Steven Lopata of Maddy’s Print Shop OMP Member #208914 has a degree in economics and a graduate degree in finance. His passion, however, has always been advertising and marketing. The Florida resident has worked for many years as an art director, and relishes the challenge of creating art and solving problems from an artistic point of view.
OMP: When did you start doing photography professionally?
Steven: When my wife was giving birth to my youngest son, I borrowed a high-end camera to go into the delivery room and take pictures. My wife was three weeks late and in that time I had shot 36 rolls of film. I was hooked.
OMP: What are your favorite styles of images to shoot?
Steven Strong graphic images with soft beauty. I love shooting in the studio because of how much you can accomplish in a short period of time. But a great interesting location is fine, too.
OMP: What are some of your favorite credits?
Steven: I’ve done several fashion editorials for Russian Style magazine, including their covers. I have also contributed to several local magazines here is South Florida, including Parkland Magazine. My images have had been featured on covers as well as inside editorials.
Steven: I was directed to the website by another professional photographer. I have had great times going to the gatherings at OMP Studio in Fort Lauderdale, and meeting loads of other shooters as well as models. Many are now lifelong friends.
Steven: The studio experience compressed the learning process. Many of the people I have met I have worked with numerous times. When I work at it, it always provides a great experience. I’ve shot in Vegas, in New Jersey and especially in Florida, both east and west coasts. Knowing I’m going somewhere or have a large block of time, I advertise my travel schedule and I always find a willing model to collaborate with. From my experience working with both other photographers and models, I have gotten bookings as well.
OMP: Can you give three tips for models to remember during a shoot?
Steven: I would advise models to always remember to have fun. Work to help the photographer reach his objective. And remember, a positive attitude may be the most important thing that you can bring to a photoshoot.
OMP: Tell us what equipment you use.
Steven: I use Nikon equipment, including the D700 and D200, SB 800 and 2 SB 600. I have several lens including the 80-200 2.8 as well as the 18-55 2.8. Alien Bees lights and modifiers. I have five of them. And I always shoot with a meter.
OMP: What advice do you have for photographers just starting out?
Steven: Shoot as much as you can, regardless of topic. Make the camera second nature, not the focus of your efforts. It is only a tool. Try different styles of photography. Work with as many photographers as you can, especially those you recognize as having more experience.
OMP: What is your background in printing and how has it influenced your photography?
Steven: I started selling envelopes in 1972, and then went into printing in 1974. I’ve owned my own company since 1978. I started shooting headshots for mortgage brokers and used that as an excuse to get great equipment, eventually setting up a photo studio at my print shop. I continue to shoot for brochures as well as business cards for my printing company.
OMP: Can you describe your ideas for short-run promotional calendars and products?
Steven: I have often wondered why more models and photographers are not using calendars and other items with their images to get the word out about themselves. Giving an agency or photographer or booking agent a year of your images seems to be a winner. Now, because of digital equipment, I can produce small quantities economically. I am just launching my specialty website that will allow models, or anyone else, to upload and proof their own calendars as well as several other products. We’re 30-year printers, but just starting out doing these short-run calendars and photobooks. We would love to hear from our fellow OMP colleagues with their suggestions.
See more of Steven’s work, visit his OMP Portfolio.