Steve Dawson Biography
Steve Dawson has been an accomplished professional photographer for over 30 years. The youngest person to be awarded the Professional Photographer of America Master of Photography Degree, he managed Dunlap & Turney -- the largest portrait photography studio on the West Coast -- from 1977 to 1986. Since that time, he has owned and operated Dawson & Associates Photography, a highly regarded photographic studio in Southern California devoted primarily to portrait photography. For many years Dawson was a Seminar Instructor for the Professional Photographers of America -- and he is a four-time winner of the prestigious Aurora Award for Professional Photography. He has also won many other state and national photographic awards.
Portrait and Event Photography
In his career as a portrait photographer, Dawson has photographed many celebrities, including Elizabeth Taylor, Harry Belafonte, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Logins, Johnny Mathis, Kristin Chenoweth, Frankie Valli, and Natalie Cole. Well known for his discretion and professionalism, he always respects the privacy and confidentiality of his high-profile clients. Dawson has also photographed the full spectrum of people, from Fortune 500 Company CEOs to portraits of individual families. He approaches each assignment with a unique eye. It is his profound understanding of human nature that allows him to play to a person’s strengths, to provide a relaxing environment for his subjects, and to quickly adapt to fluid conditions. The result is exceptional images for his clients. In addition, Dawson has led teams of photographers in photographing hundreds of large events, many with over a thousand people. His organizational and leadership skills ensure that all of his assignments, however complex, result in one-of-a-kind images for his clients. In the late 1990s, Dawson was also instrumental in helping Photic Color Labs -- the largest portrait color lab on the West Coast -- to make the transition from film to digital photography, both in output and retouching.
Dawson has photographed projects for such clients as Louis Vuitton, Humana, Bloomingdales, Saks, Cadillac, Fresh, The Auto Club, IBM, Honeywell, Hughes Aircraft, Schneider Electric, AvFuel and Chanel. He has also photographed the Los Angeles Marathon for Fuji Color, and has been part of the PSAV Presentation Services team, photographing events for them in such places as Washington DC, San Francisco, San Diego and Laguna Niguel. For many years he has photographed for Rolex the displays at the Laguna Seca Raceway – and for the past 20 years he has produced publicity photographs for the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, which includes the ABT, the Bolshoi and the Kirvo Ballet Companies. In addition, he has photographed operas and performances by such notables as Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.
Steve Dawson’s motorsports photography is his passion. He has photographed Formula One, CART, ISMA, Indy Car, World Sports Car, American Le Mans and Goodwood Revival. His images have appeared in Road & Track, Classics and Sports Cars, Vintage Motorsport, Excellence, and Ferrari Album. You can see his photography in the recently released Philip Porter book “Ultimate E Type – The Competition Cars”. His photographs are part of the private collections of Dan Gurney, Piero Ferrari, The Colliers Museum, Bruce McCaw, Brian Redman, and many more. For over 32 years Dawson had photographed the Monterey Historic Automobile races. Since 1980, he has photographed for the Long Beach Grand Prix. He has also provided images of the restoration process for the world famous auto restores, Hill & Vaughn. This led to an almost 30 year friendship with Phil Hill, the only American-born driver to win the Formula One World’s Championship for Ferrari. Dawson then produced three separate exhibitions of color photographs taken by Hill during his long racing career. They were on display at the Monterey Historic Races, and at the Ferrari Club of America’s annual meet. He spent four years recording interviews with Hill about his world-renowned racing career and extraordinary color racing photographs. This project was the basis for the Phil Hill book "Inside Track".