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Surprise engagement proposal with the whole family at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I’ve been doing a lot of these surprise marriage proposals recently. I think it’s because I’ve blogged about it a number of times and clients must be seeing my posts. Whatever the reason I always really enjoy doing these so I hope I keep getting more. I believe this engagement proposal really was a surprise, she …

View post Surprise engagement proposal with the whole family at the Myrtle Beach State Park

Fun engagement pictures in Garden City on a cold afternoon and Storyboard 3

I haven’t had a chance to blog about engagement portraits in a while. Things are getting slow so I thought I would post some pictures from this recent cold weather engagement session down at the southern tip of Garden City Beach. I’ve done many photo sessions down in Garden City, but this one was unusual because they …

View post Fun engagement pictures in Garden City on a cold afternoon and Storyboard 3

Cold and windy day for engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

There are always a couple of winter months where no one is looking to have portraits done outdoors or on the beach. During those months I always have some things to do like wedding album layouts and catching up with clients about orders from the previous year, but it’s nice to be getting busy taking fresh pictures again. I seem to be getting an early start this year with not only some engagement sessions but even a wedding this coming weekend.

The engagement session I’m highlighting this time was for a couple with an upcoming wedding I’m photographing this summer. It was a very cold and windy day at the Myrtle Beach State Park. I guess because the ocean temperature is so low right now, it seemed much colder on the beach then it did a little bit inland. Thankfully I brought along a sweatshirt, but I was still really cold even with that on. As cold as I was I felt really bad for the couple because they were just freezing in what they were wearing, I felt a little guilty in my sweatshirt. They wanted to go for it anyway, and I think we managed to get some really good pictures even with the wind and cold. In fact, the sky had an unusual look that day that I think gave some nice interest to the pictures, and we were the only ones on the beach which was nice. I guess a girl knows she has a pretty good guy if he will stay in a good mood through the cold and even three different outfit changes :) It makes me look forward to the wedding knowing a couple is easy going and will make the best of things.

I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please let me know if you do by liking or sharing the pictures, as well as commenting below.

View post Cold and windy day for engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

Two engagement photography sessions at the Conway River Walk, one with a Poodle

Penny Smith

I really like during this slower time of the year to do engagement sessions for my upcoming weddings.  I had two sets of weddings clients recently that wanted to do engagement pictures at the Conway River Walk, so I decided I would just combine pictures from both their sessions into one post.  The first set below I’m a little partial too because they had a poodle that looks almost just like my dog Penny.  You can check out her Facebook page here, she needs some more friends. Their poodle was a little nervous especially up on the railroad track, just like my dog would be with the tail tucked down tight.  The very last picture in the first set below was cute. He was trying to be good and sit while we did pictures, but he was so happy when they finally called him over.  I thought both the engagement sessions turned out very nice, the Conway River walk is a great spot this time of the year.  I had a little trouble with getting the guys to smile, but I understand because I can’t smile for pictures myself.

The two engagement photography sessions below can give you an idea of the difference between a sunny and a cloudy day.  They both have a different look, but I can’t say one is better than the other.  I like the soft look of a cloudy day, especially in a black and white. Of course, when you can get the sunset filtering through a tree in the background, it is always great as well.  I don’t get to choose if it’s going to be cloudy or not, so I just had to learn to make it look good either way.  I’d say if you are a beginning photographer try for a cloudy day, it’s a lot easier to get an acceptable picture, I see a lot of photographers make a mess of things with the sun.  I hope you enjoy the engagement pictures from the Conway River Walk below, let me know in the comments box if you do.

View post Two engagement photography sessions at the Conway River Walk, one with a Poodle

Surprise engagement proposal at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach

This was another surprise engagement proposal I was asked to photograph, this time at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Broadway at the Beach. I was contacted by the young guy to hopefully get some surprise pictures of the proposal to his girlfriend, it’s usually hard for the girl not to know something is up by the time I spot them.  I’ve done a number of these type of surprise proposals recently, they are always really fun to shoot, and so far the girl has always said yes!  So maybe it’s a good idea to have me there :).

I’ve actually been to the Aquarium once for a wedding reception and one other time actually inside for engagement pictures.  For this young couple, they just wanted to do the pictures around the outside of the Aquarium on the lake and the walkways of Broadway at the Beach.  I believe he had told me they had first met, or possibly had their first date at Ripley’s Aquarium, so that is why he wanted to propose there.  Most of the year I would want to avoid that area for pictures, in the summer it’s just packed with people and it would be very difficult to do anything romantic. However, at the beginning of December, it’s a really off season time, and hardly anyone was around so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  I thought the pictures turned out really nice, let me know in the comments below if you enjoy them.

View post Surprise engagement proposal at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach

Engagement pictures with an emotional marriage proposal on the beach

I had another fun couple that hired me for their engagement pictures as well as a marriage proposal on the beach. This one was a bit different than my last couple of proposals because his girlfriend knew that he was going to propose. This actually made it a bit easier for me because I didn’t have to try and be sneaky with my pictures of the proposal.  I also got to set the position of the couple up a little bit so there wouldn’t be people in the background.  We started out doing just my typical style engagement pictures around the oak trees and sea oats in the State Park in Myrtle Beach. Then he proposed to her near the end of the session before sunset.

