Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Raskin Family

Every once in a while, I meet a family who is so chic, so interesting, so totally COOL that I'm kind of intimidated. I mean, don't get me wrong, I adore 99.9% of my families that I shoot, and usually work with them for years and years, but you know the ones I mean...the people who have so very much going for them that they really don't need to be nice to you, and you wouldn't hate them for it, but how, somehow, they are just the ones who are incredibly kind, welcoming, open, (which is key, really, on both party's parts in making meaningful pictures) and inexplicably, you realize that you've totally clicked. This is how I feel about the Raskin family. The moment I met Joan, and her daughter Maddie, her husband Randy, and sons Remi and Jonathan, I felt like I came home, they were so welcoming, and I really wanted to do right by them.
Of course, I got nervous and kind of tanked. A light stand fell on poor Randy's foot, I had just taken a new lens out of the box and didn't realize that I was on manual focus while shooting in autofocus mode, something that I had never done in 16 years of shooting... so I tried hard not to show my total mortification, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and forced away the nerves... through it all, they were totally gracious about it, laughing and funny and carrying my bags out to the car, something that NO ONE ever offers to do, I might add. Then, at the viewing, after really complimenting the heck out of me, which is always a nice thing, Joan and I got into a very much needed conversation on my part...I just felt so honored that she would share like that with me. The more I see of that woman, the more I admire her. She's totally my role model. Am I allowed to have a role model so much younger, prettier and skinnier than me? Well, either way, I'm taking it! And, we got some shots that are different and funny and totally them, ones I'm really very proud of. They made it to the front slide show of my website, http://www.barbstitzer.com/, if you would like to see my favorites!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We shot baby Jake and his mom and dad at sunset, at my favorite place and time to shoot...this kid was so much fun to shoot! He's at this glorious age where he never stops...we went up and down the stairs at least a hundred times, then he ran up and down the grass hills, giggling and smiling the whole time. It was such a fun day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jonnika and Kelly

I've known Jonnika since Zoe was her flyer at American Elite cheer, five years ago, and have had the great fortune to shoot both of her sister's pregnancies, which were both totally different and beautiful, so when Jonnika called and told me that she was eight months along and wanting to do something edgy, I totally jumped at the chance! We started at City North, a very cool location in North Phoenix that has a "live, work, eat" philosophy and a generally urban chic vibe. Well, let me tell you that no one was shopping, eating, or doing anything else but gawking at this whippet thin, muscle bound, wearing her regular pants, 5'10" supermodel who totally took over that three block area. Construction workers, businessmen, and moms with strollers literally stopped and stared at her utter presence. The lust factor was so high, I would have feared a riot if it weren't for the amazing Kelly, a doting, totally sweet gentle giant of a gentleman taking care of Jonnika, catering to her every whim, telling her how amazingly beautiful she is, (she is!) and generally projecting the fact that he thinks she's the greatest thing since fried twinkies and it would be best if everyone would just stay back or he'd bite off their heads and chew them while we were shooting. These guys are truly a great couple, one who I totally expect to be shooting their 50th wedding anniversary, and I never say that about anyone. We then moved to the JW Marriott, a favorite spot of mine; every angle is fabulous there, and did some more! Mom, Janis joined us and took some shots, which was great, I mean, who could resist?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Weaver Family

Kristie came to me on the same mission as lots of people with little kids...to have everyone smiling and looking at the camera, especially her beautiful little daughter, Emma,who has an aversion to cameras...and, of course, we got a lot of those, but like all plans with kids, the unexpected is always better, if you're just willing to let go of your preconceived notions, and was ultimately what she was attracted to. I always talk about "the magic"; the zig when you're expecting a zag, a moment that you could never, in a million years force, moments which after 16 years of being a professional photographer, still give me a thrill when they come up, which they do in almost every shoot, so when I had Kristie and her hubby kiss, and the kids put their hands over their eyes, which was really cute, but then Owen peeked out just a little bit, and I almost lost it. Now some people might say, "oh, they weren't looking", "oh, you can't see our whole faces looking straight at the camera", and I always think about that, because I want to be sensitive to my client's needs, of course, but I never judge the quality of a picture by whether people are looking or smiling, as evidenced by my walls. It was a moment...a moment that you couldn't plan for or pose...I just had to be there to capture it. And, fortunately, Kristie was savvy enough to actually order them for her home...I'm so excited for her!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

These puppies camto me via the lovely Anne, who wanted to have a shot of her sweet "babies". They were so much fun! Pumpkin, the pomeranian in front, kept doing donuts all around the ser, she was so excite! I love photographing dogs!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Angela is just the most interesting person. She's so well traveled. She was in Europe last year, and is going back again this year. She has the cutest little doggie whose teeth show out, has done a ton of unique, interesting jobs, and we just had a lot of fun taking pictures of her new show girl self.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Alex is one of those free spirits who you know is just going to take on the world and win. She wanted to get funky, so we met in Tempe, and hung out on the railroad tracks. The light was amazing, Alex was totally confident and knew exactly how to move, and before she and her sweet Mommy Pat roared off into the night in their superfine convertible jaguar that I totally want to lift, we got some very cool and fun shots! We met up where she was helping out through NCL at the Happily Ever After Leaue Ball, for whom I shot a calendar (see happilyeverafterleague.org), and we had so much fun looking at her pictures together!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Margaret and Kent

