During a snowstorm, in northwestern Pennsylvania, Hugh Beebower made his grand entrance into the world. He was a farm kid. Growing up he learned how to fish, whittle and hunt from his Grandpa Jerry. Hugh even learned about cowboys and Indians. In fact, he’s still looking for that illusive Indian relative in his family’s past.
Hugh’s childhood interest in whittling led him to a job as tool and die maker in Buffalo, New York. The Vietnam War cut his career short. He left the US in 1968 as a 1st Lieutenant in the Army.
While he was in Vietnam, Hugh documented his experiences with a camera. He’d been puttering with cameras for a while and his time in Vietnam cemented his desire to pursue photography.
Hugh returned to the States, enrolled at Rochester Institute of Technology, and graduated with a Bachelors degree in fine art photography in 1972. In 1977 Hugh packed up his small family and headed to Texas to start a photography studio with his brother Gordon, also a graduate of RIT.
Beebower Brothers Photography specialized in corporate photography. Advertising directors would dream up ideas. Hugh and Gordon made those ideas happen on film. Photo illustrations were a perfect match for Hugh’s skills and energy level.
But Hugh’s love for cowboys, Indians and anything Western kept gnawing at him. In 1989, he began shooting Red Head hunting apparel catalogs. This led to many other “western” corporate photo shoots: Redman Chewing Tobacco, Remington Arms, Cabelas, Cheyenne Outfitters and The Australian Outback catalogs.
Suddenly Hugh had the means to do what he really dreamed of-creating pictures of the Old West. These images often resembled paintings by the time Hugh was finished. He used a camera, Photoshop and lots of energy to create images that just wouldn’t leave his head: cowboys on bucking broncos, stampeding horses, backlit stagecoaches and chuck wagons. He even created a chuck wagon cookbook with his friend and real-life cowboy Red Cloud Wolverton.
After 35 years of delivering high quality advertising photography, Hugh and Gordon decided to close the corporate photography side of the business in 2012. Hugh continues to explore the Old West, American landscapes and wildlife with his camera. His images can be purchased through www.beebower.com and at art fairs around the country.
Hugh and Irene, his wife of 47 years, live in Dallas, Texas. They have one daughter, Denise.
Denise Sloan manages her father’s photography business. Since she was a little kid, Denise has been involved in Beebower Productions, Inc. as a photo test subject, a gopher, the cleaning crew, office organizer and a photo assistant.
Today she handles the orders, customer service and does a lot of writing for the business. In fact, she writes so much Hugh feels he has finally gotten partially reimbursed for the photojournalism degree from the University of Missouri he and his wife Irene paid for so many years ago.
In addition to managing the business, Denise also sneaks out of the office to take her own landscape and wildlife photos. She previously worked as a photo editor in the newspaper industry.