Saying Goodbye to a 300 Year Old Friend

As far back as anyone can remember the massive Oak tree stood over the back of the home on my family’s farm in Lexington, South Carolina. This majestic tree filtered the morning light like none other I have ever seen, it shaded our family cookouts and fish fries during the summer, played host to many of my childhood fantasies of fighting villains, and many occasions drew my ire in the fall as it dropped an unprecedented amount of leaves that required my young arms to rake, as it did for countless generations before me.

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Tourism Photography and Video for a #FamouslyFast NASCAR Partnership

Last week felt like I was doing tourism photography and video production at the speed of a NASCAR pit crew. Between a portrait shoot in downtown Columbia, SC, behind the scenes photography, producing an announcement video, and documenting the announcement of the partnership between NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver Jordan Anderson, His new team Bolen Motorsports, and the The Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism.
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Inside Firearms Manufacturer PTR Industries for USA Today

A few weeks ago I spent the day at firearm manufacturer PTR Industries in Aynor, SC during an editorial photography and video assignment for our client USA Today.

Aynor, SC — GunsRelocated: When Connecticut and New York passed strict gun laws following the 2012 Newtown massacre, some gun-makers firmly rooted in the heart of the firearm industry made life and business-altering decisions. They left. In their pursuit of cheap land and deep tax breaks offered by friendly suitors from South Carolina, Texas and Nevada, they have been forced to contend with new challenges: finding skilled workers from the plentiful pool left behind in the so-called “New England Gun Valley’’ and new distribution channels to get their products to market.– Photo by Brett Flashnick, Freelance

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Beginning the National September 11 Memorial

Four years ago I was asked to photograph the first of many structural beams for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum as they rolled out of Owen Steel Company Inc., in Columbia, S.C., on September 11, 2007. As I arrived on location along with a film crew just before sunrise the workers at Owen Steel were already busy preparing the rigging to lift two massive I-beams onto a 50-foot flat bed trailer for their journey across the United States. There had been many sleepless nights leading up to this moment as a sense of tension and accomplishment filled the air of the massive building, while officials with the NS11MM met with executives of Owen Steel to witness this process. After the beams were lowered onto the trailer and strapped into place, all of the employees made their way to the parking lot to watch the tuck depart and begin to make its way through downtown Columbia toward the unveiling at Finaly Park.

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Published – U.S. Army Toughens Fitness Test

Yesterday afternoon, I was fortunate enough to be the only photographer for a civilian media outlet on hand for a closed demonstration of the U.S. Army’s newly revised fitness tests for soldiers.  Back in the days of print, I would wake up and head to the news stand to get a copy of whatever publication I shot for.  These days all I have to do is open my Google Alerts, and I’m instantly notified of every publication in the world who used my images online.  After more than a decade of seeing my images in print its still a pretty good rush when you open up your alerts and see double digits in the results.

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Winter Fest Photography Mini-Workshop

Couple takes family photo
A couple takes a photo on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, SC.

What is there to do in Columbia on the first Sunday of 2011 after church ends, and before the first kickoff?  If you found a digital camera under the Christmas tree this year, and aren’t sure how to get the most out of it for your family pictures, it might be a good idea to stop by the South Carolina State Museum at 1:30 or 3.  Didn’t get a camera this year, but want to learn some tips to improve your digital photography?  You’re invited too!

One of the great things about digital photography is that the cameras have become so advanced they can do a lot of the work for us, but thats also a tremendous drawback, because we tend to be lazy and forget the basic fundamentals of taking a good photograph.  During these 1 hour mini-workshops, I will be covering some basic tips and tricks that you may have forgotten, or never learned to help you get the most out of digital photographs, all geared towards helping you record your family history.

If you want to learn more come by the South Carolina State Museum this Sunday, January 2, 2011 at 1:30pm or 3pm.  The best part about this is that since its the first Sunday of the month admission is only $1, and the seminar is free with the price of admission.  Trust me when I say its a much better value than the $1 double cheeseburger at the McDonald’s up the street.

While you’re at the Museum don’t forget to stop by the Lipscomb Gallery on the first floor to check out the amazing work of 24 South Carolina photographers featured in the Palmetto Portraits Project exhibit (in full disclosure I am one of the photographers).  The exhibit runs through (closes) on January 9, 2011 so this may be your last chance to see this amazing collection of more than 240 portraits from around SC.  For more information on the PPP visit and for more information about exhibits and programs at the South Carolina State Museum visit

Winter Fest Press Release PDF

The Power List

I just found out that Command Sergeant Major Teresa King, who I spent a day photographing back in September of 2009, after she was named the first female commandant of the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School, was named to Oprah’s “2010 O Power List”. Congrats to CSM King, who is an amazing person. It doesn’t hurt knowing that you beat the queen of all media to the punch by an entire year either!

