He photographs some of the most beautiful (and most famous) women and men in the world.
Steve Shaw is the founder and creative director of Shaw & Co—a media company that's home to a number of publications (with one film media outlet on the way, Circus Magazine, launching later this year), but the company is, arguably, the most known for a modern gentleman's magazine that's developed somewhat of a cult following among civilians and celebs alike called Treats! Magazine.
In his very first issue was Jason Statham, and since then he's featured the likes of Emily Ratajkowski, Olivia Culpo, Scott Eastwood and so many others. Robin Thicke actually went from being on the magazine's cover to using the publication as a personal casting agency for his wildly popular hit, "Blurred Lines"—hence EmRata's involvement.
So clearly, Steve has some wisdom to share.
What was your first job?
I left school at 15 and started working in a photo studio that photographed mail order catalogs in Manchester. I was an assistant making tea for everybody, sweeping the floors and cleaning up. I did that for two and a half years, until I was 18, then I started my own business.
How did Treats come to be?
Having dealt with so many art directors...you do the shoot, they pick the worst pictures, then they make them smaller and retouch them badly (and on crap paper). So I said to some photographer friends, I'll give you 20 pages, full frame, big format and amazing paper, would you shoot with me for free? They said yes. Most photographers just wanted to shoot girls with no restrictions, no clothes basically. Treats is a fashion magazine just without a ton of fashion in it.
One of my closest friends from the UK was visiting me, went into my office one day when I wasn't there and saw all my boxes of film. He's looking at all the photographs and says, "you've shot so many treats." You should do a book with all these girls and call it Treats. That's how it got its name.
Who was the first celeb you ever shot for Treats?
Jason Statham—he was in the first issue. A mate of mine and I asked if he'd do it and he said yes, which was amazing. He didn't know what the magazine was going to look like. He said they were the best photographs he'd ever had. For a while, I was the only photographer he wanted to work with.
Who are your biggest celeb fans?
Jennifer Lawrence saw a copy and said she would be in it, and Robin Thicke was a big part of it—also a huge fan.
What's a typical day like for you?
Juggling production, photo shoots, lots of emails and, of course, casting beautiful models all day.
What's the best part about your career?
I get to work with some incredibly talented photographers from around the world. Ones whose work has inspired me.
What's the most daring career risk you've taken?
Selling my house to create the magazine.
Who are your career heroes?
Helmut Newton, Tom Ford, Mark Zuckerberg.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
My father told me to trust in my instinct & treat others how you would want to be treated (no pun intended).
If you could photograph anyone, who would it be?
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. She's the epitome of class, beauty, and intelligence. She's a woman who is dynamic and hysterically funny.
Finish the sentences below.
Today for lunch I had…a green juice.
The first website I log onto every day is…treatsmagazine.com!
The last thing I Googled was…Charles Saatchi.
coffee order is…English breakfast tea.
If I wasn't doing this job, I'd be…bored.
List five things on your desk right now…Manuka honey, bills, a NU Muse calendar, too many business cards and my laptop.
The book I'm reading is…Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite by Paul Arden.
Issue 12 of Treats! Magazine comes out July 13th, and will also be available on digital copy here with extra pages included.