Maternity portraits of man and woman sitting by the dunes - Huntington Beach State Park

Maternity portraits at the Huntington Beach State Park and Atalaya Castle

I had a lot of fun taking maternity portraits last week for an expecting mother and father at the Atalaya Castle and beach in the Huntington Beach State Park. I’m still happy that I made this park in Murrells Inlet my regular location for family pictures vs the park in Myrtle Beach. As the sunset moves to later in the day, the traffic is not that bad driving down to the Murrells Inlet area.  This mother was due to have her child in about 4 weeks, but even though it was a little difficult for her she did a lot …

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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 quickly post about this family of three because I also shot their wedding pictures back in 2011! It was nice 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 an excellent subject for pictures. Sometimes I needed other family acting silly or making sounds behind me and the camera to get a baby to smile, but she was great just for me without any extra help. She had some cutest expressions, like she knew she was showing off for the camera. …

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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

I’ve used my Nikon 85mm f1.4 prime lens for several years, 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 should be as much as it costs. It focuses very quickly and gives a fantastic range for family pictures. I could shoot the whole group and still get excellent close-up portraits of individuals and kids. The longer I do photography, the pickier I get about wanting a specific look to the pictures. I like that soft Bokeh or out-of-focus background, and there is something special about the …

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

This was a sweet senior couple that had a surprise 60th-anniversary party at the Springmaid Beach hotel. I wasn’t expecting such an elaborate event when I arrived. It was like a small wedding reception. They had a band, a wedding-style cake, and a dance floor. 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 loved each other. I’m sure we all wish we could be …

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

I keep having some 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 was a larger group I took to Myrtle Beach State Park.  When 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 cloudy, not very nice-looking evening. When the sky is overcast like this, you get clean, less harsh lighting …

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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 don’t do it often enough. I’ve had several cute families recently, and before things start getting busy, I wanted to highlight a recent one. This was a family with three sons and a little girl I took pictures of on a cold afternoon at Myrtle Beach State Park.  Whenever I hear it will be a bunch of boys, I worry a bit. Sometimes, boys 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, …

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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 …

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