Stephen Wilkes' life journey with photography has led him to numerous worldwide locations as well as to respected awards and achievements.
In conjunction with his leading commercial photography, Wilkes creates a unique body of fine art photography. Wilkess main fine art portfolios to date include Ellis Island, New York; Bethlehem Steel, Pennsylvania;China - Factories, California One, Nudes and his most recent series Day to Night.
Educated at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications, Wilkes has combined a compositional eye bent on historical record. In 1999 Stephen Wilkes completed a personal project photographing the south side of Ellis Island. With his photographs and video work, Wilkes was able to help secure $6 million in funding to restore the south side of the island. The work was exhibited in April of 2001 in a solo exhibition at The Soho Triad Fine Art Gallery in New York. Due to the success in New York, other national galleries and collectors began to focus on Wilkes Ellis Island portfolio.
Margaret Loke of The New York Times wrote, "Each of the rooms that he photographs with care seems to have its own luxurious color scheme. Mr. Wilkes sees pleasing palettes of impressionism in walls and ceilings of peeling paint."
The following year, Epson America commissioned Wilkes to create a millennial portrait of the United States. Twenty thousand miles and fifty-two days later, he created a collection of photographs that portrayed an American perspective - the mood, variety and texture only found in the United States. Stephen exhibited this exciting collection to critical acclaim in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Stephen Wilkes continues to be recognized as a leading advertising and fashion photographer. Various agencies and companies rely on his imagery and vision. Some include: Arizona Jeans, California Tourism, New York Stock Exchange, American Express, Sony, Honda, Nike, and Visa. Editorial images have appeared in The New York Times Magazine as well.
While the corporate following has been rewarding, his passion is continuously recognized. Wilkes has several awards to his credit including: the Alfred Eisensteadt Awards for Magazine Photography, Photographer of the Year, Eastcoast, Adweek Magazine, honors in Graphis Magazine, and the Award of Excellence in Communication Arts. Communication Arts additionally featured Stephen in the March 2001 edition. Wilkes is part of the permanent collection at the International Museum of Photography in the George Eastman House.