About Steven

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     For most of my life I have lived in the Fort Smith/Van Buren area of Western Arkansas, and not long ago my wife Karen and I moved to the small town of Charleston. My parents were raised in the area, and the Arkansas River Valley figures prominently in my family history. I have many fond memories of time spent with grandparents and other relatives that lived in this area, and I have wanted to settle here for quite some time. But most importantly, God providentially moved us here by His grace. We have truly felt at home, in the community as a whole and in our local church in particular. First Baptist Church of Charleston has nurtured us and modeled God’s love to us.

     Charleston also has a special place in my heart because it is close to Mount Magazine State Park and the Cherokee Prairies, places that inspired my first two books: Mount Magazine, Looking for the Light, a Photographer’s Journey, and Graced by the Light, the Cherokee Prairies. I have spent years photographing them and plan to keep doing so.

     Arkansas is my home, but the past few years have found me working extensively in Oklahoma, a state which, I believe, is underrepresented by nature photography. My third book, The Wichita Mountains, an Oklahoma Treasure has been well received, encouraging me to pursue a nature photography book representing the entire state. Oklahoma’s Natural Heritage will be published in 2023, fulfilling a long held dream.

     I prefer not to try to pinpoint the exact kind of nature photographer I am as I am equally at home taking macro shots, or photographing landscapes, wildlife and birds. Each requires its own set of skills, each is demanding, and each has its own set of rewards. I enjoy them all. Whatever the genre, the goal is excellence.

     Life as a nature photographer has not always been sunshine and butterflies for me; I have lived with depression most of my life. During a major depressive episode in 2001 God prompted me to pursue nature photography as a calling. Another episode, in 2021, brought me closer to God and convinced me that I am to use my photographic gifts and talents to honor Him and to encourage others who are struggling. I continue to pursue my calling with proper medical care, and with the love and support of Karen, family, church, and my heavenly Father. I find encouragement in the words of the Apostle Paul: “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of a good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8).