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Fraser: Photographer’s lens reflects changing perspective

Steve Pisano says he still doesn’t know what he wants to be when grows up, but he’s got a good idea.

The avid photographer has always been a person who can do a lot of things, but it’s his most recent ventures that is really starting to flourish and he is ready to give back in the spirit of those who have helped him get to where he is today.

Born in Sana Monica, Calif., Pisano grew up in Florida where he graduated high school. But his schooling didn’t stop there. He attended Ravencrest Bible School in Estes Park and just finished a certificate of achievement at Red Rocks Community College in Web and graphic design.



After Bible school, he came to work at Timberline Lodge in Fraser; he also worked at Ski Broker and for the National Sports Center for the Disabled (where he’s also been a volunteer since 2003). It’s been almost a dozen years since moving to Grand County, and Pisano said it is the community and friends here that help him call Fraser home.

Many of the people, as well as the area landscape, are the subjects of Pisano’s photographs, a hobby he has been perfecting since someone handed him his first camera while working with a youth group at his church. He especially likes capturing emotion on film ” usually close-up candid head shots.



“There is so much to be photographed in this area and most people come here on vacation and want to take it home,” he said about the photography opportunities in Grand County. “I get to be here and wait for the perfect shot, even if it takes a month or a year (to get the perfect sunset for example).”

A downhill mountain bike accident in 2003 shattered his spine and on his road to recovery, the state Department of Human Services paid for the conversion of his van and full tuition to RRCC for the half dozen classes he’s taken in the past four years.

He’s been studying there since 2004, taking one class a semester, and said it was his first counselor (Jennifer Scilacci) at the Department of Human Services (vocational rehab and now area director) that first encouraged him to further his computer and artistic skills.

With another semester under his hat, his most recent efforts have been gearing toward an emphasis on humanitarian photography and sharing some of the obstacles he encounters as a photographer in a wheelchair. With movement and timing as key challenges in a wheelchair and in photography itself, Pisano shoots some jobs with help.

Good friend David Lady is a partner with Pisano in their company Grand Images (which started in 2007). Another local photographer, Art Ferrari, has also helped him out from time to time.

“Steve is great at catching people’s emotions with his photos,” Lady said. “He is able to critique the lighting and composure with a great amount of detail.”

He describes his dream job serving non-profit organizations with his abilities, and with some help from the DHS Pisano has been going through the process of establishing his own business. He says he’s really thankful for all the opportunity they’ve given him.

They “not only paid for (college) but made sure that I had everything that I needed to make that happen, from tuition, books, wheelchair, gas, adaptable vehicle, and encouragement to make it happen,” he said. With all the support he has received during this transitional period, Pisano hopes in turn to use his new-honed skills to also be an inspiration to others as well.


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