Charlie Freeman

I was awakened from my sleep…with tears in my eyes…We, the students were
in a room, like at a church where the kitchen and reception room are,
preparing for the Art Institute tribute to Charlie, the day after he passed away.
We were arranging food, and doing everything to get ready for the guests
to come and say good bye and maybe tell a story or two. Just before I awoke,
someone took a vase of old flowers left from another engagement,
and started making a little arrangement of just one variety of flowers,
and then in my dream we were outside similar to CCCC campus and
picking wildflowers, which we then took inside and placed in little frosted
drinking glasses taken from the cabinets. The vases were lined up down
the center of the table, I thought Charlie would agree at how
nice they looked and then I woke up, tears streaming down my face
in my dream… I got up and began to write and saw that it was only
4:00 am…

My heart is broken and is breaking… for Charlie’s wife, family, friends and
Our class came together every Tuesday night from 6-11 since the middle of
August. We became like a family, especially when we worked in Charlie’s
studio which was almost every Tues. There in the kitchen area, around
the table we would start our class, critique, lesson from Charlie for the
evening and as time went on, Jennifer began bringing snacks for all of us
to enjoy. We would take turns shooting the models Charlie had rounded up,
sometimes we had a makeup artist, and others we relied on Maelen
to come ready to be a student and model as well! We would all just
sort of hang out while waiting our turn at the models, either watching
the other student shooting and helping them as well, or roaming around the
studio from kitchen area to seating area like a little living room with coffee
table and photo magazines to paroose. Our class also met a number
of times on campus and at several of those, Charlie put us through some
“acting” techniques to help us learn how to draw things out of our subjects
while snapping away! Most of us were reluctant to be putting our
selves out there and on the line with having to go to the front of
the class to perform! I even declined when asked to
perform but later told Charlie, I was ready and finally tried my hand
at the task he asked. At first, I don’t think we thought much of
this technique or the place of it in Photography of all things!
but as time passed we each one began to see just what Charlie
was up to and that his methods would help to make each one
of us a better photographer. He told us he would challenge
us and push each one of us this semester, and he did.
There was no one like Charlie, he gave so much of himself
to his students, often going out after class to eat and chat,
or his 2nd Sunday meeting at the Flying Fish in Deep Ellum for
students from both schools to meet each other, show our
work or just visit. Charlie was obsessed with hands and the
placement of them, the angle, etc. We learned so much about
lighting, posing, evoking emotion from subjects and telling a
story. Charlie gave us so much, so much of himself, he cared
so much for his students and photography. He told us this
would be his last class at CCCC as he was teaching more
at the Art Institute, and I knew it was really a sacrifice to
be teaching so far from AI and his home. So, I feel so blessed
to have finally made my way to Charlie’s class and to have
known this man. The last night of class when we presented
our portfolio’s we had a pot luck arranged by Jennifer!
Everyone brought a dish or two and we had a really nice
feast and time of looking at each others work. Charlie shook
my hand later that night and encouraged me to go on and
to send him new work, perfecting my “technique” that I
based my final on, over the next 6 months.
So today and Tues we will say good bye to our friend,
Charlie Freeman. His influence will go on in the students
he has taught and their work, but he will be so greatly missed.

Viewing : Sunday December 27 from 2-4
Jeter and Son Funeral Home
4830 W. Illinois Dallas

Funeral :Tues December 29
10:00 am
Lovers Lane United Methodist Church
9200 Inwood Rd at NW Hwy. Dallas


2 Responses to “Charlie Freeman”

  1. 1 shaynan January 12, 2010 at 6:40 am

    i go to AI and today was the 1st day back..and tho i wasnt supposed to be in any of charlies classes this quarter, i’ve had him for 4 previous classes, and i know exactly what you mean about the hands.. and him trying to get us to direct our modles, Maelen came and modeled for a class for us a few months ago also.
    i was just going to let you know that it was nice to read your kind words and think back on all the things that charlie has taught us, things i know that none of his students will ever forget.

    • 2 katherinesrealestateblog January 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Shaynan, thanks for reading my blog and words about Charlie. I know it will especially be hard for the students at
      the AI, as you saw him every day… I am so glad they named the new studio in his honor, and all that he taught
      will certainly be remembered each time we shoot our models or clients. my thoughts are with you all, Katherine

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