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Steve Uzzell is one of the top advertising and corporate photographers in the world. His 30 years of experience began with National Geographic, where he served as an assistant to the editor and a member of their photographic staff. His work has garnered international acclaim and won numerous awards, including 10 from Communication Arts.

Steve has photographed two books, Maryland and The View from Sterling Bluff. His editorial work has been featured in over 50 publications, including Newsweek, Smithsonian, Time, and U.S. News. Currently, Steve spends six months out of every year traveling the world for clients like Honda, Weyerhaeuser, Yellow Freight, Boeing and France. The rest of the year he spends teaching and speaking.

Full Profile

    Passion, perspective and preparation: bringing all three to every assignment is Steve Uzzell′s goal. Steve Uzzell is one of the top advertising and corporate photographers in the country. He started in the photography business over 30 years ago as an assistant to the editor of National Geographic and a member of their photographic staff.

    Using his striking photographs as illustrations of his metaphor about possibility and creativity, Steve Uzzell inspires audiences to take advantage of his experience and vision to make any venture an adventure. In any project he undertakes, Steve Uzzell′s preparation lays the foundation for magic to happen; “Chance favors the prepared mind,” said Louis Pasteur. After all, our eyes will only ever see what our mind is prepared to comprehend.

    Steve Uzzell spends six months of the year traveling the world for his clients; the remainder teaching and delivering his presentation Open Roads Open Minds: An Exploration of Creative Problem Solving.

    Steve Uzzell travels the globe for clients such as Honda, Weyerhaeuser, Yellow Freight, Boeing and France and his work has garnered international acclaim and won numerous awards, including ten from Communication Arts. Along the way Steve Uzzell has photographed two books, Maryland and The View From Sterling Bluff and had editorial work published in over 50 publications including Newsweek, Smithsonian, Time, and U.S. News.


Steve Uzzell Speaker Videos Back to top

Keynote Speech


In this video, Steve discusses his unique approach to creative problem solving. He opens by joking that he is often asked questions by strangers whenever he is on an assignment. “I’ll have my tripod set up, I’ll be completely surrounded by photograph equipment, and a total stranger will walk right up to me and ask, ‘What are you doing?’” he says. “Human curiosity and our basic need to connect are much more powerful impulses than recognition of the obvious.”

He continues by saying that one time after he was asked this question, he decided to give an honest answer. When an elderly woman asked him what he was doing, he replied, “Actually, Ma’am, I’m solving problems.” In response, the woman scolded him, assuming he was lying. Steve explains, “in order to take photographs, you have to solve problems.” He goes on to discuss what taking photographs has taught him about creative problem solving.

Keynote Speech



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Steve brings passion, perspective and preparation to every speech. He lays the foundation for magic to happen by focusing his attention on each individual client. In his presentation, “Open Roads Open Minds: An Exploration of Creative Problem Solving,” Steve uses his striking photographs to illustrate his metaphor about possibility and creativity.

Through his experience and creative vision, Steve shows his audiences how to open their minds and unleash the power of imagination. He demonstrates how to put his perspective to work every day in problem solving, the creative process and in life. He inspires audiences to enjoy life’s journey and make any venture an adventure.

Open Roads Open Minds: An Exploration Of Creative Problem Solving
Using his own wonderful photographs as illustrations of his metaphor about possibility and creativity, Steve inspires audiences to take advantage of his experience and his astounding photographic portfolio to make any venture an adventure. Steve′s approach to his photographic work serves as a blueprint for us to clearly see that solutions are sometimes found in very unexpected places.

In any project he undertakes, Steve lays the foundation for magic to happen, turning his focused attention to each client individually. "Chance favors the prepared mind," said Louis Pasteur. Our eyes see only what our mind is prepared to comprehend.

As Steve stresses, the open road never fails to open your mind, and once your mind is open, the power of your imagination is released. This formidable power knows no bounds. Steve uses his mind-stretching photos to bring the open road alive and full of possibilities. Learn to put this perspective to work for you everyday - in problem solving, in the creative process, and in your life.

When the destination becomes the journey, the circle is complete, and you begin anew. Take a different way home and enjoy the ride.

