Joe Richardson documents people’s lives through the lens of his camera, with each image telling a story of a moment in time special to its subject.
His photographs have captured the embrace of a couple as they pause on a stroll through golden autumn leaves, four young brothers in matching plaid shirts scampering over a bridge or a teenager gripping a volleyball in a fierce stance ready for a game.
Richardson said he began taking photographs as a hobby while a student at West Virginia University majoring in business administration. When he and his wife, Amy, moved to Camden almost two decades ago his interest in photography increased. Richardson was inspired by the lighthouse and coastal landscapes on their trips to Corolla.
While attending his children’s sports activities, Richardson began photographing games and teams. Finding a shot in an athletic game requires being in the right spot and watching the game as it unfolds to predict which way to direct the camera’s focus, according to Richardson.
In 2008, he started taking photographs professionally. Richardson said he feels privileged when people ask him to photograph their special occasions.
“Someone is trusting you to document their day for generations to come,” said Richardson.
When photographing a wedding, Richardson said, “My goal is to tell a story from beginning to end.”
He said he builds a relationship with his subjects, “gaining their trust” to create photographs that will become a part of their family’s history.
“It’s an honor to have that trust,” said Richardson.
Richardson said he is always looking for a “classic, timeless” shot. It is experience that helps guide him towards that perfect shot.
A groom seeing his bride in her wedding gown for the first time and a newly married couple sharing a quiet moment before they enter their reception are candid moments caught by Richardson’s camera.
“Photography is about light,” said Richardson.
A spectacular sunset dazzles in the ripples of the Pasquotank River as Richardson takes a family’s photograph in front of the picturesque setting.
Richardson often finds natural backgrounds for portraits of families and graduating seniors. Finding the right angles and direction of light has resulted in Richardson rolling up his pants legs and taking a shot amidst breaking waves in the ocean or wading into the sound to take advantage of the sun’s glistening rays on a bride’s veil.
A member of Wedding & Portrait Photographers International, Richardson’s photography has been featured in an advertisement in The Knot Magazine.
Richardson’s galleries of photographs may be viewed on his website http://www.joerichardsonimageworks.com/.
“Not many people get to do what they really love,” said Richardson, who savors his time behind the lens of a camera.
Anna Goodwin McCarthy is a correspondent for The Daily Advance.