Charlotte NC Architectural Photography


It's been a little crazy over here at McGraw Photography and I have a ton of great stuff to catch up on! I'll start out with a shoot from a couple months ago... This is Phoenix - a new club in Uptown Charlotte with a state-of-the-art sound and light system. Definitely a cool place to check out if you are ever roaming the streets of Uptown. The woodworking, fabrics, and details were amazing to photograph.



(This is Part 2 of my first photo shoot of a commercial space. Part 1 can be seen here.) The second gorgeous space I had the opportunity to photograph was Bask - a cool, contemporary restaurant and lounge located at the NC Music Factory in uptown Charlotte, NC. The space is finished with distressed wood floors, eye-catching metal accents, smooth wood panels, and funky brick walls. Just like Pinkberry (part 1), this space had its own set of challenges.

The restaurant was open for business and, in fact, had a couple people dining while these images were shot. Because of this, I could only use my small flashes - my Nikon SB-80s - triggered by a radio transmitter. Usually I use my more powerful Alien Bees studio flashes for such large spaces, with my small Speedlights only serving as accent lighting. Unlike Pinkberry, natural light wasn't an option due to the harsh glare coming in from the windows above the booths. So small flashes it was!

To be honest, Speedlights are not my forte but I had to made it work.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. I guess I have a lot of time to keep practicing...and practice makes perfect.


If you're a frozen yogurt fan, chances are you've heard of Pinkberry. I had the opportunity to photograph this commercial space with a brand new client here in Charlotte, NC. This assignment was a little new to me because all of my architectural shoots up to this point have been residential spaces. I would love to continue shooting commercial spaces, especially if I could figure out how to work around some of the obstacles that were presented to me. Here's a little recap of my shoot along with some of the issues I had to work with...

Because of the timeframe we had for shooting and the fact that Pinkberry was open for business (believe it of not, there were quite a few customers in the store for some of these pics), most of these shots were executed with natural light with maybe one hand-held flash for some fill. Not ideal but I think we pulled it off...One of the difficulties I had on this shoot was dealing with the acrylic walls. They reflected every spec of light - especially from the two walls of windows. The only solution for this problem, I suppose, is to shoot first thing in the morning or late at night when the light isn't flooding in. Unfortunately, that wasn't an option for our interior shots. Any suggestions fellow photogs?Gotta love the colors of Pinkberry...

I'm so glad I got this opportunity to photograph such a challenging space. I learned so much and now feel I have a much better grasp on what I can expect and what I need to request when shooting for a client with commercial spaces.

Part two of my first commercial space shoot will be coming up soon...all with it's own set of challenges.

Currents Magazine Shoot

I'm so happy to announce that the June issue of Currents magazine is available now! And...if you flip to page 52, you will see the story featuring the photos I took several weeks ago! I've had my photos in numerous magazines and newspapers but this particular shoot meant a lot to me. This is the first time that McGraw Photography was hired to shoot directly for a publication - not a photo that ended up in a publication through a realtor, a builder, an auction company, or a story featuring a photo I had in my archives. No, the publisher contacted me directly for this shoot...ME? It feels like a dream and means the world to me. I really feel blessed to be working in a field that I have loved all of my life.

I hope my photography brings a smile to peoples' faces and I look forward to doing this for years to come!