Brothers laying in the sand - Huntington Beach State Park

Mother with her two sons | Family pictures at Huntington Beach State Park

This year I’m again encouraging my clients for family pictures to make the trip to the Huntington Beach State Park if possible. Because of a recent hurricane, the dunes are very damaged at the Myrtle Beach State Park and they have roped them off to protect them. Also, in the summer, the Myrtle Beach park is very crowded. Because of the crowds, sometimes the park rangers are unfriendly with us photographers. The Huntington Beach State Park doesn’t have a pier but it has the Atalaya Castle and a beautiful beach with nice dunes. If you are looking to take some …

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Little boy laughing at family behind the Atalaya Castle - Huntington Beach State Park

Winter family pictures at the Atalaya Castle

I thought I would make a quick post about one of my family portraits sessions over the Thanksgiving weekend. With the clients featured below, we didn’t pay to go inside the Atalaya Castle at all, but there are still a lot of nice exterior areas for pictures. The front lawn with the castle in the background is very pretty as well as the patio area in the back. I normally really like the walkway in front of the castle and some other spots, but because of the mosquitoes we had to leave that area quickly. Perhaps it’s something to do …

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Wedding couple from 5 years ago came back for family pictures - North Beach Plantation

Family portraits at North Beach Plantation with my previous wedding couple

I had to put up a quick post about this family of three because I also shot their wedding pictures back in 2011!  It was really fun getting to see a previous wedding couple again after so many years, this time with a new addition to the family. Their new baby girl was also a great subject for pictures. Sometimes I need other family acting silly or making sounds behind me and the camera to get a baby to smile, but she was being great just for me without any extra help. She had some of the cutest expressions like she …

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Senior portrait closeup of face - Atalaya Castle

Senior portraits at the Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach State Park

The last couple of weeks I shot two senior portrait sessions at the Atalaya Castle in Huntington State Park Murrells Inlet that I think turned out really well. Both of these clients are really into sports. The first senior girl below is actually being coached to go to the Olympics for the hammer toss and the second is a softball player. I think both of them would have much rather been playing sports than posing for pictures, but I think we got along well and had fun with the pictures. To do senior portraits really well you have to be …

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Family of 4 in front of a beautiful sunset by the sea oats

Taking family pictures to the next level with all prime lenses like the Nikon 85mm f1.4G

For several years now I’ve used my Nikon 85mm f1.4 prime lens primarily for weddings and engagement pictures. My other workhorse lens was the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens. This is considered an excellent lens and it should be as much as it costs. It focuses very quickly, and it gives a fantastic range for family pictures. I could shoot the whole group and still get nice close up portraits of individuals and the kids. The longer I do photography the pickier I get about wanting a certain look to the pictures. I want that really soft Bokeh or out of focus background …

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Fun senior couple at their surprise 60th anniversary party – Doubletree Resort

This was a really great senior couple that had a surprise 60th anniversary party at the Springmaid Beach hotel. I really wasn’t expecting such an elaborate event when I arrived. It really was like a small wedding reception. They had a small band, a wedding style cake, a dance floor and they even played that wedding game where they ask the couple questions and see how well they know each other. I think you can see in the pictures they were constantly smiling or tearing up, they just seemed to have the best time and really loved each other. I’m …

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Fun large family with colorful outfits doing portraits at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I keep having some really great families for pictures recently. It’s so nice when everyone in the family is in a really good mood and ready to have fun with the pictures. The family I’m highlighting here was a larger size group I took to the Myrtle Beach State Park.  When I’m photographing a large group I usually don’t go to the oak trees, but just take them down to a more secluded area of the park on the far side of the pier.

This was a really cloudy, not very nice looking evening. When the sky is overcast like this you do get a really clean, less harsh lighting on the pictures. You will notice there are no harsh shadows and issues you might get with a clear sky.  Of course, that is why I like to go near sunset, so I can get better control over the shadows when the sky is clear.  Sometimes I have clients worry their pictures aren’t going to look good if the sky is overcast. But that isn’t true at all, you just get a different look.  I would say it’s more like what you get in a studio with softboxes and more controlled lighting. I hope you enjoy the pictures, please comment below if you do!

Family portraits – three boys and a little sister at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I realized I needed to blog about some family pictures, I really don’t do it often enough. I’ve had a number of really cute families recently, and before things start getting really busy I wanted to highlight a recent one. This was a family with three sons and a little girl that I took pictures of on a cold afternoon at the Myrtle Beach State Park.  Whenever I hear it’s going to be a bunch of boys I worry a bit, sometimes guys can be hard to work with. But if everyone stays in a good mood, and tries to have fun and make the best of it, the pictures always turn out nice. I thought this was a really cute and happy family, I hope you enjoy the pictures below.

Fall family pictures in North Myrtle Beach and the State Park

During the summer when I’m doing lots of family pictures I don’t have time to blog about them, most of my posts are about weddings and the occasional engagement session. But since it’s my slow time now I thought I would put up a post about a couple of recent family sessions.

The first was a family session I did up in the Cherry Grove area of North Myrtle Beach. They had the idea to bring out a bench which made for some cute shots. It wasn’t the greatest weather that day, but the happy family made the pictures work great anyway. It’s nice when brothers and sisters of that age will have fun with the pictures and not just act like their parents are forcing them. I do my best to make the pictures relaxed and easy, but if everyone in a family can just be positive it sure makes my job easier.

The second session was a cute large family I photographed at the Myrtle Beach State Park. We actually got about a 20 minute late start from when I wanted to begin, so I was in my rapid fire wedding mode where I’m shooting as fast as I can. But we pretty much got everything we needed, and it worked out so some of the last pictures were right at an amazing sunset. It was cold that evening, but this time of the year also brings really beautiful sunsets, you just don’t get anything that looks quite like this in the summer. Let me know if you enjoy the pictures below, getting likes or comments really makes it easier to go through the work of posting.

50th anniversary vow renewal at the Myrtle Beach State Park

This was a very nice family to work with. They let me know that instead of just doing family pictures, the grandfather wanted to surprise his wife by doing a short vow renewal service at the end. They were a very sweet older couple that you could tell loved each other a lot, and they were quite fun to do pictures with.

It turned out to not be the best evening, it starting raining and there was some nearby lightning, but it never got so bad that we had to stop. A little rain doesn’t bother my camera because the higher end gear is all water sealed. You might notice a number of the pictures are in black and white, which is a good way to hide when the sky is gloomy or the lighting isn’t too nice. However a cloudy sky can give a nice soft look to the pictures, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing. We were afraid of rain so for the vow renewal we went over to a shelter, of course the florescent lights are also not the best but it wasn’t completely dark so it worked out fine. Please comment at the end of the post if you enjoy the pictures.

Family in front of the dunes - Myrtle Beach State Park

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