“Growing up, my mother always wanted to go to America,” recalls Hungarian born photographer Steve Shafer. Now, he happily creates “painterly” nature-inspired photographs in his Fearrington Village studio in Chatham County, North Carolina.
A new artist in the Chatham Artists Guild, Steve will exhibit his work the first two weekends on December at the 25th Chatham Studio Tour. Visitors of the Tour can enjoy his unique limited edition photographic art images on paper and canvas.
“My art is inspired by nature, especially human nature,” Steve explains. “I explore and photograph animals, landscapes and plant life, but I love capturing people,” he notes. “Candidly photographing characters showing their emotions is what I am passionate about. I am particularly interested in musicians at the moments where they are deep in playing their music” he asserts. “You imagine the journey of their lives, what you see in their faces, so I aim for capturing that moment in time”.
Shafer embraces digital technology and the artistic possibilities of “post-processing” creativity. “My photograph is the base from which I create art,” he explains. “The digital technology can be overwhelming, but I love the challenges, that it offers” he adds.
“I have taken photographs since I was about 16 in Hungary,” he notes, “but it wasn’t until I joined the Chapel Hill Camera Club a few years ago that I began to develop it as my art form.”
His journey to North Carolina has been lengthy. After graduating from a technical high school and taking a few semesters of college courses he started working in marketing, where he honed his skills in graphic design and visual arts.
He took drawing and photography classes. “These were tumultuous times in Hungary. My mother and sister had already defected to America” he remembers. In 1976 he was able to defect from Hungary as well. “I got here via Turkey, Italy to New York City and settled on Long Island, NY with my wife, Liz and newborn son Paul for the following twenty years” he remarks.
Within three weeks he got a job at a graphic design firm and enrolled at School of Visual Arts. He took two semesters of Design and Airbrush, followed by three semesters at NYU in Marketing Communication. After working for three years at the design firm, he opened his own Design Studio in New York City.
After moving to North Carolina in 1996, Shafer operated his own Creative Services business in Durham for twelve years. After closing his business, he moved to Fearrington Village with his wife, Liz and started a part-time picture framing consulting service, Galleria Art & Framing that he still operates, as a Certified Picture Framer.
Simultaneously, he began to concentrate on his life-long love of photography. Some of his limited edition photography and digital art have been acquired by local art collectors.
Shafer offers his photographic artworks at local shows, exhibits and businesses. Some of his work are displayed on Facebook, Instagram and web site: steveshaferphotography-art.com. His prints are available on fine art paper and canvas, ranging in price from $75 to $350. He can enhance his images with expert matting and custom framing.
“I am really excited to open the doors to my studio at the 25th Annual Chatham Studio Tour.”