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BeeHoff Photo

Brian Hoffman of BeeHoff Phot posing with his camera in hand

Photographer Brian Hoffman had driven past the same spot on Wickes Road in Greenfield for several years, and then one day the perfect image occurred to him.


“I had to drive five miles back to get my camera,” in order to take the photograph titled “White Snow Fences with a Pale Blue Sky,” he said.


Philosophers call it a Zen moment. Hoffman, owner of Behoff Photo at The Shirt Factory, calls it “the flash of recognition.” It’s a moment he strives to achieve in his portrait, not just artistic, photography.


“Photography is really more of an art instead of just a thing of engineering,” he said.  Sometimes he has to rely on antics such as asking a subject to jump up and down in order get a subject into a natural rather than posed frame of mind.


“I try to make art out of the personality,” he said. “It’s not always easy.”

Portrait photography is the primary business revenue source for the semi-retired

information technology executive. It provides enough income to pay the rent on his studio while leaving him time to pursue other interests such as art photography and hiking.


“I look at it as my avocation instead of my vocation,” he said.


Hoffman, who grew up in a Boston suburb, got started in photography at age 12, through a photography program at the local youth center.


“My English teacher lent me a camera,” he said.


A photographer for The Boston Globe was the instructor.


He continued with photography through high school and college, before taking a break in his young adult years because he did not have access to a dark room.


Hoffman became interested in photography again when digital cameras came out, and he enrolled at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan.


His role models include Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, Man Ray, Annie Leibowitz, Richard Avedon, and Francesca Woodman.


Hoffman said that The Shirt Factory, at the corner of Lawrence and Cooper streets in Glens Falls, is a great location for his studio because it is affordable and because it is an artistic setting for portrait photography, not just in his studio on the third floor, but also around the building and on the grounds.


Photo by Behoff Photo


Interview by Maury D. Thompson


I would like to add as a footnote that Brian had been taking some of the photos (documenting some of the tenants at work) we have used for these Sunday articles by himself before this project began. About 6 months ago, I ran across someone on Facebook who, as an “expert” on everything, was making some disparaging general comments about the tenants and the Shirt Factory. Thinking about it at the time I realized that I had not done enough to put out there who these tenants were, what they were about, what they have achieved, what they hoped to accomplish. Yes there had been newspaper articles about several of the tenants and these are reposted here as I find them, but there are many great stories that have been left untold, and it was then I decided that these stories needed to be known. I contacted Maury and he agreed to do the interviews and Brian agreed to supply the photography and we are just at the beginning of what will be a project spanning years. I think Brian and Maury are doing a great job of capturing these stories. The Shirt Factory, 21 Cooper Street, Glens Falls 

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