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 …

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Fun engagement pictures in Garden City on a cold afternoon and Storyboard 3

I haven’t had a chance to blog about engagement portraits in a while. Things are getting slow so I thought I would post some pictures from this recent cold weather engagement session down at the southern tip of Garden City Beach. I’ve done many photo sessions down in Garden City, but this one was unusual because they …

View post Fun engagement pictures in Garden City on a cold afternoon and Storyboard 3

Two engagement photography sessions at the Conway River Walk, one with a Poodle

Penny Smith

I really like during this slower time of the year to do engagement sessions for my upcoming weddings.  I had two sets of weddings clients recently that wanted to do engagement pictures at the Conway River Walk, so I decided I would just combine pictures from both their sessions into one post.  The first set below I’m a little partial too because they had a poodle that looks almost just like my dog Penny.  You can check out her Facebook page here, she needs some more friends. Their poodle was a little nervous especially up on the railroad track, just like my dog would be with the tail tucked down tight.  The very last picture in the first set below was cute. He was trying to be good and sit while we did pictures, but he was so happy when they finally called him over.  I thought both the engagement sessions turned out very nice, the Conway River walk is a great spot this time of the year.  I had a little trouble with getting the guys to smile, but I understand because I can’t smile for pictures myself.

The two engagement photography sessions below can give you an idea of the difference between a sunny and a cloudy day.  They both have a different look, but I can’t say one is better than the other.  I like the soft look of a cloudy day, especially in a black and white. Of course, when you can get the sunset filtering through a tree in the background, it is always great as well.  I don’t get to choose if it’s going to be cloudy or not, so I just had to learn to make it look good either way.  I’d say if you are a beginning photographer try for a cloudy day, it’s a lot easier to get an acceptable picture, I see a lot of photographers make a mess of things with the sun.  I hope you enjoy the engagement pictures from the Conway River Walk below, let me know in the comments box if you do.

View post Two engagement photography sessions at the Conway River Walk, one with a Poodle

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

This was a really great senior couple that had a surprise 60th anniversary party at the Springmaid Beach hotel. I really wasn’t expecting such an elaborate event when I arrived. It really was like a small wedding reception. They had a small band, a wedding style cake, a dance floor and they even played that …

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

Secret pictures of an engagement proposal again!

I recently had another chance to do pictures of a wedding proposal along with engagement pictures after. This client actually saw my last blog post and wanted to do something similar, so I guess people do read my blog sometimes. Something cool about being a photographer is you can count all your camera gadgets as a business expense, which if you are like me is where a lot of money goes anyway.

Olympus OM-D E-M5

I mentioned before that I recently got a small Olympus OM-D mirrorless micro four thirds camera, mostly to take hiking and for fun, but I’ve actually been able to incorporate it into my work a bit as well. Getting a good macro lens for a full frame camera like my Nikon D800 is extremely expensive, and I only use it very occasionally so it’s hard to justify. But I got a 60mm (equivalent to about a 135mm in a full frame lens) macro lens for my Olympus camera and I’ve done some amazing closeups of bride’s rings and things like that recently.

Macro of Bride’s ring using Photoshop focus stacking

However, I wanted to be stealthy for the proposal and not look like a big photographer with a huge camera, so I decided to try using my OM-D and the 60mm lens to get some candid shots. It did quite a nice job, the only problem was that I meant for him to take her further away from the pier to propose. There ended up being a bunch of people right in the background. Oh well it’s hard to be perfect. When I asked later, his fiance did say that she saw me taking the pictures, so I guess I wasn’t quite stealthy enough. But I didn’t notice her looking at me and it didn’t seem to bother the moment at all as far as I could tell.

Then of course after the initial proposal I went to my usual gear of the Nikon D800, Nikon 85mm f1.4 lens, and my off camera flash. Of course when you switch to expensive big camera gear you are going to notice a difference in the quality over my little Olympus camera. I actually listen to some podcasts where they seem to think that photography will be moving to these smaller mirrorless cameras. I can tell you they are nice, but they in no way compare to a big camera with a big fast lens. When it comes to camera sensors and lenses, for portraits bigger is always better. Without going into too much detail, the bigger a sensor and lens is, typically the better the blur or bokeh in the background will be.  I hope you enjoy some of these pictures below, please don’t forget to like and comment below if you do, or pin some to your Pinterest board.

View post Secret pictures of an engagement proposal again!

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.