Steve Lama began his photography career in college after having taken a basic photo class. During that same time, he was an assistant at a local commercial photography studio. He graduated from UTEP with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Journalism/Advertising, before moving to Santa Barbara, California where he attended Brooks Institute of Photography, finishing with a master's (MS) degree in photography.
His first major project was to spearhead the photo department with Admar Advertising, an in-house advertising agency for his family's business. Within a year, the company was sold, and he moved his photography business to its own location.
Since that time he continued to shoot commercial photography concentrating primarily on assignment work. His teaching career began at El Paso Community College and later included teaching at UTEP since 1998. His classes of instruction include Basic Photography, Intermediate Photography, People Photography, Introduction to Video Production, Principles of Advertising, Graphics for Print Production, Ad Design and Layout, Introduction to Film, Mass Media and Society and numerous photo workshops and seminars in West Texas and Southern New Mexico.
In 1996 he was the first independent commercial photographer in El Paso to add high-end digital to his studio services. During the summers of 2004 and 2005 he spent 6 months working for Kodak in Yellowstone as one of many Digital Ambassadors throughout the National Park system. After closing his studio and coffee business in 2005, he went to work for the city as a Public Relations and Marketing specialist with the El Paso Police Department (Crime Stoppers) and in 2008 moved over to UTEP working in the Office of Alumni Relations as Assistant Director for Business Operations & Marketing.