September/October

Interview with Lizzie Hamilton

July/August

Interview with Greg Lamb-Carr

It is obvious from your accent that you are not from around here. Where did you grow up?

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, then moved to Cape Town, where I lived for 16 years.

 

What brought you to the United States?

That would be my American wife. She came to Cape Town to study. We met and initially had no plans of leaving. We loved it there. I was leading photographing safaris and owned outdoor shops — a great life for someone who really enjoys the outdoors. Cape Town was going through some major changes, and we started to reevaluate where the best place would be to raise a family. After thinking long and hard, we felt the time was right to move to the United States.

So, Charleston was your next stop?

Actually, no. We initially moved to the Northeast. The country was in the beginning stages of the recession and finding work was tough. I taught SCUBA diving, but other than that, I was having a hard time gaining traction in the workforce without having a network of people that I could rely on for contacts. That, coupled with realizing that I did not have to deal with the harsh winters to live in the States, led me to Charleston.

 

Was it easier to find work here?​

Not really. By then the recession was in full force. I was having the same problem: not knowing anyone here. I spent a long time looking around, but the process was wearing me down. I had always owned my own businesses and never had to deal with this type of situation in the past. I started to look into the idea of opening up my own business. I had restaurants in South Africa so that industry was attractive to me. I also loved coffee shops. I realized that it was best to look into buying an existing business so that I had a better opportunity in learning all I needed to know about running one. Through research I found five coffee shops that were for sale in the area. I chose what on paper was probably the least attractive business deal; in spite of its drawbacks, I also saw it as the one with the most potential. Ten years later, City Lights Coffee in downtown Charleston is going strong. The other four that were available at the time of my purchase are no longer around, so I must be doing something right.

What got you into photography?

My dad was always into photography. Not as a profession, but he loved photographing, and I learned a lot from him. We were always outdoors and at game reserves shooting beautiful scenery and wildlife. Soon I was borrowing his camera (which I still have today) and started going out myself. This led to me becoming a wildlife photographer.

How did the underwater photography come about?

At 15 years old, I got my SCUBA diving certification. A year or so later, I started playing around with underwater photography. I became hooked on it, invested in some equipment, and started doing many underwater photoshoots.

Since you have a successful coffee shop, would you describe your photography as a passion?

I am very passionate about photography. If you aren’t passionate about something, why do it? At the same time, photography is a source of income for me so I also treat it as a business especially when it comes to professional shoots. I still enjoy shooting almost anything.

You have to have subject matters that interest you the most. What are your favorite subjects to shoot?

Wildlife will always be one of my favorite subjects. I also enjoy shooting fashion. Fashion shoots allow me to be more creative than most other shoots. I love combining fashion with underwater photography.

The other thing I really enjoy is shooting portraits — getting to know the person and capturing their moment in time not just physically but also allowing their personality to come through in the shot.

How would you describe the photography scene in Charleston?

I think if you ask the same question to other local photographers, you would more than likely get the same answer. It is over saturated. But that is the same anywhere you go. Photography used to be a specialized field that took years to develop the simple concepts of light, composition and proper subject matter. Now people rely on their cellphones and filters, taking endless photos in the hopes of getting a good one. 

I am lucky to be part of a good circle of professional local photographers that are able to learn from each other and also assist on each other’s photoshoots. I learn so much from photographers such as Ben Williams, who helped me in becoming a better portrait photographer, and he has gained knowledge from seeing my approach to shoots.

With that being said, do you see it becoming very difficult in the future to make a profession out of photography?

Although many aspects of photography business had changed, it is important to keep in mind, as in almost every profession, the best will always rise to the top. A novice and a seasoned professional can stand side by side with the same camera and shoot the same subject matter and although a novice may get lucky with a photo, the professional will always get a better shot. For the professional, luck does not come into play. The experience does.

To learn more about Gregg Lambton-Carr photography, visit his website www.gregglcphoto.com. Or better yet, stop by City Lights Coffee at 141 North Market Street, Charleston, South Carolina.

May/June

Interview with Jan Park

Tell our readers about your business.

