Several years ago starting with film cameras, I began my career shooting bodybuilders at a friend's gym leading to landing a job as the photography director for a motorcycle magazine. I got the gig because I had a bike, a camera, and the courage to shoot bikers. It was a lucky break leading me to photograph some wonderful and at times bizarre people. It also gave me years to refine my photography and reporting skills. Subsequently I was brought on as a freelance photographer for an Alt-weekly newspaper in Tampa and have been shooting for them ever since.

I specialize in food photography because of its universal language. Everyone eats! I want my images to entice the viewer visually enough that they want to try the food. Most of my work is done table side in restaurants and emulating a diners view, like they were there. Many of my pictures have flatware and other things present on a typical dining table. I find it more inviting that way versus just shooting a dish of food.

Early on I went to graduate school and got a Masters of Science degree in Counseling Psychology. Having my own practice allowed me to understand how incredibly whacky (yes, that's a clinical term) we humans are, but also made me more comfortable in my own skin. That idea permeates much of my personal photography work. Combining my clinical knowledge and quirkiness has led me to shoot things that can be eye catching and sometimes visually unpleasant or provocative. With the advent of the digital age I also became skilled in the art of the digital editing. 

I started teaching photography over 10 years ago. From 2007 to 2014 I was the lead instructor and designer of the educational programs at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. I developed the Photography 101 program at the museum and taught classes on lighting, Photoshop, street photography, photojournalism, and sports. In 2015 I moved to a bigger  beautiful space to accommodate a more comfortable classroom and better technology for teaching.  

Back when I was trying to learn other photographers seemed secretive about their techniques, their equipment, and their thoughts about shooting. There's nothing I'm doing that others haven't done and there really is no "secret sauce"  to photography. It's all about learning. My biggest hope with teaching others is to inspire them to take the next shot differently...better. Come learn with me.




Tampa photography teacher Chip Weiner