We had the good fortune of connecting with Charlie Ewing and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charlie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
For me, Charlie Horse Photos had started as a way to help my friend’s business grow. A weekend hobby that started taking over a few weeknights, and eventually after a few downturns and 9-5 job changes eventually my own business. It felt like I had been standing in the doorway for a while, like a dog that can’t decide if inside or outside would be better, but after the universe nudged me outside, via a layoff, I was happier. I had already built a safety net while working, and studied intensely on the business and practical side before making the jump however. This wasn’t a hasty decision but one made with intention.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I don’t know what separates photographers from each other besides this: How do you make your subject feel? I love working with people to really generate this feeling of confidence in themselves, it can be a simple as helping them highlight their features that they enjoy or just helping them see how they look to others. There is something different about having someone create an image with you besides just snapping away. I got here professionally after really talking to people and understanding their concerns, I think having an education in psychology gave me a solid foundation to get started on this. Getting here wasn’t easy, and somedays still isn’t. There is a challenge of asking for what you’re worth that takes time to get used to. Asking in general is a definite challenge for most of us, but we forget that most of the time the worst that will happen is someone saying “no” to a project or proposal. How do I want my brand to be known is a harder question, I want people to know I’m versatile but dedicated in my craft, and that the most exciting part of a photoshoot is having prints made. Holding a photo is a much different experience than just seeing it on your phone or screen. There is something magical about that which we don’t get as often now.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a hard one! I think that I would definitely have to take someone to Memorial Park for the Arboretum and trails there, it is one of the greatest stories of goodwill I’ve ever heard of. The museums are another must-see, the Menil as well as the Museum of Fine arts have some fantastic exhibitions that make the city really feel different than most places. A trip to Cavo coffee on Richmond is another “must-see” in my book, as well as a walkabout River Oaks District and for sure the First Saturday market at the Silo studios. The care put into all of these is quite a treat. Honestly, there is so much to do in Houston that it depends on the person on where you would bring them. From arts and architecture to NASA and shopping, I could list a year’s worth of things to do before getting redundant!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For me, the Rotary Club of Houston was a major starting point, as well as Omar Marcos from Runway Houston. Both really helped me not just get started but meet the right people to get this going. Rotary gave me an opportunity to help charitable organizations as well as making sure people were seen and heard for their hard work to make Houston better. Omar mentored me and helped me learn the networking half of photography that really matters. Something I learned along the way was that it doesn’t matter who you know, but who knows you and why.
Photo of me with lights- Pam Ashley from the Fiore Creative Photo of me shooting – Arianna Vetere