Nice smiles at the Myrtle Beach State Park

My wife and I are both terrible at smiling at the camera, most people really don’t look very natural when they try to smile, so I really feel for clients trying to get their pictures taken. I always try to shoot fast and joke about things to keep it relaxed, the worst type of picture is when someone makes you wait for the shot.  Don’t you hate it when people pull out their point and shoot camera, count to three, then still wait a few second for the shot.  That is a good recipe for getting the worst possible shot.  Still, even with a fast DSLR, most of the time my favorite shots are when the couples are looking at each other or just catching natural smiles when they happen.  This couple though just seemed to have naturally great smiles, that is why I picked to post below a number of pictures where they are looking at the camera.  They were up for anything and seemed to really enjoy the pictures, I’m looking forward to doing their wedding next year.  I hope you enjoy some of the shots below.

Cute couple in the oak trees

Couple laying by the oak trees

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Everyone in the pool

I had a really fun wedding a couple of weeks ago.  It was for Jason and Aracely from the website blog twobackpackers.com.  You really should check out their adventures backpacking around the world, there are some nice pictures and stories on the blog.  The groom and I got along really well as he is also very interested in photography, so we ended up talking about it a lot.  I was showing him how great the Nikon D700 is in the low light at the reception, if you haven’t used a full frame camera before, ISO6400 is pretty amazing.  This wedding was at a beach house in Myrtle Beach, with a pool in the back. I’ve never been to a wedding before where the groom actually threw the bride in the pool.  I just wish he had warned me he was going to do it, I wasn’t quick enough to get the shot until they were already in the pool.  Later in the evening everyone ended up either jumping in the pool, or getting thrown in, including the DJ.  It was a wedding I won’t forget. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below.

Now that's a first kiss
Now that's a first kiss!

Groom holding bride upside down

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Engagement Pictures from the Myrtle Beach State Park

I haven’t posted anything on the blog in a while, so I just decided to quickly put up a few of my favorite pictures from the past few weeks.  It seems like I’ve had a number of engagement sessions recently, more than usual.  It’s especially nice if I’m also doing the couple’s wedding, it gives them a bit of practice.  It’s always easier when things are rushed and stressful at a wedding if the couple basically knows what getting their pictures taken is going to be like.  From what I’ve noticed it seems like everyone always has a lot better time than they think they will going into the session.  I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below.

Sunset Engagement Portrait

Sitting by the oak trees

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Beach house wedding in North Myrtle Beach

As I’m writing this post, I’m testing out Microsoft’s new Windows Live writer.  If this works like it appears it will, this is going to be an great tool for making blogging easier on WordPress.  I guess I will see how this post turns out.  I’m glad to get last weekend’s wedding pictures finished, I know the bride was very anxious to see the pictures.  The sun was a little strong during the ceremony, it was a few hours before sunset.  We did some beach portraits which turned out fine, but it’s always more difficult earlier in the day.  Later, after cutting the cake, we decided to go back out and try some more portraits right before sunset.  I sure am glad we did.  There was the most beautiful sunset that evening, with really nice small clouds catching the light of the sunset.  In fact all my recent beach pictures seem to have had perfect sunsets, maybe it’s because the weather is cooling down.  When the weather is cool the sky seems more blue and everything is just crisp and clean looking.  I hope you enjoy a few of the sunset shots below.

Kiss in the sunset, Cherry GroveLooking at ocean, Cherry Grove

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Wedding at Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation

I had another wedding at Kingston Plantation up in North Myrtle Beach this past weekend.  Everything went really smoothly. I think it was the largest wedding party I’ve ever had.  I actually just looked at one of the pictures again to count, it looks like 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen.  I had to do one shot during the wedding ceremony where I combined 3 different pictures into a panorama to get the entire wedding party without seeing the backs of the audience.  Photoshop is amazing for stitching panoramas like that.  One of my favorite shots below was the party pretending to play …

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Wedding in Litchfield on Intracoastal Waterway

Last week’s wedding was at such a pretty spot. It was a private home right on the waterway in the Litchfield, Pawleys Island area, about 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach.  It’s too bad this isn’t a regular spot for weddings, although the homeowner did say he has had about 20 weddings there, various family and friends.  I can certainly see why.  Everything went really nice as well, there was the most beautiful sunset over the waterway, you can see below many of my favorite pictures feature that sunset.  The only slight problem was during the ceremony, the brides face …

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Wedding at Brookgreen Gardens – Murrells Inlet

It’s been a long time since I did a wedding at Brookgreen Gardens. It’s a really pretty area and weddings there always seem to turn out beautiful. This ceremony was at the Holiday Cottage, which was the same location I had a wedding the last time. I guess they also have weddings in another part of the gardens as well, but the cottage area is very nice.  In the past the only way a photographer could work in the gardens was if they were working for a wedding. However, the wedding coordinator at the Holiday Cottage told me they have …

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Third year with family – Myrtle Beach State Park

I just wanted to make a quick blog post about this recent family session. This is my third time working with this family. They were one of the groups I photographed back when I was really just getting started, I’ve learned quite a bit since then, but they always seem happy. It’s nice to see the same faces over and over again. Every year I seem to get the cutest shots with the kids. They both have really big eyes that just seem to reflect the light perfectly. The family wanted something a bit different this year, so I took them around the oak trees in the Myrtle Beach State Park, and that seemed to work out really well. I love some of the shots of the girls looking through the trees. I could have put up a bunch of pictures, but I tried to pick just a few of my favorite below.

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Another wedding at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club – Myrtle Beach

I like going back to a location multiple times, it’s just so much more relaxed going to an area I already know.  This was my second wedding in the actual Ocean Club, that is at the very north end of Myrtle Beach. I’ve had a number of weddings in the Grande Dunes that had their ceremony on the beach behind the club as well.  I don’t know how the pricing compares, but overall the Grande Dunes really is about the nicest place for a wedding and reception I’ve seen.  This week everything went super smoothly.  The videographers, AAA Photography, were great and the ceremony went off without any problems at all.  The only thing about the veranda (I guess is what you call it), is for the amount of people they had at this ceremony it got to be a little tight. The videographers were really squeezed in and it was a little hard to get some angles and shots I like when I have a whole beach to move around on.  Also, the groom was so much taller than the bride, it actually made some of my shots I normally do difficult. They were a great couple, and I thought almost all the pictures tuned out fantastic. My wife seem to think the groom was a little too good looking, I might have to hide the rest of the pictures :)  I hope you enjoy some samples below.

How guys get ready for a wedding - Ocean Club
The girls are going crazy in one room, and we see the guys busy getting ready here.

Bride putting on earings in mirror - Grande Dunes, Ocean Club

Bride in doorway, black and white - Grande Dunes, Ocean Club

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