In 1999, 17-year-old Laura Renée began her first foray into photography by snapping shots of tour groups passing through Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. From that summer job, Laura’s fascination with photography eventually led to the opening of her own professional studio. Both at the studio and on location, Laura takes a photojournalistic approach, capturing candid images of families, newborns, and expectant moms rather than using artificial poses or encasing subjects in plaster casts for the entire session. She maintains this approach when she’s covering weddings, for which she offers unlimited photographs. During sultry boudoir shoots, however, she mixes in posed images with candid ones.
BD Creative Images' primary goal is to collect and preserve cherished memories. The photographer, Brant Squirrel, captures those memories in stylistic images that employ unique angles and postproduction editing to create one-of-a-kind pictures. He works closely with families, kids, couples, and moms-to-be during shoots to ensure he adds the exact right polish to each image. Family pets can even get in on the action with pet portraiture. His skills can also be applied to special events such as birthdays and wedding receptions. Those celebrations can be enlivened with by including one of the company's photo booths, replete with a photographer, assistant, and studio lighting.
Signature service: Social Photo Tour and Bar Hop
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Pro Tip: Bring a camera you are comfortable using. Dress for weather. Two people can share a camera.
Q&A with the Owner-operator
What is one of your signature services? How is it performed?
Sunday Social Photo Tours meet at a predetermined bar or restaurant to check in, mingle and enjoy some light fare.
They then move outdoors on a walking tour around Baltimore neighborhoods, stopping at 5-6 photo spots and 3-4 bars or restaurants. Along the way, the instructor/tour guide explains tips to take better photos. Venues provide drink specials.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
I have been working in the special event industry for over 10 years. I took up photography about 4 years ago as a hobby.
Starting a photography/photo booth/photo tour company was a logical step.
Paintings of bowls overflowing with fruit, majestic Southwestern mesas, and a white horse against an orange backdrop line the brick walls at Mitchell School of Fine Arts. Beneath those examples, students of all ages and levels learn to create their own magnum opuses under the tutelage of instructors, who channel degrees in fine art, publication in books and magazines, and a range of other credentials.
In classes, the teachers focus on topics such as landscape painting or classical drawing to help pupils master the nuances of a particular style and portray the beauty of a blossoming flower or a dirt bike that runs on flowers. An animal pastels class for youngsters inspires participants to grab soft drawing implements and sketch colorful fauna on paper. Private lessons are available, as are commissioned portraits from the faculty themselves, who will render the likeness of a loved one.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.