Bridal portraits on the Conway River and new Garden walks with the Nikon D850

I always love doing bridal portraits in the Conway Riverwalk area. After a busy summer of family beach pictures, I get a little tired of taking pictures on the sand. They have been doing construction work on the old Conway Main Street Bridge over a year now, but it now seems almost complete. The workers have repainted the bottom of the bridge a nice shade of green, and it looks great in the background of boardwalk pictures. The only problem is the riverwalk is still split into two sections by the construction, you can’t walk from the north end all the way to the marina. The area underneath the bridge with the arched columns is also not accessible for pictures.

However, the bridge construction has made me walk around Conway a bit more, to explore photo locations. I discovered the small Conway Garden Walk area that was created in the alleyway between two nearby downtown buildings. It was not listed on Google maps, so I recently added it and my addition was accepted, so hopefully that will help everyone find it. It can be a little difficult to take pictures in the area because there can be cars parked in the background. However with the right angles and blurring the background with a prime lens, I was able to make them not very noticable.

Other great locations at the Conway Riverwalk for portraits include the train tracks, although they are getting grown over with weeds and now not very accessible. In the last couple of years, they have replaced a lot of the boardwalk wood and added in some nice docks down on the Waccamaw River. I also love the old wood on the back wall of the building on the Riverwalk. I like to put some off camera flash behind the subject to give a bit of hairlight and separation from the background.

I’ve been getting a lot of use out of my new Nikon D850 body. I like to wait a year or two after a new high-end Nikon camera is released so they can work out the bugs and recalls. This is just such a fantastic camera for portrait and wedding work. I actually thought I was going to switch to the Sony mirrorless system, but after using a Sony A9 I really didn’t like it. Since I’m almost always using flash, a lot of the benefits of a mirrorless camera are lost, and the speed of the A9 drops as well. The Sony A9 has a very slow, laggy feeling compared to a DSLR with a smaller screen and grip size. With the extended flange distance on a mirrorless camera lens, in combination with the small camera body, I found the Sony cameras to be extremely unbalanced and hard to use. A small camera and huge lens is a bad combination. So I decided to stick with Nikon and purchase the D850.

The D850 has an extremely accurate autofocus system combined with a 46 megapixel sensor. Everytime Nikon increases the megapixels of their cameras I think it’s too much, I remember thinking I didn’t need more than 12 megapixels. However, I end up loving zooming in on facial detail for doing retouching, and I haven’t had any issues with the editing speed in Lightroom. I think this is by far the best camera on the market right now for portrait and wedding photography. I hope you enjoy the pictures below, if you have any camera questions let me know in the comments below!

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