Rich Clarkson

Rich Clarkson

Workshop Founder

Rich started the Summit Workshops over 30 years ago due to the importance of networking and education in photography.
Rich is the former Director of Photography at the National Geographic, Topeka Capital Journal, and Denver Post. He was also a longtime contract photographer for Sports Illustrated and a legend in Sports Photography. Rich was one of the 50 most influential individuals in American photography by American Photo magazine and many other great awards:
2007: Selected for inclusion in the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
2007: Recipient of the William Allen White Medal by his alma mater, University of Kansas
Recipient of an Honorary Master of Science degree in professional photography from the Brooks Institute of Photography
2011: Lucie award honoree in Achievement in Sports
2015: Recipient of Basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Award
2015: Inductee into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame

Chris Steppig

Owner / Director

Chris is the owner and director of Summit Workshops. He is in charge of all workshop operations, scheduling, logistics, faculty, social media, marketing and sponsorship. Chris has a passion for conservation, travel, and education and the workshops are a dream platform to help others reach new heights as not only photographers but as people.
Chris is also an affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers. The iLCP is a U.S. based non-profit whose mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through ethical photography. This affiliation provides a tremendous opportunity to help deliver great content and also be an advisor on matters large and small.

Sara Stein

Social Media

Sara is a conservation photographer from Orange County, California who splits her time between working in marketing and documenting the urban nature of Southern California. She started her Summit journey as a student at our 2017 Nature Workshop in Jackson, WY and now manages our online marketing. Her work has been published in Outdoor Photographer and When she's not out taking pictures or stuck in Los Angeles traffic, she can be found playing her favorites video games.


Julio Aguilar

Workshop Staff

Hailing from the Tampa Bay area, Julio has worked in nearly every position on the production side of photography for over a decade. Ranging from ad-campaigns to event photography, Julio primarily works as a photographer specializing in light, focused on architectural, aerial, sport-action, and portrait photography.
In the education world, Julio is a part of the Summit Workshop Team at a variety of workshops including Lighting, Sports, Adventure, and Nature. Julio has assisted Dave Black in both commercial and educational work for over four years and is on the production staff at Photoshop World Conference.
Julio is a Part 107 Commercial UAS Pilot License holder and a member of the Professional Photographers of America including TAPPA.

Joe Lavine

Online Curriculum Coordinator

Joe is a photographer, educator, and author. As a commercial photographer, Joe has spent thirty years focusing on the details, which involved frequent experimentation and problem-solving, and have made him an expert in understanding his subjects, digital imaging, and creative lighting techniques.

Joe has taught lighting and digital imaging at multiple universities and during his time as the Manager of Educational Services at Profoto traveled across the US giving lectures on lighting and the world of professional photography. Along with working at universities, Joe has been involved with organizing and teaching workshops for over a decade. He is the author of multiple books on photography, including the 2019 release of Lighting for Photographers, An Introductory Guide to Professional Photography. Whether through teaching or writing, Joe's goal is to provide people the tools to achieve their goals in photography.

Matt Stirn

Program Manager

Matt is a photographer and archaeologist from Jackson, Wyoming. The majority of his work focuses on travel, nature, and cultural and environmental conservation. He is a National Fellow for the Explorer's Club and has worked as a senior photographer and on assignment for archaeological and conservation projects on four continents. Matt's work has been published in National Geographic Adventure, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Wild Planet Photo Magazine, Archaeology Magazine, and Photographers Without Borders Magazine. When not on assignment or digging in an excavation, Matt can be found sampling strange food or sipping artisanal beverages while planning the next grand adventure.