Dan Doke discovered his passion for photography as a teenager, eventually turning his beloved hobby into a career after purchasing his first studio in his 20s. After building a thriving business with portrait and senior-photo portfolios, Doke moved his studio closer to his family and began to focus on wedding photography full time. Today, the seasoned shutterbug dangerously overloads his mantelpiece with a wealth of awards and honors, ranging from a membership in the Society of XXV to his status as a Photographic Craftsman from the Professional Photographers of America. Doke’s polished black-and-white and color prints have graced the covers of more than 30 magazines, including Gala, La Bella Bride, and Studio Photography, and his expertise won him a spot in 2005 as a photographer at an inaugural ball for President George W. Bush, where he was responsible for capturing candid portraits of heads of state, governors, lawmakers, and dignitaries. Along with the team of photographers he has personally trained, Dan produces high-contrast, post portraits of families and pets that range from traditional outdoor and studio shots to high-concept editorials.
At Natural Exposures Photography, founder and professional photographer Gaye Hilsenrath relies on natural lighting in outdoor settings to document milestones with clarity and realism. Most photo projects begin with face-to-face consultations, during which clients can voice their desires for the shoot. After the on-location photo session, the staff helps immortalize subjects' special moments by putting together leather-bound photo albums, custom framing images, and chiseling families' faces into Mount Rushmore.
Lightshed Photography Studio’s three heads—Daniel St. John, Kendra Hack, and Robert Reynolds—are not just photographers, but well-rounded visual artists. St. John began his career with pencil sketches, whereas Hack spent years sculpting, and Reynolds wielded a paintbrush well into college. The trio’s medium-spanning backgrounds shine through in their shots of weddings, families, and high-school seniors, which pop with bright colors or elegant black-and-white contrasts edited in after the shoot.
The photographers divide their portrait shoots into two parts, seguing smoothly from traditional poses to more experimental shots as subject-selected tunes thump in the background. Beforehand, subjects hash out their shoot’s details in a consultation which covers specifics from proper dress and prop options to which Madam Tussauds' figurine will pose as their spouse. Afterward, subjects spend a viewing session perusing the best 40 or so proofs from the hundreds of shots snapped in their session, enjoying complimentary coffee or wine in the process.