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my story

Meet Your Photographer

Hello! Thank you for taking a few moments to find out a little bit more about me. I am Eric David Battershell and I am from Alliance, Ohio and currently reside in Uniontown, Ohio...12 miles down the exact same road that I grew on...with my wife, Julie, and our two children, Macy & Kyan. We also have our furbabies, who are never left out...Molly, Peony & Chi-Chi. My love for photography began when I was very young. I remember watching my late maternal grandmother with her rectangle shaped wind-up film camera and was fascinated by the flash bulbs that would rotate as each picture was taken. She loved documenting EVERYTHING...everything, to her, was a special memory. We would spend Sunday afternoons in her living room...the thick curtains pulled closed in order for us to view the pictures that she had sent out and had turned into slides. The projector would display the images on the living room wall and sometimes on her white retractable screen. Through the years, I began picking up the interest of capturing these moments. One of my first cameras was a disk film camera. I thought I was so cool with that camera in high school...hehe. I would take my camera everywhere. When I met my now wife, Julie, I "borrowed" her camera...never to really end up giving it back to her again. We would go away on vacation and she would tell me, "You aren't enjoying yourself...you have one eye stuck in your camera the whole time!". But to me, that WAS enjoyment for me. We traveled to beautiful places and I never wanted to forget the time that we spent there. The years would pass and my love for photography grew. We were married...went through several years of infertility...adopted our children and it was all just a hobby for me. I never imagined I would ever be able to make it a career...not something I would ever be successful at full-time. I would continue to photograph nature, wildlife, architecture, landscapes and so on. There was no limit to the things that I enjoyed photographing.

One day, in the dead of Ohio winter, my friend, Brigit, sent me an email. She told me that she spoke about me in one of her meetings at work. She worked at Akron General Hospital. She was on a committee for improving their patient's experience and satisfaction. In recent months, they would display artwork, pictures, sculptures, etc. from local artists in the main lobby of the Heart & Vascular Center. Brigit mentioned my photography...my AMATEUR hobby at the time. She told me that she hoped I didn't mind that she told them about me and that they would be contacting me to ask about the use of my images. WHAT? I only took pictures of flowers and sunsets...zoo animals and wildlife. Although Brigit was one of the friends in my life who kept pushing me to "do something more with this", I had no idea what to make of the whole thing. So, the hospital contacted me, I gathered 53 5x7 and 8x10 prints, matted them very inexpensively and delivered them to the hospital to be displayed. They would be viewed by anyone passing through or relaxing in the large lobby. On February 21, 2009, I was sitting on my couch in my living room...exactly where I am at this very moment (on a different couch)...and Julie was in the kitchen. I was on my laptop and it hit me...I was going to create a business. We mulled over names. I had always loved the word "beacon". I loved lighthouses and what they stood for...safely guiding ships to their destinations. That day, Beacon's Light Photography was created. 

I would spend months finding my footing. I would continue to photograph nature and wildlife. Then friends and family began asking if I would photograph them or their families. I remember telling my cousin Cheryl, "Well, I really only photograph THINGS, not really people...". I figured out a way to photograph people in the places where I loved photographing nature or urban settings. I waited until my business was about a year and a half olf before photographing my first wedding...I needed to attend a few more weddings of friends to be sure I knew what I was doing. My first wedding was July 10, 2010...and I guess I did pretty well because I ended up photographing that groom's sister's wedding 5 years later! I would go on the photograph 10-15 weddings per year, while working full-time at First Energy/Ohio Edison. But, I wanted more. I always wanted more. I STILL want more! I loved to travel. I thought I could begin photographing destination weddings, but I had to have my job at Ohio Edison to pay the bills. Late in the summer of 2011, Julie and I created an 8-month plan for me to leave Ohio Edison to become a full-time photographer. It was that same month that I would meet a local model/fitness competitor...and the vision changed completely. 

I promised myself when I created my business that I never wanted to be known only as a certain type of photographer. I loved photographing so many different types of things...I just never wanted to limit myself. So in the summer of 2011, I shot my first fitness modeling photo shoot. I loved the idea of working with models. I loved being creative and working WITH them to create images that meant something to both of us...a practice which I continue to pride myself using today. The final months of 2011 would pass and I found myself so intrigued by this new avenue of work. On April 27, 2012, I worked my final shift for Ohio Edison. I was free to travel...I was free to become something more. Remember, I still want more!

I thought that I would be leaving Ohio to shoot destination weddings...well, that was several years ago already and I have yet to photograph a destination wedding. Silly me...thinking I am in charge of the choices made in this life I have been gifted. I continued photographing fitness competitors and models. But at the time, there was no outlet that seemed to generate income. In June 2013, I was contacted by a NY Times/USA Today Best Selling Romance novelist. She was looking for an image for her next book and needed a certain model. I, again, was clueless on how this new process even worked. On June 11, 2013 I sold my very first image that would appear on a romance novel. No one...and seriously NO ONE, from my small town would have ever expected me to begin marketing images for romance novels...not even ME! But I did and it was so much fun. My shoots were beginning to have a bigger purpose. I was collaborating with authors, who were passionate about the words they places inside these books, to create the faces of their stories. How fun! Since then, I have sold over 900 exclusive book cover images. I could not be more grateful for the opportunities and this book world has awarded to me. I have traveled to fitness competitions across the country and I have traveled not only in the US for photo shoots, but to several countries around the world. I have plans to visit continents that I have never been to before. I simply am blessed and honored by the relationships built over these last 8 years in business. I am not stopping here. I have ideas...I still have wild dreams and I intend on keeping an open mind to new adventures that I cannot even think of on my own. So, how was I nicknamed The Happy Snapper (Snapper for short)? Sometime during 2013, I received a very nice message in social media from someone overseas. They said to me, "Well, you are one great snapper." and I loved that word. I told a few people about the message and word began spreading through the industry that I was The Happy Snapper because I always TRY to keep things light and happy. I certainly don't always, but I do my best! 

I thank you for taking this time to read my long-winded story. Trust me, this is the scaled down version. If you have further questions about the services I offer, please do not hesitate to visit my Contact section to find the best way to connect with me. Thank you to those who have shown your love and support over these years. I could not continue without your blessings. 

THANK YOU,

XOXO Snapper XOXO

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