Stephen Devries Photo
I’ve been a photographer since 2008, but that wasn’t always the plan. I grew up with two passions: animals and art. When it came to picking a career, I figured science was more practical, and I started as a veterinary science major at Auburn University. Unfortunately, I had to give up on my vision of one day working with rare species at a world-famous zoo when I lost interest in some of the required courses. I decided to pivot and changed my major to art. I spent a few semesters trying out mediums—ceramics, painting, drawing, print making—and landed on painting with an emphasis on mixed media and found objects. I first picked up a camera to incorporate photographs into my encaustic paintings. I was instantly hooked, and after taking the only photography class Auburn offered at the time, I decided to transfer to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to major in photography.
After my year in New York, I decided to wind down weddings and look for more commercial and editorial work. Thanks to Birmingham Magazine, I got to try a number of different types of photography, and food and still life stood out as my favorites.
As a food photographer, I loved the team aspect of each project. Shooting weddings, it was usually just me and an assistant, now I get to collaborate with food and prop stylists, art directors, and graphic designers. That love for collaboration continues to fuel me. The bigger the team, the more excited I am about the project.
As I continued doing more food photography, I decided to build out a food studio of my own. We now have a 6,000 sq. ft. production studio that includes 1,500 sq. ft. if shooting space, a photo-ready set kitchen, and plenty of co-working space for clients and members of my team.
What started with me and a Pentax K1000 has now developed into a full-service production studio, Eleven Productions. With my staff of six, we can handle everything from pre-production to an in-house editing team. Our studio is also home to Winston, Alabama’s only Bolt Jr. Cinebot, which allows us to do motion control. While sometimes I wonder what it would be like to spend my days tending to crocodiles on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, mostly I marvel at where this winding path I’ve been on has taken me.
Owner / Photographer / Director
Senior Editor / Post Production Supervisor