Charles Alan Bertram made Lexington his home at age 3 and hasn't left since.

His first association with Herald-Leader photography came when he was a student at Stonewall Elementary in 1961. His picture appeared in the newspaper in connection with an activity at the school.

Charles started freelancing for the Associated Press while attending the University of Kentucky. In 1977, he became a part-time freelancer for the Herald-Leader's state desk.

His job was to visit a different county every day, looking for feature photos and news stories. He soon became familiar with virtually every back road in the newspaper's circulation area. He also learned to appreciate the differences between rural and urban readers.

In 1998, Charles was named Chief Photographer.

Charles' work has left a lasting impression on readers, especially portrayals of housing conditions in the state, children in poverty, and his images tracing the journey of migrant workers from Mexico to Kentucky race tracks and tobacco fields.

An image of a firefighter rushing a burned child to an ambulance drew praise and complaints from readers and has been used on the cover of two college journalism textbooks.

Charles has been named the Kentucky News Photographer Association's Photographer of the Year four times and runner-up four times.

His photos have appeared in most major national magazines, but what Charles enjoys most - what he thrives on - is what he calls "daily community journalism." "I most enjoy getting out in the state, talking to our readers and making photographs that make them smile, cry, laugh or at least gives them a little different perspective on our community," Charles said.

Charles is married to Sharon, a pharmacist. They have one son, Michael, now playing professional baseball for the Detriot Tigers organization.





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