Portfolio Throwdown!

Registration Fee: $25
Registration Period: now to Sunday, April 8th
Portfolio Throwdown! Date: Saturday, April 14
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Location: The Light Factory

Sponsored by: TLF, UNC Charlotte, and SPESE

Are you a photographer looking for the ultimate single-player experience? Then our Portfolio Throwdown! is the perfect event for you. We hope you’ll join us for this unique opportunity to have your portfolio reviewed. But definitely bring your best work—because it’s game on.

The Light Factory’s 3rd Annual Portfolio Throwdown! is open to university, community college, and high school students. And if you’ve graduated in the past four years, then you’re welcome to join in on the action, too. Reviewers have a range of expertise and backgrounds, including professors in art and art history, as well as fine art and commercial photographers.



Greg Banks is a photo-based artist currently working on his MFA in photography at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, with a projected completion date of May 2017. He received a BA in photography and a BA in fine art from Virginia Intermont College in 1998. Greg combines everything from iPhone images to historic 19th century processes, gelatin silver printing, metals, painting, and digital printing. His current creative practice investigates family, folklore, memories, Appalachia, history, and religion.


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Photographer involved in photographic education for over thirty years. The combination of my commercial experience and fine art background has allowed me to creatively translate ideas and concepts into effective visual images. My experience in traditional media combined with the necessity to stay current with the newest digital technology, both in image capture and printing technology, has been a strong asset to my students.


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I am an independent photographer working in the southeastern United States and call Charlotte, NC home.

After spending six years a Navy Corpsman, I began studying photography at the Art Institute of Charlotte. After graduating, I worked as the staff photographer of Charlotte magazine for two years before leaving my post to pursue freelance photography full-time.

My images have appeared in national and international publications and I have also done work for both editorial and commercial clients across the United States and Europe.


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Will Douglas is an internationally exhibited artist who was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He lived in Puerto Rico as a child, briefly resided in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, was raised in Virginia and currently lives in Florida. Douglas studied at Virginia Commonwealth University where he received a BFA in Photography and Filmmaking. In 2011 he was a recipient of a VMFA fellowship. Since then has been included in various important exhibitions including Snapshot Aesthetic at Black Box Gallery in Portland and NOW at The Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh. In 2014 he was included in numerous publications including “Petty Thieves Five” published by Empty Stretch and “BASTARDS” published by Oranbeg Press. In 2015 he was in Peripheral Vision at Candela in Richmond, was included in the Review Santa Fe 100, The 6th Annual Contemporary Photography Exhibition at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and many more exhibitions. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Studio Arts at the University of South Florida where he is a graduate fellow.


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Lauren Greenwald is a visual artist working primarily in photography and video. Ms. Greenwald received her M.F.A. in Studio Art, with a minor in Museum Studies, from the University of New Mexico and her B.A. in Art History and French from the College of Charleston. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at the University of South Carolina.


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Lauren, a Charlotte native, earned a BA with distinction in Art History and Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduation, Lauren interned with Carla Hanzal, the former Curator of Contemporary Art at The Mint Museum. Currently, Carla Hanzal is the director of Public Art for The Arts and Science Council. Lauren earned her Masters of Letters in Modern and Contemporary Art with distinction from the University of Glasgow. Lauren’s thesis was entitled Common Borders: The Contingent Subject in Contemporary Art.

Lauren graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2014 and is licensed to practice law in North Carolina. In law school, Lauren won a national writing competition for her art law independent study paper entitled Copyright’s Identity Crisis in the Reflection of Contemporary Art. Since returning to Charlotte after her graduate work, Lauren has been actively involved in the arts community and currently serves as Vice President on the Board of the Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum. In the summer of 2016, Lauren organized the first annual juried art show, 80×80: An Art Show, hosted by the Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum. 80×80: An Art Show was awarded “Best Exhibit of 2016” by Creative Loafing readers. In January 2016, Lauren joined Christie Taylor and became a partner at Hodges Taylor Art Consultancy.


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Originally from Germany, Rose was raised in Orlando, Florida and has lived in London, England; Brooklyn, NY and Woodstock, NY until recently relocating to North Carolina.

She earned a degree in photography at Daytona State College and art history at the City University of New York. In addition to continuing her personal artistic practice, she has worked for a number of commercial photographers and fine artists.


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Kariko is an Assistant Professor of Fine Art Photography and Photography Area Coordinator in the School of Fine Arts and Design at East Carolina University, in Greenville, NC. Kariko’s images investigate environmental and political aspects of landscape, use of land, and cultural interpretation of inhabited space. For the past several years, Kariko worked collaboratively with the ECU Department of Biology’s Microscopy and Imaging Facility on Scanning Electron Microscope images of common household pest.


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Ashley Kauschinger is a narrative photographer and book artist that explores identity and family. She received her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and her MFA from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. Her photographs have been exhibited nationally in venues such as the Griffin Museum of Photography and the RayKo Gallery. She has been published in the PDN Photo Annual, the South Atlantic Review, Lenscratch, Fototazo, F-Stop Magazine, and Flak Photo. She was a Critical Mass Finalist in 2012 and 2014.

Ashley is also the Founding Editor of Light Leaked, an online photography magazine that creates dialogue and community. Ashley lives and works in Columbia, SC where she is an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina.


