Steven Thomas’ passion for photography began over thirty-four years ago and over the last eight years has developed into a full-time career. A native of Northern Kentucky, Steven’s photographs have been published internationally in various media including Cosmopolitan magazine. He works with several celebrities who value his art and he has traveled the world to showcase his limited edition fine art photography. Steven’s work can be seen on display at the Ultimate Air Shuttle offices, Prime Cincinnati restaurant, the Metropolitan Club, the Northern Kentucky Chamber, Palomino restaurant, and Lexus Rivercenter. Steven is recognized by, and is a member of Nikon Professional Services. He has served as a judge for the Cincinnati Art Club, Viewpoint 48 exhibit, and also has a drink named after him at Prime Cincinnati (Photographic Memories) for his accomplishments and art in photography.
Since Steven was a teenager, he always enjoyed and took a lot of photographs. It was the start of the evolution into his career. Steven worked for a previous company for sixteen years. A little over twelve years into his job, Steven had a soul-searching moment. “I was paid extremely well, not challenged by my job and I did not feel I had a purpose in my life”.
Steven started Photographic Memories LLC part-time while he still worked full-time at the other organization for two years. His passion quickly grew to a full-time venture. From that point he felt extremely liberated and felt as if he was semi-retired. Not that he did not take it seriously, but as they say “ the day you do something you truly do love, you will never work another day in your life”. Steven has thirty-four years of photography experience (yes, he is forty-eight). Steven is self-taught and he constantly works to improve his art and push the boundaries of what he can create.
Out of everything Steven photographs, weddings are closest to his heart. In his opinion “It is one of the most important days in someone’s life and to be apart of that I find to be an honor. He mentions to any bride, “Your day can be as stressful as you want or as laissez-faire as you want. It all depends on one thing: time.”
He’ll meet with a bride several times before the wedding day to come up with the logistics and make the day go as smooth as possible. On the actual wedding day he will act as a consultant and make sure things are going smoothly and keep to the schedule. It is is not the norm for most wedding photographers and the reason he’ll take on the responsibility, is to take the stress away from the bride. Also, it is important for Steven to capture the special moments and if the timing of the day is off from the start that is not good for anyone.
Steven, to-date, has never encountered a Bridezilla. Even if he does, he will say the same thing to them that he tells everyone else “Whatever your expectations are, you may as well double”. That is the expectations Steven has for himself.
Steven was just on assignment in South Africa this year and the wildlife he encountered and photographed was amazing! In a short period of time Steven became friends with a cheetah and spent a few mornings walking with it.
One very unique experience was while he was walking with the cheetah a group of impalas ran by. The cheetah caught one of them and a ranger and Steven ran up to see. While standing there Steven asked, “How close can I get”? He replied, “I guess get as close as you want until it starts to react.” Steven got about five feet from the cheetah while eating the impala and figured that was close enough. Occasionally it looked up at Steven, but it did not see him as a threat and did not mind him being so close.
After spending a month in South Africa, Steven managed to get out with one mosquito bite (not zika) and was in several situations that literally would have killed him with various animals. Steven had always been told that he has a way with animals and what happened on this trip was triumphant proof of that belief.
What drives Thomas’ passion for photography is the idea of Legacy. Steven explains, “Say I was over at your house and you had a very old desk that belonged to your family. If I found a hidden compartment and located a picture of your great, great grand- parents, you would study that as if you were on CSI and you would cherish that as if it was the Declaration of Independence.” Steven knows he’ll not be around forever, but says, “I know that I am responsible for creating moments that will be cherished for generations to come”. To Steven there is no amount of money in the world that can make him feel as complete as that. If it gets to a point of making seven figures on just selling photography, Steven would never turn down any assignment or feel he’s too good for something. A simple session with a new- born means a lot to Steven and brings him back to the point of his Legacy.
“I feel that any successful company comes down to business relationships, net- working and having a value added (what sets you apart from anyone else). I personally go out of my way to cater to client’s needs. I am also the type that will take a drink away from a bride on the dance floor and give it back when the song is over. I feel it is all about the small details to create a photographic memory”.
Another thing that sets Steven apart is the photography equipment that he currently uses. Steven has used a variety of Nikon equipment throughout the years and has captured amazing photographs. Currently he uses the flagship camera from Nikon, which is a Nikon D5. With this cameras speed and ability in low light Steven never uses a flash ninety-nine percent of the time. When it comes to a wedding or other project, Steven can bring out the natural light in extremely low light conditions to create a moment that feels life like.
Steven recently had a showing at Bang & Olufsen in Downtown Cincinnati on October 28th. His work was displayed there until December 1st. Carlos Navarro with Bang & Olufsen has had multiple showings with painters over the years. After meeting Steven Thomas for the second time and seeing some of his work he asked him to be the first photographer that has ever done a showing there.