A great start to 2021 with maternity portraits at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Thinking back on 13 years of photography in Myrtle Beach

It’s hard to believe it’s 2021 already. I’m entering into my 13th year as a full time photographer in the Myrtle Beach area. It doesn’t seem like that long ago, I was taking my first family beach pictures with a Nikon D80 and 50mm f1.8 lens. I still had a lot to learn at that time, but I always had a good eye for light and I was good with people so I got a lot of great shots.

Thinking back to the most important knowledge I had before I started professionally, I was already a photography geek. I understood how to adjust camera settings manually. Even with all the auto settings available, it’s really important to understand how every camera setting changes a picture. Once you start incorporating flash and adding light into the ambient exposure, understanding manual shooting is essential. When I’m using off camera flash, I’m always fully manual with camera settings and flash power, it’s actually easier that way. I had a popular post from years ago where I discuss some tips for using prime lenses and correct aperture settings for shooting groups.

Even though last year was really bad in many ways, I still had a lot of great weddings and family portrait sessions. I’m certainly looking forward to when social distancing can be relaxed and weddings and vacations get back to normal. I’ve already had a couple of beautiful portraits sessions at the beginning of January, I will highlight one below and another session in a few days so please check back.

Maternity portraits at Caledonia Golf and Fish Club

I’ve been shooting a number of beautiful maternity portrait sessions recently. I read that there wasn’t a baby boom during quarantine, but it definitely seems like I’m having more couples looking for maternity pictures. I always love going to Caledonia Golf and Fish Club for photo sessions. It’s a popular spot for photographers with its many huge oak trees and lots of hanging moss. They are also very nice there and just require a quick sign in on arrival. They seem to appreciate all of us photographers who show off the beautiful location.

We started out with some individual portraits of the expectant mother and then pictures of the couple together near the water. I noticed the winter sunlight was at a great angle for getting some beautiful bokeh as light filtered through the moss in the background. If you notice, even though the pictures are very backlit, the couple is well lit and there are no harsh shadows. This is a situation where off camera flash is essential. I’m really loving my new small beauty dish, it softens and spreads the harsh light from the flash, without blowing over in the wind like a softbox. Of course a huge softbox would be best, but it’s just not practical when I’m working alone on a windy day.

We next walked down the road to a couple of my favorite spots. While Caledonia does not allow photographers to actually go on the golf course itself, there are some great spots for pictures with the course in the background. The entrance to the club itself is beautiful with all the moss covered trees arching over the roadway. This couple like most, started out a little nervous and stiff for pictures, but began to relax and have fun after a short time. He even tried to dip his wife back for a kiss and spin her around as they walked. These things are a little easier during engagement pictures than late in a pregnancy, but it still worked.

We also got some great shots with just the wife and then the two of then sitting on the bricks by the flowers. I was surprised flowers were still blooming with the cold weather. Caledonia must put a lot of work into keeping these alive all year. Next, we did some more pictures on the roadway, with the white clubhouse in the background. We finished up with sunset pictures down by the river and a couple of shots on the clubhouse steps. It was very cold by the end and I’m glad they made it through the whole session. I hope you enjoy these maternity portraits at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club. Please let me know if you are pregnant and would like to take some pictures at one of the many beautiful locations around Myrtle Beach.

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