About admin

Charlie has a love and a passion for photography that began over twenty years ago with his first Pentax 35mm SLR film camera. Whether he's photographing a wedding or creating unique portraits that capture and reflect the personality of his subjects, he simply loves photographing people and it shows.

Executive Head Shot

We love the opportunity to photograph local Raleigh area executive head shots because we meet so many people in so many different fields of work, and get to help them with their personal branding. We recently welcomed Chris Edwards into our studio to update his executive head shots for his new position at Markraft Cabinets. He is the new Executive Director of the Apex Division. It was awesome hearing his story of working in the cabinetry industry for many years and returning to Markraft after 17 years.  You can read more about his story and see how he used one of his professional head shots for his new bio page here: https://www.markraft.com/staff/chris-edwards/

Below are a few more of Chris’ head shots, with permission, of course.

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Raleigh executive head shots, Raleigh head shots, professional head shots,

NC State Alumni Awards Event

Background Story

We were recently hired to photograph the distinguished alumni awards event for NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, or as I learned very quickly, “CALS”. Yes, I kept thinking everyone was saying “cows”, so I chalked that up to something to do with the agriculture program, but finally figured out it was the acronym for the college. 🙂 You learn something new every day, right!?!

All kidding aside, it was quite an experience get to hear what some of these distinguished alumni have accomplished in industry and academia. Some were head of large global research companies and some were distinguished professors at other leading universities etc. etc. Quite impressive to say the least, but the one common theme was how much they all gained from their time with all the incredible professors and staff at NCSU.  It’s always fun and interesting when we photograph events for organizations, because they’re all a little different and you get to learn some cool new things, if your lucky, and meet lots of great people, like Gary Hahn – the voice of the wolfpack, who was emcee for the event (you can see him in 4th image below).

The Photography Challenge

For this job, we were photographing in a large hall with high ceilings and a really challenging mixed lighting situation. We had lots of natural light coming from the large wall of windows (which was gradually changing as we went from day to evening), which was mixed with the incandescent room lighting. We needed to photograph the speakers speaking along with a group photo just after their speech, so we were shooting with two different lighting set ups. We shot the speakers with ambient light, using high ISO and fairly wide aperture settings because we couldn’t use flash since it would be distracting. We had lights (on camera and off camera flashes with modifiers) for the group photos, and of course we carefully balanced that with ambient light so the background wasn’t to dark. On top of all of the technical challenges, we had a fairly small space for the group photos and had to work around a somewhat annoying school photographer shooting with a mobile phone. All that to say, hiring a professional for your important events is the key to getting great results regardless of the situation. As a pro, you always have to bring not only the right equipment, but more importantly the technical & people skills to every job, because you never know what you’ll run into.

After reviewing the images from the event, the director that hired us said she was absolutely thrilled with the results. She even wanted to go ahead and book us for next year’s event and expand the scope to photographing the tail gate event (NCSU football) for all the alumni in the PNC Arena. Super excited about that for next year! Thanks for reading, enjoy the images below and hope you enjoyed a little slice of what we do everyday.

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Keywords: Raleigh event photography, event photography, Raleigh events, corporate event photography,

Mobile Phone Photo Tip – Panoramic Photos

Since we’re working on content for a mobile phone photo course, it’s a great time to share a few simple tips on getting better panoramic images from your phone’s camera.

I personally love photographing panoramic images with my Iphone and think they do a phenomenal job of seamlessly stitching panoramas together. Below are a few recent panos I created with my Iphone:

Panroamas can be great for interior shots where you can't quite sqeeze everything into a nomral shot

Panroamas can be great for interior shots where you can’t quite sqeeze everything into a nomral shot

Panoramas create a unique perspective for scenic shots

Panoramas create a unique perspective for scenic shots

Another scenic shot that just needed a panoramic to do it justice

Another scenic shot that just needed a panoramic to do it justice

Iphone panoramas can be great for large groups

Panoramas can be great for large groups or events

Iphone panoramas are espcially great for scenic photos

Panoramas are especially great for scenic photos

The first tip for creating a great panoramic image from your phone camera is to get an Iphone! Only kidding, other phones do great panos as well, but the Iphone just seems to do it really well.

