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.
In 2005, The Drum Lab became Sacramento’s first and only school of drumming. Since then, the Rocklin destination hasn’t skipped a beat in its mission to elevate the standards of musical education. Voted one of the Best Places to Learn to Play Music by CBS Sacramento and the 2012 winner of Best Music Instruction from the KCRA 3 A-List, the school fuels students with the technical know-how and confidence to master their favorite songs, then instills them with the desire to expand their musical horizons.
Based upon stylistic preference, students are paired with one of The Drum Lab’s gifted instructors, who specialize in genres that include rock, jazz, R & B, hip-hop, Latin, and gospel. Once a week, in 30-minute sessions, future John Bonhams and lil’ Gene Krupas learn to play in synchronicity with their instructor in acoustically crisp lab rooms fitted with two drum kits and a playback system with headphones. The school encourages students to beat their way out of comfort zones by periodically switching genres and instructors, helping them develop a comprehensive knowledge of drumming techniques and easing the nerves of insomniac rock drummers who fear waking up in a jazz quartet.
While some kids flip through photo albums to see the past, all Moshgan could see was the future. It was from perusing her parents' pictures that she knew someday she wanted to be a photographer. Today, Moshgan takes a photojournalistic approach to snapping portraits and candids, which she then edits with an artist's attention to detail.
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.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills.
The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.