Today we’d like to introduce you to Steven Simko.
Steven, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My friends call me Simko. My interest in photography began at the age of fifteen when I noticed a point of purchase display in a camera store window – it was a girl in a yellow bikini holding a Minolta 110 weathermatic underwater camera. Okay, maybe I was more intrigued by the girl in the yellow bikini than the camera at the time, but I walked into the store and asked for a job. They hired me on the spot to clean the camera shelves and it was there that I fell in love with cameras.
I grew up in South Carolina and after high school, made my way to Southern California where I studied photography. Back then, you had to go to either London, Paris or New York for any real career opportunities in photography. So after my studies, I sold my 1981 VW Scirocco, bought a backpack and a one-way ticket to London in search of photo assisting work. I credit good luck in landing a full-time assistant position with a fashion photographer for the next few years. During that period, I spent my free time testing and building a fashion portfolio for my next move to New York. New York was a grind – you’re pounding the pavement and showing your portfolio hoping an editor will see what you see in your work. Crediting luck again, I met a young photo editor named Ivan Shaw who showed interest in my work, and next thing I know, I’m shooting “front of the book” portraits for Vogue magazine. This work, in turn, led me to fashion assignments for other magazines here and abroad, but after 10 years in the city, California was calling me back.
Today, I live in Hollywood with my wife and our dog, Frankie.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The sacrifices are great but the rewards can be plentiful. The glass has always been half full for me. Each and every setback has taught me valuable lessons. Growing up in middle-class suburbia in South Carolina, a career in fashion photography and portraiture seemed an impractical career path, but I knew at a very young age that this is what I’m meant to be doing. It was this knowledge that has served as my shield against the constant rejections that photographers often deal with.
Please tell us about Steven Simko Photography.
While I’m best known for my fashion/portrait photography work, my personal photographic projects are my real joy. The current project is called: “Blues Sunday” and it’s a weekly gathering of Blues musicians and patrons in South Central Los Angeles on Sunday afternoons to celebrate their love for the Blues.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Stay true to your path and never give up your dream. I know it’s so cliche but it’s so true to make your dreams happen!
- Website: www.simkophoto.com
- Phone: 917-318-6828
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/simkophoto
LA Magazine,Anine Bing, Blues Sunday