Off the Beaten Path


Deb Schillbach

Being based in New Hampshire, Acopio has always been aware of the power of unexplored routes. Our landscape holds them, our poets write about them, and our community travels them. One such traveler whom we appreciate is Deborah Schillbach. 

After graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology, having spent four years gravitating towards the world of photography, Deb entered into social work as a family counselor. Even though the work was noble, and the job secure, Deb quickly found that she wanted to continue with what she loved most: photography. This unwavering passion led her to pursue the art of producing pictures, and thus Deb found herself off the path she had been making for herself, and on to a real adventure.

This new path was (as almost all are) filled with a multitude of new things. In search of “photographic experiences” Deb worked as a freelance commercial prop stylist for photographers throughout New England and a merchandiser for an upscale clothing boutique, doing whatever it took to do what she loved.

Another experience entirely was Deb’s diagnosis of breast cancer, which she responded to with an immense amount of courage. That response, paired with support from medical and local communities, allowed her to win her battle and continue along her path. Following this and the start of her daughter’s college journey, Deb began to further involve herself in the art of photography.

Deb became immersed in shooting different subjects concentrating on abstract themes such as color, shape, and feeling. Her subjects range from distant paradises to local treasures, and each is shot in a way that makes them irreplicable. Asked what makes her photographs so special, Deb would say that “My photographs are not preconceived or forced, they are viscerally defined. I photograph what affects me in the special moment - the shots are natural and spontaneous. My deep life experiences help me to see the world more clearly and through a unique perspective.”

Currently, Deb works for herself and her love of photography, and resides as a “quintessential empty nester” here in New Hampshire with her husband. We admire Deb for her passion, and for the way she has allowed her experiences from a life off the beaten path to shine in her creative endeavors. As she has continued her life’s work, she has joined our community at Acopio as someone who connects with our mission, who sees our little shop and takes it as inspiration to inspire others.

We have included some of Deb’s photographs below, for more check out her Facebook and Website!