Stephen always had cameras during his childhood in England. Half way through his university years he decided that photography was the career that he wanted, but being realistic, after graduating he spent a year as a humble studio assistant . Working for three advertising specialists in London, he came to know what it took to be a professional. “You don’t always know what there is to learn until you learn it. And then forever you continue to learn, continue to develop the skills that permit you to make correct choices quickly.”
As a young freelance photographer in Britain, Stephen worked on some major advertising campaigns, but then started doing magazine work as well. He found the assignments stimulating. “If magazines did boring stories, they would soon be out of business, so the work was almost always interesting"
At the time, the United States had the best magazines, and when Stephen moved to New York, he immediately started working for Sports Illustrated, which was one of his best clients for three decades. “It's a weekly, so there’s always plenty happening, with good editors and a great photo department. I appreciated that they were receptive to good story ideas from writers and photographers.”
He also did assignments for Fortune, Travel & Leisure, The Smithsonian, and some European magazines. For Good Housekeeping he photographed celebrities and celebrity homes. In the 1980s he worked for Life Magazine during the period when it was a monthly – some sports, some portraits, but mostly animals, both wild and domestic, birds, mammals and reptiles.
Advertising work in the United States has included assignments for agencies in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Honolulu. Some favorite ad clients have been hotels and resorts. “It could be a bit tantalizing to see gorgeous pools and beaches, great golf courses, etc., but be too busy to take advantage of it all. However, I don’t complain; I’m there to do some work, and my charge cards stay in my wallet.”