Maker Monday: Photographer Stephen Karlisch

Some people float through life unsure of their passions, waiting until they fall into a career path or lucky success. That is not that case with Stephen Karlisch. As the son of a Naval officer based in Brussels, Naples, and various European locales, Karlisch was inspired since early childhood to be part of the design industry. Enamored with Italy’s castles and the European gothic that surrounded him and his family, he put pencil to paper, and began his journey of becoming an architect. It was behind the lens, though, that Karlisch discovered his purest passion; photography. A long way from Europe, Karlisch has now established himself in Dallas, but brings his gift for portraiture and interior photography to New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Rome. His stunning ability to capture design at its most striking has made him a valuable and in-demand figure in design and portraiture. His eye for angles and atmosphere has brought hundreds of spaces to life in elite magazines, brand materials, books, and catalogs. Take a look at some of Stephen’s favorite projects in our exclusive Q&A!While his fascination with design blossomed from the architecture of old, Karlisch’s recent commissions have ushered his talents into the modern sector. This oaky, uncomplicated home makes for a breathtaking magazine shot.


Andrew Joseph – Dream country to work in? Or a dream project to take on.
Stephen Karlisch – Belgium. I lived in Brussels as a teenager, but as an adult, I’d love to experience working in that culture again. Collaborating with a talented Belgian designer like Vincent Van Duysen on a project of any scope would be a dream.

Andrew – Must have clothing item everyone should have?
Stephen – If you know me you would laugh, cause it’s true, but I would have to say a long-sleeved white linen shirt. You can find me in one about 90% of the year.

Andrew – What’s your favorite board game?
Stephen – Backgammon.

Andrew – Your least favorite color?
Stephen – Red. I own nothing red. Nope. Sure, red isn’t Stephen’s favorite color to wear, but this extravagant office space highlighted with blood orange and cherry is proof of his ability to capture the brightest of colors.


Andrew – Who is a contemporary inspiration in your field?
Stephen – Over the past couple of weeks I’ve fallen for snooping on Stephen Kent Johnson. He just gets it.

Andrew – You are stuck on an island, you can pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it, what would you eat?
Stephen – A fresh baguette.

Andrew – A skill you’re working on mastering?
Stephen – Putting my phone down. With a knowledge of both interiors and portraits, Karlisch’s works are not traditional headshots, but rather vignettes of his subjects’ personalities, lifestyles, and tastes.


About Stephen Karlisch | Published in Architectural Digest, Veranda, Elle Decor, House Beautiful to name a few, Stephen has consistently helped designers pitch stories to get published in local, regional and national publications for over 15 years. He has shot for hundreds of magazines, books, and portfolios.

As a former architecture student, Stephen learned how to see space in an orderly way. That education has been invaluable in his pursuit of photographing interiors.

Stephen grew up traveling the world as the son of a Navy pilot, living in Asia, Italy, and spending his formative years in Brussels, Belgium. Studying architecture and then photography grounded him in the visual arts world, naturally progressing to focusing on interiors. Now he works with the top interior designers throughout the US to help elevate their brand assets for coffee table books, editorial features, and visual archives.


About Andrew Joseph | Andrew Joseph’s passion for design and rich journalistic history led to the launch of his boutique PR firm in 2012. Prior to enjoying the successes of Andrew Joseph PR, Andrew honed his editorial skills at Vanity Fair and Allure. This experience, as well as the strong network of contacts developed over the years in public relations, brings a valuable edge to his new role as contributing editor. Let the musing begin.

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.