Local photographer Julie Shipman will lead workshop in Provence | ParkRecord.com

Local photographer Julie Shipman will lead workshop in Provence

Park City-based photographer Julie Shipman has 15 years under her belt snapping off shots at various World Cups, high school sports and family events.

She was the resident photographer for Rowland-Hall School in Salt Lake City and her work has appeared in Ski Racing magazine, various sports websites and The Park Record.

While her subjects have ranged from Bode Miller to Askel Svindahl, Shipman also takes family and senior portraits.

However, nothing prepared her for a session she did for Chasing Atlas, a custom travel agency funded by Jill Murwin.

The agency offer clients a service where they hire a photographer to photograph their family vacations, and an extended family took Shipman to Girona, Spain, for a week.

"I was on call as their photographer and I was getting paid to take photos of their adventures," Shipman said. "We created hard-cover, coffee-table books for each family member."

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The experience changed Shipman’s life.

"On one of the trips we stayed at a private estate in Provence, (France), that was featured in the Russell Crowe film, ‘A Wonderful Year,’" she said. "It’s a mid-18th Century Bastide home that sits on 20 acres and has a vineyard and gardens and all of that."

Shipman thought Murwin could do something like this for photographers.

"The estate is only rented out a few weeks a year and Jill is on that list," Shipman said. "So, Jill suggested I gather a group of amateur photographers to live at this place for a week and go on photo excursions."

The workshop will be held Sept. 6 through Sept. 12, and registrations are being accepted now.

"We’ll take them by the end of July," Shipman said. "We are accepting up to 12 people and we’ve got four signed up so far."

The workshop isn’t like other photography trips where the group will stay at a hotel and go sight seeing, Shipman promised.

"We will be living on this estate and learning about photography," she said. "Some of the activities will include workshops about mosaics, light and dark, framing and rule of thirds."

There will also be sessions about art and wine and photo processing.

"While we’re there, we’ll enjoy wood-fired dinners and other meals prepared by two-star Michelin chefs," Shipman said. "We’ll meet in the mornings to talk about what we’re going to do and in the evenings will do some processing. I think this will be really fun."

These workshops blend the photographer’s two loves – education and photography.

"My first background isn’t in photography," said Shipman, who attended Duke University in the 1980s after graduating from East High School in Salt Lake City. "I did two masters, one in international politics and the other in communications. I really wanted to be an international correspondent of some sort. I wanted to be Connie Chung."

When that didn’t happen, Shipman taught high school and college courses in Denver.

"That was awesome, but I kept finding myself drawn to photography, even though it was my hobby," she said. "People started asking me to take their photographs, so I got into it through the back door."

When Shipman returned to Salt Lake City in 2001, teaching jobs were scarce.

"I took some photography classes at the University of Utah and at the Salt Lake Art Center and learned about film and the darkroom. Then as life would have it, once I bought all of my equipment, digital photography came around, so I sort of self-taught myself that."

Sports photography was Shipman’s specialty, but she’s just as comfortable doing portraits.

"I feel my strength is people, because I love the interaction," she said. "I’m not the photographer that waits seven hours for the sun, rabbit and moose. I like to capture the moment. I just have to pay attention to what’s going on."

Photography also worked well with Shipman’s responsibilities as a mother.

"I had three little boys when I moved back to Salt Lake City," she said. "I liked having a little more freedom to not have to be in the office at a certain time."

The photographer sees the Provence workshop as a step into her future.

"I’m trying to mature a bit in my old age and deciding where I want to take myself," Shipman said. "The two things that I’ve done most successful in my life is photography and teaching. So I wanted to put them together."

The Chasing Atlas Provence Workshop hosted by Julie Shipman will be held Sept. 6 through Sept. 12. Registration deadline is July 31. The cost is $3,199 per person. For more information or to register, call 435-225-2563 or email info@chasingatlas.com .