After starting a job at Southwire a few years back, Carrollton local Brian Carmicheal had no idea that he would have his own photography business and have his work featured in national media outlets, but that’s exactly the situation in which he finds himself today.
Before his successful photography business, BC Photography LLC, got off the ground, Carmicheal says he started out running the Southwire store, describing himself as “the Walmart for Southwire employees.”
“I was pushing out probably 50 or 60 plus orders a day,” said Carmicheal. “I would scan them in, charge everybody, charge departments, take orders for departments that wanted bigger orders, and I would package them and send them to UPS.”
The photography side of his life back then was secondary. He mainly got a camera to photograph his son, Terrell Carmicheal, who at that point was early in his football career for Carrollton City Schools. Even so, he had the assistance of several different mentors at Southwire as he was starting out with photography and the skills surrounding it.
“My boss wouldn’t let me touch my camera for about two months because he was teaching me the settings of the camera,” said Carmicheal. “At the same time, I would do my job fast everyday to go with the graphic designer to understand graphics, editing — he’s actually the one that made my logo.”
If you look closely, BC Photography’s logo takes Carmicheal’s two initials to form the side profile view of a camera. It is not uncommon to see this logo adorned by photos of athletic events all over the Carrollton area.
He also learned another side of the craft from Southwire’s contracted photographer that came to take headshots, including lighting, angles, and general rules and tips for setting up a photo shoot, which is now something that Carmicheal does on a regular basis.
As far as the action side of his work, he photographed his son’s football games during his eighth-grade season, and the Carrollton High School coaching staff eventually asked him to start taking photos for the high school team. He says his work simply took off from there.
During the 2020 pandemic while Carmicheal was working from home, Carrollton City Schools reached out with a photography contract offer, and shortly after, the University of West Georgia was not far behind (although Carmicheal said it took him a bit longer to find the UWG email because it was in a folder he had never seen).
But there was still one pivotal point left for Carmicheal, and that was the moment he finally chose to quit his job at Southwire to jump into photography full time, which took a thumbs-up from his wife, Kimberly.
“I couldn’t leave Southwire until my wife blessed me with it,” said Carmicheal. “I had to pray about it. The same week Carrollton offered me the contract, I knew I had to make a decision.”
Ultimately, all it took was a whisper to set him over the edge.
“I prayed on it at church, and my wife came over and whispered in my ear and said, ‘You can leave your job,” said Carmicheal.
Carmichael is now contracted out for both action photography, posed photo shoots and graphics for both Carrollton City Schools and the University of West Georgia, and also conducts headshots and other shoots. Among many accomplishments, his work has now appeared on ESPN as well as two images included in last month’s issue of Sports Illustrated magazine.
For his work appearing in Sports Illustrated, Carmicheal has been the main photographer for Carrollton sophomore quarterback Julian Lewis, who is believed by many to be best football player in the country at his age and was featured on the cover of the magazine with a story discussing both his young career and how Name Image Likeness profits have an effect on athletics at the college and high school levels.
Even now that Carmicheal has his own photography business that has been featured at the national level, he still has several bucket list items for which he continues to strive, including a recent mission of capturing photos of bald eagles living in Carroll County.
Those who have seen Carmicheal’s work on social media — whether it be sports or wildlife — will recognize the phrase, “We got action,” which he coined just a few short years ago, and it’s fair to say if there’s action around Carrollton, BC’s lens is not very far away.