Ryan Smith Photography's Blog

Welcome to my blog. Here you will find thousands of pictures from featured wedding, family, engagement, bridal, and senior portrait photography sessions. If you are undecided on a wedding venue, view some of my favorite weddings venues here.

Brother with his sisters and dogs - Huntington Beach State Park

My favorite Myrtle Beach family pictures from the first half of 2021

2021 has been one of my busiest years ever with family pictures in Myrtle Beach. I’ve been referring so many people to my photography friends, but most of them are booked up as well. After last year, everyone is ready to get out of the house and have some fun on the beach. I really hope Myrtle Beach can keep this up and we have a great next year as well! During my busy summer season, I’m taking family portraits almost every day, in lots of different locations around the Myrtle Beach area. While I can’t post pictures from every …

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Bride and groom under the moss on the Riverwalk - Conway Riverwalk

Emotional wedding at Brookgreen Gardens Holliday Cottage; Groom wore a Scottish Kilt

I always love weddings at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet. It’s located about 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach, across from the Huntington Beach State Park. My family portrait clients are always asking me about the origins of the Atalaya Castle. I end up talking about the sculptures in Brookgreen Gardens and I’m surprised how many people have never heard of it. It’s a really beautiful area and one of the nicest things to visit when in Myrtle Beach. Hilleri and Tom had their wedding at the Holliday Cottage area in Brookgreen Gardens. I always love the upstairs area in …

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Worth every shot - Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Maternity portraits for my previous wedding couple at Caledonia Golf and Fish Club

I always love taking portraits for Ornelie and Matt. I did photography for their African themed wedding in Raleigh a few years ago. Next, their one year anniversary portraits at the Conway Riverwalk. Now, early this year, I took their maternity portraits under the beautiful mossy oaks at Caledonia Golf and Fish Club in Pawleys Island. Ornelie and Matt asked me to hold off for a few months on posting pictures of their pregnancy. They mentioned they had a difficult time getting pregnant and they wanted to make an official announcement about it before I posted any pictures. After she …

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Kids holding up Will You Mary Me signs - Huntington Beach State Park

Surprise proposal during family and maternity portraits

This was such a fun recent family photography session that I wanted to make a quick blog post about it. I’ve done many surprise marriage proposal over the years in Myrtle Beach. However, I’ve never done one, that combined maternity portraits and family pictures at the same time! I was actually contacted by the expectant mother to setup just a regular family photography session. About a week before the session, I was called by the father. He had an idea for a surprise proposal at the same time. All of his kids were going to be in on it and …

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Couple sitting by the dunes with their dog ring bearer in tie -

Intimate wedding at Cherry Grove Point in North Myrtle Beach

I always love when I have a chance to post pictures from a wedding at a new location. I’ve actually done family pictures at the Point in Cherry Grove, but I’ve never shot a wedding ceremony there. This is a unique location in North Myrtle Beach where House Creek meets up with the ocean and there are lots of undulating natural dunes. So many areas of Myrtle Beach have the houses and hotels built so close to the ocean that we don’t get to see natural dunes like this. In the background there you can also see Hog Island and …

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Kiss after private horseback ride on the beach - Inlet Point Plantation - Little River

Horseback ride surprise proposal at Inlet Point Plantation Stables in North Myrtle Beach

This was such a fun idea for a surprise marriage proposal in Myrtle Beach. Geoff contacted me a few weeks before his proposal. He wanted to surprise his girlfriend but he wanted to do it during a horseback ride down the beach. He got in touch with Inlet Point Plantation stables that is up in the North Myrtle Beach / Little River area. They actually have a special sunset horseback riding package that was perfect for what he wanted to do. While I’ve never been to Inlet Point Plantation stables before, I was familiar with the general area. It’s close …

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Just married couple at sunset with an island in the background - Cherry Grove Point - North Myrtle Beach

Quick review of the Nikon Z6 II with my family and engagement portraits in Myrtle Beach

I’ve been using Nikon DSLR cameras for about 13 years professionally, and even longer when it was just my hobby. I’m very set in my ways when it comes to the controls and feel of a classic Nikon camera. I was very hesitant to make any change. My main camera bodies have been the D850 and a couple of D750’s for a while now. I had some of my photography friends tell me how much they loved their mirrorless cameras, however I had a lot of concerns about switching. I will go over some of those below, and why I’ve …

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Bride and groom with their three leg doggie ring bearer  - 21 Main Events at North Beach

Wedding at 21 Main Events with a cute dog ring-bearer and unusual sunset

21 Main Events at North Beach is becoming one of my frequented wedding venues for photography. It’s a great combination of a sheltered courtyard area that keeps the guests out of the sun and wind. As well as a beautiful nearby gazebo and beach area. My wife Lizeth was assisting me as a second photographer at this wedding. She went up with the groomsmen to their suite above the main restaurant and got some great shots of them out on the balcony. I usually like to stay with the bride myself and take the pictures of all her details. Such …

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Beautiful ceremony by the river - Kimbels at Wachesaw Plantation

Spring wedding at Wachesaw Plantation with a large bridal party, fun dancing, portraits under the hanging lights and sparkler exit

Annika and Ronnie were one of the many couples in Myrtle Beach that had to move their wedding from its original date because of Covid-19. They even had to change from their original venue to Wachesaw Plantation. Wachesaw Plantation is located a little south of Myrtle Beach is the Murrells Inlet area. This venue change ended up being for the best. The Kimbels in Wachesaw Plantation is one of the best venues in Myrtle Beach for photography. Sunlight filtering through the moss on the bank of the Waccamaw River is one of my favorite backgrounds for pictures. I started out …

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Photography of living room with lots of windows - Florence, SC

Real estate photography and 360 walkthrough for a classic house in Florence, SC

I’m still pursuing my expansion into doing some real estate photography. I find it fun and relaxing, it’s similar to doing the detail shots and venue pictures at a wedding, which I always enjoy. My main problem is that I’m very particular and take too many pictures. It ends up taking me too much time for the typical prices people are willing to pay for real estate photography. I’m going to have to learn to be faster and more efficient at taking and post processing the pictures. This is the same thing I had to learn for weddings and family …

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