Other Suggested Programs:

  • Preparation Lays the Groundwork for Magic to Happen
  • Make the Problem your Passion


Steve Uzzell Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    "Our crowd of 750 mostly middle-aged men would typically wait to be wowed by a keynote - sitting back in their chairs, arms crossed, territory marked, daring a speaker to impress them. In moments, our reps were open, eager (leaning forward!), smiling and taking notes in the dark. They were captivated by your pictures, alert to your words and responding to the way you were guiding them, considering how they could accomplish even more in their lives through preparation, asking the important questions and recognizing the moment when spontaneity collides with preparation. You made us each think we were finding something new on our own - not being "lectured" by the typical "motivational" speaker sourced for so many of these types of events. You and your message were the highlight of the conference!"
    Stacy Baehman
    Assistant Director, Marketing Communications
    Woodbury Financial

    "Thank you for the moving and inspirational presentation to our group. It could not have been more appropriate nor powerful-the images as well as the dialogue. I appreciate the thoughtfulness, care and passion which you bring to your craft. It shines through brightly."
    Merrill Lynch

    "In ISA′s 26 year history of conducting annual meetings, we have never had a 100% excellent rating until Steve Uzzell. Steve′s message, "preparation leads to magic," and his delivery were exceptional. His presentation exceeded our expectations and sent us on an open road to enjoy life."
    Pamela J. Schmidt
    Executive Director, ISA - The Association of Learning Providers

    Partial Client List:

    Achieve Global
    Addison Avenue
    Adobe
    Adventist Medical in Portland, OR
    Air Conditioning Contractors of America
    Alexander Key Investments
    Association of Youth Museums
    Avaya
    Avantha Group (Goa, India)
    Bank of Oklahoma Financial
    Beckman Coulter
    Buffalo Rheumatology
    Brisa (Lisbon, Portugal)
    Consumer Bankers Association
    Council for Resource Development
    Cybershift, Inc.
    Dallas County Workforce
    Dain Rauscher
    Disney Consumer Products
    Development Dimensions International
    Edwards & Kelcey
    Goodrich Corporation
    Hallmark Cards
    Health Care Administrators Assoc.
    Heating & Air Conditioning Institute of Canada
    Higher Education User′s Group
    HSBC Premier
    Iowa Hospital Association
    Jones County (MS) Junior College
    José de Mello Saúde (Lisbon, Portugal)
    Johnson & Wales University
    Jacksonville Acquisition Excellence Conf.
    JP Morgan Chase
    Kaiser Permanente
    Marriott Association Masters
    Marquette Financial / Pohlad Companies
    Marriott (5X)
    MDA Leadership
    Merck
    Merrill Lynch (5X)
    North Carolina Workforce Development
    Northern CA Human Resource Assoc.
    Northrop Grumman (3X)
    Ohio Council
    of Behavioral Healthcare Providers
    Ohio Assisted Living Association
    Ontario Real Estate Association
    Ontario Library Association
    Piedmont Plastics (2X)
    Poudre Valley Hospital
    Pratt Institute
    Quick and Reilly
    Radiology Business Mgmnt. Assoc.
    Red Wing Shoe Company
    Regulatory Affairs Professional Society
    Royal Alliance
    Society for Human Resource Management
    Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals
    Society of Incentive & Travel Executives
    SITE – China Chapter (Beijing)
    South Dakota Association of Healthcare Providers
    Southern New Hampshire University
    The Madow Group
    Training Industry, Inc.
    United States Probation Office (2X)
    University of Maryland
    University of Waterloo, Ontario
    Vassar College
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute
    Wachovia Bank
    Washington Bankers Association
    Wisconsin SHRM
    Wyoming Governor′s Summit
    Xplor International
    Young President′s Organization (2x)




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    "Our crowd of 750 mostly middle-aged men would typically wait to be wowed by a keynote - sitting back in their chairs, arms crossed, territory marked, daring a speaker to impress them. In moments, our reps were open, eager (leaning forward!), smiling and taking notes in the dark. They were captivated by your pictures, alert to your words and responding to the way you were guiding them, considering how they could accomplish even more in their lives through preparation, asking the important questions and recognizing the moment when spontaneity collides with preparation. You made us each think we were finding something new on our own - not being "lectured" by the typical "motivational" speaker sourced for so many of these types of events. You and your message were the highlight of the conference!"
    Stacy Baehman
    Assistant Director, Marketing Communications
    Woodbury Financial

    "Thank you for the moving and inspirational presentation to our group. It could not have been more appropriate nor powerful-the images as well as the dialogue. I appreciate the thoughtfulness, care and passion which you bring to your craft. It shines through brightly."
    Merrill Lynch

