Photography Tour Leader/Travel Advisor
Stephen Weiss has always had a camera in his hand. At the age of 9 years old his father built him his first darkroom in his childhood home. Stephen also has an extensive background in retail and photography. His family owned over 100 retail stores where he worked as a young man selling, managing, providing advertising and marketing services and photography.
Through high school and college Stephen was the yearbook photographer and he also started a photography business in Denver Colorado photographing for several companies. Returning to St. Louis to complete his degree, Stephen interned for Lewis Portnoy (the original St. Louis Blues photographer) while attending St. Louis University. He graduated with a degree in Business Management in 1985.
Stephen was able to experience shooting at Blues games, Cardinals games and he even shot for Anheuser Busch with Lewis. While interning, Lewis was asked to be one of the LA Olympic photographers. Stephen was responsible for editing the images and sending them back to Lewis for use at the Olympics.
After college, Stephen managed a portrait studio for the Photo Corporation of America at their top studio in St Louis, helping them change their studios to provide better lighting. Additionally, he started his professional studio. By the mid-80’s Stephen became a full-time independent photographer, shooting for many customers such as Gucci, Life Uniforms, Taco Bell, Burger King, Lambert Field, Falcon Products and several engineering companies.
In the early 90’s he purchased a franchise named SeegerPeople. This was a specialized photography company that photographed families and then created montages of families that placed photographs on plastic that were hand cut out and aligned on a display base. This business grew and enabled Stephen to move forward on his next adventure.
In 1998 Stephen purchased a 10-store chain of camera stores (Creve Coeur Camera). These stores were in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri. Over the next 10 years business grew under Stephen’s management and vision. Creve Coeur Camera became one of the Top 100 consumer electronic companies for 8 year straight. Over time Steve created and nurtured the School of Imaging.
The School taught customers how to take better photographs, understand their cameras and it also took customers on many photographic journeys over the past 10 years. These trips have been very well attended. Generally, from 12 to 20 customers travel with Stephen and his other instructors.
Trips have included:
• Costa Rica
• New York
• New Orleans
• The Smokey Mountains
• Door County Wisconsin
• Several western trips including Monument Valley Horseshoe Bend, Bryce Canyon
Additionally, Stephen has visited and photographed:
• Budapest, Vienna and several other cities down the Danube River
• And many locations throughout the United States
Over the past 15 years his corporate customers have included, Charter Communication, Coco Cola, John Force Racing, NASCAR, NHRA and he was the track photographer for Gateway Motorsports Park. His photographs have been published across the world and many people have purchased his work including over 120 copies of his rendition of the solar eclipse a few years ago.
Recently Stephen made the decision to close his retail stores and change his profession to a full-time instructor and Photographic Travel Guide. Additionally, he opened a new business and camera accessories store that will include a multi-media classroom, a 1500 square foot studio, sales floor and several offices. This location will continue to offer many of the same services and products that his previous store offered, including video tape transfers, metal prints, slide scans, professional quality printing and more.
This new business will offer multi-day photographic classes, one-on-one classes and “on location classes”, travel photography classes and lots more.
Get ready for some great adventures to come including
Visit: www.stlsop.com or call 314-567-3456 for more information.