“I’m a photographer, artist, chef, inventor, floor sweeper, child whisperer, and slave to hot wife,” Patrick says. “I’m somewhat domesticated, BUT I never could color inside the lines.”
Patrick runs one of the most sought-after photography studios in Greenville. Known for work that’s expressive and relevant, his commercial and photojournalistic photography has been featured in publications both local and international.
He was in the midst of a thriving career in engineering when he began picturing something different. Never without a camera in hand, Patrick photographed family, friends, colleagues, and events as an avocation. People were drawn to his images–trademarked by real life expressions, captured in unscripted moments–and he fielded ever-increasing requests for portraits and weddings.
“I’m an artist at heart,” says Patrick, who has spent most of his life behind a lens. His grandparents ran an antiques shop, an image-rich venue where he developed a keen sense for the visual. “People kept expressing interest in my photography so it was natural to imagine doing this professionally.”
It might’ve remained a mere dream but for a national nightmare. His job meant frequent international travel, and he was returning from a business trip on September 11, 2001, when all planes were grounded due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “I had to scramble to get home,” he recalls, “and by the time I made it, I’d decided my traveling days were over.”
Thus he launched Cox Photography in late 2001, re-framing his career with an emphasis on work-life balance. “This isn’t about money,” Patrick says. “It’s about doing something I love while also focusing on my family.” That’s not to say he isn’t busy–indeed, Cox Photography is the most sought-after studio in town for work that’s creative and consistent. Clients seek Patrick out for his breadth and depth of experience. His photojournalism is featured in publications both local and international, from At Home in the Upstate to National Geographic. Brides love him, his portfolio features some 600 weddings, and he’s also popular for commercial and fine art images.
Patrick’s personal mission is to make images that matter. A recent photojournalism project, for example, brought awareness to the plight of the homeless. His pro bono portfolio is filled with work on behalf of unfortunate children. He photographs terminally ill patients at the GHS Children’s Hospital to ensure all parents receive a final, cherished keepsake, and he volunteers for the South Carolina Heart Gallery, a project that uses the power of photography to find homes for hard-to-place children lingering in foster care. “I capture their personalities in images that best present them to potential adoptive parents,” Patrick explains. “I want to show the softer side of kids who are considered tough cases.”