The Man Behind the Lens

Flagler College Junior captures much more than just surf shots

By Ben McLeod |

Eric Fillingame is capturing surfing, graphic design and business with the help of his Canon camera.

This 22-year-old junior is majoring in graphic design and plans to work in the surf industry as a photographer. Although he has only been taking pictures for three years, Fillingame has as much experience behind the lens as most photographers.

Fillingame has done photography work in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Mexico and California, and he frequently shoots photos of pro surfers Shea Lopez, Aaron Cormican and Eric Geiselman.

So far, Fillingame’s college career has been a good experience, but not picture perfect.

“I started out at the University of North Florida where I studied engineering, but I did not like it,” Fillingame said.

“Then I transferred to Daytona Beach Community College to study photography, but did not enjoy that either.”

Fillingame took a year off after DBCC to do photography work and intern for Fox Clothing, a famous extreme sport company.

During his year off, he lived in Kauai for three months to shoot photos of surfing and landscapes. He chose to go back to school and attend Flagler College so he could gain knowledge in more than just photography.

“I am at Flagler now because there is so much more to do,” Fillingame said.

“I can use photography for graphic design, and study business so I can have my own company one day.”

Fillingame has already been accepted to Laguna College of Art and Design, and is planning on getting his master’s degree out in California after he graduates.

Although Fillingame loves shooting surf photos, his photography is not all about surfing. “Some of my favorite kinds of photography are landscape and portrait,” Fillingame said.

“I love taking black and white pictures as well.”

He is all about the simplicity of photography, and searching for different angles. “I am constantly looking for ways to show simple pictures,” Fillingame said.

Fillingame has a respectable quiver of Canon cameras, including a Canon 40D, Canon EOS EA and Canon 1D.

“Photography is expensive,” Fillingame said. “Money is definitely an issue because you need the equipment, film and all the software that is involved in photography.”

Since he has paid his dues to get both the equipment and experience he needs, Fillingame will be shooting photos of the Flagler College surf team. Each month, Fillingame will be covering the team at the National Scholastic Surfing Association competitions.
Fillingame is not only zooming in on his lens, but is also getting his plans for the future in to focus.

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