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.
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."
Whether you're looking for artistic inspiration or to brush up on your art knowledge, York Gallery and Framing in Santa Cruz is the museum for you.
Don't worry about packing a snack. This museum has a great restaurant so you can keep the fun going.
The perfect place to take the kids, this museum won't cost you a sitter.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Driving a vehicle that exceeds emission limits is not only illegal, but it also contributes to the already alarming amount of pollution coughing its way out of cars. The ASE-certified master technicians at Stanislaus Smog help solve this two-pronged problem with professional smog tests to keep emissions at bay. The team clamps monitoring devices to tail pipes of all types of vehicles, including gross polluters and out-of-state rides, checking not only for the amount of emissions, but also the types of pollutants. Once complete, the technicians can either approve autos for DMV renewals, title transfers, and soccer-team tryouts, or send them off to a repair shop to prepare for a second test attempt.
Launched more than three decades ago, Site for Sore Eyes now operates in more than 35 showrooms throughout the Bay Area. Staffers at every location share their dedication when pairing customers with head-turning eyewear and contacts. The company offers a $25 warranty that secures all of its products, replacing broken frames for free and furnishing half-price replacements for glasses that are lost, stolen, or transformed into an acorn squash. In case eyes require prescription tweaks, each shop sits next door to California-licensed Sterling VisionCare doctors of optometry.