Okello Dunkley designs his workshops for students who have just bought or are thinking of buying a DLSR camera but are mystified by its myriad gadgets and gizmos. The accessible nature of these classes has helped Dunkley spread them into nearly a dozen locations across the Midwest and east coast, where students as young as 12 learn how to take a digital camera off automatic mode and manually manipulate ISO light sensors and aperture openings. More advanced classes delve into working with difficult light—such as cloudy weather or days when the sun is set on strobe light—and others explore how to navigate computer software for photo manipulation.
AH Photo & Image commemorates clients' cherished moments through prints and digital images. The staff snaps shots that range from wedding shoots and family portraits to headshots. They also foster photography know-how through photo workshops for beginners.
Husband-and-wife team Amy and Jae Rice turn the camera on brides and grooms for truly unique wedding photos. While their reception pictures take on a more traditional look, the duo also takes brides on location to capture highly stylized images that resonate with personality. In fancy white gowns, brides pose atop tractors, at the edge of waterfalls, or along windowsills of abandoned buildings.
Weddings, engagements, and trash-the-dress sessions aren't their only bag, however. They also love capturing the personalities of moms-to-be, grads, newborns, and families with portrait sessions. Fleshing out the portfolios of professionals and performers with headshot sessions is another of their many specialties.
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.