Steven Lippman is an advertising, lifestyle, and celebrity photographer and director whose work possesses a rare combination of sophistication and sexy edginess. He has shot campaigns for entertainment companies (Showtime, HBO, TNT), banks and technology brands (Capital One, Griffin, Samsung, Sony), beauty products (Paul Mitchell, KMS), apparel (Frye, Billabong, James Perse, and JKL, actor Matthew McConaughey’s clothing line), beverages (Coors Light), and luxury resorts (Vdara, Baha Mar, Mandalay Bay, and many more). And he has photographed celebrities, musicians, and athletes ranging from Michael Keaton, Jared Leto, and Samuel L. Jackson, to Motley Crue and Ozzy Osbourne, to Diana Nyad, Courtney Conlogue, and Jimmy Spithill. As a director, Steven’s credits include music videos, viral videos, and commercials. “Directing is a huge part of my arsenal,” he notes.
Born in Los Angeles, Steven grew up surfing and skateboarding, and that lifestyle remains close to his heart. “There were no rules, nothing that came before that you could follow,” he recalls of the 1970s skate and surf culture. “So at a young age, you were forced to go out and create. You just made whatever street corner, parking lot, or empty swimming pool happen.”
Steven’s career as a photographer was inspired by time spent on the other side of the lens: For years, he traveled the world as a successful model and surf/skate competitor, and he eventually began taking photos, avidly documenting his friends and life on the road. When he returned to California, he embraced photography with the same unflagging dedication that he does surfing. “I put my heart and soul into everything I do,” says Steven, whose work has been recognized by American Photo magazine, PDN, and American Photography. “As a baseline, my goal is to deliver what the client has asked for, but I’ll always explore additional creative perspectives they may not have considered.”
Based in Malibu with his wife and two children, Steven devotes his spare time to the Blue Project, a nonprofit organization that seeks to preserve the world’s oceans by combining the efforts of like-minded groups and through education. He is the president of A Walk on Water, a nonprofit that provides water therapy through guided surf instruction to special-needs children. “When you look into the eyes of an AWOW athlete who has just come out of the water, you’re immediately struck by the sense of awe,” he says. “I’m constantly moved to tears when I witness the transformations that surf therapy enables.”