Bill Apton has been taking photographs most of his life, from the moment he got a free Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera as a reward for opening a bank account in his home town at age ten. Though he has moved far beyond that Brownie, Apton refers to his camera as his constant companion, one that has helped him pursue his passion throughout his life. As a result, he has amassed a very large body of work covering subjects from Americana to coastal California to nature, still lifes, portraits, and travel (both in the United States and around the world), which you can preview by visiting his Website at aptonphoto.com.
The curiosity that drives Apton is evident in many of his works, as is his devotion to capturing strong, vibrant images in a style that his wife, Holly Stiel, describes as “masterful: graphic, humorous and bold”. To achieve his own signature style, Apton studied great photographers—Stieglitz, Steichen, Lange, Turner, Cunningham—and their work, read all the magazines on photography he could get his hands on, studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned a B.S. in photography, and practiced the art of photography. When the west beckoned, Apton moved to San Francisco where he developed his own successful and demanding freelance photography business. Several San Francisco studios later, Apton says, he was “fortunate to build my dream studio in Gualala,” where he now lives and works.
Enter Apton’s world of images, where you can join him, his camera, and his keen and humorous vison on their travels to “ever changing places and cultures.” As Apton puts it, these images invoke those moments of joy, awe, and curiosity. They become the bridge between the present, and the past.” You can walk across this bridge and create some of your own memories by experiencing Apton’s work at the Studio Discovery Tour.