Charlotte NC Photo Session: Not Looking Like Your Past

We go through so much in life that we can forget who we are, or we’re forced to either become a new person or reclaim the person we was.

For Myra, after facing multiple life challenges, she decided to reclaim the person she is: Resilient, Strong, and Optimistic.

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Encompassing all of that within a photoshoot can be challenging within itself. Add in the fact that were were shooting in a city I’ve never shot in before.

We were in Charlotte, N.C. for the Iota Sweethearts’ Third National Conclave, where I was the conference’s photographer and Myra was a delegate.

This shoot was truly an adventure. While I’ve visited Charlotte multiple times, this was my first time shooting in the Queen City. Shooting in new environments is fun, but it can also be quite challenging, especially in an unfamiliar area.

We ended up shooting at the fountain in front of the Bank of America Corporate Center. And it was easy for Myra to show off the person she truly is.

Business photo & video shoot: Lead Faucet Tactical

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It’s one thing to thank a veteran for their service, but it’s awesome when you’re able to help them grow their business.

Dan is a retired Special Forces soldier who started Lead Faucet Tactical, which provides tactical and shooting training to law enforcement and others.

I was invited to his farm in Virginia to capture photos and video of him in action. While it’s easy taking pictures of someone shooting their rifles, I wanted to capture more than that. Telling stories through photography isn’t just about the action in front of the lens, but also the elements that make up the story.

So along with photos of Dan shooting his rifles, I also wanted pictures of the weapons themselves as well as shots of Dan working on his rifles.

One of Dan’s sponsors is Barrett, which manufactures large-caliber rifles, and he wanted me to create a video highlighting his use of Barrett rifles:

So you may be wondering - How did Stan end up on a farm in the middle of nowhere Virginia shooting photos & video of a veteran shooting his guns?

I worked with Dan’s girlfriend years ago (she owned her own boutique shop), and when I moved back to North Carolina, she wanted me to come up to their farm.

And it’s a real farm. Complete with cows, goats, and pigs.

I’m always thankful of cool assignments. Especially when they help people like Dan grow their business.

Thank you for your service, Dan.

Model Shoot - The Beauty of the moment

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Returning to North Carolina has afforded me the luxury of familiarity while simultaneously seeing how people and places have evolved.

But not all change is for the better.

Along my daily commute is a home that didn’t burn to the ground, but burned beyond habitation.

The dwelling isn’t easy to miss, but is easy to ignore - unless you see the beauty in just about anything.

Which meant I wanted to use this home for a shoot.

And I wanted Marissa for that shoot.

I’ve worked with many models during my previous 12 years in North Carolina, but for some reason, Marissa and I never linked up for a shoot. Such bothered me because as artists, collaboration is mostly based off of being attracted to one’s aura, and Marissa seemed like someone I would work well with.

So even before I was fully settled upon returning to Durham, I put her on notice that I wanted to shoot with her.

Creating art is also very intimate. As a creative, you’re expressing yourself through your work. Which means it’s key for anyone involved in an artistic project to be one with your vision.

And there’s nothing wrong with bringing a little silliness as well, even on a cold Sunday morning.

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I converted the photos in front of the home to black and white because eliminating color can really isolate a moment. Pictures are inherently frozen moments, but I wanted to draw the viewer even further into the moment.

And the flowers emphasized the beauty of that moment, even in front of a burned-out home.

Photographers are not only trained to capture moments, but they also have the power to redefine how we see things.

I no longer see the house an an eyesore, but another canvas in which to create moments of beauty.