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About Steve Leake

My interest in photography began when I was very young.  Being more of a visual learner, looking at photographs and reading their captions in periodicals became useful as a way to get the jest of things quickly.  The book "Shooter" by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer David Hume Kennerly chronicling photographers documenting the Vietnam War convinced me to purchase my own camera, a Nikon FM and a couple of lenses.  

As many others have done, I began shooting high school sports and submitting b & w prints from my make-shift darkroom to a local weekly and then to a daily paper.  Later, the daily gave me the opportunity to "string" for them - photographing ACC and SEC  football and basketball,  NBA, NHL, MLB professional sports teams including the now defunct Charlotte Hornets. - those assignments.allowed me to purchases additional equipment and build my portfolio.  

From there I went about documenting things going on around the Southeast and some of my travels including canoe trips into Canada,  business trips up and down the East Coast with my father Buddy Leake and trips to the Pacific Northwest.

My interest in cars and racing also developed at an early age and mergered with my interest in photography.  While working as a crew member for NASCAR driver Buddy Arrington, the late T. Taylor Warren, a prominent and well-respected photographer for NASCAR became a mentor encouraging me to always have a camera around and to bring them to the races.  

Several years ago, family ties with the Roberts family of Daytona Beach, FL. lead me back into racing when Pam Roberts daughter of racing legend Edward Glenn “Fireball’ Roberts invited me to come to Daytona and attend several events leading up to the 2009 running of the Daytona 500 with her.  It was like attending a reunion of many of the racing greats from another era -  I enjoyed documenting this trip and consider it one of the highlights of my life.  I returned to Florida in the spring to lend “moral” support to Pam who was finishing a book about her famous father.  It was a productive trip.  However, within a few days of leaving Florida and returning home I received word that Pam had passed away while sitting on the front steps of her home. Her book has yet to be published.

A special ongoing project of mine has been documenting the talented Hudson Family Band of York, SC. They are well known around the Piedmont for their classic country, bluegrass and other genres played in venues in the area. Their talent is inspiring, uplifting and amazes me to no end.

While never a full-time working photographer, I feel priveledged to have particiated in some amazing events and to have met and gotten to know some real characters - and continue to do so.  

I am blessed to have two wonderful young adult children.  My daughter Lesley and son Steven, Jr also contribute photos to this site.