Our Instructors

Carolyn DeMeritt

A Charlotte, NC, native and active Light Factory member since 1976, Carolyn DeMeritt is a self-taught photographer who has worked at her craft for over thirty years. Through personal interaction with her subjects, she concentrates on creating portraits of people or places underrepresented or undergoing dramatic changes. DeMeritt’s work has been widely exhibited and is represented in numerous public and private collections, including Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; High Museum of Art; North Carolina Museum of Art; Asheville Art Museum; Cameron Art Museum; and Mint Museum of Art.


Dick Handshaw

Dick Handshaw is currently a member of the Light Factory Board of Directors. He also serves as the head of the Education Committee. He spent 31 years of his career as a learning and performance consultant as President of his own company, Handshaw, Inc. Before that he earned his living as a professional photographer for ten years. Now he is combining those two experiences to help the Light Factory improve the consistency and quality of its educational offerings.

Dick has a BFA in photography from Alfred University and a MS in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. He also serves on the board at the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte, NC, where he designs and teaches a course in Wildlife and Bird Photography. He has been passionate about photography since he was 14.

You can see samples of his work at www.handshawphotography.com

Herman Nicholson

Herman Nicholson was born in Charlotte, NC, in 1980. He received his BFA in photography from Savannah College of Art & Design and his MFA from Columbia College Chicago, and he currently teaches at Queens University in Charlotte. His work has been exhibited internationally, which includes the National Portrait Gallery in London. His work primarily focuses on portraiture, human relationships, and narrative.


Michael O’Neill

Michael O’Neill is an educator and fine art photographer in Charlotte, NC, and earned his MFA from New Mexico State University in 2007. His work has been exhibited at Notre Dame University, The Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, NM, and in solo, juried, and group shows around the country. He specializes in infrared, large format, and pinhole photography.


Scott Stallings

Scott Stallings is a fine art and commercial portrait photographer living and working in Charlotte, NC. He specializes in creating one-of-a-kind, heirloom-quality portraits primarily using (but not limited to) antique photographic processes such as traditional film and wet plate collodion photography.