Photographer Charles McCubbin Captures South Florida in Style


South Florida photographer Charles McCubbin of BMR Photographers OMP Member #212994 has worked as a photographer for over three decades. “Photography has been very rewarding for me artistically and technically. It has been challenging and lots of fun. I have enjoyed every minute of my career.”

He started in the field by following in the footsteps of his father. “My father took the hobby up when he was young, he had a Roliflex and Argus, all the good stuff. So when he retired, being the engineer he was he did an exhaustive study and selected a camera, then announced to my brother and I that we should both buy cameras that would allow us to exchange lenses. So we both got cameras, and we were off and running.”

He took a break from photography while working at a job which required lots of traveling, but then got back into it professionally in 2005. “How I got back into the profession is a funny story, in a way. A former girlfriend of mine knew of my interest in photography and brought her brother’s girlfriend over to get some shots. I had already done a lot of landscape and architecture, but female portraits were something else. When I asked what she wanted she told me beach shots, when I asked her where she said Haulover Beach. At the time I did not know that Haulover had a clothing optional section so I went along with it, drove her down and walked to the beach. We got set up and then she walked behind the clothing optional sign and took her top off.”

Charles has attended many events and shoots at the OMP Studios in Fort Lauderdale. “When I get an opportunity to shoot at OMP studios, I take it. If there is a better, more photographer-friendly studio in the area, I have not found it. The shooting space is big and spacious. The equipment is in good shape, and it’s top notch equipment. The staff is friendly and easy to work with all the time.”

The Sunshine State resident enjoys shooting in the studio environment. “I like to work on model portfolios, mostly glamour and Playboy Style nudes.. I just did some shooting and prints for a new restaurant in downtown Fort Lauderdale called BlueJays Cafe. They will be selling my prints in the cafe. It is opening in the next month. I also like shooting catalog fashion, nothing really fancy or artistic, just nice straight shots.”

Charles also likes shooting outdoors as well, as long as the Florida weather is agreeable. “In the winter, I generally like the outdoors, but after April it’s indoors for me. That gives me the chance to stay fresh with lighting, both natural and artificial. I like shooting outdoors, landscapes and architecture. Most recently I have been working on a series of photographs documenting old buildings and historical sites in and around Fort Lauderdale and Broward County.”

He signed up for OneModelPlace.com upon the recommendation of a model. “I was shooting out of the main room in my house, and one of the models I worked with was listed on your site. She told me about it and showed me the website, and I joined up almost immediately. That was in early 2006, and I’ve been a member ever since. It is so easy to just point prospective clients to the OMP site and have them look at my model-oriented portfolios (fashion, glamour, and nude work). The Platinum Plus membership gives me so much space for pictures that I can literally post a whole shooting if I so desired. In fact, about four months ago a prospective client asked for more samples of my work and I was able to post them in about 15-20 minutes on OMP. I also get emails from models traveling to the area and models in the area who want professional work on their portfolio. Of course I get to see all the new models who sign up so I can always have fresh faces for clients if they want something different.”

Charles prefers Nikon equipment for his shoots. “I use a Nikon D-80 for most work, but I also have a D70 and D70s which I still use for landscape and architecture. Since I only print my artwork in the same aspect ratio I shoot in (2×3), I never print larger than 20×30, and a D70 gives great pictures at that size. All my lenses are Nikon or Nikkor as well. As I said earlier, my father did a study and determined 40 years ago that Nikon was the best glass and best camera. My opinion hasn’t changed much since then.”

The photographer offers several suggestions for models to remember during a shoot. “First learn at least 3-6 professional poses and be ready to use them. Second, communication is important. If you’re going to be late or not be able to make the shoot, call the photographer. I have worked with a lot of models and the ones I call first for new jobs, big or small, are the ones who communicate with me. Be early, be ready, be prepared, and be flexible both in body and mind. Push the envelope but don’t lose your standards.”

He also has some advice for models when setting up their portfolios. “I always recommend getting yourself a professional portfolio on OneModelPlace.com. If you have faith in yourself, pay the photographer to take good pictures for your portfolio. You’ll make so much more money and be known as a professional; not a wannabe! I am so tired of seeing good potential models taking cell phone pictures in their bedroom or bathroom! No one will look at you professionally with those pictures.”

For aspiring photographers, Charles suggests that they find an area to work in (such as fashion, landscape, glamour), develop a style, and then sell, sell, sell. “You have to get good at self-promotion. There is nothing wrong with having faith and confidence in yourself and telling people about your qualifications. Potential clients are not coming to you unless you tell them how good you are. Develop a practiced speech about why they should use you and not do a project ‘in-house’ or with someone else. You also want to market yourself to magazines, websites, product manufacturers, the people who will buy your pictures. And learn to listen. You’ll learn so much more and be so much more successful if you just listen to your client.”

Image of Gabriella OMP Model #416493 by Charles McCubbin OMP Member #212994

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