Modeling headshots. Family photo shoots. Wedding portraits. These are just a handful of the many services professional photographer Jahi Sadiq offers at Intricate Photography. That's because Jahi's approach blends the technical and the artistic, allowing the camera-wielding pro to understand the lighting necessary to capture an actor's various moods and have the artistic patience to capture a child's finger painting that only lives in the child's head.
A man lies tangled in a shower curtain, lifeless, with blood spattered everywhere; "kill your boyfriend" was the theme of this shoot, conducted by photographer Nikki Riley for one of her clients who'd recently parted ways with her latest beau. Nikki's willingness to transcend boundaries, paired with her creative flair, has sent her to New York City and Atlanta to shoot risqu? and editorial-style fashion spreads and helped her earn a nomination for PHL17's Philly's Hot List of Best Photographers 2011. Raised as a "John Lennon kid" by a photographer mother, her inherited desire to snap shots came to fruition soon after graduating college, when she traded her 9?5 desk job for a career in photography. Nikon D700 in tow, Nikki spends her days at the 1,700-square-foot studio she co-owns, The Hive 215, which features high ceilings, loft windows, vintage furnishings, and a beauty bar where specialists prep clients' hair and makeup.
Though Nikki's fashion and portrait shoots favor bold colors and clean, magazine-quality finishes, her intimate boudoir shoots explore both high and low angles and toy with exposure?in every sense of the word. Taken from the most flattering angles for each body type, shots of lingerie-clad legs and torsos sway from high-contrast black and white to elegantly washed-out color frames lit softly from behind like an angel auditioning for the cover of Maxim. Nikki caters these shoots to the desires and comfort level of each client, letting imaginations run wild with coy pinup poses or showcasing epidermises for keepsake shots of clients in any state of undress.
At Blush Pinups & Salon Blush, a CityVoter 2010 Best Hair Salon finalist, women of all shapes and sizes transform into sultry pinup girls with the help of hair, makeup, and photo services. A visit to the salon begins with vintage hairstyling and the application of makeup, both of which are modeled after WWII–era glamour icons such as Jane Russell or a cross-dressing John Wayne. Next, owner-photographer Alanna Ralph discusses the photo-shoot concept with the vintage vixen before snapping steamy pictures of her coyly playing records on a gramophone or stretched out on a velvet chaise longue. Alanna then retouches the images before adding them to CDs, photo books, and other available formats.
The four veteran pic-snappers of Iluminada Photography commemorate special events with stylish, modern pictures. With a focus on weddings, the photographers spend the big day compiling impressive collections of posed shots, candids, and alibi-establishing portraits of guests standing by clocks. Albums wind up on the studio's password-protected event page, letting clients search out their favorites to save and print. Illuminada also offers photo booth rental for those who want to add some extra fun to their wedding or party, with guests snapping quick pictures of themselves behind the curtain. Beyond documenting all manner of merriment, the shutterbugs at Iluminada help newly-weds give back to the community by donating a percentage of every wedding package to the charity of the couple's choice.
Sylvia Sepulveda became enamored with vintage pin-up photography because of the props. A frequent thrift-store shopper, she had planned to start a blog about her purchases but found that taking and editing their pictures was more satisfying than writing the posts. She turned her lens onto human subjects shortly thereafter and now generates inventive and sensual snapshots at Indie Girl Photography. Sylvia doesn't shy away from whimsical impulses both during and after her shoots. Based on the dialogue between her and the client, she suggests poses that can result in simple, flirtatious portraits or playful, old-timey advertisements. Her retouching finesse then works two types of magic, serving to add backdrops—ranging from a retro kitchen scene to a patriotic battleground—as well as remove sources of insecurity, including blemishes, stretch marks, and mismatched shoes. She deftly adjusts lighting and angles to flatter clients of all body types, and she pairs outfits that clients bring from home with her own stock of accessories, such as a vintage aviator hat or a video camera.
Apart from her boudoir-style shots, she experiments with fantasy and alternative styles. Her galleries display models cast as robots, angels, and superheroes, among other supernatural roles.
In its 2,000-square-foot studio, DollFace's professional snapping duo, Darah and Siobhan, strives to unleash the buried bombshell in clients through expressive, elegant boudoir photography. Aspiring sirens begin their 30-minute mini sessions and subdue belly-dwelling butterflies by filling the studio with their favorite tunes and a few swift sips of bubbly. Hair and makeup application is available for an additional charge; once ready, kittens slip into the more conservative of their two outfits to help ease into the flashbulb's glow in front of the camera's honest lens. Once power suits have been stripped down, women are welcome to improve the appearance of a variety of set pieces with their presences, either taking direction from the photographer or vogueing to the beat of nature's drum—the heart.