  1. The real first tip is to rotate the phone so you’re shooting in vertical or portrait orientation. This lets you capture more “real estate” vertically in the image and since you’re going to be sweeping left or right, you need to maximize what you can include top to bottom in the image. Yep, that’s a simple one, but it’s technique that a lot of people don’t utilize.
  2. Number two is composition. You need a little composition for the image to have impact, so think about horizon line placement and have some elements at either side of the image, or both, to create some boundaries, book ends, etc. Check out one of my previous posts on composition here for more info on the rule of thirds.
  3. At number three is another key technique to make sure your panos turn out nice. When you’re panning, you need to pan slow & steady (to allow the software to seamlessly stitch your pano). Also, keep the horizon line steady while panning; In other words, don’t move the camera up and down.

Hope you enjoyed! Stay tuned and we’ll tell you how to edit your mobile images to have some color pop and texture like the ones I posted here.


Mobile phone photography, photography classes Raleigh, Wake Tech photography classes, photography courses Raleigh,

Business Portraits for 50+ Physicians

It’s been a busy summer and we’ve been behind on blog updates so please forgive! 🙂

Over two separate evening shoots, we had the privilege of meeting and photographing all of the Wake Radiology physicians and some of their administrative staff. Despite the size of this project, the process was smooth and efficient because of our up front planning and coordination with Wake’s marketing director Amy Woolard. Amy was fantastic to work with and we partnered with her to create a full suite of updated images to use for all of their marketing projects. There were 6 poses of each physician for a total of roughly 300 final images. The images included a left, right and center facing view in lab coats and in business suits. We edited and retouched all the images and extracted the subjects from the original green screen background so they could use the images in any type of marketing campaign they came up with the in future.

It was such a pleasure working so closely with Amy to plan the shoot. So fun meeting the many people that are the backbone of this great organization as well. Thanks to Wake Radiology, the doctors, staff and especially Amy, for turning a major project into a cake walk. Below are Amy’s comments & feedback in her own words and a few of the final extracted images.

“Working with Charlie Dickens on our corporate photography has been fantastic experience. He worked closely with me to get 50+ physicians photographed over a 2 day period and it went off without a hitch. He was in close contact leading up to the event and we talked through everything from usage to backdrops, positions to Photoshop editing which ensured that he was capturing exactly what we wanted. Charlie’s calm and friendly demeanor put the physicians at ease allowing him to capture relaxed natural smiles. None of the photos we were provided look fake or forced. Thanks Charlie for turning a daunting task into a cake walk”. Amy Woolard – Marketing Manager – Wake Radiology – Raleigh, NC

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Dr. Porter’s New Book!

Dr. William Porter, retired professor and local author, came back for his second photo session recently to promote his new book release! Congratulations to Dr. Porter on this most recent accomplishment! The photo session was a pleasure as always, catching up on his new endeavors and all the while getting some great pictures to market his new book! Check out these great photos and his website if you want more information on his books. http://www.williamporterlife.com/

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Professional head shots, head shots Raleigh, author head shots, head shots for authors Raleigh,

Senior Prom Photos

Yep, it’s senior prom season again and we’ve started a fun little tradition at our place where my daughter and her friends come by for prom photos before the prom. It’s really been a blast photographing for the kids and parents for the past couple of year. Cars and people everywhere and us trying to wrangle everyone for photos before they have to leave. Unfortunately, just as we’ve gotten into the swing of things, my daughter is graduating, but that’s how it goes with kids. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, they’re off to another phase in life. Maybe we’ll have to keep this tradition going for my younger daughter in a year or so. We’ll see…


Raleigh Senior Portraits, Senior pictures Raleigh, Prom photos Raleigh,

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Professional Pet Portraits

We’re excited to be partnering with Training Your Best Friend, a dog training business in Wake Forest, to offer a great deal on professional portraits of your dog.

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What: Pet Portraits of your favorite dog!

