Steven was born in Los Angeles and quickly fell in love with surfing and skateboarding. In the 1970’s, skateboarding was just beginning to emerge as a culture unto itself, and it was guys like Steven who helped establish the style, moves, and music that are now indelibly associated with the scene. “There were no rules, nothing that came before that you could follow,” he recalls. “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 come to life.”
For years, Steven traveled the world as a successful model and surf/skate competitor. It was during this time that he began taking photos, avidly documenting his friends and life on the road. His talent was evident from the start, and when he returned to California, he embraced photography as a career, approaching his work with the same unflagging dedication that he does surfing. “I put my heart and soul into everything I do,” says Steven. “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.” Steven has merged his talent into become a successful commercial director as well.
An avid environmentalist, Steven is the director of 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’s also an ambassador for surfaid international, a nonprofit humanitarian organization whose aim is to improve the health, well being, and self-reliance of people living in isolated communities. Also he is an vice president to A Walk on Water, which provides autistic and special needs children with the opportunity to experience the thrill of surfing.“ The neurological disorder of autism has a way of imprisoning children inside their own minds. Surfing seems to unlock those doors in a very special way, granting them precious moments of freedom,” he explains. “We take kids surfing and introduce them to the magical healing powers of the ocean. It’s the most humbling and emotional thing I’ve ever experienced.” Steven lives with his wife, Ana Paula, and two children, Reilley and Ryder, in Malibu, where he is still an avid surf competitor. A self-described family of artists and surfers, they all do their best to enjoy the ocean, even if only briefly, every single day.
Banner image: Catherine Gregory.
Other photography: Ian Zamaro (1), Catherine Gregory (2), Justin Mehren (3) Trevor Pikhart (4, 7, 10), Steven Lippman (5).