Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Portrait Innovations operates digital-imaging studios throughout the country that use advanced technology to capture and print family memories in about 60–90 minutes. Before the shoot, adults can browse the open studio space's selection of different poses, props, and backgrounds while children entertain themselves at a Lego table and beg invisible friends to make an appearance for the camera. Photographers use handheld digital cameras to memorialize smiles during the session, utilizing the studio's lighting system to enhance candid images. Patrons then view and select their favorite poses, adding special effects to design and create personalized gifts such as portrait books, calendars, canvases, and mugs. The team prints the high-resolution portraits on archival-quality paper with a high-capacity Fujifilm Digital Frontier system, and ships specialty gift items to clients' homes for free.
Lori Mason can trace her shutterbug streak back to her grandparents, who ran Smith Studios in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. When clients asked for Lester Smith for color portraits, Lester's wife, Annette, would carefully enhance each photo with color by hand. Growing up looking at her grandparents' hand-colored photos, Lori developed an interest in photography that blossomed into a career when she armed herself with a Canon 7D and a photography certification from the University of South Florida. Lori's clients range from expectant mothers to graduating high-school seniors; a particular specialty is newborns as young as 1 week old, whose beaks often haven’t even fallen off yet.
Photoriffic Memories dispatches professional hosts to parties throughout the area to help revelers capture the energy of their celebrations on black-and-white and color prints. Their open-style photo booths can occupy up to 20 people, who follow simple on-screen instructions before posing, using optional props, and expressively describing their favorite cheeses. The photo strips can be customized with a phrase befitting the celebration, and optional green screens allow hosts to add a theme to the printed shots. The company publishes all of the night's photos on its website, creating an online photo album from which guests can view or order prints.
At Life and Legacy Media, photographers document family moments or take expressive headshots during professional photo shoots. Founded by Thomas Rankins Jr. and Brandy "BrandyWine" Rankins, a multitalented couple that juggles music, speaking, and advocacy careers, the studio also provides videography and graphic-design services.
You won't find a patterned or solid-colored studio backdrop in MTK Productions' portfolio. That's because the photographers only schedule on-location shoots around Maple Heights. Their rationale is simple: natural light adds to the spontaneity of their candid portraits, which are typically of kids, expecting mothers, high-school seniors, brides and grooms, or Uncle Big Foot.