Earl had not seen the last of Theresa’s passion, however; she eventually left her career in the computer industry, and the two teamed up to open The Animal Lodge. Though it proved to be hard work, Theresa convincingly describes the benefits of her new profession: "We come to work in the morning and instead of seeing a bunch of grumpy people who have not had their coffee yet, we see wagging tails, licking tongues, and happy dances in everyone we meet."
Today, the duo works together to keep pets in comfort with daycare and overnight boarding facilities complete with heated floors during the winter, air conditioning during the summer, and a fenced-in yard for outdoor playtime. In addition to the regular bunks, the deluxe wilderness lodge—furnished with a bed, a chair, a television set, and mounted antlers rife with chew marks—recreates the comfortable atmosphere of home for nervous pooches. Groomer Nancy Oberg draws on her canine cosmetology training to round out the lodge’s services with baths, trims, and deep-tissue belly rubs.
At Ladies Fitness, women earn slim physiques and a healthy sweat with personalized workout regimens that can include fitness classes, personal training, and exercise on the center’s equipment. Trained instructors lead more than 30 classes each week, keeping workouts from going stale with fun, diverse sessions such as step aerobics, Zumba, yoga, circuit training, and kickboxing. The gym’s personal trainers push members toward their individual fitness goals, whether it’s to shed pounds, develop muscle mass, or build a machine that will transport them to a time when they were more athletic.
Professional shutterbug Jen Carlynn calls upon eight years of professional experience to capture love in bloom with two-hour engagement photo sessions and snaps shots of smiling duos during 30-minute in-studio shoots. During outdoor, on-location engagement shoots, Jen fosters a comfortable, welcoming environment for pre-newlyweds as they gaze adoringly into each other's eyes, hold hands, or finish each other's sneezes on film. Black-and-white photo shoots for couples celebrate paired-up patrons of all stripes, from young sweethearts to partners celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Parents may also partake in the in-studio shoot with a child, provided their progeny is older than the age of 12, can sit through a 30-minute session, and isn't a wooden puppet brought to life by energy drinks.