Tifton photographer Daniel Shippey had moved to Nashville a few years ago, finding more work there in the music business than was available in south Georgia.
He came back home early in the pandemic and before he knew it, he’d decided to stay.
“The pandemic got crazy and I started doing more movie work,” says Daniel. “It just turned into something that made me want to stay.”
Before moving to Music City, Daniel had been an on-set still photographer for a couple of productions in south Georgia in 2018-19, providing publicity shots and more for filmmakers’ records.
But things have been booming in the last couple of years for Daniel, who was born in Albany and attended Valdosta State University.
“It’s been good,” he says. “It’s taken me into another realm of the entertainment industry,” after touring with bands and taking photos in recording studios.
“I never could have imagined something like that happening in these small towns down here,” Daniel says of Georgia’s film and TV industry. “It definitely has had an impact on my economic fortitude. It’s made it a lot easier to feel stable.”
Daniel has been an on-set photographer for shows including “Lena and Snowball,” “Bandit” with Mel Gibson, “Deadlock” with Bruce Willis, “Gasoline Alley” and “White Elephant.” Most of these productions were produced in south Georgia, giving locals the opportunity to gain from the statewide industry.
Daniel also has seen a surge in business for commercial photography and other opportunities generated by the entertainment work.
He says the economic impact extends throughout the region. Productions boost local hotels, restaurants and countless service providers.
“I really want to see what happens as the pandemic subsides,” Shippey says. “We’re new to this in Georgia. It’s still very fresh to us. People are eager about what the future could hold.”
For this south Georgia native, the future means staying home. “I bought a house in Georgia and I don’t have any plans to move away.”