Charles Ryder – Owner/Photographer. Charles Ryder Photography IS your best choice for ballroom dance photography. Why? Simple, he is the only photographer that 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 dance and photography for many years. He began dancing at the age of 5-years-old. His parents owned a ballroom dance studio where he learned his ballroom dancing. His ballet & tap teacher, Miss Thea, owned a small ballet studio next door. He was enrolled in all forms of dance - ballet, jazz, tap and ballroom dance (even hip-hop, later on). At 5½ years of age, his first routine was a Jive, performed with his talented partner, his mom, Veronica.
At the young age of 8-years-old Charles received his first camera, a shiny, stainless steal Nikon camera. He was constantly taking photos of fellow dancers, recitals, showcase exhibitions and ballroom dance photos/travel in Europe and U.S.A. Charles’ appetite for dance photos was insatiable.
Fast-forward 7 years later… while photographing professional ballroom dancers at the Nevada Star Ball, another experienced, professional photographer noticed that Charles was snapping the same photos at the exact same time. She noticed that this 15-year-old teenager had amazing talent and great reflexes for ballroom dance photography. He was offered a job with Doré Studios and, thus, began his journey into ballroom dance photography as a professional photographer.
While Charles was honing his skills as a photographer he was also improving his skills as a Latin and Ballroom dancer. He attended many ballroom dance events in the United States and in England where he has photographed top-level Professional and Amateur dancers. He also excelled at dance; the highlight of his dance career was competing at the Blackpool Dance Festival in England, in the Under 21 Latin division.
Currently, Charles spends a portion of his time photographing ballroom dance events around the U.S (as the exclusive photographer) and some of his time as a freelance sports photographer for the Orange County Register and the Huntington Beach Independent newspapers.
Mark Mendez – photographer. Former American Style Ballroom competitor and U.S.A Finalist Rising Star Latin dancer. Published in Bride Magazine, South Bay magazine, Photographer’s Forum mag, The Myriad book, ECC Union newspaper and brochure. Ballroom dance photography is one of his favorites types of photography.
Veronica Wagner – Administrative Asst. Former Arthur Murray Dance Instructor and professional dance competitor. Published The Myriad book, ECC Gallery “Art Show” Exhibit, as photographer.
Jasmine Pelayo – Administrative Asst. Tap Dancer and make-up artist. Responsible for sorting photos on viewing system, processing payments and shipping orders.