Photographer of the Month: Steve P., Asian Ramblings

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

I can't wait to share the great photography of our July Photographer of the Month, Steve P. We've featured Steve's site, Asian Ramblings, and I am always happy to share his work. He's an incredibly talented photographer, and whenever I see a new set of photos on Facebook or in my RSS feed, I head right over. Steve has the EYE, as well as the good fortune to be in so many beautiful places!


Steve P Photography

An artist outside of the Chen Family Academy in Guangzhou, China, carves medallions from bone.


His talent is amazing - and he constantly works at it. His portraits are superb - some of the best I have ever seen. We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Steve, amidst a new baby (congrats!) and life as an expat in China. Here's what he had to say...


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

The Day Before the baby's arrival



WE: How did you get interested in photography?

SP: My father purchased a Canon SLR when I was born. He was the guy that took photos at family events and on holidays. He was never really serious about photography but he had a great eye (and a lot of luck). I spent my formative years playing with that Canon camera - until I outright commandeered it during my teenage years. 


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

Watching: ESL teachers watches students during the yearly speech contest


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

Little Girl, Big Shoes:
A school girl in Shenzhen, China, climbs stairs on her way to class. 



WE: How long have you been a photographer?

SP: Photography has been a recurring hobby in my life. I bought my first camera when I was 9 years old – a little pocket-sized 110 cartridge camera. In high school I took a graphics art class and fell in love with the darkroom. I started shooting with a 35mm SLRs and joined the local photography guild. Then I studied photography in college as part of my print journalism program. After leaving journalism I didn’t pick up a camera until I came to China. By that time the entire photographic world was “digital.”  Luckily, my basic skills translated.

Now, I make my living from photography – directly and indirectly.


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

The temple in the Crane Lake Hakka House, Shenzhen, China 


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

The courtyard of the Crane Lake Hakka House


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

Between the homes, at the Crane Lake Hakka House


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

Life among the rocks at the Crane Lake Hakka Village, Shenzhen, China



WE: What is your favorite place to photograph? Or subject?

SP: I like to shoot people (with a camera) – glamour and studio work as well as candid street portraits. The former is much easier than the latter. I also like to photography very old things – forts, buildings, temples, churches, etc. I like the contrasts between history and the modern world.


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

Preparing: An ESL teacher in China prepares for an upcoming class.


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

On Guard: A Chinese security guard at a public, outdoor show



WE: How can photographers help change/impact the world, while they are traveling?

SP: Images have amazing power – a picture is worth a thousand words. Good photographs can share different parts of the world and show the viewer that, geo-political boundaries aside, people are not all that different. We all have the same emotions, the same needs and desires: Some things are universal. Also, good travel photos can show what an amazing world we live in – the marvels of past and present civilizations.


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

Among the flowers: Natural light portrait, Zhongshan Park, China



WE: Are there rules in other countries people need to be aware of about who or what you can or cannot shoot?

SP: Cultural taboos aside, a lot of it is common sense. Don’t take photos of soldiers, police, military installations, political demonstrations, etc. While people are researching trips they should also research the rules, official and cultural, regarding photography in the countries they will be visiting.

Things have changed a lot in the past few years – you cannot freely snap away. Rules in the UK and America have gotten strict, and the local police are often not well educated in photographic law, and overzealous in enforcing the laws they do not understand.


 Steve P., Asian Ramblings

In an alley, Hong Kong: A restaurant in a back alley, near Yau Ma Tai in Kowloon, Hong Kong



WE: Any tips you want to share?

SP: Take lots of photos – you learn by doing. Don’t ever say: I’ll fix it in Photoshop. Take the best photo you can without having to edit it later. Look at the work of others for inspiration and education. Join a local photography group or online forums and services – like or flickr. 


Steve P., Asian Ramblings

Signs, signs, everywhere signs: A shot from the world's longest escalator on Hong Kong Island 


WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

SP: See my images at



WE: Thanks so much, Steve - your photography is extraordinary.



All photos courtesy and copyright Steve P., Asian Ramblings