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About David

Welcome to my website.  Here’s how this adventure evolved…

My love for the outdoors began with an eager anticipation of the stories and game that Dad (George) brought home when he went hunting.  On one opening day of pheasant season, I went along to Grandpa and Grandma Deppen’s dairy farm in Lykens Valley (note to my grandsons who call me FishPap:  they were affectionately known to me and my brothers as MooPap and MooGrandma).  While Dad hunted with my uncles, Marion and Johnny, I stayed close to the farmhouse and looked for imaginary game while wearing my cowboy hat and a holstered six-shooter.  As shots rang out across the valley, I knew they’d be returning with some beautiful birds, and I’d get to keep the tail feathers.

The first time Dad took me hunting was on the opening day of squirrel season.  To me, it was just as serious as an elk hunt in Colorado.  The poor squirrel that hung on the side of the tree to look at the stranger in its woods had no clue.  It was an easy target for me and that single-shot shotgun I borrowed from Uncle Johnny.  Dad’s advice before that year’s deer season was, “You have to move your head in slow motion when you’re looking for deer.  Their eyes are better than yours.”  I’m reminded of that truth every deer season.

Fishing became an addiction for my brothers and me at a young age.  We constantly begged Dad to take us fishing.  We even talked him into going before school.  Our usual destinations included Powells Creek on the Sweigard farm (TractorPap and TractorGrandma) where Mom (Elaine) grew up, the Susquehanna River at the mouth of Armstrong Creek, and Camp Hebron Lake.  We started out with braided line and bobbers.  It’s a wonder we caught anything with that gear.  A sucker was a big deal to us. We kept them to eat, along with “whitefish” (fallfish), sunfish and rock bass.  Mom made them taste like the best fish around, and we each had to have the ones we caught.  How did we ever pick through all those bones?  The sucker on the right was caught by my 4-year-old grandson.  Even though he caught a limit of trout that day on Powells Creek, he was most proud of that sucker.  I told him, “Keep it in the water while I get the camera for a photo before we release it.”  He got an astonished look on his face and said, “But I want to eat it!”  He agreed to let it go after I explained that they have too many bones.  But he was still disappointed, and I’ve regretted it ever since.  We’re keeping the next one.

In elementary school we sold magazines for a fund-raiser.  Mom and Dad drove me to all the nearby relatives’ homes where I made my sales pitch.  I didn’t ask if they’d like to buy anything.  I asked which ones they’d like to buy.  Grandparents, aunts and uncles, thanks for putting up with me.  You made me the top salesperson.  There just happened to be a prize for the student with the highest sales—a camera.  I was hooked.  Some of my most treasured photos came from that camera, especially the ones with my brothers Douglas and Alan (Scott hadn’t arrived) and cousins Dale Sweigard and Bobby Deppen, and the fish we caught.

After my first camera broke, Uncle Neil and Aunt Sally Snyder generously donated their old Kodak Instamatic to me.  That camera took a lot of fish photos over the years.  I finally upgraded to an SLR when a college counselor advised me to take a photography course.  Then Lon Zeiders handed me his camera at a football game and told me to take a few shots while he visited the refreshment stand.  I quickly bought my own telephoto lens, and soon Lon had me shooting sports for the Upper Dauphin Sentinel.  I was selected for Best of HACC Photography at Harrisburg Area Community College, then won best of show, first place and third place in professional exhibits with my sports photography.

Today my business is focused on outdoor lifestyle portraits.  I’d love to capture treasured images of your life in the outdoors.  Photo sessions can also include landscapes of favorite places, emergency photography of trophy fish or game, and images to enhance your company’s web presence and promotional materials.  While my home territory is Halifax, Pennsylvania (just north of Harrisburg), inquiries for destinations outside the Central Pennsylvania area are welcome.  Thank you for visiting and please come back again.  The blog features recent and past outdoor adventures.  Look for great portraits of people who love the great outdoors!

Best wishes,

David

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