About the photographer

 

How it all started for me:

charlie_dickens_profile_image-0001So here’s my story (with no third person narration): In 1986 my grandfather had just passed away, and before they had to sell the farm, my dad asked me to photograph some of the old barns and the farm house where he grew up. That was my first photography assignment with my new 35mm Pentax camera, and many of the framed portraits are still hanging on the walls in mom and dad’s house today. The fun times I had as a kid down at the farm with all my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents are gone, but I can still remember like it was yesterday, everytime I look at those portraits. Realizing the powerful and positive impact that images can have is just one of the reasons why I love doing what I do.

Background and experience:

I graduated from UNC – Charlotte and worked as an engineer before going full time as a professional photographer. My technical background in project management and engineering helps with problem solving and technical lighting challenges photographers are faced with on a daily basis. I love lighting challenges and figuring out how to make people look great in any situation. With over 20 years experience photographing weddings, I have seen just about every scenario you can imagine. As such, I am always prepared with back up equipment for everything I shoot with, from lights to lenses and everything in between. I carry over this discipline to commercial shoots as well. Our business clients are busy, so when we can come in prepared and create great images quickly and efficiently, it helps our clients stay on track and get back to business quickly. I have had the opportunity to photograph head shots, events and commercial photography for small to large companies all over the region for many years and bring that wealth of experience to every job.  This simply means our clients get high quality professional images and personal customer service on every job.

Photographic Style:

Our classic style portraiture is blended with more relaxed posing and natural expressions to create what we call “comfortable classics”. Without using overly trendy frills or filtering, these elements combine to create gorgeous, elegant portraiture that will stand the test of time and make you or your family look great now and in the years to come.

I’ve been very fortunate to study with some of the leading photographers and artists in the industry, from all over the world, and many of the best still use classical techniques with their own “twist”. So don’t get too caught up in trendy photography styles and fads that will date your important portraits.

Professional Photography Equipment:

We photographers love our photography equipment. I honestly think some of us get too caught up in having the latest and greatest cameras, computers etc., but then don’t spend time & money on the important things, like learning new techniques, education and just improving our craft, which is what ultimately gets better images for our clients. I emphasize this to my students in the photography classes I teach, so that they focus on skills and techniques instead of equipment so much. I try to find a balance personally, but since you asked, I do use top of the line professional equipment for everything. I use Nikon full frame professional cameras and professional lenses, Photogenic professional studio lighting (the “work horse” of the industry) with mostly Larson softboxes and professional light modifiers (best in the industry). I work with high end PC computers simply because I have too much software investment in the PC platform to switch to Mac. I use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop for professional image editing, with various additional plug-ins, such as the full Nik suite, Imagenomic Portraiture, and others. To put things into perspective, we will typically bring $10,000 to $20,000 worth of professional equipment on site for commercial shoots and use the same in our studio.

Vendors:

Professional print labs and other vendors are critical for continuity of quality in products and service. We use multiple professional labs across the country for printing, depending on whether we are printing professional wedding albums, wall portraits or smaller gift prints. Over the years, we’ve vetted and tested and found the best vendors in the industry, most of which have been in business for 20-50 years or more. Of course, early on, before I became a serious professional, I tried the less expensive consumer vendors and learned some lessons the hard way like everyone does when first starting out in photography.