Stefan Klapko is a photographer based in New York City with a passion for people. He graduated with a BA in Photography from Columbia College in Chicago in 2011, and has been working professionally since then. His work has taken him all over the U.S. and Europe with clients such as Nike and Spotify. With a focus on portrait photography and events, Stefan is a dynamic photographer that is always creating unique perspectives with the client's needs in mind.
I love that my job allows me to constantly meet new people, and with this, allows me to constantly tell new stories. Photography has the ability to draw connections between people with just one eye catching image. I've had the opportunity to work with such a large range of clients in the past 6 years, and together we've created work that has reached audiences all over the world. It's a humbling experience to do what you love as a career.
What types of shoots have you done and how did you make them special?
I've photographed everything from weddings to fashion look books, live concerts to corporate conferences, and everything in between. I'm always in tune with my clients right from the first stages of planning a shoot. I'm a listener, and it's my main goal to take the client's wants and needs and turn those into unique images. To give a specific example - I worked with Spotify on a week long project in Austin, TX for their SXSW festival experience. This was a large scale production which included two live performance stages, and an interactive house designed by Spotify in collaboration with a number of brands. We worked side by side to turn around photos in real time for social media for both their own brand as well as their partners at the house (playstation, google chrome cast, sci-fi channel, and large range of food and beverage brands). The goal was to represent these brands place at the festival, and we did so with a combination of natural product placement, and candid portraiture. It was important to the client not to make sterile or staged images. While it was challenging to work with real concert going fans and to create images on the run for social media, we ended creating dozens of effective photos for social media posts over the week, while still capturing the essence of the performances and festival.
Awards, honors, and recognitions received
I received many recognitions for my work at Columbia College, and my senior thesis project was purchased by the college. I worked with a small event photography team (3 of us) that won a number of awards for best event photography in Chicago.
A fun fact about this photographer
I love hiking and backpacking, and spent a year in Europe photographing this lifestyle for my own personal work.