Matt Wescott is not a fan of photography studios. He used to dread having his picture taken—the awkward poses, the uncomfortable surroundings, and the indifferent staff made portrait sessions an unpleasant chore. Which is why at RMW Photo, Matt makes it his mission to ensure that every one of his subjects is having fun. That applies both during the session, when his positive, casual demeanor encourages groups to laugh and joke, and to the times before and after, when he makes himself constantly available for questions and ideas. Matt also wholeheartedly believes that his photographs should be an enduring presence in his clients' lives, which is why he offers ready-to-hang paper and canvas prints in addition to digital files.
The team at Lynn Greene Photography has been snapping shots together since 2006—long enough to know that the most important part of their job is, by a happy coincidence, also the most fun. Each session begins with some lighthearted goofing around, establishing a playful tone that helps most people strike a relaxed pose. Their clients range from families to high-school seniors to sexy boudoir models, and they never fail to elicit a natural smile from any of the above. That said, they know when to get serious. They often help out corporate professionals looking for business headshots to separate them from the pack.
Immediately after holding an in-studio or outdoor session, clients are invited to preview their images at the studio. While there, they can decide which pictures to preserve as prints, in coffee-table books, or on fake dollar bills.
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.
Located just east of Sacramento in El Dorado Hills, TubeTape.com stocks all the tools and knowledge a beginning hobbyist, professional photographer, or sentient security camera could need. The center’s curriculum of classes includes introductory reviews of video and photography concepts, crash courses in greenscreen editing, and explosive sessions on stunning special effects. Elsewhere in the studio, photographers and videographers happily squeal at the amount of visual-capturing equipment for sale, including chroma-key greenscreens, lighting, software, and effects-editing packages.
At XSight Photography, founders Gail DeMarco and Nicole Sepulveda and their team of talented photographers snag intimate and exciting moments both on location or in one of their two studios. Whether it's genuine laughter in a colorful family photo shoot, a burst of personality in a senior portrait, or the radiance emanating from an expecting mother in a pregnancy session, the photography team strives to push the creative envelope in the portraits they capture to forge images that demand your attention. Their wedding and engagement photography is equally inspired—for the team, capturing a quick, knowing look between the groom and his father is just as important as a shot of the newlyweds walking down the aisle. They also capture those moments through videography services and help others learn to capture them for themselves during photography classes.
A former model, Morgan Nichole knows the demands of striking pose after pose in front of the camera. That’s why she strives to keep her clients—from families to children—comfortable and energetic during each of her on-location shoots. Her patient, supportive approach is especially evident during her pregnancy-project sessions, where she meets once a month with expectant mothers to document their changing bodies. The project culminates with newborn photos, which, like Morgan’s other pictures, are distinguished by their simple camerawork and sun-soaked aesthetic.