Chiles Thomas Adams Larson is the son of Ralph Kermit Thomas Larson, who was a College of William & Mary student 1924-1925. Chiles Larson came to undergraduate studies at William & Mary in 1949 from Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia. After one year he left college life for military service during the Korean War. Chiles Larson returned in 1956 and graduated with a B.A. in business in 1959.
Larson spent his career primarily in public relations, television news and advertising. He first published a photograph at age 11 in the Virginian-Pilot, where his father served as an editor. Six years later, Larson began working as a staff photographer at the paper. In 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as a photographer during the Korean War. When he returned to William & Mary to finish his degree, he also accepted a position as a photographer for Colonial Williamsburg. The next year, he met National Geographic photographer Tom Abercrombie. That relationship led to a photo assignment for Larson with the magazine.
Though Larson moved his career into the areas of television news, public relations, and advertising after college, he never stopped taking photos. His interest in sailing provided great photographic opportunities for Larson, who published cover shots in Sail, Yachting, and an America's Cup shot in Sports Illustrated.
In 1967, he was commissioned to take photos for a book on the Peruvian Central Railroad. In the 1990s, he produced his first book, Virginia's Past Today, which includes 24 essays and more than 220 images. The Virginia Historical Society created an exhibition of images from that book, which toured throughout the state. His most recent book, Barboursville Vineyards: Crafting Great Wines Inspired by Spirits of the Past, was published in 2008. His photos have also been included in a Chrysler Museum photo exhibition. Chiles and his wife, Suzanne, live in Williamsburg, Virginia.