Charlotte is a city where you instantly feel at home, and that sense of home is depicted daily through socially shared #Charlottesgotalot posts from our residents and visitors. Each month, we’ll dive deeper into the story behind one such #Charlottesgotalot Instagram photo and the photographer behind the lens (or smart phone).
Lisa Caryle Wagner
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a born New Yorker (from Long Island to be exact), and I’m a photographer, writer, animal lover and travel junkie. Before I relocated to Charlotte, I worked for the New York Post covering everything from breaking news to celebrity fêtes and Polo in the Hamptons. But when it comes to Instagramming my way around the Queen City, I usually leave my work gear at home and head out with just my iPhone and zero expectations. That freedom has really returned the fun to photography for me. I love shooting ‘whoever, whatever, wherever & whenever.’ Whether I’m photographing a new restaurant or a historic landmark, I love the “anything goes” aspect of it.
What’s the story behind this photo?
On the way home the other night, I stopped to photograph that big, red ornament in front of The Mint Museum. I must have spent 10 minutes trying to get a shot I was happy with, but it just wasn’t working for me. I gave up and turned to walk back to my car – Then, this scene was in front of me. The delicately lit trees, the cobblestone walkway, the crown of uptown gleaming in the distance… amid all of the hustle and bustle of a Saturday night sat this quiet little retreat, poised as the entrance to an enchanted, magical place.
Favorite places for Instagram-worthy photos in Charlotte?
Charlotte has so many great spots. I can’t imagine narrowing it down to just a few, but I’ll say that I am a fan for Uptown. I just love our skyline! I could shoot Uptown Charlotte from every conceivable angle and never get bored. And yet, all throughout the city, be it Ballantyne or NoDa, there are little gems tucked away in each neighborhood that really makes exploring this city fun.
Favorite thing to do in Charlotte?
Right now, my favorite thing to do in Charlotte is Christmas! It’s everywhere, and it’s fabulous. Everything is decorated so beautifully, inside and out. I mean, does it get any cuter than the animatronic bears in Founders Hall? What about those chicken wire Christmas balls on Hillside Ave? Or the Sherwood Forest Christmas House? How about the watching The Nutcracker or Nativity scenes? I love it all.
What’s on your Charlotte bucket list – what haven’t you done yet, but you’d like to soon.
I would love to take a helicopter tour of the city. I’ve always wanted to photograph Charlotte from the air — at twilight, to be exact. Who knows, maybe one of these days Santa will make that happen. (And don’t worry, I’ll be sure to take all my gear for that one!)
Tag your Instagram photos with #charlottesgotalot to be featured in a future Happenings magazine, e-newsletter, or Charlotte’s got a blog Photo of the Month!