Photographer Spotlight: Steve Shapiro

Posted by: on Nov 6, 2013
Photographer Steve Shapiro
Photographer Steve Shapiro

Steve Shapiro is the owner of Commercial Image Photography in Gaithersburg, MD. Specializing in commercial photography, he provides “images to sell” to his clients, which include KB Home, Southern Management Co., National Institutes of Health and many more. Steve also co-owns Applied Photography Network, which provides some of the nation’s largest home-builders with custom images of architectural interiors and exteriors, helping them create new sales. He is married with three grown children and a grandchild on the way!

My first camera was…
Asahi Pentax SP500, Screw Mount lenses!             

I got started in commercial photography…
Because of the ability to work with business clients who demand a higher quality product at a fair price.

I wanted to become a photographer because…
It allows me to make a living at something I love to do.

My first paying photography job was…
Sports photography at a local Tennis Club, yes with that screw mount manual focus camera.

Photo by Steve Shapiro
Photo by Steve Shapiro

My first major paying photography job was…
Little League team photography.

I would describe my style or shooting philosophy as…
I shoot to capture a wow factor, to move customers through my client’s door.

Some of my industry role models are…
Chuck  Lewis. Thirty years ago I saw Chuck at a convention. I have thought of him often over the years. He teaches that photography for professionals is a BUSINESS and you need to treat it as such. Chuck sold his work not by inches but by dollars.  Chuck would talk about his $10,000-sized print.  Your work is worth it!

Before I got started in the industry, I wish somebody had told me…
Not to buy that Nikon 43-86 – LOOK IT UP!

How often do you shoot tethered and what makes you decide whether to shoot tethered or not?
I just started to shoot tethered on a regular basis. The need for the client to see the composition of a shot on location is what led me to it. Another advantage is that my assistant can be much more involved in se-up and lighting of the final image.

Photo by Steve Shapiro
Photo by Steve Shapiro

How does tethered photography affect your workflow?
Because I am always on location rather than in studio, I can maximize my time on location and process back at the office.

What is your current setup?
Working with Canon SLRS,  lenses, and White Lightning strobes, along with all the needed remotes, barn doors, snoots, tether gear, rubber bands and binder clips.

Photo by Steve Shapiro
Photo by Steve Shapiro

“What makes a company is customer service. I had a Tether Tools item arrive that wasn’t working and of course I needed this item for my shoot the next day. I made the call to Tether Tools and before I knew it, the associate was sending me out a new unit at no charge that I would get in time. I wish all companies would empower their associates to make those decisions on the spot.” – Steve Shapiro

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