category: Personal




A Day To Remember: 9/11 In Charlotte

I think we all remember where we were and what we were doing on 9/11 eight years ago.

I stopped by the Palmer Building in Charlotte today to grab a couple of quick photos of the tribute placed there every year. The Charlotte Fire Department and volunteers place 2,997 flags to represent the twin towers and honor all who died there. It's hard not to be moved as you think back to the event.

Today we should all remember.

Children walk among some of the 2,997 American flags used to represent the twin towers

Children walk among some of the 2,997 American flags used to represent the twin towers

We remember the fallen

We remember





Photography in NoDa: William Puckett's Mural

The North Davidson Street area, NoDa to the locals, is a fun, funky arts center in Charlotte.

After a meeting there Wednesday afternoon, I took a little walk with my camera to take in some of the sights. I had seen William Puckett working on this awesome mural a few weeks back when I was taking photos with the children in the "Charlotte Through Our Eyes" project. You can read more about the mural here.

While Charlotte is most known as a banking town, NoDa celebrates its vibrant arts community.

William Puckett works on his mural in NoDa

William Puckett works on his mural in NoDa

Will's latest mural is in the heart of Charlotte's Arts District on North Davidson Street

Will's latest mural is in the heart of Charlotte's Arts District on North Davidson Street





Charlotte Through Our Eyes Photography Project

I've been working with a talented and inspiring group of Charlotte area photographers and graphic artists on "Charlotte Through Our Eyes," which gives youngsters whose families are facing difficult financial struggles a chance to learn and express themselves through photography.

The brainchild of David Johnson, founder of the non-profit Silent Images, the program is bringing together the creative energy of several local visual artists. Johnson quit his teaching job in Charlotte to travel the globe documenting persecuted and oppressed people. He uses his work to raise awareness and money for indigenous people, sending any profit from his work back to the people he has documented.

Helping coordinate the project is Elizabeth Marx, another photographer with a passion for helping the oppressed through her work with her Almond Leaf Studios. Richard Sharpe, an architect who decided to shift his focus to his love of photography, was documenting some of yesterday's session.

The youngsters and their mentors spend part of each session in different areas of Charlotte with the kids taking digital images that will later be used in an exhibit at the Levine Museum in Charlotte.

I showed some of my images and talked to the youngsters about photojournalism and documentary photography. Thanks to Richard Sharpe for the photo.

I showed some of my images and talked to the youngsters about photojournalism and documentary photography. Thanks to Richard Sharpe for the photo.





New York State of Mind: Scenes From The Big Apple

We just returned from a bittersweet trip and I wanted to share a few images from our stop in New York City.

The trip included a stay in Saratoga Springs, NY, where we attended a memorial service for my father Ben, who passed away in February. While there was much sadness, it was also a celebration of my father's life and I got to see relatives and friends I haven't seen in many, many years.

We spent a few days in Saratoga before we headed to the city for a couple days of sightseeing and fun.

Pretty light outside Rockefeller Center

Pretty light outside Rockefeller Center

The sun glistens off the tall buildings

The sun glistens off the tall buildings

A Chelsea storefront

A Chelsea storefront

Shopping new Chinatown

Shopping near Chinatown

An evening street scene

An evening street scene

Trinkets for sale in Chinatown

Trinkets for sale in Chinatown

Walking on the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking on the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US

Another great view from the bridge

Another great view from the bridge

We ran into a group of street dancers paying tribute to Michael Jackson

We ran into a group of street dancers paying tribute to Michael Jackson

Tribute to Michael

Tribute to Michael

These guys showed some serious strength

These guys showed some serious strength

Big finish

Big finish





Snow Photos: Winter Weather in Charlotte

Growing up in Pennsylvania I was pretty accustomed to snow. But living in North Carolina, which has been our home for the past 20 years, a snowstorm is always a major event.
Following a steady rain most of the day Sunday, snow began falling in the early evening eventually dumping anywhere from 4 to 8 inches in most of the Charlotte area.
Charlotte Mecklenburg cancelled school and the kids got the always popular snow day.
I ventured out in our neighborhood Monday morning to document some of the fun.
You typically have to work quickly around here because the snow doesn't last very long. And forecasters are calling for temperatures near 70 by the weekend.
Having fun in the snow

Having fun in the snow

Beautiful scene at the Highland Creek Golf Course

Beautiful scene at the Highland Creek Golf Course

No school, snow and sleds - life is good

No school, snow and sleds - life is good

This little guy took a good spill, but it didn't slow him down

This little guy took a good spill, but it didn't slow him down

Photo op for mom

Photo op for mom

Snow brings out the kid in everyone

Snow brings out the kid in everyone

Climbing the hill for another run

Climbing the hill for another run

A heavy, wet snow clings to branches

A heavy, wet snow clings to branches

The sign on my street is a bit hard to read

The sign on my street is a bit hard to read

The sun came out and created a pretty scene

The sun came out and created a pretty scene

The fence in our back yard

The fence in our back yard

Another tree detail

Another tree detail

Kids on one of the golf greens at Highland Creek

Kids on one of the golf greens at Highland Creek

Another pretty golf scene

Another pretty golf scene

No golf today, but it's supposed to be 70 by the weekend

No golf today, but it's supposed to be 70 by the weekend





Winter Gala Fundraiser

I don't photograph many parties but Heidi, a good friend and one of our former brides, asked if I could help out on an event she was organizing with her friend Shay.
The event was a fundraiser for the Charlotte Preparatory School, where Heidi and Shay's sons attend school.
Held in the magnificent home of Walter and Meredith, also Charlotte Prep parents, the event included a silent auction, casino games and plenty of food and drinks for the guests.
Saturday was a busy day that started with a bridal portrait shoot at The Duke Mansion. Check back soon for some of those images.
The fundraiser took place in a beautiful home in Charlotte

