I wanted to take a bit of time today to link to a bunch of resources I have found helpful to know about and utilize in the Charlotte area. The Charlotte photographic community is very large, as is appropriate for it's size. We even have a couple of what I think of as unique resources.
This is how I first got my feet wet in the Charlotte area. The first one I joined was the Charlotte Photo Meetup group, The have been around for a few years and are growing and getting stronger each year. They recently incorporated as an educational organization and are calling themselves Charlotte Photography Group. If you need to learn your camera, composition or lighting tips this is the group for you.
Charlotte Glamor & Figure Photography
I really enjoy when I can get to these meetings. Not as regular meeting as the CPG, it offers the chance to work with models and get to practice your craft in a real studio. Always worth checking out if you can make it. Find them on Meetup.
Charlotte Creative Photography
This group is relative new, but one of my favorites. Both models and photographers pay to attend, and great shots are happening. It is open to all levels of photography, but the emphasis is on taking pictures and not instruction. Still a group worth attending if you can. The price is reasonable, and is in a studio convenient to uptown and the west side of Charlotte. Check them out on the Meetup website.
This is one of the unique resources I was mentioning earlier. This is both a museum devoted to artistic photography as well as a training center for photographers. This is a wonderful opportunity for people to learn and study photography. They also work with film and motion pictures. Website.
I only know of two places to shop for gear in Charlotte. One is mostly for cameras and the other more for studios and lighting. Both are great places to look at and spend some time in.
Biggs is the last camera store in Charlotte I am aware of. They sell both cameras and lighting, as well as other things you may need for your photography needs, like chemicals to develop film. I have bought some huge seamless rolls of paper for backgrounds in some of my shots. You can even rent equipment here if a job requires something you don't have.
Barbizon Lighting Company
Hidden away in the industrial area of north Charlotte, you will find a most amazing place for lighting stands and studio equipment. While the Barbizon Lighting Company is more known for providing lighting for theaters and TV studios, you can find lots of things to set up a studio in your home or in an actual studio. C-stands, backgrounds, even 18% grey paint is all available here. And sandbags. Get them here. You need them, even if you don't know it.
That is it for now. If you do have a comment about these resources, please let us all know in the comments. If you have other resources I have missed, let us know that there as well.
HAPPY NEW YEARS!