Stephen Wilkes is an American photographer born in 1957. He started photography at the age of 12. Then, he studied at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where he graduated with a bachelor of science in photography.
He is known foremost for his series of abandoned structures such as at Ellis Island and the former Bethlehem Steel factory both which he has captured as a lost world caught in a sort of visual amber. The Wilkes photographic essay on Ellis Island “Ellis Island Ghosts” helped to raise six million dollars from the United States Congress for the preservation of the structures on the south side of the island, including the former hospital for infectious diseases. His fine art and photo-journalism have been featured in such publications as Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, and The New York Times Magazine.