The fundraiser took place in a beautiful home in Charlotte

Guests ready for a spin of the roulette wheel

Guests ready for a spin of the roulette wheel
Waiting for a winning spin

Waiting for a winning spin

Gaming for a good cause

Gaming for a good cause

We have a winner

We have a winner

More fun at the tables

More fun at the tables

Hosts Meredith and Walter bid on a silent auction item

Hosts Meredith and Walter bid on a silent auction item

Having a good time at the gala

Having a good time at the gala

Heidi, left, one of our former brides and now a good friend, and Shay, a new friend, did a great job organizing the event

Heidi, left, one of our former brides and now a good friend, and Shay, a new friend, did a great job organizing the event

Beautiful setting for a party

Beautiful setting for a party





Roxy's Snow Day

We don't get much snow in Charlotte and when we do it's usually a big event.

The ever-cautious weather prognosticators at our local TV stations generally hype a possible "snow event" with incredible depth and glee.

Of course there was little mention of snow yesterday and it caught most people by surprise. Even though it amounted to a measly two inches at our house, the extra-cold conditions made for the dreaded black ice and local schools were closed (much to the delight of our son Sean and thousands of students in the area).

Kids around here learn early on that you have to move very quickly to enjoy the snow as the sun typically comes out and the white stuff is gone before you can build a decent snowman.

We saw the snow quickly fading so I got a few shots of our dog Roxy getting her first romp in the snow.

Roxy on the run

Roxy on the run

Roxy thinks snow is tasty

Roxy thinks snow is tasty

Snow adds some flavor to a good tennis ball

Snow adds some flavor to a good tennis ball

The snow didn't last long, but Roxy made the most of it

The snow didn't last long, but Roxy made the most of it





Something to Celebrate: Another Anniversary

We're celebrating

The economy seems to have everyone feeling down and the Carolina Panthers suffered a tough loss in their playoff game last night - but we still have reason to celebrate today.

It was two years ago today that I left The Charlotte Observer after 14 years of adventure at the largest circulation newspaper in the Carolinas. I’d spent more than 20 years in journalism but it was time for something new.

We started photographing weddings five years earlier as a side venture but it was time to commit all of our efforts to our growing business.

Along with celebrating, we want to take time to say thank you.

Thank you to all of the wonderful couples who have given us the honor of sharing one of the most important days of their lives. We appreciate your faith in us and we do everything we can to deliver images that have lasting value.

We also want to thank all of the great wedding professionals we’ve encountered along the way. We're also appreciative of our corporate and editorial clients who gave us some great assignments. And thanks to all of the talented photographers we’ve gotten to know better.

We’ve had some changes this year, including moving our office from Davidson to Dilworth and this new journal we started in September to better showcase our images.

We are so grateful for the opportunity to do something we love and for the freedom of running our own business.

So even in these dark days we find ourselves thankful.

Here’s to another great year – cheers!





A New Option For 2009

Happy belated New Year to all!

This time of year is always good for reflection as well as looking ahead thinking of renewal and change.

I know many people are hungry for change with all of the bad economic news and the anxiety it has created. I’ve been around long enough to know that tough times come and go and you just have to keep pushing ahead until things improve.

We were blessed with some amazing weddings and wonderful clients in 2008 and we’re excited about the great events we already have scheduled for 2009.

We’ve met many incredible people over the course of the past seven years of photographing weddings. We've gotten to know many of our clients better and watched their families grow. This has been such an honor and privilege and we strive to have a great working relationship with all of our clients.

I’ve been thinking about change recently and I wanted to come up with a way to open our services up to more couples who have an appreciation for our documentary approach to weddings.

For me, the bottom line has always been about the photography. Our best clients are always the ones who share our passion for images that capture people as they really are.

We know budget is on the mind of almost everyone this year.
With that in mind, we've added a new package to our existing choices. “The Documentary” package is a streamlined option that offers the same high level of service and quality to our customers while allowing for more flexibility in pricing.

The booking season is upon us so please contact us soon for more information about all of our coverage options.

I hope you are looking forward to 2009. I know we are!





Merry Christmas!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6
As we prepare to gather with family and friends we wanted to wish all of you a peaceful and joyful Christmas.
The Records - Chris, Betsy, Alison and Sean
May your Christmas be filled with peace, joy and love.

May your Christmas be filled with peace, joy and love.