Remembering Marvin Steindler
It is with a heavy heart that we share that our family at Calabasas Style Magazine has lost one of our own.
Marvin Steindler, our brilliant and beloved staff photographer, passed away peacefully on September 11, 2023.
We are all heartbroken.
Marvin was an extremely talented artist whose vision was to bring out the soul in every subject through the lens of his camera. Marvin was responsible for taking the “cover family” photos for Calabasas Style Magazine, starting with the fi rst issue that was published in Jan/Feb 2012. His last cover family shoot was the March/April 2023 issue. Over the past 11+ years, Marvin’s beautiful family photos have become the signature brand of Calabasas Style Magazine. Marvin took immense pride in knowing that the first image people saw when they picked up a copy of Calabasas Style Magazine would be a “Steindler original.” From our first cover family to the last of Marvin’s family photos that graced our covers, we are eternally grateful for the way Marvin captured the essence of each family’s life moments. In addition to the family photos, Marvin took thousands of business photos, event photos, and professional head shots and lifestyle photos for many of the magazine’s clients and advertisers.
Photography was Marvin’s first love. At the age of 12, while at camp, young Marvin spent the whole summer in self-imposed solitary confinement discovering the magic of the photographic printing process. By the age of 20, he knew that there would be nothing else he would do as a career.
Armed with a B.A. in philosophy from Pitzer College in 1976, a young Steindler set out to capture and leave an impression in the literal sense of the word. Starting his career at a local portrait studio, Marvin learned the technical ins and outs of his profession and built the foundation for his work in portraiture, weddings, events, and residential and commercial photography projects.
Marvin had a successful photography career in Los Angeles but moved to the Conejo Valley 15 years ago and never looked back. He was happily married for many years, and unfortunately, his wife passed away earlier this year. He cared for her compassionately through her significant health issues.
In early 2012, Calabasas Style Magazine published an article about Marvin to introduce him to our readers. We asked him to share his thoughts about why he decided to become a professional photographer. When our writers engaged Marvin about his chosen profession, it was clear that he absolutely loved what he did. To Marvin, every job was a fresh creative challenge, and his passion never waned over the 47 years that he worked in this field.
Marvin’s business philosophy was as distinctive as every photo he took: to honor the exclusive qualities and needs of each client and approach every project with a fresh perspective and a clean creative palette. In our 2012 article, Marvin stated, “As a client, honoring your specific identity, needs, and vision, partnering with you to create your desired result is paramount. Only when you feel that I ‘get you’ and understand that I am here just to support you will I be available to create a meaningful portrait or convey your company’s message.”
Regardless of how many portraits Marvin created or the number of events he covered, he approached each project as special and unparalleled, where each client deserved every technical, relational, and aesthetic resource that he could bring to the experience. “Past experience builds proficiency but should never lead to a ‘cookie-cutter’ mentality,” said Marvin. “If I ever start to view a job as ‘just another one,’ it’s time to stop doing that type of work. My clients deserve more than that and should expect it. Each person, family, business, or organization has its own characteristics and personality. It’s my responsibility as a professional to be attentive to that and then enhance, capture, and communicate that uniqueness.”
Simply put, Marvin’s goal was to show each client in the best light possible, literally and figuratively. Marvin understood the unspoken request of anything that came before his lens as this: Honor who/what I am. “When this is accomplished, hearts are touched, new clients hear the message of your business, or someone stops their busy pace for just a moment to appreciate the beauty in the world.”
Marvin had the uncanny ability to always make people feel comfortable and beautiful while immortalizing them during the precious moments in their lives. Watching this “horse whisperer of portraiture” interact with his subjects was truly a sight to behold. One of his greatest strengths was his humanistic approach to capturing people’s souls through his artful photography.
When asked about what made his portraits so amazing, Marvin said, “My specialty is not just the technique of creating a technically competent image, it’s the ability to connect while creating a safe emotional space that enables the person I am photographing to express a level of authenticity that results in a portrait that is the truest reflection of who they really are.”
Marvin, a sophisticated, fastidious, perceptive, and compassionate individual, never identified as a photographer but rather as a visual narrator. He embodied a captivating blend of artist, artisan, thinker, lensman, and emotional architect, focusing not on physical space but the emotional realm.
“To create a poignant portrait,” Marvin explained, “it surpasses aesthetics, visual language, and technicalities like light and form. For me, it’s about leaving an indelible mark on people’s lives during significant moments. It’s about capturing that instant in a photograph as a symbol, a touchstone, a memoir. It’s creating an environment where people feel at ease to relive cherished moments. This can’t be learned in online courses or photography schools. It’s intrinsically you, a product of your life’s journey.”
Marvin’s approach transcended skill; it was a reflection of his essence and life’s experiences.Marvin uplifted everyone he encountered with his talent. The team at Calabasas Style Magazine will forever be grateful to him for sharing his vision and talent with our community. We are happy that so many people in our community were blessed with the opportunity to work with Marvin both personally and professionally. Our hearts are also lifted by knowing that so many of Marvin’s beautiful portraits hold a special place on the mantles and the walls of so many people’s homes and businesses.
Marvin, we love you, and we miss you.
We will forever be grateful to you for sharing your vision and talent with our community.
You will forever be in our hearts.
May Marvin’s memory be a blessing to us all.