Drawing creative inspiration from hobbies that include crafting and cooking, photographer Jennifer Owens specializes in capturing spur-of-the-moment images of engaged couples, families, and newborns. She also shares her expertise in classes that introduce beginners to concepts such as adjusting ISO settings on a digital camera or using the right shutter speed for moving subjects. Owens is equally comfortable in outdoor settings, and can demonstrate how to take advantage of the magical "golden hour," the time around dawn or dusk when the sun adds warmth to portraits and turns photographers’ photos of raw pizza dough into fully baked pizzas.
During shoots at Portrait Simple—a studio specialized in child, infant, maternity, and family portraits—skilled photographers snap an unlimited number of poses in front of a choice of backgrounds and provide the convenience of instant printing. Sessions can take any size group, accommodating families and close-knit juries. Models don simple duds without heavy patterns or logos and can tote props such as sports equipment or special blankies. After striking jubilant, winsome, or wrathful poses, guests sit down with the photographer to select images to turn into prints.
Along with a TV-equipped snack station, the 1,600-square-foot space at LookBook Media Studios is replete with a freight elevator through which clients are welcome to bring big props, such as motorcycles and groups of people posing as their families. Pets, too, are welcome at the studio, as are photographers and organizations that rent space there. Such expansive, versatile facilities make it possible for the studio’s professional photographers to snap a range of images, from portraits and glamour shoots to product ads and feelings.
Catherine Hellman’s secret is cookies. Freshly baked cookies, to be exact. Every day upon arriving at her studio, she pops a batch into her on-site oven, their aroma coaxing smiles from even the grumpiest of guests. Catherine and Carl¬¬––her co-photog and husband¬¬––go out of their way to help their patrons “relax and really feel welcome,” fostering a cozy, friendly atmosphere for their shoots via a living room-like studio set-up and the fragrant aroma of the aforementioned cookies. In the years since they started their business, the duo has morphed into a snapping dream team, working in tandem on every shoot to combine their separate skills and strengths into those of one super-photographer. Champions of capturing naturalistic shots, they set camera-shy sitters at ease with casual conversation or, when faced with moody children or lonely ventriloquists, they introduce a cheerful puppet. Catherine and Carl have five children of their own and, as a result, their forte lies in creating candid shots of kids and families that encapsulate the energy and personalities of each of their subjects.
Lisa Marie, the founder of Creative Ambiance Events, recognizes that no two parties are alike, and so tailors her floral and decor services to meet each client’s needs. Having studied at design school in Boston and overseas at the Sorbonne, Lisa brings an artistic eye to her decoration business, planning and executing design schemes for weddings, bar mitzvahs, corporate events, and more. She works with a dedicated team to ensure that tables twinkle with candles and vases brim with hydrangeas instead of tears.
The photographic wizards at Winkflash test their equipment every day to ensure that their photo books, gifts, canvas prints, posters, and photo prints look crisp and clear. Photo prints come on Fuji Crystal Archive paper in either a glossy or a matte finish depending on the innate shininess of the people depicted. Shutterbugs have the option of adding a white border to prints, which classes up pictures of swear-word conventions, and Winkflash’s free back-printing service personalizes the dorsal side of photos with a few choice words chosen from the picture-side's thousand. The unlimited image storage available to Winkflash users is completely free, as is the image-sharing technology that makes it easy for recent vacationers to show their friends pictures of the inside of their car.