Randolph Community College Photography Alumni Spotlight: Chuck Bigger

A series of three images showing life in eastern Africa. Chuck Bigger is a documentary photographer with thirty years of experience working cross-culturally in more than thirty countries around the world, documenting humanitarian issues with compassion and dignity for international development groups and non-government organizations. Chuck graduated from the photography program at Randolph Community College in 1978. Before enrolling, he had considered other photography programs in different states. Yet Chuck found that the photography program at RCC was just as proficient. He states, “RCC developed a reputation, even then, of turning out graduates with a level of practical competence that translated quickly into the job market.”

“I was drawn to photography in the first place because of the power of the photograph to address and effect changes on social issues,” said Chuck, “I chose the Photojournalism concentration because of my interest in social documentary styles of photography.” Chuck appreciated the fact that even though a person was able to choose one concentration out of a few, such as portrait and commercial, the program still allowed for developing skills in other areas of photography as well. Chuck comments, “This range of experience across photographic genres translated well in working at newspapers, particularly smaller ones where photographers might find themselves working a football game, a news event and in the studio all in the same day.”

Chuck enjoyed the different kinds of hands on teaching that he received at RCC. “In addition to developing a photography skill set, the instructors also invested time in developing problem solving skills in the students.” Chuck reflects, “The experience was great. I took away skills from my internship that I used throughout my newspaper career and continue to use today. I hope to continue using photography’s universal language in making images that cross cultural viewers respond to not only with empathy but with a call to action to get involved in their communities or the world.”

Story by Cate Gordon, Class of 2015

As part of the Fall Journalism class, the Photojournalism students interviewed and wrote a short profile story on a Randolph Community College Photography Program graduate. We will feature a new profile each month over the next year.

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