Ryan Smith Photography's Blog

Welcome to my blog. Here you will find thousands of pictures from featured wedding, family, engagement, bridal, and senior portrait photography sessions. If you are undecided on a wedding venue, view some of my favorite weddings venues here.

Host an incredibly fast WordPress website using WordOps on AWS Lightsail CDN

This is a really different post from my usual blogging about my photography. I actually did some web development long before I started my photography business, and it really helped me out when I started my business back in 2008. When I built my first site, I just used static html pages and had a separate blog running on WordPress. A number of years later, I switched my entire site to WordPress. With some page caching techniques, WordPress can be just as fast as static web pages. While you can find very cheap web hosting, for example around $5 a …

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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 …

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How to do an unforgettable surprise marriage proposal in Myrtle Beach

I photograph a number of surprise marriage proposals each year in the Myrtle Beach area, and so far everyone has said yes to the proposal! From taking pictures in the pouring rain to having the couple’s kids run out after to congratulate them, I’ve captured some unforgettable memories in 2020. I get a lot of emails asking for help in setting this up, so I thought I would make a blog post with my usual recommendations, and how I photograph the proposal and engagement pictures after. At the end of the post are about 50 pictures from a recent beautiful …

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Sunset maternity portraits in Myrtle Beach

Now that things are slowing down, I have some time to go back and highlight some of my favorite photography sessions from 2020. This maternity portrait session was in September at the Huntington Beach State Park. This state park is about 25 minutes south of the Myrtle Beach city limits. I recommend making the trip because it’s an especially beautiful location. I had a lot of fun with this couple, they were originally from my wife’s home country of Colombia. We got some really beautiful maternity portraits before the sunset that evening. We started out doing some traditional portraits of …

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2020 romance in Myrtle Beach – Favorite engagement pictures of the year

Covid-19 has messed up a lot of plans this year. But it didn’t stop many determined couples from getting engaged in Myrtle Beach during 2020. As things get busy during the summer, I don’t have as much time for posting to my blog. So I thought I would make a quick, end of the year, blog post highlighting a number of different Myrtle Beach area engagement sessions. You can also check out a couple of pre-lockdown engagement session from last Spring here. I had a variety of different, already engaged couples, coming to the Myrtle Beach area for pictures. As …

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Beautiful riverfront wedding at the Kimbels in Wachesaw Plantation

It’s great to finish out the 2020 season with some amazing weddings. Even though the weddings have been a little smaller this year because of Covid, I’ve still had some of my favorites ever. The Kimbels restaurant in Wachesaw Plantation is one of the most beautiful locations in the Myrtle Beach area. Especially if you are looking for trees and moss instead of the beach. The Kimbels ceremony location, overlooking the Waccamaw River, is a beautiful spot for portraits at sunset. There is also a picturesque oak allee surrounded by large moss covered live oak trees on either side. When …

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Sunset ceremony facing the clubhouse at Pine Lakes Country Club

Intimate Beach House wedding Shannon and Lawrence had a lot of changes to their wedding schedule this year because of Covid-19. I first did bridal portraits for Shannon at Pine Lakes Country Club, back in February, before we had any idea how difficult things would get. You can check them out on my blog here. Their wedding at Pine Lakes was supposed to take place back in April, of course this is when all the Covid social distancing restrictions were at their strictest. They decided to go ahead and get married with a very private beach house ceremony. I actually …

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Wedding at 21 Main Events at North Beach with puppies in place of bouquets!

I met Jenna and Justin at last January’s Wedding Showcase event in Myrtle Beach. We briefly discussed their upcoming wedding on October 2nd, taking place in the courtyard at the 21 Main Events at North Beach wedding venue. January was such a short time ago, however a lot of things have changed since then. I will be at the Wedding Showcase again next year, I’m sure things will be a little bit different with social distancing and masks, but I hope lots of people come and have a good time. The bride loved some of my previous pictures from 21 …

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Summer wedding at the Magnolia Plantation Carriage House in Charleston

It been a few years since I had a wedding at the Carriage House at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, SC. It was great to be back for the wedding of Taylor and James on September 12, 2020. The Carriage House is a beautiful venue surrounded by live oak trees on the Ashley River. The ceremony area is setup on a huge lawn facing the Ashley River and in front of a huge old oak tree covered in moss. It’s also a short walk to the main gardens area, with lots of fantastic locations for photos. When I arrived, I met …

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Busy 2020 with family pictures in Myrtle Beach

In April and May of this year, I was getting worried, because of weddings cancelling or rescheduling due to the Covid-19 restrictions. As soon as we got into the summer vacation season, and some of the beach closures were lifted, things quickly changed. I think everyone was ready to leave the house and have some fun. I ended up having one of my busiest summers for family and engagement photo sessions that I can remember. At least with family beach pictures, it’s easy to social distance. I’m dealing with family groups that are already together, we are outdoors, and I …

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