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.

Raleigh NC Modeling Session - A nomad in corporate america

Across the street from my office is a pile of rocks.

They look like ordinary rocks - or so I thought.

Up close, they look like something that reminds me of the mountains of Afghanistan. And it didn’t hurt that Mecca dressed the part.

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Photographers are always looking for cool spaces to shoot, especially those that don’t require special access or come with the risk of arrest. And especially those that can make it seem you’re in another country.

But who knew that one would find such a cool space that’s surrounded by corporate buildings?

As we most things in western Wake County these days, I’m sure this space will be another corporate building in a year or two. But for now, I’m enjoying the space, and the imagination it has given us.



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.

Here's why you don't want boring senior photos

2018.11.10 Tai'na Ortiz by StanChambersJr Photography 8 small.jpg

There’s nothing wrong with railroad tracks, water fountains, fields of green and country bridges, but who looks back at those senior pictures and says that’s who they were at that point in their lives?

Senior photography should reflect one’s personality, but they should also be creative. After all, you’re only a high school senior once, right?

Tai'na, a senior at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, has a lot of aspirations, including modeling. So I wanted to turn her senior session into a mini modeling session.

And I knew just the spot.

This was my first photoshoot since returning to North Carolina, and plenty has changed in the three years I was gone - especially Raleigh’s Warehouse District.

The area was already popular for photoshoots, but with the building of Raleigh Union Station and The Dillion Raleigh, both of where we took pictures, I’ve seen multiple photographers the few times I’ve been in the area.

And I don’t blame them.

As for Tai’na, we were able to capture some pretty cool pictures despite the early Saturday morning wind and cold.

Want to do a creative senior session? Let’s talk about it!

3 + 1 Reasons to Include Photography in Your 2019 Budget

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You’re likely already planning your non-routine spending for 2019. 

And I bet photography isn’t one of those items.

I get it. Photography isn’t a reoccurring expense for you. But it’s no different than choosing a new cell phone, because what was once a product for the few has become a needed asset for everyone.

And the quality of your pictures, just like a cell phone, comes down to cost.

Can you get a cheaper phone with less storage? Of course. Will it work for you? Likely. Will you be satisfied with what you end up with? Maybe.

When it comes to hiring a photographer, can you get one that’s less expensive? Of course. Will their pictures work? Likely. Will you be satisfied with what you end up with? Maybe.

We save for items such as vacations and new vehicles because we want an experience that meets and exceeds our expectations. A Ford Explorer and a Land Rover perform the same basic function, but you pay more for the Land Rover because you desire a certain level of quality.

It should be no different when it comes to your photographer.  

It’s easy to say that everyone needs professional pictures, but if you fit into these three reasons, then photography should be a priority for you in 2019:

A Growing Family

Plan on giving birth or adopting in 2019? Kids growing up before your eyes? It’s better to capture those maternity and family moments now before they’re gone. Even better if those photos are creative.

The Business of You

Never underestimate the power of a professional headshot. From your LinkedIn profile to owning your business, if you’re representing yourself in a professional nature, then you need professional headshots. The same goes for models looking for creative photos for their portfolio.

A Major Event

Engagements and weddings are obvious, but what about that big event your organization is hosting? If you’re sweating over every detail of your event, then you should sweat over the quality of your event pictures

And of course, there’s the “you never know” factor, from photos of your property to special pictures for yourself. Either way, it’s likely you’ll need and want professional photos in 2019.

Schedule an appointment to talk about your 2019 photography needs, and don’t forget to plan for them in your budget!