When she graduated with a degree in photojournalism nearly two decades ago, Kendra Stone-Hinds wanted her pictures to tell a story—not in newspapers, but in family photo albums and frames. For her, it’s a gift to snap wedding photos, chronicle pregnancy’s curves, capture a family’s growth, and beyond—she gets to be a part of the journey and help her subjects to remember each step.
Kendra’s images capture energetic moments, unique viewpoints, and striking contrasts. A versatile shutter snapper, she fills her portfolio with vibrant shots of weddings, expectant moms, and babies.
A lot of photographers mimic a candid photo-journalistic style, but Kati Greaney is a true photojournalist. She strives to capture authentic scenes and situations from around the globe, whether she's composing a portrait of a smiling family or snapping a shot of a group of kids hanging out in the street in Cuba. She acknowledges that seeing a photo of a moment is different than actually being there, but she thinks that's a good thing. "Viewing things through a lens changes the way we look at the world," she says. "It ... encourages us to become a mediator."
Like all great duos, Blake and Katherine Weber of Open Arms Photography take advantage of each other's strengths. Blake relies on 15 years of experience behind the camera when capturing the spirit of newborns, couples, and families. With a degree in studio art, Katherine is also onsite for each shoot to design backgrounds, find a flattering light, pose the models, and edit the final product. They describe their style as lifestyle photography, as they aim to take photos that convey their subjects at their most natural.
Kristie lives behind her camera. She has many passions—baseball and food among them—but photography remains steadfastly in first place. Self-taught, she works with natural light during on-location shoots for families, newborns, and high-school seniors.
Professional photographer Portia Shao's artistic intuition imbues everything she captures on film, from her evocative portraiture to her impressionistic Polaroid SX-70 snap shots. Dividing her time between watercolor painting and photography, Portia seamlessly melds the two disciplines and exercises her skills across a wide range of subjects. Her landscapes portray the vastness of natural sites around the world, stitching multiple photos together to create panoramic scenes of the Himalayas at sunrise, and her portraiture draws out the essence of each subject she shoots, which makes for pictures more personal than a monogrammed set of headgear.
Beyond her own artistic vision, Portia strives to craft images that please her clients. Before each shoot, she leads visitors around her studio, leafing through samples, discussing clothing ideas, and devising lighting schemes. After each pop of the flash bulb, images show up directly on a high-definition TV, allowing for instantaneous feedback. Even with these fail-safe client-satisfaction measures in place, Portia stands by her work with a Be Thrilled or Bust guarantee, which promises a complimentary re-shoot or reprint if clients are unsatisfied with their shots.
Lisa Brighton baked her first treat—a peach cobbler—when she was just 4 years old. She had some help, of course, from her great-grandmother, Hazel, who taught her which spices to use and which spices to throw over her shoulder. Hazel also handed down several generations of family recipes and a passion for baking that’s been in the family genes for more than 100 years. Lisa puts it to good use at Starz Cupcakes, which she co-owns with her daughter Connie.
Lisa and Connie estimate that they make 220 different kinds of cupcakes, including 17 velvets—a new take on the classic red velvet—in ultra-bright colors such as coral, teal, and purple. They also bake gluten-free cupcakes for customers with gluten allergies, and sugar-free versions for sweets lovers on low-sugar diets. And the tiny cakes are as beautiful as they are delicious; each one is topped with a dollop of frosting and decorative trimmings such as sprinkles, chocolate chips, or coconut flakes.