ELLE Magazine and MadPax – AZ Commercial Photographer

OK, so my friend Tina Huber, is the mad genius behind MadPax–those cool spikey backpacks that are the objects of desire for Tots to Twentysomethings. Anyway, the September issue of ELLE Magazine (not just ANY issue—THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE–features an editorial with her product on a hot model (see below). SO proud of her, so excited for her!!! Way to go T! (and Mr. Cordavana as well and the whole crew at MadPax)

An idea that started just 2 short years ago is now in ELLE Magazine! This is inspiration for anyone who has been putting off working on that great business idea. DO IT NOW. You never know where it will take you.

(Right. Now.)



One of our promo shots of our own super model here in ATJ Studios!

Laura - February 7, 2014 - 8:49 PM

How fabulous–love those backpacks! 🙂


Getting caught up on a MAJOR backlog of blog posts is allowing me to relive some of the more memorable shoots of my year thus far. None were more memorable than the shoot we did in Tucson at the Steele Research Center at Tucson’s famous University Medical Center. Steele Research Center is Ground Zero for many of the most talented minds in Pediatric Research in the world. Last year, I was commissioned by The Steele Foundation  to create an art installation as a gift to the Physicians and Scientists who have dedicated their lives to the cause of saving the lives of children. Here are a few (really bad) images of that installation. The mission of the Steele Foundation is Teach. Heal. Discover. We created the wallpaper by having each doctor write the words, Teach, Heal, Discover on a 3×5 card; we then scanned them and created the wallpaper behind the pieces. Because the doctors are from all over the world, Teach, Heal and Discover are written in many different languages.


In early May, we returned to photograph some of the patients at Steele for the PANDA fund raiser that is held every year (this year in May). We spent the day photographing kids of all ages, with varying diagnoses – from cancer, autism, diabetes, asthma, etc. I am a portrait photographer. My goal is to connect with and capture the spirit of the person I’m photographing. I don’t always succeed, but that is always my goal. I find this much easier to accomplish when I am photographing children. I’ve never liked photography that trivializes children. I like to portray children with respect for the people that they are now and for the potential in who they are becoming. The opportunity to photograph these kids has been life-changing for me.

In addition to being a photographer, I am also the mother of two special needs children (both of my children have Autism). I could so relate to those parents sitting there watching their children being photographed that day. You could see in the parent’s faces that they are in a battle for their children’s health and development; that every tiny gain is cause for celebration, while every step back is just another obstacle to overcome.
They never give up, they never lose hope.
I want the viewer of these images to see that while these kids may have health or developmental problems, that they are, first and foremost, KIDS. Not just patients or a diagnosis but someone’s child who does the things that kids do, dreams the dreams that kids dream and has the promise of an amazing life and deserves the best treatment that the advancements of science can offer. If you are looking for a cause to support, you could do a lot worse than sending a few bucks to PANDA to help support the Steele Research Center.
Lisa - July 26, 2012 - 12:43 AM

Your gift for really capturing LIFE… So beautiful.

admin - July 26, 2012 - 11:32 AM

Thanks Lisa!

Dawn - July 26, 2012 - 8:31 PM

Beautiful photos. I can feel the emotion in each photo. You’ve truly conveyed who they are, KIDS!

admin - July 27, 2012 - 4:00 PM

Thank you Dawn!

Heather buttelmann - January 8, 2013 - 9:58 PM

Beautiful! Your work and subjects both captivating.

Jamie Ferris - May 1, 2013 - 1:00 AM

My son is one of the children you photographed that day, over two years ago. It was the first procedure which diagnosed his Eosinophilic Esophagitis. He has come a long way, and I wanted to thank you for capturing the beginning of his journey to feeling better. He has had fantastic care under Dr. Ghishan, we are lucky to have Steele Children’s Research Center, and kind souls like you to help focus on the good.

Thank you.


A belated congratulations to our 2012 Seniors. It seems they get smarter and better looking every year!

“Be yourself. No one can ever tell you you’re doing it wrong.”
-James Leo Herling

Design*Lab Now Open – Mesa, AZ Commercial Photographer

My sister, Caroline DeCesare, just opened her first retail store, next door to my studio in Historic Downtown Mesa. We even put a door in the wall between our spaces so we can keep tabs on each other. Design Lab is a retail store dedicated to all the things we love:

*One-of-a-Kind items for your home

*Cute pillows

*Cool (and slightly irreverent) stationery

*Great lamps

*Design Books (lots of books)

*Our favorite writing implements and cool notebooks and journals

and lots of Etc. (items that don’t fit into any of these categories).

Jaimee Rose from the Arizona Republic, has lots to say about it here

Caroline is the owner of DeCesare Design Group , a very busy interior design firm specializing in luxury residential and commercial projects. She is also the mother of two wild boys (7 and 6) and pregnant with her 3rd (a girl!). And so, of course, this means she is looking for something to do so why not a little retail store?

And running the laboratory on a daily basis is the famous JeNNifer Linton of former Memory Lane Photo and Paper Arts fame. Doesn’t she look so cute in her lab coat and glasses?!


And the 3 Hotties from DeCesare Design Group–Whittlee Hamblin, Kelsey Hunzeker and Nicole Melde. The Dream Team. These Jr. Designers will be weighing in with their “Lab Picks” on a regular basis, helping you with knowledgeable advice about what would look cute for your home and how to live a more fabulous life.


Jane Garvin - May 15, 2012 - 5:54 PM

So cute Carrie, Congrats!!!! you have done it again! Can’t wait to come and see in person. Aunt Jane

marni - June 2, 2012 - 8:14 AM

I was in yesterday for the first time with my sister and felt like i had fallen into gift and paper goods heaven. fun, affordable and full of inspiration. another downtown shop to love!
… and i found jenn! she must think i follow her all over mesa 😉

Sarah - June 22, 2012 - 4:29 PM

This shop looks amazing and is definitely on my list of “must-see” places. Can’t wait!

Debbie Sambrano - July 3, 2012 - 1:54 PM

Can’t wait to visit!

Vanessa - October 17, 2012 - 4:35 PM

This is such a cute boutique–I can’t wait to check it out! You did a great job capturing it!