Lead Photographer and Co-Owner of ESI Media, Steve started shooting on a Canon AE-1 in high school during the '90s. A dedicated Portrait photographer, he decided to step into the professional arena after selling SLRs in a retail environment nearly drove him insane. A student of the Strobist school, Steve studied the writings of photographers like David Hobby, Joe McNally, Drew Gardner, and Chase Jarvis. He is a die-hard Canon enthusiast. Having recently traded in his EOS 50d for an EOS 5d mkII, and swears that full-frame sensors are the only way to fly.
Steve's formal professional training began with off-camera flash lighting, It isn't unusual to find him pulling his beloved Alienbees monobloc flash heads from the trunk of his retired police cruiser, nuking the shoot with an overkill amount of high-powered photons. While he has an impressive collection of professional light modifiers, he's not at all above using white trash bags as diffusion scrims, or empty iced tea cans as snoots. (Snoot being Steve's favorite photography term.)
Steve currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Occasionally he'll steal away to the beautiful beaches and ocean water in Ventura County, California to spend time surfing, (poorly,) drinking good coffee and chatting, or composing music with his beautiful mother who played a huge role in his devotion to the arts. He's been known, from time to time, to pick up and fly overseas. He believes that the world is bigger than the people who inspired him. He's been known to book an impromptu Alaskan cruise, or a three-month walkabout in Australia, reef-diving in the south-pacific, the list goes on.
In his spare time (when not traveling abroad,) he can almost always be found at local bookstores sipping black coffee and gazing into the fashion magazine racks for new lighting ideas or camera techniques. (Don't get him started on the âgenius of Chanelâ rant...) He's also partial to long nights at IHOP, chatting away with friends until the sun comes up and turns them to stone. (They say he keeps a gargoyle pet who he forces to do his taxes, and manage the paperwork end of his business.)
His passion for lighting is infectious. His friends spend far too much time looking at movie posters and book covers, arguing about how the photos were lit, and even getting kicked out of Wal Mart for scaring the tellers. It's worth noting; Steve keeps some strange friends.
Steve is a Capricorn, a starch-hound, addicted to RedBull, and thinks in hyperbole. He is a man obsessed; no one can claim he has a lack of enthusiasm or forward energy. Once something grabs his excitement, he's all in and those surrounding him are at high risk of being recruited if their talents can contribute to the project's success.
He considers a âday offâ one spent on the couch working post production while using rerun episodes of âThe West Wingâ or âBattlesttar Galacticaâ for background noise which he claims helps him to concentrate. His music collection is filled with wildly eclectic samples from every genre but he'll generally base his selections on his model's mood. (âLady GaGa and Reel Big Fish are among the most commonly used to boost the energy at a shoot.)
Do not let him choose the movie
Do not leave him alone with the girl scout cookies.
Do let him photograph your wedding.
Do let him cheer you up on a bad day.
Don't let him hear you talking about a cool photo you saw...