Jim Stevens

Digital Photography

Photography Instructor
The Art Institute of Houston

Photography Faculty Member Jim Stevens

Be professional in your attitude and your effort. And start each day by choosing to be successful. Jim Stevens , Photography Instructor
, The Art Institute of Houston
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

When I was in photography school and I developed my first print in the darkroom, I knew I was in my element. I was ready to do whatever it took to be successful at it.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

I had a professional studio for over 18 years, and I still find time to shoot for clients. I share that experience through as many assignments as possible. I’m here to help students connect the dots from just taking pictures to starting a photography career. And I enjoy introducing students to working professionals so they can see what’s possible in the industry. Some of my grads have studios, and it’s great when they share with my current students how important it is to make the most of your time in school.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I make a sincere effort to reach as many students as I can. Once I make that connection, I can teach them anything—photography, business skills, life skills, anything.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

I find that when my students work with those from other departments, they do better work. For the last three years I’ve included Culinary students in my food photography class, and it’s taken the student experience to a much higher level. My students get a real-world sense of that it’s like to work with chefs and food stylists.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Be professional in your attitude and your effort. And start each day by choosing to be successful.