    "In ISA′s 26 year history of conducting annual meetings, we have never had a 100% excellent rating until Steve Uzzell. Steve′s message, "preparation leads to magic," and his delivery were exceptional. His presentation exceeded our expectations and sent us on an open road to enjoy life."
    Pamela J. Schmidt
    Executive Director, ISA - The Association of Learning Providers

    Partial Client List:

    Achieve Global
    Addison Avenue
    Adobe
    Adventist Medical in Portland, OR
    Air Conditioning Contractors of America
    Alexander Key Investments
    Association of Youth Museums
    Avaya
    Avantha Group (Goa, India)
    Bank of Oklahoma Financial
    Beckman Coulter
    Buffalo Rheumatology
    Brisa (Lisbon, Portugal)
    Consumer Bankers Association
    Council for Resource Development
    Cybershift, Inc.
    Dallas County Workforce
    Dain Rauscher
    Disney Consumer Products
    Development Dimensions International
    Edwards & Kelcey
    Goodrich Corporation
    Hallmark Cards
    Health Care Administrators Assoc.
    Heating & Air Conditioning Institute of Canada
    Higher Education User′s Group
    HSBC Premier
    Iowa Hospital Association
    Jones County (MS) Junior College
    José de Mello Saúde (Lisbon, Portugal)
    Johnson & Wales University
    Jacksonville Acquisition Excellence Conf.
    JP Morgan Chase
    Kaiser Permanente
    Marriott Association Masters
    Marquette Financial / Pohlad Companies
    Marriott (5X)
    MDA Leadership
    Merck
    Merrill Lynch (5X)
    North Carolina Workforce Development
    Northern CA Human Resource Assoc.
    Northrop Grumman (3X)
    Ohio Council
    of Behavioral Healthcare Providers
    Ohio Assisted Living Association
    Ontario Real Estate Association
    Ontario Library Association
    Piedmont Plastics (2X)
    Poudre Valley Hospital
    Pratt Institute
    Quick and Reilly
    Radiology Business Mgmnt. Assoc.
    Red Wing Shoe Company
    Regulatory Affairs Professional Society
    Royal Alliance
    Society for Human Resource Management
    Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals
    Society of Incentive & Travel Executives
    SITE – China Chapter (Beijing)
    South Dakota Association of Healthcare Providers
    Southern New Hampshire University
    The Madow Group
    Training Industry, Inc.
    United States Probation Office (2X)
    University of Maryland
    University of Waterloo, Ontario
    Vassar College
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute
    Wachovia Bank
    Washington Bankers Association
    Wisconsin SHRM
    Wyoming Governor′s Summit
    Xplor International
    Young President′s Organization (2x)


Open Roads Open Minds: An Exploration Of Creative Problem Solving
Using his own wonderful photographs as illustrations of his metaphor about possibility and creativity, Steve inspires audiences to take advantage of his experience and his astounding photographic portfolio to make any venture an adventure. Steve′s approach to his photographic work serves as a blueprint for us to clearly see that solutions are sometimes found in very unexpected places.

In any project he undertakes, Steve lays the foundation for magic to happen, turning his focused attention to each client individually. "Chance favors the prepared mind," said Louis Pasteur. Our eyes see only what our mind is prepared to comprehend.

As Steve stresses, the open road never fails to open your mind, and once your mind is open, the power of your imagination is released. This formidable power knows no bounds. Steve uses his mind-stretching photos to bring the open road alive and full of possibilities. Learn to put this perspective to work for you everyday - in problem solving, in the creative process, and in your life.

When the destination becomes the journey, the circle is complete, and you begin anew. Take a different way home and enjoy the ride.

Other Suggested Programs:

  • Preparation Lays the Groundwork for Magic to Happen
  • Make the Problem your Passion


Keynote Speech


In this video, Steve discusses his unique approach to creative problem solving. He opens by joking that he is often asked questions by strangers whenever he is on an assignment. “I’ll have my tripod set up, I’ll be completely surrounded by photograph equipment, and a total stranger will walk right up to me and ask, ‘What are you doing?’” he says. “Human curiosity and our basic need to connect are much more powerful impulses than recognition of the obvious.”

He continues by saying that one time after he was asked this question, he decided to give an honest answer. When an elderly woman asked him what he was doing, he replied, “Actually, Ma’am, I’m solving problems.” In response, the woman scolded him, assuming he was lying. Steve explains, “in order to take photographs, you have to solve problems.” He goes on to discuss what taking photographs has taught him about creative problem solving.

Keynote Speech