Mike Shipman

The world is an interesting place, and we all have something to say about it. Some of us write, paint, sculpt, construct, speak, shout, sing, dance, draw, film, or photograph about our world and our place in it. Photography can be your voice, it can be your relaxation, it can be your key to exploration, it can be your career. My goal is to empower you to be a better photographer, whether it’s making more meaningful photographs of your family, creating works of art for the gallery wall, or aspiring to National Geographic. We are Breaking the Barriers to Creative Vision TM by building a strong foundation from which to grow. I’m a self-taught, full time, independent fine art, commercial, and editorial photographer with a degree in wildlife biology. Prior to being a full time photographer I worked for the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Denver Museum of Natural History, US Forest Service, Colorado Department of Parks & Recreation, and environmental consulting. Some of my photography clients include Orvis, PDX Magazine, Travel Oregon, High Country News, Idaho Business Review, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Idaho Department of Tourism, and others. My photographs have been published in SHUTR.photo, Shutterbug, and McCall Magazine. I’ve also designed movie posters and other materials for the award-winning Vietnam War documentary film Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor and an upcoming documentary film, I Married the War: Stories of Wives of Combat Veterans. My photographic interests are wide-ranging, from landscapes and environmental issues to hot rods and the human figure. My background in the natural sciences and ecology has helped me develop a “big picture” view of the world and, along with continuous practice honing my photographic vision, I feel I’m able to be aware of my surroundings in a way that creates more photographic opportunities and enriches my “seeing” and interpreting the world around me. I’ve been teaching photography using my own curriculum since 1998, and leading workshops since 2002. I’ve been an Idaho Commission on the Arts Teaching Artist since 2010. I work in the studio as well as outdoors and on location. I shoot almost 100% digital but continue to use analog processes because I love the hands-on aspect of creating art. I still have a stockpile of Polaroid film that I will shoot until it is finished and I also work with the cyanotype process. I love to teach and help others grow in the art of photography in informal classroom settings and during workshops in Idaho and throughout the world. Workshops are conducted in small groups (less than 10) to ensure personal attention and ease of group movement on location. Classes are generally taught in a lecture style setting, but can be held anywhere, indoors or out. Private workshops and classes can be customized for individuals or groups. Please contact me if you are interested in a custom workshop or class. I’m quite open-minded about technique and subject matter and believe an artist should understand the fundamentals of their art. But beyond the fundamentals, the application of technique, use of materials, and presentation is up to the individual artist. My first book on photography is The Ecology of Photography: Senses & Perception and is available through Amazon.com.

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