An electrical engineer for over 42 years and a project manager for the last 17 years Steve received his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2009. However, Steve began his photographic journey over 39 years ago. “The engineer in me became curious about how a camera could create such breath taking images. So I bought one, studied the technical stuff, and then read about how some of the world’s most famous photographers created their images. I too wanted to create images that tugged at your heart and stirred your emotions.” Portraiture became Steve’s passion.
Behind the camera since 1978, Steve turned professional in 1991 after attending a Monte Zucker seminar in New York. If you have attended one of Monte’s seminars you know why. His infectious energy and personality along with the amazing images he creates struck a nerve with the passion Steve has for portraiture. Since that time Steve has worked for, with, and studied under some of the great portraiture and wedding photographers in the industry. In 1996, Steve relocated to Maryland and after taking several years off opened his portrait studio with a few weddings thrown in for good measure. With the opening of his new studio, located midway between Baltimore and Washington in Columbia Maryland, Clark Matthews Photography, LLC proudly offers in studio and on-location Classic Portraiture.
Steve gives back to professional photography by teaching his fellow photographers how to present their images to their clients and portrait lighting. Now with Anne Kelley-Looney, CPP photographers are taught to understand, appreciate, and emulate the lighting created by Master Painters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. These classes include museum visits to the National Gallery of Art and the National Portrait Gallery. Steve has also taught portrait lighting at PPA state affiliate meetings as well as mini-courses at the Mid-Atlantic Regional School of Professional Photography (M.A.R.S.), a PPA affiliate school.
As a member in good standing of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) since 1991 Steve became a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) in 2004, a PPA councilor in 2006, earned his Photographic Craftsman degree in 2008, and became the American Society of Photographers (ASP) Maryland representative in 2012. In 2004 Steve was 2nd Runner – up Maryland Professional Photographers Association (MDPPA) Portrait Photographer of the Year and recipient of the MDPPA Achievement award. In 2008 MDPPA honored Steve with the Southeastern Professional Photographers Association (SEPPA) Award, the PPA National Award in 2009 followed by the Ron Coss Board of Director’s Memorial Award in 2012 and President’s Award in 2011 and 2013. However, the ultimate MDPPA honor occurred late in 2012 when the members awarded Steve a MDPPA Life Membership. Steve served on the MDPPA Board of Directors from 2002 through 2013, was their Treasurer for most of that term, and continues to help in the background. In 2010 Steve was elected to the Board of Trustees of M.A.R.S. after attending the school since 2002 as a student (first year) and student/assistant from 2004 – 2009. In 2017 Steve was elected to the ASP Board as a Governor.
Steve has now set his sights on obtaining his Master Photographer degree with an ultimate goal of becoming an ASP Fellow.