Marion couple support community events through photography
MARION, S.C. – It’s tough to keep track of all of the activities happening around Marion County, but one married couple volunteer their time to help support and capture those moments through their love of photography.
Phillip and Shelly Sarvis can be found throughout the year snapping shots at festivals, banquets, car shows, concerts, parties, galas, dance contest, games and more. The Marion and Mullins Chamber of Commerce, Historic Marion Revitalization Association and city officials have come to count on them being there.
“You won’t find a more home-spirited couple than those two,” said Al Blake of Historic Marion Revitalization Association. “They ooze Marion all the time. We can’t do anything without them.”
HMRA executive director Stephanie Indergaard said the Sarvises can be counted on to show up at events.
“I don’t think Marion would be what it is without Shelly and Phil, because they are at every event documenting all of it,” she said. “It’s great, because everyone can just go back and look at those memories and kind of relive those events because of what they do.”
The Sarvises have been married for three years, and their love of photography is part of what drew them together.
“I actually started eight years ago when I got on the HMRA board just to promote the events that we did, and then other events started expecting me to do it,” Shelly Sarvis said. “He did it down at the beach where he lived, and then when we got married and we started doing it together.”
Phil Sarvis started taking photos in 1975 and eventually went on to taking photos for his son’s high school and a local newspaper in Loris.
“It’s always been a hobby,” he said. “It’s a pleasure. We put our hearts into it, and we want to give people something to remember an event or occasion by.”
The Sarvis family does it all free and attends up to one or two events per month. The photos become albums on their social media pages and available for public view. They’ve become so popular and receive so many invitations they have to reschedule vacations.
“They know we don’t mind doing it and we just don’t get tired,” Shelly Sarvis said. “He’ll be on one side, and I’ll be on the other side, and he’ll get shots that I don’t get.”
Shelly Sarvis is a Marion native and Phil Sarvis was born and raised in Aynor. Their other hobbies include cooking, boating and camping. They also share photos of their vacation trips along with some of their favorite food dishes as supporters of local restaurants and diners.
Phil Sarvis said the best part is being married to Shelly, as they have fun spending time together.
“I think it’s because we have so much common interest,” she said. “Our hobbies are the same and it makes it fun.”
For Phil Sarvis, it’s also about making the most of time.
“We’ve lost a handful of friends this year,” he said. “Some tragically to an accident and some found out at the last minute they had cancer and they only lived six to eight weeks. And you know we decided we’re just going to enjoy ourselves. You’re not promised tomorrow.
“We’re thankful for everything the good Lord has given us and everything he allows us to do and we need to give him the credit for allowing us to be able to do this.”