College of Media at Illinois

University of IllinoisCollege of Media

Faculty Profiles

Ledford Charles

Charles "Stretch" Ledford


217-333-1259
242 Gregory Hall
stretch@illinois.edu

Education

M.A., Multimedia Journalism, University of Miami
B.A., Journalism and Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Course Specialties

Visual and Multimedia Journalism

Background

Stretch Ledford has worked as a visual journalist telling stories through still and moving images in more than 50 countries on five continents. His career began as a staff photojournalist for The State (Columbia, SC), The Fayetteville (NC) Observer, The Durham (NC) Morning Herald, The St. Petersburg (FL) Times and The Commission, the journal of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board.

As a freelance photojournalist and advertising photographer, Ledford has been published by The Atlantic, Consumer Reports, Health, Ladies Home Journal, Men’s Journal, Modern Maturity, Newsweek, Outside, POZ, Readers Digest, Smithsonian, Time, USA Weekend, The Washington Post Sunday Magazine, the Washingtonian, The Associated Press, Black Star, Knight Ridder/Tribune News, United Press International, The Wall Street Journal, Advanced Micro Devices, Arnold Worldwide, Bank One, CNN, Continental Airlines, Cryolife, Deere & Company, Dominion, DuPont, Freddie Mac, Genworth, Geico, Kindercare Learning Centers, KPMG, The Martin Agency, Mazda, Nike, Ogilvy & Mather, Ping, the Rocky Mountain School of Design, the Royal Bank of Canada, Ryder, Sanofi-Aventis, Shell, Sports Illustrated, Tillamook Creamery, Trigon/Blue Cross, the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Wal-Mart, Washington Mutual Bank, Whole Foods Market, XCel Energy, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry, the Grossman Burn Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement Worldwide, MercyCorps, Project Angel Heart, Project HOPE and the YMCA.

Ledford’s multimedia work has been featured online and broadcast by NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today, Time, Huffington Post, The Weather Channel, the BBC, The Atlantic, the Globe and Mail (Toronto), the Daily Mail (London), the Nippon Television Network (Japan), Gawker and WILL-TV. He is a contributing video editor at AARP.org.

Galleries and museums in Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska and Virginia have displayed Ledford’s photographs.  His work has been recognized with awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the Online News Association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the New York Art Directors Club, the International Photography Awards and Communication Arts Magazine’s Photography Annual.

Research/Creative Endeavor

Ledford’s current projects employ novel digital distribution methods for original multimedia content and are designed to catalyze reflexive discussions among members of economically and technologically marginalized communities.  Rooted in the photojournalistic tradition, his work combines 35mm DSLR video with film elicitation to explore and expand the points at which the visual, the sociological, and the journalistic aspects of storytelling intersect.

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