Our Instructors

Carolyn DeMeritt

A Charlotte, NC, native and active Light Factory member since 1976, Carolyn DeMeritt is a self-taught photographer who has worked at her craft for over thirty years. Through personal interaction with her subjects, she concentrates on creating portraits of people or places underrepresented or undergoing dramatic changes. DeMeritt’s work has been widely exhibited and is represented in numerous public and private collections, including Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; High Museum of Art; North Carolina Museum of Art; Asheville Art Museum; Cameron Art Museum; and Mint Museum of Art.


Nicole Driscoll

Nicole Driscoll was born and raised in Boston before moving to Charlotte in 2005. She graduated with a BFA in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production from The Art Institute of Charlotte in 2011. Driscoll’s films have played in local and national film festivals. Nicole is currently working as a freelance videographer/editor in and around Charlotte. She enjoys teaching young adults about the filmmaking and other aspects of film. She is also working on her next short narrative film, “POP.”


Dick Handshaw

Dick Handshaw is currently a member of the Light Factory Board of Directors. He also serves as the head of the Education Committee. He spent 31 years of his career as a learning and performance consultant as President of his own company, Handshaw, Inc. Before that he earned his living as a professional photographer for ten years. Now he is combining those two experiences to help the Light Factory improve the consistency and quality of its educational offerings.

Dick has a BFA in photography from Alfred University and a MS in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. He also serves on the board at the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte, NC, where he designs and teaches a course in Wildlife and Bird Photography. He has been passionate about photography since he was 14.


Mert Jones

Mert Jones is a native Charlottean artist and focuses her creative eye through Photography as a primary medium. Mert received her Associate of Fine Arts from Central Piedmont Community College in 2005. She has been a student at UNCC pursuing her BFA in Photography and is continuing her artistic journey through grant and residency program applications. Mert is a recipient of the 2020 ASC Community Support Art Program Artist award. She currently teaches Teen Art Studio and Summer Camps for Arts+.


Herman Nicholson

Herman Nicholson was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He received his BFA in photography from Savannah College of Art & Design and his MFA from Columbia College Chicago. His work has been exhibited internationally including the National Portrait Gallery in London. His work primarily focuses on portraiture and human relationships.


Michael O’Neill

Michael O’Neill is an educator and fine art photographer in Charlotte, NC, and earned his MFA from New Mexico State University in 2007. His work has been exhibited at Notre Dame University, The Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, NM, and in solo, juried, and group shows around the country. He specializes in infrared, large format, and pinhole photography.


Scott Stallings

Scott Stallings is a fine art and commercial portrait photographer living and working in Charlotte, NC. He specializes in creating one-of-a-kind, heirloom-quality portraits primarily using (but not limited to) antique photographic processes such as traditional film and wet plate collodion photography.


Caroline Waterman

Caroline Waterman grew up in Dublin, Ireland. She moved to the United States in 1986 and lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and three children. She took film photography classes in Dublin in the 1980’s and again in Boston; she completed her BFA in Photography from UNCC in May 2016. During her time at UNCC Caroline has explored various historic processes and concentrates on large format analog photography. Caroline specializes in Silver Gelatin Lith and Platinum Palladium printing. Her work deals with the themes of memory and loss and she has drawn on her connections to family, heritage and place as inspiration. She has conducted workshops on Lith printing at UNCC, at Appalachian State University and at the Light Factory. Her Silver Gelatin Lith prints are currently being exhibited at the University Hilton Hotel in Concord, NC and Caroline has also exhibited her work at UNCC and The Photo Place Gallery in Vermont. Her first solo show opened in September 2017 at Through This Lens Gallery in Durham, NC.