Charles Ryder – Owner/Photographer. Charles Ryder Photography IS your best choice for ballroom dance photography. Why? Simple... Charles is not only a master photographer but he is also a dancer! His knowledge of dance allows him to anticipate the action better than others. His slogan is, “Photography for dancers, by dancers”.
Here’s his story…
Charles has been around ballroom dancing and dance competitions for many, many years. He began dancing at the young age of 5-years-old. His parents owned a ballroom dance studio where he first learned ballroom dancing. At 5½ years of age he performed his first dance routine with a very talented dance partner; he danced a jive routine with his mom, Veronica.
Next door to the ballroom studio was a performing arts studio. They taught classes in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop. Miss Thea, trained in England and a former Bluebell Girl at the Lido in Paris, was his ballet and tap teacher. Charles learned all the styles of dance and competed on the performing arts circuit.
At the age of 8-years-old Charles received his first camera. It was a shiny, stainless steal Nikon point-and-shoot camera. He was constantly taking photos of his dancer friends, performances at recitals and studio showcases, and dancers at ballroom dance competitions. Through his travels around the U.S. and in Europe, he has captured amazing photos of not only ballroom dancing but also beautiful landscapes and picturesque cities. Charles’ appetite for all types of photography was insatiable.
Fast-forward 7 years later… while taking photos of professional ballroom dancers at the Nevada Ball, another photographer, with years of experience, noticed Charles was “snapping” photos at the exact same time as her. She noticed that this 15-year-old teenager had an amazing talent and great reflexes for ballroom dance photography. He was offered a job with Doré Studios and, thus, began his journey as a professional photographer in ballroom dancing.
While Charles was honing his skills as a photographer he was also improving his skills as a Latin and Ballroom dancer. The highlight of his dance career was competing at the Blackpool Dance Festival in England, in the Under 21 Latin division. Of course, while attending one of the most prestigious dance competitions in the world, he took the opportunity to photograph some of the best professional and amateur dancers in the world, like Brian and Carmen, Michael and Joanna, Mirko and Alessia, and many more!
Currently, Charles spends most of his time photographing ballroom dance events around the United States as the “Official Photographer”. He is one of the most sought after photographers in the ballroom dance industry. If you happen to catch Charles when he has a little free time, you'll see him taking photos of landscapes and his beautiful family!
Mark Mendez – photographer. Former U.S.A Finalist Rising Star Latin dancer and American Style Ballroom competitor. Published in Bride Magazine, South Bay magazine, Photographer’s Forum mag, The Myriad book, ECC Union newspaper and brochure.
Veronica Wagner – Photographer. Former Arthur Murray Dance Instructor and professional dance competitor. Published in The Myriad book and ECC Gallery “Art Show” Exhibit.
Jasmine Pelayo – Administrative Manager. Tap Dancer and certified make-up artist. Responsible for coordinating staff, financial and asset managing, recording payments and statistical data anylysis.