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Meet Karen Ritterhouse

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Ritterhouse.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
If I could be a word, I would be Fauvism. Fauvism was a style of painting with vivid expressionistic use of color. It was a style of painting that flourished in France around the turn of the 20th century. I love the vibrant and radical use of colors that give emotional meaning to pictures. My greatest pleasure is to make things I take pictures of come alive with color and tell a story.

I was born in Wisconsin, near the Mississippi River, but have considered myself a native of Arizona since 1986. I have a wonderful husband, Jim who patiently supports my photography passion. We own & operate Onsite Insite, Inc. an outdoor advertising company and Onsite Insite Development. I have three daughters, five grandchildren, and one great-grandson, all of whom are great photo subjects. Kritter Photography is my therapy. When I am taking pictures or working in my studio, I get totally immersed in creation. I have been an Area Coordinator & photographer for “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” an organization that provides memory photos for families of babies that will pass away or have passed away. I put my volunteer work for “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” on hold in order to complete my Certification for Professional Photographer.

Please tell us about your art.
I have been a photographer for about ten years. I tend to be a risk taker, confident, and curious. Because I am so interested in learning & doing everything, I had trouble for years trying to define what kind of photographer I wanted to be. I enjoy challenging myself with things outside of my comfort zone. I think it is important in a time when everyone with a cell phone considers themselves a photographer, that we find our own niche. Something that sets us apart from the amateur, as well as the professional photographer. In a lake of white swans, I want to be the black swan that stands out from the rest. I was lucky enough to be passionate about my designated niches. Instead of being an individual when I create, I tend to be a multitude of many influences. I enjoy taking a photo to the next step in the creative process by pushing the envelope of color and emotion, in order to tell a story. Much of my work is commercial & fine art. I take pictures of empty restaurants, bars, or commercial buildings and then add people, animals, or items that express the message that the owner wants to relate to their customers. I am a self-taught graphic designer who specializes in composition work.

I have always been drawn to rust. Like the color white that includes all colors, I see the same in rust as the sun hits the surfaces and explodes with dramatic fusions of intensity. I have expanded my niche to include photographing vintage and classic cars and the look of the old Masters. When I view a vintage or classic car through my lens, I am not only seeing the final product. I am imaging the past secrets and history hidden in each car.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
Because of my two other businesses and my photography business, I never get lonely. If anything, I would love to have more alone time to create. I am a member of PPA (Professional Photographers Association), AZPPA (Arizona Professional Photographers Association” and a CPP (Certified Professional Photographer). I would recommend any photographer who would like to grow to join photography groups of which there are a lot around the Valley. I would recommend joining AZPPA, PPA & start your journey to receive your CPPA.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work is shown at Black Cat Coffee House at 4730 E. Indian School, Phoenix, Echo Coffee at 2902 N. 68th St., Scottsdale and JT’s Bar & Grill at 4829 E. Indian School, Phoenix, AZ. I have a website where people can view my work & purchase. I accept orders for specialized work for commercial, vintage & classic cars.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Kritter PhotographyKaren Ritterhouse
    5321 East Indian School Road
    Phoenix, AZ. 85018
  • Website:
  • Phone: 6025734497
  • Email:
  • Facebook: @KritterPhotography

Image Credit:
Initial photo “Dogs in the Bar” was taken at OHSO on 4900 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018 and then a composite was done.

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