Hi, I’m Chris. I was born and raised in Virginia, but have traveled far and wide since then. My Dad is a painter, Mom my number one fan. My family has been coming to the Outer Banks as long as I remember–since back when it was a two-lane road to get here and nothing but cornfields. My Dad has been working as a developer down here for over 20 years. In 2000 he decided to buy a house here to stay inspired and enjoy the beach and pursue his art.
I have been a lifetime wanderer, artist, searcher. I spent many years traveling and playing music, and also pursued a Master’s degree in Anthropology. I spent a year in Australia following the trail of the Aboriginal people before I had to come home due to health concerns. I also spent 2 years in New York City playing Irish music in pubs and slugging it out as an aspiring singer-songwriter.
I first met Julie 10 years ago when I moved to the Outer Banks, and she gave me my first wedding job, shooting video for a Match.com poster couple. I was instantly enthralled with the possibilities of digital imaging, so I decided to start my own path down this road. I learned everything I could and found that most of it came so naturally, I wondered why I hadn’t started earlier. I would have had so many great pictures from my travels. I bought myself some gear and joined the Outer Banks Wedding Association, and booked out my first year that I was in business as a wedding photographer. I quickly rose to the top of the heap here on the Outer Banks, but something was missing for me. In pursuit of different, unique photography I traveled a lot and attended the best seminars I could find. Three years ago I took an exclusive workshop in New York City with Magnum Photographer and longtime National Geographic contributor David Alan Harvey . We eventually became friends, and I’ve learned a lot from hanging out with him. Since then I’ve done a fair bit of assignment work for national publications and have worked on a number of different projects, the most well known being a book and art project called “After the Storm”, which has been published in numerous places online and in print, and has traveled to a number of photography festivals and gallery shows as well. The story also won a spot on the online New York Times, and a write-up in the “Lens Blog”, where the New York Times photo staff profiles the best in photojournalism. I have since done a lot of assignment work for the Times, most notably for the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. I am also working on a long-term project documenting Carnival celebrations around the world and tracing their origins and histories, as well as a number of smaller projects.
Julie and I have worked together and have been friends for a long time, so it was a natural progression for us to team up on the business end. In addition to being a great photographer, she is a consummate professional. Working with Julie has allowed me to focus more on the art and the imagery and leave the finer details of contracts, promotion, and client relations in her capable hands. I meet with all my couples beforehand to establish a friendly relationship and to hear their stories, and at the wedding my assistant and I work like crazy, blending in to the action and watching the light, the angles, the expressions, to find those special moments and to create natural, glamorous portraits with minimal fuss. We try to keep the celebration happening the whole time, and encourage you to have fun with us. It’s so much better when everyone is smiling and laughing and having a good time.
My wedding work, my personal projects, and my assignment work are all related to me. I am always looking to tell a story, to give a sense of drama and emotion, and to reveal the essence of the people I meet. I’m known mostly for my dramatic use of light and for my love of stormy weather, but I love a beautiful sunny day as much as anyone. I’m proud to be part of Julie’s team, and I look forward to being your photographer!
- Published in the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Time Magazine, Newsweek, VISION Magazine, and numerous smaller publications.
- Profiled in Outside Magazine
- Profiled in Surfing Magazine and Eastern Surf Magazine, as well as South Africa’s BOMB surf magazine
- Published in Burn online magazine, American Journal, and numerous online blogs and websites
- Book: After the Storm
- Art Shows: New York City; Washington DC; Norfolk, VA; Big Rapids MI; Charlottesville, VA; Manteo, NC
- Cover of Outer Banks Bride Magazine 2008, 2010
- Cover of Outer Banks Wedding Guide 2009, 2010
Favorite things: the open road, surfing, cycling, reading, stormy weather, really good dreams, art that makes my jaw drop, long talks with old friends, Europe, my family, the moon on the ocean.
Least favorite things: waking up early, excessive texting, airport security, getting hit in the head by someone else’s surfboard, people who lack compassion.
Life goals: publish lots of great photography books, shoot 2-3 major articles for National Geographic, keep traveling, find love, stay healthy, live in Paris, spend a year traveling Ireland, die happy.