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Stephen Ippolito - The Intensity of Unexpected and Well Planned

Updated: Jan 13

This article appeared in the January Issue of Up and Away Magazine It is reprinted here with permission. Click here to see the original version: Up and Away.

You feel Stephen Ippolito’s intensity the minute you meet him.  That intensity shines in his photography. As you talk with him about his work, the conversation takes you down an analytical and detail oriented path.  He has a self proclaimed balanced brain, equals parts left and right brain. That duality shows in the way he lives his life. By day the analytical left brain works as an accountant. In his leisure time, his creative right brain pursues landscape and drone photography. This balance produces rich, detailed and unexpected images.

Stephen first picked up a camera in 2014, using it to preserve the memories of his son playing soccer. His creative eye was quickly recognized as he won the “Outstanding Youth Soccer Photography Award” from the Florida Youth Soccer Association in 2017.

When his children headed off to college, he began to experiment with landscape photography, specifically time lapse and night photography. After a trip to Joshua Tree National Park to photograph the Milky Way, Stephen was hooked. Wherever there is a lack of ambient light, you will find him photographing the stars.

He purchased his first drone in 2021, inspired by the drone footage of whales off the Juno Beach Pier on Instagram. He reached out to the photographer for some tips and started his journey into drone photography. Whether it is time lapse or drone photography, clearly Stephen likes to photograph things that can not be seen without the assistance of technology.

It is also clear that he likes working at both ends of the photography spectrum. He embraces the visualization and planning of landscape photography, especially night photography. Stephen also embraces the spontaneity and unexpectedness of drone photography, particularly the sea creatures that inhabit the Florida waters. The details and specificity of still photography feeds his left brain. The unplanned nature of drone photography feeds his right brain.

Protecting Florida’s fragile ecosystems and giving back to the community are important to Stephen. Photographs that he donates to charity auctions are frequently the highest money maker of the event. He is careful not to geotag his drone footage or disturb that sea life in their natural environment.

When starting out in drone photography, Stephen was nervous about crashing the drone into the water. As his experience grew and his  agility grew, his work became bolder. Purchasing insurance for his drone helped him to take more risks with it. He learned the captivating power of nature. You feel his reverence for the natural world in both his drone and still photography.

When shooting drone photography, he is inspired by the unknown of what you may or may not see. Still photography is more of a creative outlet for Stephen, especially the visualization and planning that goes into night photography. The other outlet for his creativity is the processing of both still and drone imagery. He shoots in RAW or D-LOG and processes in Adobe Premiere and Lightroom. This gives him the maximum opportunity for creative and detail work, feeding both sides of his brain.

To see more and purchase of Stephen Ippolito’s work visit at

Essential Online Links For Booking Your Trip to Southeast Florida


 There are 3 airports that service Southeast Florida, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach: Uber and Taxis are available. Tri Rail and Brightline trains service Fort Lauderdale and Miami Airports. Private and Multiple Passenger Transfers are available from all three airports: ☆Transportation Service Miami Hotel - Miami International Airport

Advanced Tickets for the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi.   

Save on entry fees: If you plan on visiting multiple museums or attractions, it is more economical to purchase a Miami Sightseeing Pass to save money, you can buy this pass for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days.

 Top-rated Southeast Florida Tours and Experiences:

Seven Isles of Fort Lauderdale Kayak Tour (one of my favorite Southeast Florida experience)

Downtown West Palm Beach Food Tour (great for foodies)

Wynwood Graffiti Golf Cart Small-Group Tour (perfect for art lovers)

Top Places to Stay in Southeast Florida: 

1 Hotel South Beach (Luxury, Miami)

Yotel (Budget Friendly, Miami)

Hollywood Beachside Boutique  (Budget Friendly, Fort Lauderdale)

The Pillars Hotel (Luxury, Fort Lauderdale)

The White Elephant (Luxury, Palm Beach)

The Canopy (Budget Friendly, West Palm Beach)

Crane's Beach House Boutique Hotel & Luxury Villas (Amazing Tropical Vibe, Delray Beach)

My favorite Guidebook for Florida: DK Eyewitness Florida   

My favorite Novel about Southeast Florida: The Last Train to Key West  


Looking for more information on visiting Southeast Florida, check out these Blog Posts:

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