HUDSON, OH (WOIO) - Barbara Stitzer, of Barbara Stitzer Photography in Hudson, is known for her ultra-creative and unforgettable photography, but it is her most recent project that may be her most memorable and meaningful.
Stitzer's latest series of photographs focus on stopping bullies in their tracks.
It's called "Stand Up for Kindness."
"I was bullied. I think everyone has been bullied in some form or another, and I think it's really important thing to make sure that kids are aware that their actions and their words can really affect other people," said Stitzer.
Some of the young models Stitzer coaches have volunteered to depict what being bullied feels like and also to encourage acceptance and inclusion.
Stitzer's daughter, Tenley, appears in the photographs.
Tenley says she was bullied.
"I was constantly not being invited to things, and then I saw all over their social medias them handing out. I was sick of being treated that way," described Tenley.
Ironically, some of the teens that were photographed for the series were scared to appear in the pictures for fear they would be bullied as a result, but then, the young models decided they couldn't back down.
"I want someone to see the pictures and feel like, well these girls are standing up to bullying, and they are not scared to speak out, so I shouldn't either," said Olivia Stein.
Stitzer says her goal is to have the pictures put on display in schools everywhere, so that kids will see the photographs and choose kindness.
So far, Hudson Middle School plans to display the series in the fall.
"I have friends whose children have killed themselves," said Stitzer, "If there are people out there that are being bullied, if there's people out there who feel bad about themselves and are bullying, if they can just go, 'I need to hold on. I need to be kind. I need to see the kindness around me.'"
Barb Stitzer is inviting others to join the anti-bullying campaign. Click here for more information.