Having fun with long exposure, flash, steel wool and getting started with the Myrtle Beach season

With the beautiful spring weather in Myrtle Beach, it’s the time of the year my photography business starts really picking up. Of course that also means lots of pollen and traffic at the beach, but you have to take the good with the bad. I thought I would do a quick blog post highlighting my first …

View post Having fun with long exposure, flash, steel wool and getting started with the Myrtle Beach season

Engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park after the flooding

I’m sure everyone has heard about the severe flooding we had in SC about a month ago.  Myrtle Beach wasn’t hit as hard as some areas, but we still had flooding in many locations. You might have heard me complain that in the Myrtle Beach state park they are extremely particular about photographers getting anywhere near …

View post Engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park after the flooding

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

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

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 for a couple and their dog on a cloudy day at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I had another really nice couple for engagement portraits at the Myrtle Beach State Park this past week. I’ve got their wedding coming up later this year. This couple brought along their baby for the moment, their little dog. I can’t remember what it was exactly, I know it was a poodle mix of some kind. I have two poodles myself, they are very sweet dogs as long as they are used to being around people. My dogs both love when clients are coming by to discuss a wedding, I tell them people are coming and they will wait by the window.

You have to be careful when a couple is mixed race like this one and have extremely different skin tones.  His skin was very dark, and she had very fair light skin. If you were to have a camera on spot metering and only set the exposure for his face, hers could be overexposed.  Or the opposite if you metered the camera on her face.  Of course this isn’t really much of an issue anymore, modern cameras have so much dynamic range it’s hard to mess up more than a little adjustment in Lightroom will take care of.

Even as good as modern cameras are, I usually shoot on manual and just check every few shots on the screen, you really can’t go wrong doing it this way. Subjects backlit by sunlight are going to trick up a camera on auto exposure, and you get a lot more consistency on manual which helps for a quicker workflow later when doing adjustments. This was a very cloudy overcast day which made things easier, of course you also don’t get the nice look of the sunset, but it can be good in it’s own way.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please comment if you do.

Another fun couple doing engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I met this couple for the first time on Friday to discuss photographing their upcoming wedding. While they were in the area we decided to do some last minute engagement pictures on Monday at the state park in Myrtle Beach. I’ve said it a lot of times before, but doing engagement pictures is really the best way to get to know a couple, and for them to get to know you as the photographer. If they like what you do during the engagement portraits, they are going to like you at the wedding as well. Pictures of the couple after the wedding is pretty much the same thing, just a little more rushed and with a little more stress.

We are finally getting some good weather, it was a beautiful evening with a great sunset. I notice it seems to be a really popular thing to get some flare from the setting sun in the lens.  You certainly wouldn’t want it in every picture because it washes it out, but it can be a cool look.  The really expensive Nikon lenses have a special Nano Crystal coating on them to reduce flare because it’s not normally something you would want. If you get the sun over to the side but in the frame enough where it’s hitting the lens you will definitely still get it.

One other thing I thought of.  Because of constantly looking into the sun I know I need to always wear sunglasses. However my current ones completely make the screen on the back of my camera not visible. I realized you have to get sunglasses that are not polarized. I ordered some nice Ray-Bans that should be really good without being polarized. I’m hoping that will make it so I don’t have to keep taking them off to see my screen.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please comment if you do.

Beautiful evening for bridal portraits at Atalaya Castle in Murrells Inlet, SC

I was able to work with a really pretty bride the other evening doing bridal portraits at Atalaya Castle in the Huntington State Park. The evening was great except for being a bit cold. Because of the 5:00pm closing time of the Atalaya Castle, we had to stay outside the castle to be able to …

View post Beautiful evening for bridal portraits at Atalaya Castle in Murrells Inlet, SC

Cute couple with big smiles doing engagement pictures at the State Park in Myrtle Beach

I really made a big storyboard for this couple’s recent engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park. They looked great in so many pictures I just kept making selections. The way I do a blog post, when I’m going through the pictures in Lightroom, I put a flag on every picture that I think might be good for my blog. The nice thing about Lightroom, there are star ratings, color ratings, and flags.  So you can have multiple different ways of marking images for different uses.  I use star ratings (use keyboard keys 1-5) to pick the actual pictures that will be delivered to a client, which is usually well more than half of what I took.  I use color ratings (keyboard keys 6-0) for things like separating a wedding ceremony from a reception, usually for marking large groups of pictures.  Then I use the picks flag (push the p key for pick, u for un-pick) for my favorites that I might use in a blog post.

I always seem to find something to talk about in my posts, I hope some of the things are helpful.  Back to this couple, I saw the light was perfect in one of my favorite spots around the oak trees.  I really love when you can get a real power from the sunlight coming through the trees. I hope the engaged guys appreciate that they have a girl that will smiling at them like you see in every picture here. I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please like and comment if you do! As with all my recent posts, these are fully retina display ready, so to fully view these you need a new iPad or other high dpi device.

Fall engagement portraits at the Myrtle Beach State Park

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about engagement pictures. When I’m doing engagement pictures for an upcoming wedding, I try to keep them in my slower times of the year if possible. When it cools down a bit is usually a great time anyway, the color in the ocean and sky seems better once things cool off. This is a fun couple who’s wedding I have coming up in April at the Grande Dunes. I like it so much better when I already know a couple well at the wedding, and they already have a good idea what they are in for :) I hope you enjoy some of the shots below, I’ll also be posting soon some engagement pictures from Georgetown which I think everyone will like.