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Katherine began studying photography as a teenager and was shooting professionally before she entered college. Since then she’s completed years of intense technical training and fine art research, winning awards every step of the way. Katherine is now a full-time freelance commercial photographer based in Charlotte, NC, catering to businesses across the USA. Her growing success is measured by the continuous support from local and national brands that respect the quality of both her photography and professionalism.


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Bryce Lankard is a North Carolina native and graduate of the Journalism School at UNC–Chapel Hill. He has been creating photographic work for over 30 years and spent many years in New Orleans and New York City. His work has been published worldwide, including in publications ranging from the Village Voice and the New York Times Magazine to Fine Art Photo and Southern Cultures. In 1995 he co-founded Tribe Magazine in New Orleans, serving as creative director. After Hurricane Katrina he co-founded the nonprofit New Orleans Photo Alliance. He is currently the Executive Director of the Click! Triangle Photography Festival. He is a veteran instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. His work has been exhibited internationally and is held in many private and public collections. His most recent project, Drawn to Water, debuted as a solo exhibition at Flanders Gallery in Raleigh in October 2016.


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Noelle Mason is a trans-media artist who manipulates appropriated images, objects, and contexts to investigate and expose the subtle seductiveness of power facilitated by systems of visual control. Noelle has shown nationally and internationally including the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Smithsonian Institute.  She is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist Grant and was the winner of the 2016 Florida Prize for Contemporary Art. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of South Florida.


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Eric Pickersgill has exhibited his work nationally at institutions and galleries such as The Center for Fine Art Photography, Duke University, The North Carolina Museum of Art, University of Northern Florida, and The Ackland Art Museum. Eric is represented by Rick Wester Fine Art in New York.


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Josh Raftery is a native of Phoenix, Arizona, where he studied forensics and photography. He received his BFA in Photography from Arizona State University in 2011. His current photographic work examines relationships between the living and the dead, representing the narrative of a corpse through a visual dialogue. The images are not meant to insist on the inevitability of death, but rather to recognize our own existence while celebrating the transitory nature of life. Raftery utilizes antiquated photographic processes to emphasize the passage of time, loss, and the tangible nature of existence that is represented in his work. He received his MFA from Ohio University in Photography + Integrated Media in 2015. Raftery’s work has been included in several publications, as well as exhibited nationally. He has been instructor of photography at Ohio University, the University of Kentucky, and is currently a Visiting Instructor of Photography at East Carolina University.


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Linda Foard Roberts has exhibited her work internationally from Australia to Guatemala, and throughout the United States. She began her love of photography with large format cameras at the age of fifteen. She currently uses 8″ x 10″, 5″ x 7″ and 4″ x 5″ cameras and prefers the imperfections of old lenses.

Her work is in the collections of The North Carolina Museum, The New Orleans Museum of Art, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, The Mint Museum of Art, Bank of America, the Harry Ransom Center, the Bechtler Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, Duke Energy, Fidelity Investments, Gregg Museum of Art and Design, Haarmann & Reimer, Germany, King & Spalding, and many private collections. 

She received a Master in Fine Arts from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Virginia Intermont College.  She lives and works in Weddington, North Carolina with her husband and their two children, Nicole and George. 


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Leah Sobsey is an artist and educator. Her art and anthropology background and her love of stories have become tools to artfully map and investigate her own history, and now that of others. Sobsey works primarily in 19th-century photographic processes combined with digital technology. She has exhibited nationally in galleries, museums, and public spaces, and her work is held in private and public collections across the country. She has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Maine Photographic Workshops, and currently teaches at Duke University’s Center for Documentary studies and is a visiting assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Sobsey is the cofounder of the Visual History Collaborative and one of the core artists in Bull City Summer, a collaborative documentary project that explores the Durham Bulls AAA baseball team. The resulting book, Bull City Summer, was released in 2014 and is among the publisher’s top sellers. Sobsey’s images have appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review Daily, Slate.com and many more outlets.


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Lorraine Turi is a digital photographer who gained professional experience working as a set photographer on independent films. Her fine art work uses constructed scenes to explore the complex relationship of the worker within the history of American industry. Ms. Turi graduated from East Carolina University with a Master of Fine Arts and is currently an Art History Instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.


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Angela Franks Wells is a photography-based artist specializing in 19th century photographic processes and an Assistant Professor of Photography at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally and she is represented by Tilt Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ.


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Joshua White uses photography, sculpture, and digital technology to address themes of memory, loss, science, and nature. He received his MFA from Arizona State University and lives and works in West Jefferson, NC. He is an Assistant Professor of Art at Appalachian State University.


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Clayton Joe Young is an award-winning photographer with a background in photojournalism. While a photojournalist, Young won numerous awards with the North Carolina Press Association and North Carolina Press Photographers Association. In 2011, Young won Best In Show at the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. In 2014, Young earned the Certified Professional Photographers (CPP) designation from Professional Photographers of America.

Young is the Senior Professor for the Photographic Technology program at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. In 2010, Young was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award at the college.

In 2015, Young earned a MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Young’s work has been selected for juried group and solo exhibits throughout the United States.


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Olly Yung is an emerging photographer currently located in Charlotte, North Carolina and originally from San Francisco, California. He is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, with a degree in Economics. The mixture and relationship between art and commerce fascinates him and his goals are to become a commercial advertising photographer.  He currently shoots for local modeling agencies, shoots business portraiture, does occasional production work for LinkedIn.  He also shoots a wedding here and there in order to survive the uncertainties of starting off as a freelancer.  He has shot promotional materials for Mercedes Benz of North America and was also recently published in The Face magazine.