One of the most important professional relationships we have is that with our photographer. Cutting-edge visuals are vital to our marketing plan and in attracting prospective homebuyers. High-quality real estate photos and video give homebuyers that valuable first impression that can lead to a phone call – or even a sale. Additionally, properties represented by high-quality, professional photos and video are likely to sell faster and often at a higher price than properties with lower quality visuals.
We feel so lucky to have the privilege to work with local photographer Eric Phillips for our photo, drone, and video needs. Eric has a passion for creating high quality, stand alone photos and videos. Additionally, Eric is a licensed FAA Drone Pilot. Eric’s work helps us showcase each of our listings with the high quality visuals one expects and deserves when listing with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty and the Crested Butte Collection. We wanted to get to know Eric a little better and introduce you to this very talented photographer. We recently interviewed Eric, asking him a few questions about his career and passion for photography.
Q: How long have you lived in the Gunnison Valley and what brought you here?
I came to the Gunnison Valley in 2016 when I transferred as a Junior to Western State Colorado University to pursue a degree in Recreation & Outdoor Education and teach snowboarding for Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
Q: Where are you originally from?
I grew up and went to highschool in Batavia, Illinois but spent a lot of time at our families cabin on Silver Lake, Wisconsin. Right after graduation my family moved into our lake house full time and I attended community college while working as a snowboard instructor at Wilmot Mountain, then Granite Peak Ski Area.
Q: How long have you been a professional photographer?
I grew up filming skateboard and snowboard video on Sony VX100 with mini DV tapes that took hours to transfer to a computer. I took broadcast communications in High School and was a camera operator in their local TV station. I got my first DSLR, a Nikon D3300 in 2016 after I moved to Gunnison to capture the amazing landscape of this valley. I filled my LLC Phillips Photo in 2018 and have been working full time since then.
Q: Why did you decide to become a photographer & what are your goals as a photographer?
I fell in love with photography when I got my first Iphone at 18. Upon moving to Gunnison and seeing the amazing landscape I knew I needed to get better at photography so I purchased my first DSLR. My goals with photography are to make a living in Crested Butte as a photographer while inspiring others through my art. I hope one day to get the coveted wildflower festival poster and continuing to create and sell fine art landscape photography through the Redline Gallery. My dream would be to operate my own gallery and workshops in CB.
Q: What do you like photographing most?
I love shooting the local mountains in different seasons. The fall aspens, summer wildflowers, and buried houses in winter.
Q: What inspires you?
I’m incredibly inspired by the Gunnison valley and the amazing and talented people that call this valley home.
Q: What equipment is a must-have for you no matter where you are going to be working?
A trusty tripod you can rely on goes with me everywhere no matter what. I also always carry a wide angle 14mm lens and a telephoto lens 100-400. You never know when you’re going to see an amazing sunset or the local elk herd along the highway so it’s best to always be prepared with these three pieces of gear. Some of my best elk photos are from grocery store runs.
Q: What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?
My biggest inspiration is Ben Strauss, a Fort Collins landscape photographer who is a master of composition and editing. I have taken many editing courses from Ben on how to take a normal photo to epic through editing on the computer. I follow his editing techniques closely when editing my landscape photos.
Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer and if so, from where/who?
I have no formal training as a photographer, I’m self taught through trial and error, and watch a lot of YouTube tutorials to gain skills, like Bens editing videos I mentioned above.
Q: What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?
Good composition makes good photography. Trying to have a foreground, middle ground, and background that draws your eye through the photograph are my main goals. I always try my best in a scene to get those 3 elements into one photo. It takes a lot of trial and moving around to get a good foreground that lines up with a midground and background so essentially 3 different subjects.
Q: What’s your favorite season to photograph?
My favorite season to photograph is hard to choose between wildflowers and fall aspens but due to the incredibly short nature of golden aspens that’s probably my favorite to chase. Sometimes you’ll only get once day of peak colors before the leaves fall which leads to shooting sunrise to sunset chasing golden aspens.
Q: What’s your favorite Crested Butte festival?
I am partial to the wildflower festival as I teach photo workshops for the festival that are so much fun! I love taking groups of photographers out to capture the wildflowers. A close second would be the Chainless world championship bike race in June. I got a new tandem bike and costumes already ready for the event!
Q: What one place or thing would you like to photograph most?
I’ve always wanted to photograph the aurora borealis or the northern lights. I’m a huge fan of taking photos of the stars. The camera can see so much more than the naked eye can when it comes to nighttime. Just seeing the northern lights would be amazing but photographing it would be a dream. I’ve seen so many incredible photos of the lights on social media and need to make a trip to the northern circle to see them.
For more information or to view Eric’s gallery, visit phillips-photo.com. You can also follow Eric’s work or reach out to him on Instagram: @phillips_photo.
For more information on Crested Butte events, festivals, and news, as well as the local real estate market, please visit crestedbuttecollection.com.
Photo Credit: Eric Phillips