I was just thinking about how a lot of photographers get really caught up in trying to be artistic with their pictures, things like color effects or unusual composure and tilting of the image. Something you learn after a while, just capturing a clear picture of something emotional happening is so much more important than anything else.  For example, in one of the pictures below, his ‘about to be fiance’ is starting to cry as he shows her the ring. When I put this one on Facebook it immediately got a lot of likes, more than most of my pictures that I would consider more artistic.  This is just a clear, in focus picture using a high quality lens that captures the moment.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please comment if you do.

View post Engagement pictures with an emotional marriage proposal on the beach

Engagement pictures at the Litchfield Golf and Beach Club

I had the opportunity to do engagement pictures for this very nice couple staying at the Litchfield Golf and Beach Club. I’ve done weddings in this area before, but I’ve never been there just for engagement pictures. I’m glad they suggested doing them there because it is a really pretty area. I knew some of the spots I liked out in front of the club from previous weddings, it’s always great when you can get some nice light coming through the leaves of oak trees. Using a really good lens turns blurs out the background sunlight in a really pretty way. The fallen oak is a very popular spot to do pictures as well, it can just be challenging to get shots without any cars in the background.

After doing pictures out in front of the club we went back to some hammocks that the couple had noticed. Then we went down to the beach at the beach club area. The weather was just about perfect and the water looked really blue that evening. Of course, if they weren’t staying in the area we could have done the pictures out front, but you need to have a pass to actually get into the area where we went on the beach. At the end of the session we even did a little pretend proposal just for fun. This was a really beautiful evening and a fun couple, they had been together for over 10 years but were still up for being romantic.  I’m sure you will enjoy the pictures below.  Please comment below or share these pictures if you like them.

View post Engagement pictures at the Litchfield Golf and Beach Club

Secret pictures of an engagement proposal again!

I recently had another chance to do pictures of a wedding proposal along with engagement pictures after. This client actually saw my last blog post and wanted to do something similar, so I guess people do read my blog sometimes. Something cool about being a photographer is you can count all your camera gadgets as a business expense, which if you are like me is where a lot of money goes anyway.

Olympus OM-D E-M5

I mentioned before that I recently got a small Olympus OM-D mirrorless micro four thirds camera, mostly to take hiking and for fun, but I’ve actually been able to incorporate it into my work a bit as well. Getting a good macro lens for a full frame camera like my Nikon D800 is extremely expensive, and I only use it very occasionally so it’s hard to justify. But I got a 60mm (equivalent to about a 135mm in a full frame lens) macro lens for my Olympus camera and I’ve done some amazing closeups of bride’s rings and things like that recently.

Macro of Bride’s ring using Photoshop focus stacking

However, I wanted to be stealthy for the proposal and not look like a big photographer with a huge camera, so I decided to try using my OM-D and the 60mm lens to get some candid shots. It did quite a nice job, the only problem was that I meant for him to take her further away from the pier to propose. There ended up being a bunch of people right in the background. Oh well it’s hard to be perfect. When I asked later, his fiance did say that she saw me taking the pictures, so I guess I wasn’t quite stealthy enough. But I didn’t notice her looking at me and it didn’t seem to bother the moment at all as far as I could tell.

Then of course after the initial proposal I went to my usual gear of the Nikon D800, Nikon 85mm f1.4 lens, and my off camera flash. Of course when you switch to expensive big camera gear you are going to notice a difference in the quality over my little Olympus camera. I actually listen to some podcasts where they seem to think that photography will be moving to these smaller mirrorless cameras. I can tell you they are nice, but they in no way compare to a big camera with a big fast lens. When it comes to camera sensors and lenses, for portraits bigger is always better. Without going into too much detail, the bigger a sensor and lens is, typically the better the blur or bokeh in the background will be.  I hope you enjoy some of these pictures below, please don’t forget to like and comment below if you do, or pin some to your Pinterest board.

View post Secret pictures of an engagement proposal again!

Secret pictures of marriage proposal and engagement portraits after

I got to do something fun last week, trying to do marriage proposal pictures without being noticed. The man’s family, including his daughter, were hiding by the dunes while we waited for him and his girlfriend to arrive at the beach. There are always a lot of photographers down at the state park so it was pretty easy to blend in. I don’t think his girlfriend actually noticed me until after he proposed, so I thought I did a pretty good job. Then they just did engagement pictures on the beach together. It was a lot of fun, and easy to get some romantic pictures right after a proposal like that.  I guess you would only want to do this if you were sure she would say yes :)  I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below.

Two couples doing sunset engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I had some really nice looking and fun couples recently for engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park. I’ve wanted to put up a new blog post for a while but I just don’t have time right now to post many pictures. I decided to just make a quick post from two of my sessions below. This time of the year I’ve really been liking the way the sun is hitting the sea oats in this one place at the State Park. There are some spots in the winter that look really cool that don’t work now because of the direction of the sun, and vice versa. I never thought about in the past how much the sunset direction changes from summer to winter until I started doing photography.

Also, I just went got away for two days and did some hiking in the mountains, when I get time I’ll post some of my GoPro footage, time-lapse and panoramas I shot with my Olympus OM-D. I did a 6 mile hike to one of the best views I’ve ever seen, I’ll post some pictures soon. I better stop writing about things and get back to work, I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below. Please comment below the pictures if you do!