View Full Version : Chip Hooper has passed

Brian K
7-Mar-2016, 10:32
I just heard of the passing of Chip Hooper. I'm deeply saddened by his passing.

I met Chip in the early 2000's in Iceland. I pulled into a gas station on the western side of the country. I was wearing a photographers vest and had a loupe hanging from my neck. A man walked up to me and asked," Are you a photographer?"

It was Chip, it was his first time in Iceland and he wanted know about some of the places he was going to pass as he circumnavigated the country. I had gone his route previously so we chatted for a while. And as we spoke and talked about the coincidence of also having been represented by the same gallery in NYC. Small world.

I also knew of his music industry background. A friend of mine's father represented a famous rock band so I asked Chip if he knew Burt Goldstein. "Burt Goldstein!!! I talk to that guy every week!!" Small world indeed.

He showed me the SUV he rented, in the back of the SUV were huge white coolers, I never knew they made a size this large. He said they were filled with 8x10 holders and that he had preloaded them back in California, and had them fedexed to Iceland. I asked him what they cost to ship, and if I recall correctly I think it was something like $7000. But he then said that the way it worked it cost twice as much to ship out of the US than into it. I was shocked by this disparity and the cost, especially after he had spoken about how he's basically living off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in Iceland and sleeping on top of the SUV in some places. It seems his film got better treatment than he did. We both headed around the island in opposite directions having enjoyed the interaction and talked about keeping in touch.

About a week later I pull into the eastern town of Hofn. There are very few hotels in Iceland once you get out of Reykjavik, so I check in to one of the few in town and head to the hotel's restaurant. There I see a smiling Chip. I guess we both were thinking "small world" or maybe "small country". We had dinner together and discussed life and photography and Iceland. What struck me about Chip was that here was a man of many passions, music, photography, but most of all his family. I don't think at that point in my life I'd ever come across a man who so adored his family. He wasn't annoying about it, like, "here's 100 pictures of my kids", he just spoke of them with obvious love and pride.

He hadn't been to the icebergs at Jokulsarlon and I had, and I was also heading back now, the same way he was so I we agreed the next day to head out together. We were in two cars, and I was maybe 100 yards ahead of him. It was foggy and suddenly I saw a great scene So I pulled over and grabbed my gear to shoot it. Chip pulls up, takes a look at the scene, gives me a look and makes a "Darn" gesture, it was the kind of photo he'd take, and in looking at his work over time, it certainly was. But he was not the type of guy to crowd another photographer for a photograph, so he didn't grab his gear and shoot the same scene as me. He was gracious, he waited for me, and after I was done off we went. The photograph I include here is the image I captured that morning.

Eventually Chip and I did shoot a few scenes side by side, but never in the same direction. I don't think it was out of a desire to not step on each other's toes, although I think that was always there, but simply because we saw different photographs in our heads. A few days later we both headed home.

I had hoped now that I lived on the west coast to again meet up with Chip, but I'll have to be satisfied with the wonderful posts of his, usually about his kids, that will survive him on Facebook. Sad to see you go, and my deepest condolences to your family.

Ken Lee
7-Mar-2016, 10:47
Thank you for that !

Richard Wasserman
7-Mar-2016, 13:48
Nicely said. Thank you for sharing Brian.

7-Mar-2016, 14:46
Ah darn. Rest in Peace. I just picked up one of his books at the Weston Gallery a month ago. Sigh.

Michael Rosenberg
8-Mar-2016, 14:33
Here is a tribute to Chip Hooper: http://www.ampthemag.com/the-real/chip-hooper-passes-away/

I saw his work in a gallery about 6 years ago and was blown away. Just amazing.


Ken Lee
8-Mar-2016, 14:38
It would be nice to see his photos. Are there any on the web ?

8-Mar-2016, 14:56
Luke, use the google!



8-Mar-2016, 15:14
Sad to heard this. I have got two books of him . Seascapes very well done.
We always have his photographs.

8-Mar-2016, 16:25
A real tribute, thanks for remembering us and posting it,


9-Mar-2016, 20:54
rest in peace, brother.

9-Mar-2016, 22:55
Bummer...I bought one of his books a few years back at the Weston Gallery while on an excursion in Big Sur. Very ephemeral scenes that often times captured both the quiet and powerful nature of the sea simultaneously. May have to head towards the water this weekend...