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Photographer Bringing His Business into Focus as SpringBoard Incubator's Newest Tenant

by on March 06, 2018 7:26 PM

Activity is picking up at Centre County's newest business incubator.

At their meeting on Tuesday, county commissioners introduced Shawn Henfling, whose Captured Chaos Photography has become the fourth business in SpringBoard at 120 S. Water St. in Bellefonte.

The incubator and co-working space opened in June 2017 and in October, Hello Social, a social media management and advertising business, became SpringBoard's first member. But the space has gotten busier in 2018, with the addition of Eileen Scott Coaching, Dana M. Ray Consulting and now Captured Chaos.

Henfling started Captured Chaos while living in Bradford County in 2012. After years of treating photography as a hobby and doing work for free, he decided it was time to start up a business, albeit a part-time one. Initially his work centered on portraits for family and friends, until mentors at the family-run Carden's Photography asked him to assist on a few wedding shoots.

"Until that point I had sworn I would never do a wedding – too many horror stories of bridezillas and drunk grooms," he said. "I found that it probably was the most fun I’d had to that date with a camera in my hand. So I started to venture into that realm. I’ve second-shot for the Cardens quite a bit. I’ve done quite a few of my own weddings."

He's also expanded his work into other areas as well, from engagement photos to lifestyle and concert photography to professional head shots.

In 2015, Henfling, who graduated from Penn State in 2000, moved to Spring Mills. While still working a different full-time job, photography wasn't his main focus and he also had to start building a network all over again. Last year he decided to leave his job and fully commit himself to the photography business.

But in addition to rebuilding a professional network, he also found it difficult to work out of his own home, finding it too easy to put off tasks.

"I needed a place to actually go to work. I’d seen the SpringBoard advertised a few times and I’d read about it and kept it in the back of my mind," he said. "When I realized my efforts at networking weren’t paying off, that’s really when I pulled the trigger to jump in with the SpringBoard. I knew that was a major tool they offered and something I desperately needed."

Commissioner Mark Higgins noted that Henfling is the first male business owner at SpringBoard, but that he and several others share a characteristic.

"I’m noticing a commonality that several of the other members there are also not originally from Centre County," Higgins said. "They moved here by choice and they loved the area… 'But working at home isn’t exactly doing it for me. It’s distracting. I need other people to interact with who are serious about what they’re doing.'"

Henfling, who also specializes in writing about mental health issues, has served on Centre County's Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention Advisory Board for about a year and is a member of the county's Suicide Prevention Task Force.

"I’ve been trying to get more involved in the community and I’m going to continue that," he said.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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