Health Yourself by JP is an online nutritional course that takes the confusion out of nutrition. NO fads, all facts. It contains time-tested strategies based on science. I took my 25 years of clinical experience and nutritional coaching and packaged it up into an easily accessible online course with motivational videos and downloads such as grocery lists, recipes, healthy snacks, etc. I break it down into modules covering the golden rule of weight loss: carbs and insulin, veggies and the gut microbiome, healthy fats and proteins, smart exercise to increase metabolism, sleep and stress, and positive mind-set. Since it’s delivered online and with optional private coaching over FaceTime, I have been able to reach more people all over the country. I also provide grocery store trips locally. I see a lot of people who get caught up in fad diets that are simply not sustainable. It’s important to understand how to eat healthy forever in a sustainable way, in a way that you can enjoy restaurants, cook for your family, and even enjoy some cheat meals. I see a lot of people do everything right with exercise, but they still don’t see results. You can’t exercise away a bad diet! When you nail your nutrition, you don’t need to kill yourself in the gym!

What do you want to accomplish in the future?

My goal is to help more people take control of their health and their weight. I take the confusion out of nutrition and make the knowledge accessible to anyone so there is nothing standing in their way of success. I am passionate about contributing to the health and well-being of our Charleston citizens. I am dedicated to being part of the emerging medical and wellness community that recognizes that we can change more lives through prevention. Using technology to reach and empower people who may otherwise not have access to nutritional resources is so important. Knowledge-Inspiration-Action-Results. That’s my mission!

Tell us about yourself and your background.

I grew up in New Orleans, a town of overindulgence when it comes to eating and drinking. I have always appreciated great food! But unfortunately I saw firsthand the ravages it can inflict on one’s health. My father had his first heart attack in his 30s, second one in his 40s, two coronary bypass surgeries, carotid endarterectomy, two strokes, colon cancer, heart failure, and a pacemaker that kept him alive. If we ate vegetables growing up, they were sautéed in bacon grease. I ended up choosing a career as a registered nurse in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit … go figure! After years of working with critically ill patients, I realized I felt a huge void as a healthcare provider. We were saving lives, but we were not changing lives. I was in a highly technical system that kept patients alive just to turn them loose on a bunch of medications to return to their same lifestyle that landed them in the CCU in the first place. There was a total lack of patient education regarding nutrition. There was zero effort in empowering patients to take control of their own health. I knew I was on the wrong side. I was in “sick care,” not healthcare.

What made you leave the traditional healthcare system and go into wellness?

I knew that almost every patient I touched in CCU had a condition that could have been prevented. Most people think their fate lies in the genetic hand they were dealt. But we know that genetics play only about a 5 percent role in many chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The truth is that at least 95 percent of heart disease and type 2 diabetes can be reversed with nutrition and exercise. In fact, the most powerful determinant of your health and whether you ever get a chronic disease is your nutrition!

A great opportunity came my way to work in corporate wellness, which is what I have been doing for the last 13 years in Charleston. I attained my fitness trainer certification and weight management specialist certification. I have had the honor of helping hundreds of people reach their goals when they are empowered with the right knowledge to take control of their health and their weight. Many of them have drastically reduced their medications or gotten rid of them altogether. It’s awesome to see them regain their energy and self-esteem and feel their best again! That’s the power of nutrition. I had a number of people asking me for nutritional advice and coaching. This is what led me to start Health Yourself by JP.

Do you take a medical approach with your program?

I look at the entire person taking a holistic approach. You can’t separate the mind from the body. If you are super stressed and not sleeping, that needs to be addressed first. It’s important to look at a person’s sleep quality, stress levels, medications, interests and goals. And age makes no difference! It’s never too late to be your best. We need to look at food as being just as powerful as what is in your medicine cabinet, and respect it. We all need to eat in a way that makes our body a fortress against disease. It’s not just about looking good in the bathing suit, although that’s a nice bonus. It’s about being strong inside and out. When you know how to eat right, it cures so many ailments. For example, 80 percent of our immunity resides in the healthy bacteria in our gut. Reestablishing a healthy gut microbiome is just one of the many life-changing effects that result from a healthy diet!

To access nutritional program go to www.HealthYourselfbyJP.com

IG:@Health_Yourself_byJP

FB: @HealthYourself.JP