Contact Me

 
Name *
Name

If you in need a photojournalist or food photographer or  have questions about the photo classes in Tampa, please contact me with this form or call me at 813-786-7780. I am very responsive to these notifications and will respond quickly

I am a freelance photojournalist and commercial food and portrait photographer and have been shooting for over 20 years.  I am available for local and regional assignments as well as for travel assignments with advance notice.  I have a full complement of professional photography and studio equipment and I’m available for commercial work both on location and in a South Tampa studio.

I’m a member of the American Society of Media Photographers, Professional Photographers of America, National Press Photographers Association,  and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.  I’m available to assist professional photographers locally with scouting, equipment acquisition, and as a shoot-day assistant.

Please feel free to call me with questions 813-786-7780, drop me an email at chip@chipshotz.com or simply fill out the form below. I look forward to hearing from you!

About me

In the days of film cameras I started by shooting bodybuilders at a friend's gym, and eventually landed 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 ask for it. I had attended biker events for years and that's what they were looking for. It was a lucky break,  leading me to photograph some wonderful and at times bizarre people. It also gave me a direction to refine my photography skills.

I got my first 35mm film camera in high school and shot whatever or whoever I could. I always leaned towards  taking more odd shots than mainstream stuff. It's that what's-the-worst-that-can-happen quirkiness that still inspires me today. (The self portrait above was taken with a camera on a DIY PVC rig on the hood  of my car attached with bungee cords going down 7th Ave. in Ybor City.  It's not about being dangerous, it's about embracing a different way. )

Cinderella Story

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 Photo 101 program 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.  

As I was trying to learn, other photographers seemed secretive about their techniques, their equipment, and their thoughts about shooting. There needs to be a new way of thinking. There's not really anything I'm doing that others haven't done before. I just hope I do it better and I don't mind sharing what I learned. My biggest hope with teaching others is to inspire them to take the next shot differently...better.

While teaching I became one of the primary freelance photographers for Creative Loafing newspaper in Tampa, gaining me access to all kinds of alternative events, music, and people! It is an awesome ride. I get to meet people and see the behind-the-scenes stuff that the general public rarely sees. As a food photographer I have met many incredibly talented chefs and learned about culinary arts through their eyes. In the photojournalism world I have had the honor of meeting politicians, celebrities, and thousands of people like you and me in their everyday lives. I wouldn't ask for more.

Still photography is the greatest art form. Come learn with me. Come shoot with me. We can inspire one another.