ARTIST Steve Sampson

My name is Steve Sampson. I’m an artist. One of the ways I choose to represent myself to the world is through my photography.

I was born in Chicago, Illinois, where I had access to the rich history of creativity in the city. From the performing arts to the visual arts, I can see the influence being in that environment had on me. Looking back, I can trace the vein of creativity throughout my family tree and the opportunities that living in Chicago afforded. I never really thought about it growing up, I just did what came natural to me, and art is what happened.

I never met my grandfather, but his love of photography was passed on to me through family folklore – and genes, no doubt. I even have some of his original equipment. Anyone who knows my family well will say my grandfather is watching over me.

My aunt Agnes was a professional musician and entertainer during the hot 1950’s Chicago music scene when accordions reigned. Agnes made her accordion speak a language that only the human soul could understand. She was the front woman of a highly successful sultry three piece all woman band.

My father and uncle both played instruments during their childhood and adolescence. Sometimes they would accompany Agnes on her accordion.

Today, several cousins, my sister, and a niece are all involved in the arts to some extent.

At the age of 14, I had a friend who had a darkroom in his parent’s basement. We would spend hours together developing film and making prints. The smell of the chemistry and the images appearing like magic in the trays captured my imagination. I was hooked!

I bought my first real 35mm film camera in junior high school when I took a photography class as part of my school’s industrial arts semester. I quickly made my mom’s laundry room into my own darkroom. Instead of complaining about me taking over her space, she actually encouraged me in my new passion. It was around that time that I got my first job in photography at a local photo studio. I worked as a dark room printer.

After high school, I attended Triton Jr. College in River Grove, Illinois, where I received an associate’s degree in photography. After graduation, I continued my studies at Columbia College in Chicago. While at Columbia, I had my first photograph published. I was so excited, and I got a great understanding of what it took to be a working photographic artist. I graduated there with my bachelor’s degree.

As I worked on perfecting my craft, I landed a job as a manager of a successful portrait studio in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. In addition to shooting all of the studio’s weddings and events, I also learned how to deal with an array of personalities. At that time my boss also gave me the opportunity to study with some of the world’s leading photographers. He sent me to study at the Winona School of Professional Photography in Mount Prospect, Illinois. I also attended the MAIP School of Professional Photography in Iowa. Later I studied with leading portrait photographers and wedding photographers in Kentucky and Ohio. From all of this additional training I emerged as a classically trained photographer. When the time was right I opened up my own fine art portrait studio in Arlington Heights, Through the years I have been recognized, and have won awards for my photographic images. My company has been hired to photograph jobs across the country including locations in Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, San Francisco, the US Virgin Islands, and Wisconsin.

Jo and I currently live in Holly Springs, North Carolina. She is also an artist and we collaborate on many images and projects. I truly love creating. I have so much fun photographing. It’s what gives me a rush – it’s so exciting and it never gets old. I hope that you enjoy these images as much as I love creating

them. I thank God everyday for giving me these talents that I can share with you!  Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago. My wife Jo and I catered to clients who were looking for something personalized and unique. We enjoyed creating images for our clients for over thirteen years. In addition to wedding and event photography, we specialized in black and white fine art studio and location portraiture.

Through the years I have been recognized, and have won awards for my photographic images. My company has been hired to photograph jobs across the country including locations in Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, San Francisco, the US Virgin Islands, and Wisconsin. Jo and I currently live in Holly Springs, North Carolina. She is also an artist and we collaborate on many images and projects. I truly love creating. I have so much fun photographing. It’s what gives me a rush – it’s so exciting and it never gets old. I hope that you enjoy these images as much as I love creating them. I thank God everyday for giving me these talents that I can share with you!