When: One day only – Monday April 30th 2018 from 2-8:30pm. Must pre register

Where: Training Your Best Friend 230 Capcom Ave Wake Forest, NC 27587 Suite 107

How: How do I sign up? Call Christie at 919 435-0023 to reserve your time slot. Next, decide from the options below so you can let us know when you come in, and just bring your pet, and we’ll take care of the rest. We can take a check, cash or card on site.


We’ll have a complete studio set up at Training Your Best Friend to create high quality professional portraits of your favorite dog. We’re still designing the set so we don’t have visuals just yet, but we’ll pose your pet and take a full body shot and a close up if you select an option with two digital files.

Portrait package options:

Package A: 2 digital files, & print package – $99

Package B: 2 digital files OR 1 digital file & print package – $79

Package C: 1 digital file – $59

Add ons: 8×10 – $19, 11×14 mounted – $79, 16×20 mounted – $129

Print package is 2-8×10’s & 2-5×7’s

Note: All digital files are edited high resolution printable files


Photo Tip – Composing Your Photos

Rule of Thirds – The easiest compostional form to use!

I’ve loved teaching photography over the years and through different venues like Wake Tech, NC State’s Technology Training Solutions division, and my own business. We like sharing some nuggets on the blog occasionally and all of these tips come from the boat loads of course content that we’ve developed over the years and that we will eventually incorporate into online courses! For more info, check out our photography training page here and enjoy the tip!

The rule of thirds is the easiest compositional form / rule to use because you can almost always use it regardless of the image you’re photographing!

First, let’s back up and define composition. Composition is simply the arrangement of elements in an image to make it more pleasing.

You almost always have a primary subject in an image. This is the main focal point or dominant subject in the composition. Most people naturally put this primary subject in the dead center of the image frame. While this can work some of the time, it usually doesn’t create very much impact and makes the image somewhat static. Try placing your primary subject off center and on one of the 4 power points in the frame (see diagram below). These 4 power points are areas in the frame where subjects will have the most impact from a compositional standpoint. Also (big tip here) when you have a horizon line in an image, put the horizon on one of the two horizontal third lines. If you want to emphasize the the sky, put it on the bottom third line, and if your image has more to emphasize in the foreground, put the horizon line on the top third line. Notice how in the lighthouse image below the horizon line is on the bottom third line and the lighthouse is on the left vertical third line. When you put your horizon line in the middle, it cuts the frame in half and divides the image. Give this a try and see how much it helps improve your images and happy shooting!


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Giving Back

Up at 5:00am on a frigid February morning, packing photography gear to drive an hour away, to photograph outside for 10 hours, and all for free.

Why would we do that? I’m glad you asked. We do that because it’s an honor and the least we can do to give back a little and be able to serve the veterans who serve and sacrifice so much for us.

We had an absolute blast photographing with a team of amature & professional photographers, for our 3rd year in a row photographing for Enduring Gratitude. You can learn more about them & what they do by clicking on the link, but I do want to share a few take aways from my perspective. My dad served full time and reserves in some capacity for 42 years so I’ve always had an appreciation for military service, but it’s so great to be able to give back to the vets a little and be able to do something for them. Two common themes I noticed throughout the day were humility and sevice. The combat wounded Green Beret key note speaker, who’s rousing speach was about how we should never stop serving, whether you are military or not, retired or not, was worth the price of admission alone.

We enjoy being able to give back, especially to those who have given so much for us.

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The volunteer dog handlers for the pheasant hunt.

The volunteer dog handlers for the pheasant hunt.


Time to eat!

Time to eat!


Mr. Louis, A WW2 Vet still knocking down clays at 92.

Mr. Louis, A WW2 Vet still knocking down clays at 92.

Mr. Louis, A 92 yr old WW2 vet that comes out every year. Such a treasure and I count myself lucky to have gotten the chance to chat with him, this year and last.

Mr. Louis, A 92 yr old WW2 vet that comes out every year. Such a treasure and I count myself lucky to have gotten the chance to chat with him, this year and last.

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Keywords: Event Photography, Raleigh Event Photographer, Enduring Gratitude