Lord of the Rings. Star Wars. Legos. These are the areas of expertise of BrainStorm Studios' staff, who combine the experience gleaned from working on those films with brightly colored toy bricks to inspire young minds. Legos are used in conjunction with other technology to nurture kids' interest in STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art, and math. In different workshops, youngsters piece together bridges and towers, program robots, or build mind-boggling contraptions while principles of architecture, engineering, and physics secretly lodge in their brains. Future filmmakers can hone their craft in stop-motion-animation workshops or try their hand at storyboarding and acting in a short film. BrainStorm's creative birthday parties educationally elevate celebrations, inviting guests to create a claymation movie, a music video, or robots that solve mazes and do battle but, tragically, can't be programmed to feel love.
Capturing True Emotion is driven by a dynamic band of instructors who rove across the continent with cameras and teaching skills in hand. By fusing their narrative, tech-savvy minds together into one oversize head, the educators provide comprehensive guidance on both camera operation and creative visualization, giving participants complete control over all of their camera settings. During the hours spent in the company of other pupating shutterbugs, students convene at a tantalizing location to practice skills such as controlling depth of field by adjusting the aperture, composing a family portrait so there’s not always a burning zeppelin in the background, using alternative angles to avoid red eye, and other techniques.
It took photographer Dean C. Stinson less than a year to go from developing film for MotoPhoto to shooting corporate pictures for Ford Motor Company and Woodbridge Glass. In the 15 years since, he has refined his natural talent with the experience of shooting weddings, portraits, location sessions, and events. Skilled on both sides of the camera lens, Dean takes care of both photographing and processing images, professionally retouching prints and digitizing shots for upload onto websites or digital fireplace mantels.
Led by veteran fine-art photographer and instructor Mary Gulino, My Artist Loft's photography, painting, and Photoshop workshops guide aspiring artists through the intricacies of camera operation and the art of composition. Photography classes cover concepts ranging from basic camera function to advanced operational settings as Mary draws on her expansive technical knowledge. In addition to photographic pursuits, My Artist Loft also encourages expression through its painting classes, where novice and experienced artists alike pursue projects from landscapes to abstracts aided by one-on-one instructor attention. My Artist Loft’s art shop keeps home studios stocked with canvases, paints, cameras, and tripods and designs websites for businesses.
The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.
Laura De La Cruz, the smiling face behind Laura De La Cruz Photography, believes that life should be celebrated and documented at every turn, which is why she takes great pride in creating beautiful photography that individuals and families can cherish for a lifetime. Rather than asking clients to assume unnatural poses or hold a bouquet of rattlesnakes, Laura likes to let real moments unfold that she can then capture with her lens and artistic eye. She specializes in photography for a variety of occasions including weddings, engagement sessions, children and family portraits, and special events such as quinceañeras and birthday parties.