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From Steve 

As far back as I can remember I have had an interest in photographs.  Pouring over old family snap shots and photographs with their captions in books and periodicals was a way to make learning fun and efficient.  I also becagn to appreciate the fact that someone with a camera was there at most of the significant events since the medium was developed - the iconic photographs amidst war and peace and triumph and tragedy.

I was also fascinated with the "family" camera a Kodak Instamatic and curious about the process of making a "picture."  While I was the subject of some of the earliest photos, later I was the one snapping the photos and then rushing them to the drug store for developing.  

I began reading not only the captions of published photos but also the photographers name and thought that would be great to see my name under a photograph.  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 a ton of high school sports but also ACC and SEC  football and basketball,  NBA, NHL, MLB professional sports teams including the original Charlotte Hornets. - those assignments.allowed me to purchases additional equipment and build my portfolio.  Young and eager to take any assignment I could get, some of my best work was done for those papers where it is archived today.  Just like the early days waiting to get prints done at the drug store, I couldn't wait to purchase a paper with my work in it - usually the following morning.

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.  

While never a full-time working photographer, I feel priveledged to have witnessed some amazing events and to have met and gotten to know some real characters - and continue to do so.  Nowdays I enjoy documenting the area and people where I have lived all of my life - much of which is pretty mundane but I feel an important body of work.

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