On Saturday evening my wife, son, and I had tickets to see Maceo Parker at Jazz Alley in Seattle. If you’re not familiar with Maceo, he played for years with James Brown, had some top hits with his own bands, and has worked with such diverse acts as Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, De La Soul, Dave Matthews, Jane’s Addiction, and more. But primarily he’s known as one of the absolute masters of funk. It had been a while since I brought my camera to a concert so, as we had really great seats, I decided to bring it along.


I had forgotten how much I really loved to create images of performers. It’s a lot like sports photography, trying to catch your subject at a peak moment of action.


Every once in a while, and especially if you’re a business owner, you need a little reminder about why you chose your career in the first place. As a photographer I don’t particularly look forward to accounting, marketing, advertising, and the rest of the things you need to keep a business going. And sometimes a week goes by without a glimpse of my camera. But taking the opportunity to create images purely for myself, without all the pressures of keeping a business in motion, reminded me of why I chose photography as a career in the first place.  

Charlie Cotugno is the owner of Charles Cotugno Photography in Woodinville, WA specializing in fine art portraiture and commercial photography. He is also the founder and board president of the non-profit organization Stories of Autism, a network of over 150 photographers from around the U.S. whose mission is to increase awareness, acceptance, and inclusion of people with autism spectrum disorders. For more information about Charlie and Stories of Autism please visit