Resplendent Photography’s Christen “Sunee” Lewitzky, at center and bottom right, has a far-reaching portfolio, including, clockwise from top left, yoga instructor Brittany, Iron Lion Gym owner Leo Vassershteyn, a toddler, money coach Susan Shloss and the Johns Family. Courtesy images.

Christen “Sunee” Lewitzky’s love for photography began as soon as she received her first film camera at age 8.

But when she first started taking photos as a hobbyist and for classes while attending the San Francisco Art Institute, she encountered a big problem: “I was just scared to death to photograph people, so I really just did landscapes,” Lewitzky says.

Life experience has a way of helping you grow, however, and in Lewitzky’s case, it came in the form of the juggling of multiple jobs that many of us do in the immediate post-college years. In addition to working as a photographer’s assistant, Lewitzky’s other job proved to be the panacea for her fears.

Lewitzky, who was born and raised in Indiana and moved to the Bay Area in 2006, also worked as a nanny in San Francisco, and it was spending time with those little ones that helped her anxiety around photographing people recede.

“I just enjoyed being around kids, and I got more comfortable,” says Lewitzky, who lives in Strawberry with her husband and two kids. “Parents that I was nannying for knew I was also a photographer, and they’d ask me to take photos of their children, and they loved the results and would spread the word to their friends as well.”

That’s when Lewitzky’s Resplendent Photography was born, and when she had her first child eight years ago, she joined mothers groups to help with her transition to motherhood, and that helped her get even more work as a family and children’s photographer.

Lewitzky’s business of taking photos of children and families blossomed, and in recent years, she’s expanded her portfolio to include a wide variety of portraits for adults, from professional head shots to visual storytelling for an array of businesses. For example, she recently photographed Authen Technologies, a genetics laboratory in Petaluma that needed photos to show its lab staff beyond the seemingly cold look of the lab.

“I took personal shots that added feeling to each portrait, giving their customers a sense of the people behind the business,” Lewitzky says. “I really want to help local businesses tell their story. My goal is to help businesses show their customers what it’s like to work with them and create emotion through these photos.”

The 411: Christen “Sunee” Lewitzky’s Resplendent Photography is based on Mill Valley and Petaluma. MORE INFO.

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