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History of Gitchell's Studio


In 1907, Frank Gitchell purchased a photography studio on East Main Street in Charlottesville, Virginia by the name of "New Era Photography." At that time, Mr. Gitchell changed the name of the business to "Gitchell's Studio" and with his talent and expertise the business flourished.


Son, William "Bill" Gitchell succeeded his father in managing the successful photography studio for approximately 40 years. In 1988, Bill Gitchell sold the studio to Jim Carpenter who was chief photojournalist for the "The Daily Progress" newspaper for more than 20 years.During employment at "The Daily Progress", the Virginia Associated Press twice honored his work naming it "Photo of the Year." He also won awards from the Virginia Press Association for 20 consecutive years.


Purchasing Gitchell's allowed Jim to further extend his skills as a professional photographer offering his services through wedding, portrait and commercial photography. As a  former member of the Virginia Professional Photographers Association (VPPA), his independent works have received numerous blue ribbon awards. Since 1998, Jim has won Grand Photographic Winner for the State of Virginia X 2, Eastman Kodak Gallery Award X 3, Fuji Masterpiece Award X 12, Best in Show for State X 4, Best in Show for SEPPA X 2, Best in Category for State X 4, Best in Category for SEPPA X1, Court of Honor X 4, Certified Professional Photographer Award X 1, Published in the PPofA Loan Collection Book X 32, and Published in the PPofA Photo Showcase Book X 3.


Jim earned his Master's Degree in Photography through the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and received his degree August 1, 2000 in Las Vegas. Jim is currently the only Master Photographer and Craftsman Photographer in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. He will also received his Craftsman Degree July 2003 in Las Vegas. Jim has recently been a guest speaker for Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina Professional Photographers Association. He also spoke at the 2005 SEPPA Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.