Our magazine is driven by creatives, so it’s no surprise we have a soft spot for photographers. It’s a joy to highlight the work of these photographers, all of which are renowned and the best photographers in North Carolina and South Carolina. This group of thirteen ranges from hobbyists to careerists, city-dwellers to small towners, but what they all share is a love of capturing the outdoors and inviting others in. Picture your own backyard in a whole new way, by tagging along with these thirteen Charlotte photographers through their travails in the mountains, waterfalls, beaches, and cities of North and South Carolina.
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“I’m a landscape and outdoor lifestyle photographer based out of Asheville, NC. Art, in some form or another, has been my passion and my version of therapy since I was a kid. When I moved to Asheville in my early 20’s, I got really into hiking and I met some really cool landscape photographers who inspired me to pick up a camera. It’s been my obsession ever since. I feel the most myself, and the most at peace when I’m outdoors creating art and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Kyo Nam – Best Photographers in North Carolina
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @kyohnam
Kyo Nam is a Charlotte-based photographer who seeks to capture the “raw beauty of everyday life.” He began his photography journey in 2011. Over the past ten-plus years, Nam has traveled the United States wilderness, published a Korean language book titled “Youth Deviation,” and has established himself as a sought-after Queen City creative. His portfolio is so diverse, from amazing food photography to travel to portrait work, and easily is amongst the best photographers in North Carolina.
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @leslie_restivo
“I am a Boone, NC native and the mother of a little girl named Savannah, who is my whole world. My photography journey began because of her; freezing the memories we were creating together. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be where I am now four years later with my photos. She continues to inspire me to live my dreams and is my biggest supporter. I love capturing the beauty of Carolinas and can’t imagine doing anything else. It has truly changed my whole life.”
Luke Sutton – One Of The Best Photographers in North Carolina
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @jeffreylukesutton
“I’m a landscape photographer and adventurer based out of Maggie Valley, NC. I’m 5th generation here in beautiful WNC. I was first introduced to photography after injuring my knee in a snowboarding accident. Being born in the mountains, photography gave me a drive to become more adventurous. Always searching for new locations, new compositions, and making me fall in love more with nature. With my photography, I try my best to convey a sense of experience. I want my viewers to feel as if they are there and can feel as if they are there with me.
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @andrewtburns
Born and raised in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Andrew Burns’ love of capturing the outdoors runs deep. He was introduced to photography when he received a Polaroid camera as a childhood gift. Over the years, Andrew’s appreciation for nature and photography only continued to grow. Today, he shoots with a Sony a7RII, or, when he’s not on the ground, Andrew likes to fly his drone to get amazing aerial shots of the North Carolina mountains.
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @photofern.wnc
“I first stumbled upon the incredible Appalachian Mountains while attending Mars Hill University, just north of Asheville, NC. It only took a few adventures to become addicted to waking up way too early and stumbling up trails in the dark to photograph a sunrise almost every weekend. I feel very lucky to live in a place where breath-taking scenery is so accessible!”
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @rachelblaireroams
Growing up Rachel Pressley would often go on camping trips with her family. During each excursion, her mother would give her and her sister a disposable camera and a journal so that they could document their experiences. This opened Rachel’s creative eye and was her jump-start into photography. Rachel, like her mother and her sister before her, attended Appalachian State University where she majored in sustainable development, concentrating in environmental studies and minored in commercial photography and journalism. Her studies taught her about the devastating effects humans can have on the environment, and inspired her to document the natural beauty of the land. Today she works as an editorial assistant for a local publishing company in Western North Carolina.
Justin Potter – One Of The Best Photographers in North Carolina
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @jpotterphoto
“I grew up in Northern California but moved to North Carolina 18 years ago to pursue a career in NASCAR. That career path led me to be able to travel with free time and a rental car, so I eventually rediscovered my love for the outdoors and then realized I lived in one of the most incredible states when it comes to diversity of hiking and landscapes. I bought a camera in 2017 to fill this passion I had as a kid for photography and hiking. Since then, that camera has taken me to places I never imagined existed, sunrises you’d swear were fake, and waterfalls and lighthouses that seemed like a fairy tale. It’s made me rethink the direction my life is headed and I couldn’t be more excited about it but it’s all because of that camera purchase.”
