Local photographer is living the dream in Beaufort

in Arts/Featured by
David Shipper
David Shipper

It is not surprising David Shipper has a passion for photography. His father was a photographer and as a child, David would hang out with his dad in the home darkroom watching him develop film and make prints. The entire photographic process was a part of family life growing up and because of these early influences, this passion runs in the family. His sister and brother are both excellent photographers and even his youngest son seems to have inherited the trait, leading David to joke that perhaps this phenomenon is a result of his father’s exposure to darkroom chemicals!

David’s earliest memory of taking pictures was with a Polaroid when he was 6, but it was the camera he received at 16 that opened his eyes to the amazing power of the photograph. Late one afternoon, David was taking pictures of some friends performing skateboard tricks on the neighborhood quarter-pipe. By chance, he took the perfect photo of one of his friends executing an unbelievable turn at the top edge of the pipe. It wasn’t until the film was developed that David realized he had taken a stunning picture, preserving an incredible moment in time!

That photo was a revelation, and David began taking photography more seriously. He began attending weekend workshops offered by local professional photographers and in addition, became a photographer for his high school yearbook staff. David continued taking pictures in college while earning a degree in Wildlife Conservation. Despite a full schedule, he even managed to squeeze a few photography classes in along the way.

5D3_1016After college in 1983, he and his wife Leigh moved to Beaufort and fell in love with the area. Photography took a back seat as they began their careers and started raising a family. Eventually, their children’s involvement in sports rekindled David’s photographic passion as he took photos of them playing baseball and soccer.

Motivated and inspired by his sister’s work in portraits and landscapes, David developed a deep, burning desire to hone his skills with a camera. He enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography and completed their course in professional photography. As his skills increased and he built his portfolio, he began dreaming of the possibility of turning his passion into a vocation.

With the Lowcountry’s abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery providing endless inspiration, David’s interest in photography naturally gravitated towards his other passions: nature, wildlife and the outdoors. Because of his mother’s love of hummingbirds, David developed a special interest in bird photography. However, true to his nature, he just loves taking pictures, shooting outdoor portraits and events in addition to nature and wildlife.

His dream of becoming a successful, independent photographer became a reality when David was invited to join the amazing group of artists that make up the Thibault Gallery family. Since joining the gallery, he has been honored to have his photographs recognized in competitions and galleries from South Carolina to Arkansas and has been thrilled to be invited to attend prestigious art shows throughout the southeast. I truly am living my dream!”