Chad Stevens enrolled in a photography class during high school. When he witnessed the magic of developing his first black and white photo in a small red lighted darkroom he was irrevocably hooked on photography! His instructor noticed his excitement and intuitive skills and invited him to be the teacher's aide.
One of Chad's high school photo projects involved working with a missionary who ministered to migrant farm worker's children. Chad's picture of these children earned him first place in the photojournalism division of his city's photo contest.
An elementary school principal invited him to create photography classes for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Chad was hired to set up a darkroom in their library supply room and teach the students basic techniques in photographic art.
Soon, friends from his church wanted him to take their children's portraits. At first he did it for free, but when so many people began coming to him, he could no longer afford the paper and chemistry necessary to produce their portraits. So, in 1975, at the age of 18, he began charging for his services when he opened his first studio.
A world renown children's portrait photographer noticed his work and invited him to be his apprentice, and it was this training that launched his career in portrait photography. Chad spent every spare moment experimenting with the quality of light and producing the highest quality of portraiture. An older retouching artist took a shining to him and began teaching him the finer elements of classic portrait retouching so he could add the finishing touches to his work.
Chad Stevens is a believer in Jesus Christ, and he credits the Lord with directing his life and passion for people and photography. In college he earned degrees in Early Childhood Education and Psychology and minored in photography.
In 1984, he began studying the world famous character photographer Yusuf Karsh who not only took the utmost care with lighting but passionately portrayed the character and emotions of his subjects. This now became the guiding light of Chad's portraiture. He not only wanted to make beautiful portraits for his clients, but he wanted to capture and portray their personalities.
From 1992 through 1995, he lived on San Juan Island in Washington State. He opened a new studio in Friday Harbor and became an instructor at Skagit Valley Jr. College.
Twenty years after opening his first studio, he moved to Northern Idaho and ran his business in Hauser Lake and Wallace. Today he has joined his photography studio with his wife's Music Academy at the Northwest Music Center where he creates Timeless Character Portraits of his clients and Impressionistic Fine Art Decor for homes and businesses.
Chad loves teaching others about photography. He teaches adult and children's classes in photography and Photoshop. He also judges photo contestants at the Koothenai County Fair and other local contests.