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @the5and2project
“My very first job was a wedding photographer’s assistant back in the early 1990’s, and there were no digital cameras or smartphones. I got paid $50 per wedding no matter how long it lasted! I have always loved capturing natural and authentic moments from behind the lens. Being able to capture unique compositions is one of my strengths as a photographer. After spending 20-plus years in the investment management world, I stepped away to follow my creative passion of photography and videography, and founded my company The 5 and 2 Project which captures Charlotte’s story visually from street to sky.
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @wildwoodblessing
When it comes to gorgeous, colorful sunrise shots in the Blue Ridge, Lisa Gregory easily ranks as one of the best photographers in North Carolina. She is many things: a photographer, an avid hiker, and an RN at a heart transplant clinic in Charlotte, NC. To say she has life experience is an understatement. Her love of photography was informed by her love of nature and her devotion to God. Before pursuing photography, she would take hundreds of photos on her iPhone. After her husband surprised her with a beginner camera kit, she fell in love with it. She now shoots with a Canon 6D Mark II.
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Mike Poggioli first became interested in photography during his daily commutes on Chicago’s “L” train. He describes those rides as an “architectural tour” of the city. Everyday he would spend the ride snapping photos with his iPhone. As his passion for architectural photography grew, he began connecting with street photographers in the area. Eventually he transitioned from an iPhone to a Canon 5D Mark III. After moving to Asheville last year, he began focusing on nature and landscape photography. When he’s not out shooting photos, he works full-time as a psychologist.
Myles Gelbach – One Of The Best Photographers in North Carolina
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @mylesperhour_photography
Myles Gelbach is a Charlotte native with a love for photographing both cityscapes and landscapes. Growing up he witnessed Charlotte’s rapid growth. The ever-evolving skyline intrigued and inspired him. During his childhood, Myles also went on a lot of backpacking adventures with his father. The combination of city living and his avid outdoorsmanship, helped form his artistic vision. Once he got his first camera, he made an effort to learn as much as he could about photography.
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @prakashperspectives
Prakash Ganipineni’s journey into photography grew out of his love for travel. Prakash realized that he experienced and appreciated life in a way that he could bring to life through the lens. While exploring different landscapes, cities, and towns he captures the amazing things he encounters in a permanent way.
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @codylhughes
Cody Hughes is the owner and operator of Point of Hues, a photography company that specializes in real estate, engagement, sports, and portrait photography. He has worked prolifically across Charlotte: from shooting professionally with the Carolina Panthers, to Greystar, the Charlotte Knights, and even Toyota. His Instagram is full of stunning shots of Uptown’s skyline, sports action shots, and photos from his travels across the world.
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @taylorsmithphotos
“I’m a 32-year-old self-taught photographer from Charlotte, North Carolina. I started taking photos with my iPhone 3 in 2008 for the sake of looking back on moments and sharing them with family and friends. In the eight years since, that hobby has turned into a passion of mine and a career in various industries. I’m grateful to live here, and I feel like Charlotte is a great place to live if you’re one of the Carolina photographers!”
Jamey Price – One Of The Best Photographers in North Carolina
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @jameypricephoto
As a motorsport and automotive photographer, Jamey Price lives life in the fast lane. The Charlottean and father of two was named the 2019 Motorsport Photographer of the Year by the National Motorsports Press Association. When he’s not traveling the world photographing fast-moving vehicles, he doubles as the staff photographer for QC Exclusive. We obviously love Jamey around here and think he is one of the best photographers in North Carolina if not the entire country, and I think his resume probably backs this up!
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @mikeanthony.photos
“From a young age, I had a fascination with photography and film. From weddings to landscapes, I enjoy all the challenges involved in photographing our world. In 2015, I made the decision to turn my life-long passion into a career and launched my first photography business. Even after 15 years of living in Charlotte, the Queen City skyline continues to be my favorite to capture.”
FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @andyjweber
“Charlotte has given me so much in my life; one of those things is photography. It has allowed me to be free in the sense of always striving to create something different. And I hope that my photography evokes a feeling and a glimpse of that moment I’ve captured.” Andrew Weber is a photographer, videographer, and podcast host. His photos are intimate and raw. Weber has the uncanny ability to capture honest, everyday glimpses of the Queen City and those who inhabit it. When he’s not out shooting, he hosts the podcast “Those In Our CLT Community,” which highlights different Charlotte locals who are making an impact at home.