Bob Harper, owner of Bob Harper Portraits, located in downtown Hampton, is a proud U.S. Army veteran and a passionate photographer who uses his digital and artistic skills to work with families to create and preserve a visual legacy to pass down for generations. With most of his sessions taking place over the weekend, Harper remains busy in assisting families as well as freelancing for other local businesses throughout the week.
A graduate of West Point who served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army for 26 years, Harper also served in combat during the Vietnam War and other conflicts prior to opening his studio in 2010. Confident in his ability to provide a life-long visual legacy for families, Harper also focuses on providing local businesses with professional, executive portraits as well as restoring old family photos that clients wish to preserve and protect. Having been in business for 13 years and surviving the initial plummet of Covid-19, Harper has managed to sustain and grow his business despite a difficult climate.
As a portrait artist, Harper works tirelessly to create fine art, investment worthy, legacy portraits that become treasured family heirlooms. “I focus on fine art portraiture, and I work with my clients to create a personalized session that tells a story for each individual family. In other words, I create iconic legacy portraits that are going to outlive them for generations,” says Harper.
Harper also uses his photography skills to support local businesses, including the Hampton Roads Down-Syndrome Association. He is an ongoing pet portrait photographer for the Peninsula SPCA. Harper is always looking for new organizations to support, as well as spending his time researching various business strategies to grow Bob Harper Portraits.
When asked what motivates him throughout the day, Harper says, “Continuing to improve my skills not only as a photographer, but also as a business owner. This is what truly keeps me inspired to be the best I can be on a daily basis.” With future plans to grow his business over the next five years, Harper plans to hire an additional photographer who can work alongside him to manage additional sessions as his client list grows, allowing Harper to spend more time researching and tending to business expansion.
Spending most of his free time with his 14-month-old Australian Shepherd, his younger brother and extended friends who live in the area, Harper supports many community organizations about which he feels passionate. He is currently board president of the Hampton History Museum Association, a Rotarian in the Hampton Rotary Club and an active Hampton Roads board member of the Virginia Professional Photographers Association. As an avid reader, Harper also enjoys reading both history and business novels, following his favorite authors, James Lee Burke, John Grisham and Michael Connolly. He appreciates spending time outdoors.
Harper says if he could go back in time, he would have started his photography business sooner in order to pursue his true passion of creating visual legacies for a lifetime and beyond. “I love serving others and guiding them through the process of preserving their visual legacy,” he says. “People often overlook the importance of photographs, and I want to help families preserve special moments in time while also preserving the sacred history that composes each and every family.”
TO THE POINT:
Bob Harper Portraits
Address: 120 West Queens Way, #101, Hampton, VA 23669
Contact: Bob Harper, owner and founder