Lights, Camera, Action! Navigating My Life as a Photographer By Richard Carter

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Self-portrait. Richard Carter

I love photography! Ok, so that was the understatement of the year, but it’s a fact. I’ve loved art since I was a small child growing up in Jamaica. Where we lived, in the hills, I got to see the sunset just about every evening and watch the city light up. Ever since then, I was hooked on capturing that kind of beauty one day. I took a few pictures in high school and, believe it or not, photography kept me from being expelled once!
I never got the chance to take it to the next level until 2011. I saved money and struck a deal with the gentleman at a local camera store in Hartford. I guess that’s when I went from being a dreamer to being a doer. My first camera was a can rebel t3. The catalyst for this purchase was my first-born son. Something about him being on his way to this plane of existence said to me “do it now”.

RnB Photography

Once the camera was in my hand, I finally got to do what I love! I went hog wild! I took pictures of street signs, leaves, the sky, I even bought a bird feeder so I could take pictures of birds from my window as soon as I woke up. One morning, I woke up at 5 am to see what it was like to watch the woods “wake up”. I got shots of fog sailing over wet leaves, sunlight shining through the trees, and close-ups of wildlife.
After about 6 months of that, my first model was born. I took pics of him every day. To this day I have a folder of pics of him (14,000) in total). I wanted to do family portraits, events, and so on. A few people gave me a chance and I did my best to make them see what I saw as an artist and, huzzah, it worked! People told me “go to school and get a real job”. At that time, I was working full-time and going to school part-time. Shortly after, I dropped out of school to be a dad.
From 2013 to 2014 I was homeless. Not like wearing rags and sleeping in the streets,

RnB Photograph

Instead, I was on a different friend’s couch or floor every 2 weeks or so. Things were rough, they got even rougher when I had to pawn my camera to pay certain debts. Even with everything going down the tubes, I would borrow my friend’s camera and take pics whenever possible. On my first date with my wife, we went to a party for a friend of mine who’s also a photographer. He had his camera and was taking pics. The photographer inside me said, ‘get to work.’ I said to my wife, “I’m really sorry but it’s his birthday party and I’ve got to do this for him, it’s only right.” She understood because she saw my passion. I took pictures of the party goers and my friend. I had the camera for what felt like minutes but was closer to an hour.
My wife and her family saw my passion and potential and helped me purchase a camera. Ever since then I haven’t stopped.

This article appears in the September 20, 2017 ‘The Creativity Edition” of Northend Agents Newspaper.


Richard Carter is an East Hartford-based photographer who specializes in a wide-range of styles including boudoir photos, graduation portraits, street photography, wildlife and nature, special event photography, and weddings. You can find his work on www.rnb-photography.com. Follow him on Facebook at RnBPhotographyCT and on Instagram: @rnbphoto321