Viewing the world with an appreciative eye.

When I was eight years old, my parents took me to a showing of the iconic film masterwork by Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal. Every black and white frame of that movie was a study in light, shadow and form, impeccably rendered imagery that impacted my young mind. At the age of 16, I was handed a clunky Russian-made Hanimex Praktika camera and exposed my first roll of Tri-x film, exploring the playful interactions of a young brother and sister at a park in Berkeley, CA. The results showed a strong instinct for the use of light and shadow as elements of composition within a 35mm frame.

The high school photography teacher immediately recruited me as his assistant for the program's darkroom classes. My passion for the medium grew as I began discovering the great work of the masters of photojournalism: W. Eugene Smith, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Dorothea Lange. They were concerned photographers documenting the human condition with an eye attuned to those caught up in the snares of war and poverty.

Inspired by their legacy, I packed up my camera gear and started documenting the peace marches across the Bay.  My work was published early on in the region's alternative newspapers. After a stint in an ashram in my 20's, I worked as a photojournalist: first, for the Associated Press in Boston, moving on to daily papers in Florida and Maine, a year long internship at the Providence Journal-Bulletin in Rhode Island, then a staff position for several years at The Charlotte Observer in my hometown of Charlotte, NC. My work won several awards from the National Press Photographer's Association. Leaving the security of a staff position behind, I followed my passion for social justice and moved to Nicaragua for two years. While I photographed the daily lives of the remarkably resilient people there and their struggles during the Sandinista-contra conflict, I also freelanced for U.S. News & World Report and several major national papers. My photos were published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Arizona Republic, Miami Herald and many others. A major exhibit of that body of work was shown at The Light Factory in Charlotte, the southeast's premiere center for the photographic arts.

After returning from Central America, I decided to play it safe, and avoid war zones for a while and spent a few years doing commercial work for companies and non-profits. In 2000, I moved to the magical islands of Hawaii, and for 16 years, enjoyed a thriving business as a wedding photographer, documenting over 1,000 weddings, mostly barefoot on a beach. Along the way, I have designed and published several coffee table books for clients, as well as personal book projects documenting an historic estate in rural Virginia.

I have recently moved back to the mainland, to my roots, to be closer to family. And it is here, in the small town of Black Mountain, just outside of Asheville, surrounded by countless acres of accessible forests, hiking trails and waterfalls, that I am making my home and offering, once again, my particular way of seeing as a photographer.

I will photograph small, uncomplicated, heartfelt weddings; happy families; couples smitten with each other; your home and garden; property photos for Air B&B; images of your small business for web and promotional use; author portraits; individual portraits for gifts to loved ones; a more flattering profile or a soul portrait: a gift to yourself exploring your inner strength, beauty and unique humanness.

Fine art prints and stretched canvas giclee prints are available for residential and commercial spaces.


In my office, I have a framed letter from W. Eugene Smith, dated May 3, 1971.  In response to a collection of prints I had sent him, he wrote:

Dear Candace Freeland,

This is not flattery. Your photographs are quite remarkable. I would appreciate it if you call me person to person collect.

I have very little to offer or suggest but would like to talk to you, for I truly believe you can be a magnificent and honest photographic and otherwise contributor to humanity.

That is, of course, probably a starvation path through razor blades. But perhaps worth it in many ways.

With admiration,

Gene Smith


You can find my fine art work for sale at:


See a portrait of a well known author here: