By Pamela Brownstein
Looking out at the picturesque view from the back porch of the home of Chris and Teresa Kirk on St. Helena Island, it’s easy to see where Chris gets his inspiration to shoot the natural beauty of the Lowcountry.
The photographer has been preparing his favorite landscape, nature, coastal and wildlife scenes for his monthlong exhibit at the Colleton Museum in Walterboro. The exhibit, which opens April 2, will present his works in both canvas and high-quality photo paper formats with more than 75 pieces on display and available for sale.
Chris and Teresa met in Charlotte where they both worked in the banking industry. They like to travel, and visited many coastal areas throughout the Southeast — from the Outer Banks to the Everglades. During a trip to Beaufort, the couple was driving back from Hunting Island and decided to look at houses. They fell in love with the beautiful home located in a little neighborhood at the end of a long dirt road on St. Helena Island. After moving here in 2003, they continued to work as CPAs, but this year was their last tax season, and they are both looking forward to retirement and spending their time enjoying Beaufort and the Lowcountry.
Although a tax man by trade, Chris found that his photography hobby was a way to use the other side of his brain. He liked the technical aspect of digital cameras, but found that mastering the composition and art of
photography was more of a challenge. “It’s an outlet for my creative side rather than my technical side,” he explained. He said getting just the right shot has also taught him patience and helps him feel productive while he’s out kayaking, fishing or biking.
Chris’ ecology-oriented photography has been featured in many local, regional and statewide publications over the past seven years, including the cover of the Hargray Communications Phone Book and in the 2013 Beaufort County Rural and Critical Lands Preservation Calendar.
Teresa said she prefers to play a role behind the scenes, working as his marketing and public relations manager. She often acts as editor — especially when it comes to selecting the best photos to present at the exhibit — and, most importantly, she comes up with the creative names for all of Chris’ works. In preparation for the upcoming exhibit, Teresa even learned how to frame and matte photos and how to stretch them properly onto canvas.
“We’re a team, we’re equals,” said Chris.
IF YOU GO:
What: Photography exhibit by Chris Kirk
Where: Colleton Museum, 506 E. Washington Street, downtown Walterboro
Hours: Tuesday 12 – 6 p.m.; Wednesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Contact: www.cm-fm.org or www.chriskirkphotography.net
What else: Opening reception Tuesday, April 2 from 5 to 7 p.m., exhibit open until April 27.