How We Got Started

William Ames has taken more than a million photographs during his career, and he is the leading photographer of the Penn State Campus. Nobody can match the depth and breadth of his online portfolio, and his work has been published in a variety of media, including books, video, television, magazines, posters and thousands of fine art prints. Weddings? I do! William Ames photographs about a dozen weddings per year.

Bill lives and works in State College, Pennsylvania, and has a bachelor's degree in English from the Pennsylvania State University. In his spare time, hiking, travel and photography create an enjoyable mix of memories and images in lasting photos.

Over the past 20 years, Bill has specialized in landscapes, architecture, photojournalism, commercial photography, portraits and weddings. Combining this experience elevates each image.

What is photojournalism?

"In a nutshell, it's telling a story through photos, but it's much more than that!"

"A traditionalist is often thought of as a 'studio photographer', because they setup shots, pose subjects in front of a tripod, and make the scene their own. The act as an art director and photographer at the same time. While there's sometimes a mix of that in my work, a photojournalist would prefer to see the beauty in things as they are, and document the reality. Put another way, photojournalism is to traditional photography as journalism is to fiction."


"There's an old saying, that the camera doesn't lie...In my experience, it does."

"My philosophy is simple. When you look at something, you can only focus on one tiny area at a time. When you look at a person, you're only really looking at their eyes. The rest of the face is filled in by your brain. It's true...much like our peripheral vision is filled in for us, or when we visualize whole scenes in our dreams."

"It's true that at any given time, you're really only seeing a small fraction of the scene in front of you, but with the added dimension of time, it gives us the illusion of a lot more detail, and the rest is our mind's interpretation of that scene. Usually, it's optimized. A lens, on the other hand,  can focus on an entire scene, all at once, and a print can show all of that detail all at once...with all of the flaws, stopped in time. When we look at a print, there's no motion, so we have time to look at every little imperfection. This is why post-processing is so important, so that a portrait looks the way you really look, not as a collection of imperfections."

For more than 15 years, Bill has photographed the Penn State Campus, capturing the essence of the university, but that isn't the extent of his work. With some of the best hiking and scenery in the state, there are many opportunities to create lasting images from nature and the many historical sites nearby. In addition to the Happy Valley, Bill regularly visits and photographs historical sites, such as Gettysburg National Battlefield Park, offering reflective studies.

As a wedding photographer, Bill has photographed dozens of couples at numerous locations throughout Centre County and the Penn State campus. "Weddings combine a lot of different styles and genres. You have traditional portraits, but there are also landscapes, architecture, and fast-paced action that capture the day. I bring experience in all of those areas."

Fine art and other photos are available for stock sales and commercial use. Commercial clients include Addidas, Ann Beha Architects, Applebee's, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Grateful Dead Productions, Hershey Medical Center, Centre Medical and Surgical Associates, Adelphia Communications, Bank of America, Sorinex, SMS Meer and many more. For more information on professional services, click here.