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I have been keeping busy lately with weddings at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach. This wedding was the first of four weddings there just in the month of May! It’s always great working with the staff like Samantha Huff at the Ocean Club, I’ve gotten to know them very well and they always do a great job. This wedding was also organized by Stunning and Brilliant Events and the DJ was Scott and Company. I also got some nice shots of Wing from Salon 18 and Spa doing the bride’s hair before the ceremony. I’ve worked with them all many times and they are all great at keeping the wedding running smoothly and on time. Other vendors include Jen’s Invites, RSG Event Designs, and Croissants Bistro & Bakery.
The wedding ceremony was held in the courtyard near the pool and palm trees behind the Ocean Club. This now seems to be a popular spot at the Grand Dunes Ocean Club for weddings. It offers more room for people than up on the terrace, but guests still do not have to walk on the beach if they don’t want too. I also like that I can walk up the hill and get some nice overhead panorama’s of the ceremony. Something I’ve been doing a lot lately, when taking panoramas, is holding the camera vertically. If you think about it, it’s the same way you would hold it on an iPhone. Taking multiple images vertically you can get more height in your image and still get all the width you need, depending on how many pictures you shoot. Using something like an 85mm lens you can get a unique look shooting panoramas.
New Godox AD200Pro off camera lighting system
Something else I’ve been working with more lately is off camera lighting. I’ve gotten into the Godox flash system. They have some great studio strobe lights than can be used portably and outdoors, even on the beach. The also have wireless built in so I can finally rid myself of the unreliable Pocketwizards. For example, I’m using dual Godox AD200’s with the AD-B2 dual head adapter with Bowens mount. This gives me around 6 times the power of a Nikon speedlight. I can really overpower the sun if needed. The AD200’s can also use bare flash bulbs so I can really fill up a softbox with light. Then, when so much power isn’t needed, the AD200’s can be used separately during the wedding reception for fantastic dance floor lighting. I use a 3 light dance floor setup now that works great.
For this wedding, I use the flash for some subtle off camera lighting of the bride and groom. For example, when they are standing in front of the clubhouse backlit by the sun, you might not even notice but they have fill light coming from the off camera flash. It really makes a difference in separating them from the background and brightening up the couple and their eyes. I also use it for some backlighting effects on the greenery covered beach walkway. I’ll post more about my flash setup including thoughts on the new Godox V1-N round head flash in the future. A short summary is that it’s fantastic in every way but the overheating. I have to carry a backup flash to switch too if the first one overheats.
Wedding pictures after the ceremony
This bride particularly wanted detail shots of the venue and clubhouse so I made sure to take a lot of pictures. I got a really nice panorama of the cloudhouse at dusk lit up behind the pool area. The bride and groom chose to do a first look, so we were able to do a lot of the family pictures before the ceremony. After the ceremony we did some more family pictures on the patio, then I took the wedding party down to the beach. After taking some fun shots with the bridesmaids and groomsmen, I finished with pictures just of the couple. I got some beautiful shots of them on the beach walkway backlit by my flash as well as some great pictures in front of the Ocean Club and down by the ocean.
Having a great time with the photo booth
This bride and groom also added on my photo booth service. My wife, who also assisted me with the photography, ran the photo booth after dinner. She actually has a lot of fun running the booth because of how crazy the guests get when taking pictures, especially if there is an open bar! Wedding guests always seem to love the photo booth. The wedding party even grabbed some of my props for being silly with the reception introductions. If you look near the end of the gallery, my wife and I even got a cute picture together, when things slowed down later in the evening. I’m the one with the big camera. I hope you enjoy the pictures below!