STEVEN WOHLWENDER is a photographer and director based in Half Moon Bay, California. For over 25 years he's been serving some of the most respected brands in the world. With the support of his world class team, his creations have been recognized for their excellence by the most prestigious photography and design organizations, and publications in the world.
The SHORT STORY
I was made in Kentucky, distilled in Chicago, and now being aged in Northern California.
The LONG STORY
Steve has over 25 years experience as an advertising Creative Director, Commercial Artist, and Photographer. After graduating salutatorian from Central Academy of Commercial Art (Cincinnati) his early career was spent in Chicago as an Art Director and Creative Director at international advertising agencies; J. Walter Thompson, Campbell Mithun, and FCB, where he created global branding for some of the most prestigious brands in the world. Highlights include; creation of multiple, national TV ad campaigns for Coors Brewing Company and Gatorade, featuring star athletes including Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the creation of an international anthem TV ad campaign for client, John Deer Corporation, a production which took him to ten different countries.
Steve's final ad agency was Leo Burnett. As Creative Director on the accounts Phillip Morris International and Marlboro, Steve created and oversaw film and photography productions for the 'Marlboro Man' ad campaign, and was lead Creative Director for the Indycar team, Marlboro/Team Penske, where he worked directly with owner, Roger Penske, and drivers, (Indianapolis 500 winners), Helio Castreneves and Sam Hornish Junior. These successes lead Steve to start his own production company, Bluegrass Film, in the San Francisco Bay area, highlighted by productions for Special Olympics, produced in Dublin, Ireland, and a short film on NGO, Mwangaza, where he worked side by side with organization Director, Paula Gremley in East Africa.
Steven currently owns a studio in Half Moon Bay, California, where he serves clients; Nike, McDonald's, Verizon, Cargill, General Electric, CLIF Bar, Steelcase, BMW, Royal Bank Of Canada, and more. His work for these brands have earned him awards and honors from publications including; Communication Arts, Adweek, Advertising Age, and National Geographic. He was listed by Austria’s Luerzers Archive, as “One Of The 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide”, and the work he created in Kabul and Kandahar, Afghanistan for women's rights NGO, Afghan Friends Network, was honored by the San Jose Woman's Group. It also prompted Khaled Hosseini (author, The Kite Runner), to write an introduction to Steve's upcoming photography book on Afghanistan.
Steve lives in San Mateo, California with his wife and two daughters.