I love that bokeh from the sunset through the trees - Mansfield Plantation, Georgetown

Sunset engagement pictures at Mansfield Plantation, Georgetown SC

My recent couple was looking for a plantation type setting for their engagement pictures with a lot of moss and old oak trees. They got a nice quick response from calling Mansfield Plantation in Georgetown. There was a reasonable $160 charge to do engagement pictures on the plantation grounds so they decided to do the …

View post Sunset engagement pictures at Mansfield Plantation, Georgetown SC

She said yes - Myrtle Beach State Park

Surprise engagement proposal on a beautiful winter evening in Myrtle Beach

I always love the Myrtle Beach State Park at sunset in the winter. This time of the year the sky just seems clearer and the water is more blue. I don’t know if it’s perhaps the lower humidity or just the difference in the angle of the sunset. We had one of those perfect winter …

View post Surprise engagement proposal on a beautiful winter evening in Myrtle Beach

Sunset kiss in front of the clubhouse, lots of bokeh  - Pawleys Plantation

Golf Club wedding at Pawleys Plantation with a first look and great sunset

The Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club has been one of my favorite wedding locations for many years now. They have some new event staff at Pawleys Plantation I met for the first time. They were very friendly and everything went smoothly with the ceremony and reception. They also remodeled the ballroom a while back with a …

View post Golf Club wedding at Pawleys Plantation with a first look and great sunset

Couple laying together in the sand - Litchfield Beach

Engagement pictures at the Litchfield Golf and Beach Club

I had the opportunity to do engagement pictures for this very nice couple staying at the Litchfield Golf and Beach Club. I’ve done weddings in this area before, but I’ve never been there just for engagement pictures. I’m glad they suggested doing them there because it is a really pretty area. I knew some of the spots I liked out in front of the club from previous weddings, it’s always great when you can get some nice light coming through the leaves of oak trees. Using a really good lens turns blurs out the background sunlight in a really pretty way. The fallen oak is a very popular spot to do pictures as well, it can just be challenging to get shots without any cars in the background.

After doing pictures out in front of the club we went back to some hammocks that the couple had noticed. Then we went down to the beach at the beach club area. The weather was just about perfect and the water looked really blue that evening. Of course, if they weren’t staying in the area we could have done the pictures out front, but you need to have a pass to actually get into the area where we went on the beach. At the end of the session we even did a little pretend proposal just for fun. This was a really beautiful evening and a fun couple, they had been together for over 10 years but were still up for being romantic.  I’m sure you will enjoy the pictures below.  Please comment below or share these pictures if you like them.

Couple on the walkway in front of the Litchfield Golf Club Couple kissing under the oak trees in front of the Litchfield Golf Club

View post Engagement pictures at the Litchfield Golf and Beach Club

Cutting wedding cake with military saber

Another beautiful wedding at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach

I had another nice wedding at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach. This is one of the locations I seem to photograph weddings at frequently. I think it helps that I’m on the Grande Dunes preferred vendor list. The light is always pretty in the room where the bride is getting ready, and the bridal party was a fun group that was up to doing some silly pictures.

The only more difficult thing about the wedding, it was pretty early in the day and the sun was really strong on the terrace.  I would recommend, if possible, timing a wedding a little later so that shade will be covering the terrace.  This time of the year with the sunset so late it might not be doable. What I did was take the couple out near sunset after the reception to do a few more pictures. It turned out to be a little hazy then but it was still nice.

One of my favorite pictures was the couple standing in the walkway beside the Ocean Club that goes down to the beach. Whenever you can get perspective from something like a sidewalk or a pathway surrounded by shrubbery, it makes the picture much more interesting.  They also did a saber arch because the groom was in the military, I had done that with a wedding before but now I know what it’s called. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below, please comment below if you do.

Bride leaning against the castle wall with out of focus light hitting the moss, Atalaya Castle, Huntington State Park

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 catch the sunset. The poor bride almost froze to death by the end of the session, but I think it will be worth it to her when she sees the pictures. She did a pretty good job of not looking cold, at least as long as you don’t zoom in on the 36mp Nikon D800 images and see all the goose bumps.

I’ve been trying to get better at posing hands, with bridal portraits you have a lot more time than at the wedding for trying different hand positions. You will notice below I have the bride doing a lot of different things with her hands, not everything worked that we tried, but that is how you get better at it. Another thing I’m working more with is off camera speedlights. I put a Gary Fong Power Snoot on my second flash behind and to the left of the bride on a lightstand. The power snoot creates a more concentrated light that pretty much just hits where you aim it. You will notice it in a number of shots where you see a separation light on the brides hair and her side a bit. It just gives the pictures an extra pop when you can do that. Something a lot of beginning photographers don’t realize, taking a picture isn’t just having a good eye and being able to aim a camera and push a button. You have to get more technical and pull out some real equipment if you want to take something that really stands out. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below, please like and comment on the post if you do!

Quick edit – I was playing around with some new Nik Software plugins. Google is now giving the complete collection free to anyone that purchased individual plugins before! I’ve never used some of the plugins like HDR Efex. I usually stay away from any strong effects, but after playing around I thought the first image below looked cool! So I added it here. I’m still mostly keeping away from strong effects though, they tend to look dated quickly.