Best Picturesque PortraitStudio - 1999
Bougainvillea Place, Home of Stark Photography
Bougainvillea Place is like a Star Trek holodeck: Suggest a time and place, and photographer Butch Stark will transport you. He'll place you in a Victorian sitting room or on a Southern veranda, complete with white wicker swing. He'll turn your son into Boy Blue or Little Lord Fauntleroy, your daughters into fairies fluttering their wings atop magic mushrooms. Stark's back yard is landscaped with wildflowers, ponds, gazebos, a garden gate, tea table, and bird feeder. In his front yard is a tire swing, bougainvillea arbor, and 1932 Ford jalopy. Of course Stark also has smaller props: a '40s scooter, a miniature Chippendale settee, a porcelain bowl that doubles as a baby's bathtub, even a live pet rabbit, Freckles. Stark, whose family planted bougainvillea in Miami at the turn of the century, says he's "looking for a timeless quality" when he shoots portraits. In business since 1970, he's photographed three generations of clients' weddings and bar mitzvahs and done portraits for local newsmakers such as Miami Dolphin Kenny Mixon and Davie developer and rodeo rider Ronnie Bergeron. Whatever the subject or setting, each picture reflects Stark's love of people and photography, which no backdrop can replace.