As a photography major at RIT, Styer recalls that he originally shot environmental and editorial portraits. But still lifes were more practical since they required no crew, model, or makeup artist. Plus, it was too cold to shoot outside during Rochester’s winters. During his time in school, Styer learned the artistic and technical aspects of photography not only from his professors, but also from the mentorship of his peers. “I offered to help older students out with their shoots,” he says. “That showed me a lot of good tricks. The more people you can assist, the better.” The combination of hands-on experience and traditional schooling was the jumping-off point for this career.