Here are the resulting pages from the November 2009 issue of Jolie.  While I’m still not a fan of the layout/design used, it was a great story that was and still am proud to have been a part of telling.

CSM King is in pretty good company this year.  The other nominees include the likes of Julia Roberts, Diane Sawyer, and Vera Wang.  You can check out the full list at

Palmetto Portraits Project IV

Perry Dozier Jr. - Columbia, SC 2009
Perry Dozier Jr. - Columbia, SC 2009

Looking back on my email box, I found the first correspondence letting me know that I had been selected to participate in fourth series of the Palmetto Portraits Project a year ago today.  Less than five days from now, on Wednesday, September 16, 2009, the exhibit will open to the public with a reception at MUSC’s new James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, located at 29 Bee St. in Charleston, SC.

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The Week in Pictures Oct. 30 – Nov. 6


As featured in the Oct. 30 - Nov. 6 MSNBC TWiP: As tears stream down his cheek, Quentin Patrick, center, clad in a red prison jumpsuit, signs paperwork during his bond hearing at the Sumter-Lee County Detention center, Monday, Nov. 3, 2008, in Sumter, S.C. (AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)
As featured in the Oct. 30 - Nov. 6 MSNBC TWiP: As tears stream down his cheek, Quentin Patrick, center, clad in a red prison jumpsuit, signs paperwork during his bond hearing at the Sumter-Lee County Detention center, Monday, Nov. 3, 2008, in Sumter, S.C. (AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)

As I checked my Facebook page before heading out for a 12 hour photo day on Saturday, I was a bit perplexed when I saw that friend and fellow shooter Chris Keane had left me a note for me to check out MSNBC’s The Week in Pictures for Oct. 30 – Nov. 6, 2008.  Much to my surprise one of my images from the bond hearing of Quentin Patrick, who is accused of killing 12-year-old, trick-or-treater, T.J. Darrisaw, when he fired 29 rounds from his AK-47 through the front door of his house in Sumter, S.C., upon seeing the 3 masked figures, outside of his home on Halloween night, and thinking he was about to be robbed.  This image came from my second day of covering this extremely emotional tragedy for the Associated Press, and can be found in Oct. 30 – Nov. 6, TWiP at the following link

Making it work: Behind the scenes of a ground remote…

I have received several emails from readers and people who have seen my shot from the 2008 Carolina Cup Races, that I posted a few weeks ago, so I decided that I amy going to demystify how you make a shot like this work, by using a remote camera.

For those who don’t know, a remote camera, is a camera which you place in a specific location ahead of an event that would not be accessible during the event, and is then triggered by a hard wire, or radio signal. The list of equipment I used to make this image is as follows.

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Digital SLR
Lens: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
Remote Trigger: Pocket Wizard (not pictured) and LPA Designs Pre-Release Cable CM-N3-P
Mounting Hardware: Ultra-Pod II
Protection: Kata E-702 GDC Elements Cover






Complete Setup: This is what the setup looked like when it was completely assembled. The camera and lens were mounted to the Ultra-Pod II and then inserted into the GDC Elements Cover. After everything was strapped down and the camera was protected from any flying mud or sudden rain showers, I used the left arm hole to attach the PocketWizard and the Pre-Release Cable to the camera and then cinched up all the other loose openings. You don’t have to use a rain cover or a remote cover, a clear plastic bag, a plastic cup, and some tape will do the same trick. I really do prefer rain covers as opposed to remote covers, so you can see to make any adjustments to exposure or focus without disturbing the entire setup.

Now comes the setup. Be prepared to get there early, some venues require you have the remote in place days before the event, while others will allow a remote to be placed hours before the event. It is also a good idea to make sure your liability insurance is up to date, because if someone or something trips over your remote and gets injured, you could be in some hot water. Once you have looked into all of the logistical details, its time to place the remote. It generally helps to have some working knowledge of the event or sport you are photographing, because you will have to anticipate everything happening long before it actually occurs. Since this was not my first time photographing a steeplechase or horse racing in general I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to see. With this in mind I chose a fence to place the remote under, and estimated the spot in the jump where most ofthe horses would come over. With these things in mind I had my assistant for the day, Cindy stand at that position in the jump so I could focus and frame the image up. Once everything was set, I taped all of the adjustment dials, focus rings, etc… on my camera in place so they wouldn’t move, made sure the whole setup was nice and tidy, and proceeded to make some test images of Cindy and I jumping around the frame to verify focal plane, and framing of the image. Once this was all done, it was time to go make some feature shots while waiting on the race to begin. *This is why it is important to use a pre-release cable, because it will keep your camera awake and ready to fire, so there is no delay firing the first frame when the time comes.* When the race began I decided to shoot from down the track with my 300mm f/2.8 and 1.4x converter, with the PocketWizard on the hot shoe of the camera, so I could have two angles of the shot, incase the remote didn’t work for some reason. Once the event is done with, you can go back to your remote, and collect your images and hope you got what you envisioned.