Masthead header
  • Welcome to Our Journal

    Keith is a photographer who believes that kids are nearly perfect and that great images capture a bit of that perfection for all eternity. He loves that children don’t filter their emotions. Living loud is their power. And his job is to capture a moment of their uncontained imaginations: your children, unscripted.

    Melissa is the studio manager, adoring wife, busy mom and occasional writer that believes she is living the most beautiful life in the whole world.

    Keith and Melissa have two amazing daughters, Isabella and Gabriella and a little Jack Russell named Pooch.

    This journal is our personal blog about our family, photography, travel and how we are inspired by children in all their authenticity, one beautiful photograph at a time.

where to order holiday cards | phoenix family portrait photographer

It is the time of year when our portrait customers ask who we recommend to print their holiday cards. In our opinion, there is nothing worse then having a great picture that does not get reprinted well – it is soooo disappointing! In order to answer this question properly, I decided to do some research! Hopefully this will save you some time and possibly avoid a headache!

We know that Costco, Target, as well as hundreds of online sites offer their flat one sided photo greeting cards printed on photo paper. Needless to say, these are not our favorites. Often, there is very little quality control and the reproduction of your image will probably not look that great. If it is in your budget, we recommend using either a local professional lab or check out the following:

CUSTOM CARDS (Moderate to Expensive)

We recommend Celebrations in Paper right here in Old Town Scottsdale. If you are looking for something truly unique – something really custom – this is where you need to go! The quality is excellent and the service is first rate! Check out an earlier blog post to see some samples that they designed specifically for us in past holiday seasons. Just be sure to tell Renee that we sent you!

PHOTO CARDS (Moderate to Slightly Expensive)

What all three of these card companies have in common is quality! They use gorgeous, thick paper and their photo cards are beautiful!

* Minted. For more than 4 years now – I have used minted for all sorts of cards throughout the year. They have some really fresh card designs, simple and beautiful. *features: you can try your photo in multiple holiday design cards at once *they offer mini books, yearline cards, calendars, folded cards, flat cards and custom stationery and now they are introducing party products. Best new feature: their holiday card comparison tool which allows you to try your photo in hundreds of card design! Love it! $25 off + Free Ground Shipping on Holiday Cards code: HOL25SHIP

* Paper Culture is by far the most green of these three. The quality of the card is outstanding. My favorite features: they plant a tree in your honor with each order, all cards & envelopes are 100% Post-consumer recycled, the company is Carbon Free, 130 lb paper (very thick), free mail & addressing service, free custom messages. Paper Culture’s only drawback is that they only offer flat cards! Check out their new bamboo photo wall art!

* Pinhole Press. They don’t have nearly the selection of Paper Culture, minted or Tiny Prints but what they do have is perfect for me! Modern, simple, lovely designs. Great paper. Other than the holiday cards, they offer elegant calendars that feature gorgeous photos (hopefully taken by Keith Pitts Photography) and offer a really unique twist on the calendar – framed calendars! Love it. In addition, they use photos in day planners, photo journals, photo books and photo pads! I can’t wait to order a calendar or two! Pinhole Press has lots of fun products for personalized holiday gift giving.

sand + water: the perfect family portrait session | mission bay beach, san diego, california

I know when children hear that it’s time to have their picture taken you get all sorts of reactions. Some kids like to pose, some embrace the idea of having their photo taken and some just tolerate the experience. But when you add sand and water, by default, kids just really enjoy their portrait session (whether they realize it or not!)

The boardwalk and beach of Mission Bay in San Diego was the perfect backdrop for a recent family session. A child running in the sand, dipping her toes in the water, running from waves is actually a child’s idea of having a good time. A child unscripted. A kid just having a good time.

And a perfect family portrait session!

how to photograph kids: taking great pictures on halloween | children’s portrait photographer phoenix

The kids have been waiting for this day since Christmas – Halloween is here!

Both my girls asked me why there is school on Halloween. I guess that’s a fair question in the minds of a 5 and 8 year old. This is the super holiday and why should any of the day be wasted in the classroom? Fortunately, both classrooms are carving pumpkins, making pies and doing all things festive. But I know that is just a mini distraction for the events of tonight.

Of course Keith has been given the strict orders to be home in time to photograph the kids before we take them trick or treating. Like he might miss something like that – no chance. Above are last year’s Halloween photos taken just before trick or treating commenced. The girls are with their cousin and life long friend ready to hit the neighborhood. I do remember that Gabby put shoes on before she started running around the neighborhood, she was just so excited!

So how do you take great pictures on Halloween? It’s that time of year in most parts of the country where it gets dark really, really early. If you can time it right, the best time to take photos of kids dressed in their costumes is right around dusk. Head outside, try and get the horizon light right behind them. If you are using a camera that allows you to make manual adjustments, use a large aperture (f 2.8 for example) to make the background go blurry and become less distracting. If you are not on a dangerous street, Keith is a big fan of going out into the middle of the street. These photos should be all about the kids and their adorable costumes. But of course don’t let the kids get hurt!

Have fun trick or treating. I can’t wait to see lots of great pictures on Facebook tomorrow!

how to photograph kids: where should the session take place? | phoenix child photographer

A thoughtful question that we often get when booking a family portrait session: Where should the session take place? If possible, we will suggest beginning the session in the family’s home. Why the home you might ask? Well, we are big believers in having a portrait session take place in a spot that has some relevance and meaning to you and your family. Where better to start then at home? Kids are immediately in their comfort zone. They can show you their room. Share their favorite toy. Play with their favorite musical instrument. Dress in their super hero costume. Or just be themselves. The home is a great ice breaker.

The above family session was in the San Francisco Bay area. We first met this wonderful family when we lived in the same community here in Arizona. They moved back to the Bay area a few years ago. Oh how happy we are to visit them on our annual trip to San Francisco every June! We love the visit and we love where they live! Happily, they are stuck with us.

But these few photos from their family session illustrate our point. The little boy came home from art class wearing those shades. He was totally comfortable in his home. He grabbed his super hero cape and was playing in his own world. Next, brother and sister moved outside to their back yard playground. Keith documented them inside and outside having a great time, totally comfortable in their surroundings. We ended with the posed family shot on the street in front of their home. The little boy grabbed the blue balloon he had received earlier in the day from getting his hair cut. A beautiful family snap shot on a sunny afternoon, barefoot and casual.

While we love to photograph families at home – home is not the only option! Besides the home, we then recommend choosing a potential location based on something that is interesting to your family. The park. A baseball game. The Children’s Museum. The train tracks downtown. A desert trail. A place where the kids can explore and be themselves. A little space is all that is needed for a successful family session.

Beautiful moments are waiting to happen everywhere!

Miss Chevious | Goody Twos Toffee Company, Scottsdale

A few weeks ago, we had the good fortune of meeting Stacey Barnes, owner of Goody Twos Toffee Company based here in Scottsdale. We were photographing her delicious handmade toffee for a photo spread in Phoenix Bride and Groom magazine. We had to make a pinky promise to the editors of the magazine that we would not share any of the delicious food photos until the magazine hits the news stands later this year. But I can tell you first hand that her toffee is just too good to be true!

I now know what I’m going to give for holiday gifts! Her goody bags full of delicious toffee!

Cindy Gombert - October 26, 2012 - 8:23 pm

We love Stacey. What a beauty, inside and out. She is one of our favorite clients and is a beacon for what to do right for small business growth.

Cindy G

Rachel Faucett - October 30, 2012 - 2:15 pm

You take such lovely pictures!

Keith - October 30, 2012 - 4:33 pm

Thank you Rachel. I really appreciate that.