When the very chic but not too trendy Kent annd Margaret roared up to the Marketplace in DC ranch in a cute little silver Mercedes for their phots shoot and asked me if they could be photographed in the tailgate of my Suburban, I just started giggling...and pretty much didn't stop the entire shoot. These guys were a laugh a minute, culminating when the 6'1" Margaret picked up Kent and gave him a piggy pack ride outside of Eddie V's! Thank you to all who honked. It was a knock out moment in time!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I shot Remi in and around his palatial mansion in Mc Cormick Ranch last week. It's located in THE prime corner of the lake out there. Remi's car is nicer than mine...ummm, a LOT nicer, and when he came down the stairs to meet me, he looked like he just walked off the set of Gossip Girl, and given that most teenage boys hate hate having their pictures taken, I was happily suprised to realize how very fun and cool he was. His vibrant, outgoing, and equally beautiful mom and sister Maddie helped out with lighting and outfit picking, and the shoot just rolled along. Remi wanted "edgy", and I was prepared... I whipped out my new radio poppers...it gives everything such a new, edgy look, don't you think?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I have been wanting to photograph Angela for her senior pictures ever since the day, when she was seven, and we were in Destin, Florida. Our family and her family, who are the closest thing to family I probably have, and I love them all, madly, rented a boat to go out to shell island. I barely knew the Skowroneks at that time, and as soon as we set sail, a virtual hurricane overtook us, the first of many weird, zany, disasterous, and absolutely fantastic vacations between our family and theirs, but that, of course, is another story...anyway, there I was, a new mom, with a nursing baby, all flustered and utterly drenched, silently cursing everyone and their brother for not giving me the good sense to stay home with little Zoe, freaking out at the awkwardness of trying to hold a conversation while trying to stay covered up in gale force winds while nursing under an umbrella that dad John just happened to have, and feeling really just uncomfortable and weird about the whole thing, and then who should crawl under that umbrella, but this teeny little slip of a girl, Angela, saying, in this sweet little voice, "Would you like to have a tea party?" Well, I fell in love with the girl then and there, and swore that I'd do right by her by the time her senior pictures came. We even have super secret names for each other...how often does that happen?! And now, here she is...isn't she glorious? I'd have a tea party with her any day. If you would like to see her video, go to http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Anthem-AZ/Barbara-Stitzer-Photography/45325794506?ref=ts. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Da Boyz

I shot Jake, Kyle and Cole for their fun and bubbly stepmom, Maureza to give to her husband for his birthday. While I don't shoot a lot of boys, it's always fun for me...maybe because they are just SO different from girls, always beating on each other, hitting, punching, socking, tackling, whatever they could manage. The violence was so...ummm, violent, that I pretty much giggled nervously throughout the entire shoot. The shot on the rocks was taken at the end of the day, when the boys discovered a massive dead fish, bloody and mangled, and cast aside on the edge of the Anthem park lake. It was so stinky and smelly that I almost passed out, but the boys loved it! They considered holding it for a while, but a couple of groin punches and an Indian burn or two later, settled in and got into this position... to me, it looks timeless, fierce, full of intrigue and love and fun...kind of like the kids in "The Outsiders". I love it!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our Newest Addition

Ok, ok, I was sad the other day, about two weeks ago, and my sweet little hubby noticed. I'm never sad, so when I was sad, this was a big deal to him. Three hours later, we had a puppy! Aaaargh! But I must say, he's a great dog. His name is Dewey, named for the youngest brother in the "Malcolm in the Middle" series...Buzz is a namer. He always names our children and dogs for movie or sports stars. We've had Jordan the chow chow, named for Michael Jordan, Mugsy, the bulldog, named for Mugsy Bogues, the shortest basketball player in the NBA for quite a while; TT, our daughter, whose actual name is Tenley, was named for a character in the very forgettable movie, Summer Catch, starring Freddie Prinze jr. and Jessica Biel, and Zoe was almost "Sloan", the female lead in Ferris Bueller's Day off. I drew the line at that one. ;) Come to think of it, I was named for Barbara Stanwyck, whom my dad was majorly enamored with...the only person in our family who wasn't named for anyone famous is Buzz! He's a 3rd, so I guess that's ok!
I know that it feels early, because it's so darn hot, but it's definitely time to start booking your holiday pictures. I have a ton of new, cool ideas, so give me a call at 480.861.4529 before the best spots are taken up.
In late breaking news, I'll be shooting all over the nation in the next couple of weeks: Chicago this coming weekend, Reno next weekend, and Nauvoo, Illinois October 3rd through 6th. Nauvoo has a huge amount of LDS history, which I find absolutely fascinating. I will also be shooting up and down the California coast in June and July, and am currently booking family shots, weddings, and high school seniors for next summer. The response has been amazing, so please book early to get the best times.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Juliette and Nick

These guys were such a fun couple. Hired as models for a photography seminar that I was speaking at, they were being shot at from all directions by people of all different skill levels, so I thought I'd jump in and save them from the masses for a while before I had to go speak. I pulled them into the water park in Tempe, and all of the little kids had a field day squirting them! Juliette and I just clicked right away, and her honey, Nick is so totally in love with her, it just made the time pass like nothing...His son was there, too and did an awesome job for me as well. They just look so right for each other. I'm gunning for them to get married so that I can shoot more of the love!