Paying It Forward

by Lauren Barry

 Jul 16, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Rick Fisher’s personal journey has taken him from corporate executive to a photographer extraordinaire who is giving back

In reality, Rick Fisher has been a photographer all his life.

Working as a corporate executive in the biotech and chemical industries, Fisher constantly found himself with camera in hand. In fact, during his decade in the biotech industry, most employees viewed Fisher as the company’s photographer.

So it probably came as no surprise when Fisher decided to retire from the rat race in early 2006 and began ardently pursuing his interest in photography.

Yet, even Fisher couldn’t have predicted the road he would take.

Since retiring, Rick immersed himself in honing his photographic skills through formal courses offered from sources throughout the country. In January 2011 he formed his own business, Rick Fisher’s Photography, LLC, and in 2012 photographed the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club, the McConnell Golf Cookbook, as well as a number of member events for McConnell Golf clubs. He also joined the Professional Photographers of America and North Carolina. And, somewhere along the line, Fisher determined that the mission of his business would be to donate 100 percent of his profits to charity. “I lost interest in golf and decided to learn everything I could about all aspects of photography,” said Fisher, a McConnell Golf member at Treyburn Country Club.

“Building a small business, practicing the art of photography and giving the profits to charity are such fun. There are few things better than having someone give me a hug and tearing up because they love the image I have taken. It’s hard to put a price tag on that.”

Fortunately, Fisher’s operation has grown from Day One. His first month in business, January 2011, his total revenue was about $250. For the same period this year, it approached $6,000.

“I try to focus on providing quality photography, pleasing my customers and charging a reasonable fee for the work,” he said. “That simple formula seems to be working and the word is getting out. I’ve started to hear from people through referrals of others.”

Fisher said by the end of the year he is on track to exceed $100,000 in contributions to charity since starting his business. Not to mention, “I also provide work without charge to help various nonprofits,” he said. “I work as many or more hours today as I did at any time during my career,” Fisher said, “but most of time it doesn’t feel like work.”

And he spends a significant amount of time educating himself as to the latest software and photographic techniques. “In 2013, I’ll spend about six weeks in some kind of formal training,” said Fisher, who also teaches a number of photography classes at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens and the Museum of Life of Science in Durham.

People constantly ask Fisher what his specialty is - Weddings? Events? Portraits? His answer is always the same. “I do everything - weddings, family portraits, pets, events, sports, nature, you name it,” he said. “I’m getting a growing interest in my nature photography for home decorating.”

“I think I would get bored being too narrowly focused,” he said. “I’m doing this because I love the art of photography. I balance making money for charity with my interest in the subject.

Photo credit: Rick Fisher

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Treyburn Juniors Playing Strong

by Brian Kittler

 Mar 12, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Treyburn’s junior golfers are having a very good summer on the links. McKenzie Barringer teamed up with Director of Golf Jason Harris to win the CGA’s 8th Carolinas Pro-Junior hosted by Greensboro Country Club (Farms Course). McKenzie and Jason shot a six under par 66 to beat four other teams to claim the championship. They got off to a good start with a birdie on their first hole, the par 3 number 8. With pars on the next four holes, they were able to play the next 8 holes in six under par. “McKenzie made everything he looked at. Before we knew it, we were 6 under through 13 holes,” noted Jason. A bogey on their 14th hole stalled their momentum, but they were able to birdie their last hole to card 66. “After we made a bogey on our 14th hole, McKenzie made a huge 12 foot putt on our last hole for birdie, which in the end won us the tournament,” stated Jason. Following this victory, McKenzie qualified for the 99th Carolinas Amateur Championship at Kiawah Island July 11-14. Declared Jason, “I can’t tell you how proud I am of the great player and fine young man McKenzie has become.”

A day after McKenzie and Jason won the Pro-Junior, Jessica Spicer qualified for the USGA US Junior Girls Championship being played this year in Fort Wayne, Indiana July 22-27. She qualified by shooting 75 at the Country Club of North Carolina Dogwood course in Pinehurst. Unfortunately her twin sister, Sarah, didn’t qualify but will be on her bag caddying for the Championship. Sarah did bounce back two days after the qualifier to win on the Peggy Kirk Bell junior tour earning a victory in the Precision Golf School championship at Forest Oaks CC in Greensboro.                  

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