Stephen Wilkes

Since opening his studio in New York City in 1983, photographer Stephen Wilkes has built an unprecedented body of work and a reputation as one of America’s most innovative photographers, widely recognized for his fine art, editorial, and commercial work. 

Day to Night, Wilkes’ most defining project, began in 2009. These epic cityscapes and landscapes, portrayed from a fixed camera, taking over 1000 pictures over an extended time (up to 30 hours), capture fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of his lens over the course of a full day. Blending these images into a single photograph takes months to complete. Wilkes challenges the idea that a picture is merely a shutter click and allows a photograph to be a full day in the life of a location. His work expands photography’s general idea of time and space.

Day to Night has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning as well as dozens of other prominent media outlets and, with a grant from the National Geographic Society, was recently extended to include America’s National Parks in celebration of their centennial anniversary and Bird Migration for the 2018 Year of the Bird. Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes was exhibited at the National Geographic Museum in February 2018.

Wilkes’s photographs are included in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, Dow Jones Collection, Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, Jewish Museum of NY, Snite Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Museum of the City of New York, 9/11 Memorial Museum and numerous private collections. His editorial work has appeared in and on the covers of leading publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Time, Fortune, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, and many others. 

Wilkes’ early career interpretations of Mainland China, California’s Highway One, and impressionistic “Burned Objects” set the tone for a series of career-defining projects that catapulted him to the top of the photographic landscape. 

 Wilkes’ extensive awards and honors include the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography, Photographer of the Year from Adweek Magazine, Fine Art Photographer of the Year 2004 Lucie Award, TIME Magazine Top 10 Photographs of 2012, Sony World Photography Professional Award 2012, Adobe Breakthrough Photography Award 2012 and Prix Pictet, Consumption 2014. His board affiliations include the Advisory Board of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications. Save Ellis Island Board of Directors, on which he served for five years, and the Goldring Arts Journalism Board. Stephen Wilkes is a uniquely creative artist in contemporary photography. By utilizing the digital resources available today, he has developed a process that has expanded photography’s preconceived notions of a fourth dimension of time and space.


  The National Geographic Museum, DC, US 

  Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, US

  Library of Congress, Washington, DC, U

Photography & Works