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

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 Follow him on Facebook at RnBPhotographyCT and on Instagram: @rnbphoto321