Though his studio is stocked with impressive props and backgrounds, certified professional photographer Aaron Pepis abides by an old-school philosophy: treat every subject as a star. He captures stills of families, high-school seniors, actors, and even pets during customized shoots, and travels off-site to meticulously document weddings. His talent for preserving personalities in his images has led to his status as an in-demand lecturer and magazine contributor, both in America and overseas. Additionally, he can restore cherished antique photos that have been damaged or even ripped into multiple pieces.
Bergen Academy of Music and Art fine-tunes the music skills of students of all ages, offering private lessons in piano, guitar, violin, voice, and a multitude of woodwinds. Students are matched with one of more than 20 potential teachers based on levels and instrument choice, and for most sound makers, including guitar, voice, and woodwinds, the minimum pupil age is typically 5–7 years. Lessons teach a variety of musical styles, including classical, rock, and jazz, and teachers develop pupil-personalized methods to cover technique and musicianship. Classes also coach scholars in music theory, ear training, instrument maintenance, and cummerbund-wearing basics. Private symphonious sessions are once a week, and must be taken in consecutive weeks at the same time and day. Those interested should call their selected location to schedule a first lesson.
New Windsor Music Academy shakes, rattles, and rolls with lessons for aspiring musicians as young as 3 years old, depending on the instrument of choice. Backed by a master's degree in music performance from Yale, owner Mike Benninger has built a team of equally polished instructors. The canopy of their collective knowledge stretches over several instruments, including guitar, drums and voice, and genres that include rock, blues, and classical. With all that education and experience, Mike and his staff recognize that not every method of teaching works for every student, so they bend and mold every session according to each student's goals.
A plaza overflowing with trees and bushes surrounds the entrance to Pelham Art Center, and, since 1970, the center has showed a gardener’s devotion to cultivating the Westchester County art community. Over time, the organization has sprouted up from a two-day arts celebration into a hub for art exhibitions, classes, and programs that reach out to the entire community.
Each year, the Pelham Art Center presents five free art exhibitions, 125 fee-based classes and workshops, and dozens of free weekend and evening programs. In addition to classes in visual, performing, literary, and digital arts, the center also hosts public programs such as music performances, literary readings, and artist talks and demonstrations that celebrate folkloric art traditions or finally settle once and for all which primary color is the best.
Whether you're locking eyes with one of his tiger portraits or attending his pencil-drawing class, one can't help but ask: how does Jerry Winick find the time? His own artwork alone is an exercise in patience, as his pencil drawings can take up to three months to finish. They capture animal faces and Brooklyn streets with striking detail and clarity, so much so that people often believe they're looking at photographs. But, in addition to sketching out these award-winning snapshots, Jerry also runs Pencilworks Studio, a venue for burgeoning artists to mingle and learn.
Here, he leads classes in his chosen medium—pencil—for both children and adults. His personalized instructions help students reproduce a photo on paper, all without tracing or resorting to the Xerox machine they've hidden under their shirt. The studio hosts other workshops as well, helmed by Jerry's daughter Michelle and other professional artists. Depending on their area of expertise, instructors can teach guests how to work with watercolors or experiment with different cartooning techniques. Michelle also arranges birthday painting parties for kids, which supply enough materials for everyone to make an original piece. The staff can even travel to offices and oversee team-building art exercises that yield a collaborative painting.
Though it only opened five years ago in Brisbane, Australia, Remember Forever has already taken the land down under by storm, and has expanded across the deep blue to New York, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, and D.C., with locations opening soon in Miami and Los Angeles. Despite its global presence, the business aims to maintain its small boutique-photography feel and its dedication to ethical practices, such as fair pricing and humane treatment of all lenses. Remember Forever’s expert staff members enthusiastically tout the business’s mission of sharing a love of photography with clients, running 15 distinct workshops and snapping professional photos for momentous occasions such as weddings and family portraits.
Unique Photo’s story wouldn’t be out of place in a Horatio Alger essay: entrepreneurs Bernard and Harriet Sweetwood opened a small storefront photography supply store in Brooklyn, which, through their continued hard work, grew to become one of the largest privately owned photographic-supply distributors in the world. Now dubbed a photographic superstore, Unique Photo stocks more than 20,000 products from popular brands such as Canon, Epson, Fujifilm, Nikon, and Sony. From digital cameras and camera bags to video equipment, darkroom supplies, and prints of 19th-century presidents eating ice-cream cones, the shop houses gear for enthusiasts and professionals alike. On a mission to help clients “Create Better Pictures,” staffers draw upon their photography training to help customers with a full-service photo lab, rental equipment, and free tech support. Experts also lead a full curriculum of classes and seminars that cover topics such as photo composition, Adobe Photoshop, and lighting techniques.