Stephen Churchill Downes is a New York City-based photographer-filmmaker who hails from upstate New York. After having begun in fashion/beauty, Stephen eventually shifted his emphasis toward working with non-fashion models and real people, thus broadening his clientele to include advertising work for companies like HSBC Bank, Merck and the UK Government as well as multiple CD packaging projects. He has also proudly shot cover stories over many years for the non-profit HIV/AIDS magazine A&U, a relationship that continues to this day.
Several years ago Stephen brought his love for image-making to video, resulting in wonderful film projects for various remarkable clients. One of the most personally meaningful to him, which covered the heart-breaking roundup and slaughter of 50,000+ wild horses by our government on our U.S. public lands, was shot in and around Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota at the height of the DAPL pipeline protests in late 2016. Total immersion into Native Indian culture during this shoot was wholly life-changing for Stephen because it led him to understand an utterly new perspective on living genuinely in conjunction with Nature.
Stephen recently completed an intimate short film about the sculptor Will Kurtz that is currently under consideration by many prominent film festivals. He has also directed, shot and edited several music videos.
Stephen strives to reflect his subjects' authenticity without digital manipulation or gimmickry. For him, real emotion and honest storytelling are best done simply. It is this principle - seeking people's core humanness - that guides him throughout his work.