Local photographers form photography collective for the love of their craft

Local photographers form photography collective for the love of their craft

Phil Heim, Eric R. Smith and Dave Shipper: The Beaufort Photography Collective
Phil Heim, Eric R. Smith and Dave Shipper: The Beaufort Photography Collective

Three local photographers have gotten together to form a photography collective here in Beaufort and they’re doing it for the love of their own craft and the desire to take their individual work in a new direction through collaboration.

Concentrating on creating group projects and helping one another tell better stories, meet the Beaufort Photography Collective: Phil Heim, Eric R. Smith and Dave Shipper.

This should be good. We were certainly excited enough to round up the guys and find out what’s up.

The three plan to collaborate on several projects, “each bringing his own experience and technique to the table while letting that individualism stand out,” said Dave Shipper. “I’m excited to get back to my roots in my photography and to collaborate with a few like-minded photographers on upcoming projects. The time is definitely right for getting back to real, expressive photography,” he said.

Change in the photography industry during the past five years has ignited an explosion of photo collectives around the country. Each collective is unique and reflects the circumstances, desires and philosophy of its members. The paradigm of photographers operating as lone wolves has shifted somewhat to one of cooperation. Members help promote one another, yet keep their individual businesses and combine their talents collaborating in a variety of creative projects.Local photographers form photography collective for the love of their craftThese are three talented artists who just don’t believe in a spray and pray approach to their work.

By getting together and combining their individualism, Phil Heim of BeaufortPics, Dave Shipper of David M. Shipper Photography and Eric R. Smith of Captured Moments Photography hope to “have a lot of fun experimenting with new things and new challenges, and seeing what happens,” said Eric.

Each is already successful in their own right.

How did it start?

“It was Eric’s idea,” Dave said.

Apparently, Eric needed a break from the heat during a long day of shooting at this year’s Beaufort Water Festival so he stopped into the Thibault Gallery. Dave shows his work at the gallery and happened to be there and they struck up a long conversation. “We discussed the need to come up with something new and decided to work together,” said Dave.

Both agreed that the only other addition to the group could be Phil, so they approached him with the idea. “Oh I was happy alright,’ said Phil. “I’ve been wanting to have the opportunity to try something different, and this is perfect.”

Black & white photos really have a way of exuding emotion and telling a story. “HDR photography is surrealism, black & white is realism,” said Eric.  “I want to get back to where it started. I want to capture the heart and soul of Beaufort.”

“We’re looking to blend the old style of photography with today’s technology. It’s important because as a photographer, if you don’t change, you become stagnant,” said Phil.

“It’s like what we used to do in the dark room, but on the computer instead,” Dave said.

Yes, this will be good, indeed.

The trio is building a website to showcase their collaborative efforts and already has a Facebook page loaded up with cool photos to check out.

Look for exhibits of their collaborative efforts around the Beaufort area, as well at each of the members’ gallery/studio.

By Dave Shipper.  From the Beaufort Photography Collective Facebook page.
Photo by Dave Shipper. From the Beaufort Photography Collective Facebook page.
Photo by Eric R. Smith  From the Beaufort Photography Collective Facebook page.
Photo by Eric R. Smith. From the Beaufort Photography Collective Facebook page.
Photo by Phil Heim  From the Beaufort Photography Collective Facebook page
Photo by Phil Heim. From the Beaufort Photography Collective Facebook page