The body disciplinarians at Grupo Cafu Capoeira instruct both beginning and experienced pupils in the traditional Brazilian martial art of capoeira, and its svelte mixed-martial-arts arm, Jaguar MMA, instructs in a hybrid styling of various martial-arts methods. Capoeira fuses music, dance, acrobatics, and combat in a fluid mélange that, like holidays with the in-laws, deftly mixes fun with reflexive defense moves. The practice helps to develop strength, grace, and physical confidence, in sessions that last 45 minutes to an hour. Capoeira is complemented by a swift gear change to mixed martial arts, a full-contact fighting system emphasizing adaptability and quick reaction to threats. Martial artists spend five to 10 minutes kindling cool muscle sticks, then 25 to 30 minutes absorbing methods and moves. Sessions in each discipline take place five days a week, mostly in evening; see the separate capoeira schedule and mixed martial arts schedule for full listings.
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; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. 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.
At Sound Fitness, one can almost hear the calories sizzle. Ample rows of bikes, ellipticals, and other cardio equipment let guests build strong, healthy hearts without feeling pressured to give up their machines to other guests or movie cops needing to commandeer treadmills. To propel exercisers toward their goals, certified personal trainers plot custom workout plans and demonstrate how to build specific muscle groups with the free weights and strength-training machines. Babysitters corral pintsize visitors while their parents jog and pedal, and shower-lined locker rooms keep watch over clothes and gym bags to make sure they don't wander home.
At Snap Fitness, members can stomp the exercise bug at any time—24 hours a day, seven days a week. Inside the all-hours gym, cardio equipment, free weights, and Cybex plate-loaded machinery inspire more sweat than a lie-detector machine installed at the rim of an active volcano. During staffed hours, members can tap into the professional expertise of personal trainers or find inspiration in numbers during small-group boot-camp classes. Snap Fitness’s online contacts can help its members to uncover nutrition plans and training ideas as well.
Tell us about your business.
I love to capture life in its purest moments. I enjoy photographing people from various backgrounds and learning more about their culture. I think photography is a universal language that we all understand. The key to great photos is to live in the moment. I like to photograph from artistic and unique perspectives. I love to provide my clients with memories that they will keep forever.
What's your background like?
I have been studying photography for over 12 years, and have almost 10 years of Professional experience. I have worked for various magazines, corporations, and private clients producing marketable and editorial images. I've shot everything from sports to weddings to babies. I just love to be a part of people's special moments.
Do you have a studio, do on-location photography, or both?
I currently have a studio in Indianapolis and I’m looking for studio space in Houston. I enjoy doing both indoor and outdoor photography. I do a lot of on-location shoots using natural and window light.
What photographers influenced you? In what ways do traces of their work show up in your work?
Gordon Parks has been a huge influence in my photographic aspirations. I loved his approach to photography and the controversial pieces he would create to get a reaction out of people. He's definitely a pioneer in this industry. I love how he showed the progression of people and America in a time where photography was his choice of weapon. Sometimes we can use art to shine light on sensitive subjects, when we're too deaf to hear the words. I'm also influenced by Ansel Adams photography. I love the landscape images and how he keeps it black and white. It shows tremendous appreciation for the view and quality of work. I'm very much into fine art and try to create it daily.
Anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
I'm also inspired by Langston Hughes because I love to write. He had a lot of thought in his poetry and short stories. And with photography, a lot of thought goes into the process of creating a great photograph.
One interesting fact most people don't know about your business:
We do a lot of work in the community. Very much a part of mentoring our youth and making sure they have creative outlets.