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The Grand Lobby Gallery at the Bishop

August's Featured Artist --Ernst Ulrich Shafer

Ernst Ulrich Schafer joined the Army in ’69 the day after he turned 17. From Fort Bragg, N.C., he went off to war in Southeast Asia and served as a combat engineer, giving four years of his life to the military.  Then one day, when Schafer was 19, somebody gave him a camera. Over the next 40 years, that piece of gear would become pen, paintbrush and listening device. Wielding lenses, lights and tripod, Schafer celebrates the communities around him, with a thriving portrait photography business and through personal projects — both of which he continues to find exhilarating, even after all these years.


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At the Professional Photographers of Washington conference, he was named Portrait Photographer of the Year for the state. He also brought home an armload of trophies and ribbons for his portraits of people from divergent walks of life.  The man is a true storyteller, and illuminating a person’s life, in one image, is the essence of photography. When he makes a portrait, he does it through the conversation he has with his subject.

“The excitement comes from getting to know their story, and how can we tell that story in one photograph,” Schafer says.

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Schafer started his lifelong study of photography at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, long before the advent of digital cameras, so he learned the basics of developing and printing.

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His love for local events comes across in the images. This is, after all, how he started out: celebrating people, across the age spectrum, out participating in community life.

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The difference between an artist and one more guy with a camera, Schafer believes, is continuous personal and professional development, merging art, business, love and livelihood.

Please stop by the Bishop Victorian Hotel from 5:30pm to 8pm on Saturday, August 6, during ArtWalk. For more information about the Bishop Victorian, please call (360) 385-6122. For more information about Mr. Schafer’s photography, you may contact him directly at facebook.com/Fine-Art-Photography-by-Ernst-210829534842/ or call (360) 808-6058.

The Bishop Victorian Gallery at 714 Washington Street is open during normal hotel hours.

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