About Stephen Elliot

I make a living taking pictures. I come alive making films.

Speaking [of] Opportunity

So this is cool: I have been invited to speak to a group of filmmakers, writers, actors, and otherwise creative people in DC. I’m approaching it kind of like Show and Tell in which I’ll be sharing my recent work along with lessons learned and a bit of my personal story as well. I’m quite excited about it!

…and if I’m being honest I’m extremely nervous about it.

It’s not so much the public speaking that scares me, but rather the fact that I have no answers to the questions that keep flooding my head: What can these people actually learn from me? Do I have anything worthwhile or interesting to say? Is it even going to be relevant? etc. All the while suppressing feelings of inadequacy and impostor syndrome…


I will be sharing an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at my trip to South Africa as well as other recent projects. My goal is to share what I’ve learned from a decade of freelancing, and my hope is to inspire others to make good art.

We would love to see you there! You can find details below:

November 2nd from 2:00 – 4:30 PM at Convergence (1819 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA)

Networking 2:00-2:30 – Presentations 2:30-4:00

No cost to get in. Free high fives for all attendees!

Day Nine: Johannesburg to London

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.comIn the same way this journey began I find myself once again on a flight somewhere over Africa. What was once anticipation and curiosity is now a collection of memories, photographs, and scribbles in my Moleskine. Acquaintances are now friends, and my bucket list is evidence of the adventures I found in South Africa. It’s quite bittersweet to see this chapter come to a close, and honestly I don’t feel like I’ve spent enough time processing it yet. Continue reading

Day Eight: Johannesburg

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com

Today felt more like work than a new experience. I’m not sure if that means I’ve become accustomed to the environment or what. In any case, we had another four shoots today, and all of them went well. …or maybe I should say, we got good pictures of all four ladies we shot. Continue reading

Day Seven: Johannesburg

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.comPerspective. The word for the day is perspective. Continue reading

Day Six: Durban to Johannesburg

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com

Pretty much any time your day begins at 4:30 AM you’re already waking up with a deficit in quality of life. Somewhere between the lack of sleep, minimal creative contribution, and an absence of normalcy I started to come undone today. Continue reading

Day Five: Durban

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com

Over 19 hours ago my alarm signaled the start of our day. None of us just how how busy the day would be, but now that it’s over it’s hard to believe everything that happened, much less that it all went so smoothly. Continue reading

Day Four: Cape Town to Durban

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.comI’m a big believer in the Sabbath. Even when it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day I do my best to take a day of rest. Though I had no involvement in planning my schedule for this trip, today was naturally a day off because most businesses in Cape Town are closed on Sunday. There were no stories to capture or places we had to be, so instead the Schroy’s (my hosts) planned a fun day for us all in wine country.

Continue reading

Day Three, Cape Town

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com

Before I agreed to come on this trip I made a list of a few adventurous things I wanted to do if time permitted. At the top of that list was “Swim with sharks.” Continue reading

Cape Town, Day Two

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com

Boy did I ever get a taste of the diversity of this place! We started the morning with another visit to the slums to collect some location and landscape photos. Sunrise was a little splotchy, but I feel like we got some decent shots. I was particularly struck by the uniformed kids walking to school in this setting every day. Continue reading

Cape Town Day One

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.comThe phrase “baptism by fire” comes to mind after my first full day here. The good news is that I haven’t felt particularly jet lagged. Sure I was tired when the alarm went off at 7 AM, but those two conditions are not mutually exclusive. Continue reading