J. Design Studios' photographers are just as likely to snap pictures of a happy couple strolling through a grassy park as they are to set up a photo booth at an event, where they can create a background from repurposed doors or give subjects eclectic picture frames to hold around their faces. And yet photography is just one side of the studio's services: a team of multimedia design and architecture graduates helm the visual design department. Here, they translate the client's brand into vibrant Web and print projects, from websites and billboards to postcards and magazines.
In October 2005, Doug Stritzel tested his 16 years of restaurant experience by opening Pickleman's, a sandwich shop focused on fresh ingredients and hot subs. Judging by the eatery's success—the initial shop spawned 11 additional locations across the Midwest—Stritzel's experiment worked. Each day, the ovens churn out a lineup of hot subs and pizzas topped with steaming ingredients. Toasted sandwiches meld zesty flavors, such as salami, capicola, and giardiniera peppers, in a torpedo-shaped package that spins in an edible spiral when thrown. Chefs also man the ovens to craft thin-crust pizzas bedecked with chicken, blue cheese, and buffalo sauce, but spare the menu's soups and chopped salads from the flames.
Established in 2005, Convey Studios was started by Sesha Shannon to bring a new perspective to portrait and commercial photography. We focus all of our energy towards making every shot unique and bringing out the personality of the person we are photographing!
With 3,400 square feet devoted to the fine art of mud molding, Springfield Pottery hosts the works of well-known clay shapers from across the country. Customers can stop in and peruse a selection of handcrafted ceramics, such as a Nathan Falter mug ($35), a set of Nena Potts earrings ($42), and a John Preus earthen cereal bowl ($28) pilfered from the footlocker of a terra-cotta soldier. Pottery jars from Brent Skinner ($125) fashionably fill empty corners, and a wooden bowl from Brad McCullum ($225) outfits miniature dollhouses with makeshift hot tubs. Serving dishes and containers by Sherri Alexander brighten rooms with a delicious lemon-lime glaze and come with the disclaimer that guests may not know when to stop eating once the plate is clean.
Veteran shutterbug Cara Dee Stucke honed her artistic eye in 27 years in the portrait-photography field and today attends annual workshops and seminars to stay abreast of modern techniques. Along with fellow photographer Mark Gilmore, Cara Dee snaps elegant, contemporary shots of weddings, families, and high-school seniors using high-tech equipment such as 21.5-megapixel sensor cameras and light-bending hand claps. Before each photo session, the creative team can proffer wardrobe and makeup consultations, taking time to heed customers' requests for the overall vibe of the shoot.
On-location sessions voyage into the tranquil confines of nature for a romantic ambiance, and shoots in the CaraDee Photography studio allow for edgy, urban-theme photos with self-provided props. Images make their way onto prints of all sizes, emblazoned on top-quality metallic or lustrous papers, custom-created books, and videos replete with music.