Kiss after private horseback ride on the beach - Inlet Point Plantation - Little River

Horseback ride surprise proposal at Inlet Point Plantation Stables in North Myrtle Beach

This was such a fun idea for a surprise marriage proposal in Myrtle Beach. Geoff contacted me a few weeks before his proposal. He wanted to surprise his girlfriend but he wanted to do it during a horseback ride down the beach. He got in touch with Inlet Point Plantation stables that is up in the North Myrtle Beach / Little River area. They actually have a special sunset horseback riding package that was perfect for what he wanted to do. While I’ve never been to Inlet Point Plantation stables before, I was familiar with the general area. It’s close …

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Maternity portraits of man and woman sitting by the dunes - Huntington Beach State Park

Maternity portraits at the Huntington Beach State Park and Atalaya Castle

I had a lot of fun taking maternity portraits last week for an expecting mother and father at the Atalaya Castle and beach in the Huntington Beach State Park. I’m still happy that I made this park in Murrells Inlet my regular location for family pictures vs the park in Myrtle Beach. As the sunset moves to later in the day, the traffic is not that bad driving down to the Murrells Inlet area.  This mother was due to have her child in about 4 weeks, but even though it was a little difficult for her she did a lot …

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Brothers laying in the sand - Huntington Beach State Park

Mother with her two sons | Family pictures at Huntington Beach State Park

This year I’m again encouraging my clients for family pictures to make the trip to the Huntington Beach State Park if possible. Because of a recent hurricane, the dunes are very damaged at the Myrtle Beach State Park and they have roped them off to protect them. Also, in the summer, the Myrtle Beach park is very crowded. Because of the crowds, sometimes the park rangers are unfriendly with us photographers. The Huntington Beach State Park doesn’t have a pier but it has the Atalaya Castle and a beautiful beach with nice dunes. If you are looking to take some …

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Sunset behind the clubhouse -  Grande Dunes Ocean Club

Fun beach wedding with a large bridal party – Ocean Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach

I always have a lot of fun photographing weddings at the Ocean Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach. My latest beach wedding for Sara and John was no exception. Sara had me arrive a little earlier then usual to start taking pictures, about 2 1/2 hours before the ceremony. This turned out to be a good idea with 11 groomsmen and 9 bridesmaids in the party! I always warn my couples if you have a really big bridal party, plan on everything running an hour later than you think. Samantha, the wedding coordinator at the Ocean Club, had the …

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Couple about to kiss leaning against the pier at state park

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 the dunes.  I guess they don’t have to worry about it anymore because the front slope of many of the dunes are completely gone.  The dunes are now just cliffs with the roots of sea oats sticking out of the sides.  The water must have come …

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Guy getting a really big hug after surprise proposal - Myrtle Beach State Park

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 was under the impression we were just doing couple portraits of the whole family.  I took some pictures of the 5 different couples including parents and grandparents up by the oak trees, then some down by the dunes. When it was the about to be engaged couple’s turn …

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Black and white of couple kissing with sunlight reflecting on the beach grass - Holden Beach

Beach house wedding at Holden Beach, one of my favorite beach locations.

This is the second time I’ve been to this particular beach house in Holden Beach, NC for a wedding.  Because of my earlier wedding there, I was told that I came highly recommended, so that is always nice. I’ve been to many different beach locations for weddings and this one is pretty unique. Almost anywhere you go around this area, the houses are built right up next to the ocean, in some spots at high tide there is hardly any beach even left. In this area the beach houses were built far back from the ocean. There is a long walk down to the beach through natural sand dunes and beach grass that feels a lot different from any locations in the Myrtle Beach area. There is even a large lake between the ocean and some of the beach houses, it is a really pretty area. Even though it’s a bit of a drive for me I enjoyed getting to go up to this area again.

On a different subject, you might have noticed a lot of changes to my website. Every once in a while, you really have to rebuild a website from scratch, to keep it modern and up to date. This new design is mobile first. This means that it looks great on a tablet or phone, but will scale to a full desktop as well. It’s the opposite of the way things used to be designed. The most important thing is how it looks on a mobile device. Instead of building everything from scratch, it’s build on the popular Bootstrap framework. It makes a responsive website design that scales from desktop to mobile a lot easier to do. I’m also using a Flat UI design that is a lot more modern looking now. The site will get better looking over time as I work on it, but everything is functioning well now.  If you see any bugs or mistakes please let me know.

I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below, please let me know in the comments if you do.

Fun brides shirt Bride getting on dress Groomsmen looking cool

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Couple smiling at each other in front of the pier

Secret pictures of marriage proposal and engagement portraits after

I got to do something fun last week, trying to do marriage proposal pictures without being noticed. The man’s family, including his daughter, were hiding by the dunes while we waited for him and his girlfriend to arrive at the beach. There are always a lot of photographers down at the state park so it was pretty easy to blend in. I don’t think his girlfriend actually noticed me until after he proposed, so I thought I did a pretty good job. Then they just did engagement pictures on the beach together. It was a lot of fun, and easy to get some romantic pictures right after a proposal like that.  I guess you would only want to do this if you were sure she would say yes :)  I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below.

Couple touching noses with the background of the Myrtle Beach State Park

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.

Family portraits – three boys and a little sister at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I realized I needed to blog about some family pictures, I really don’t do it often enough. I’ve had a number of really cute families recently, and before things start getting really busy I wanted to highlight a recent one. This was a family with three sons and a little girl that I took pictures of on a cold afternoon at the Myrtle Beach State Park.  Whenever I hear it’s going to be a bunch of boys I worry a bit, sometimes guys can be hard to work with. But if everyone stays in a good mood, and tries to have fun and make the best of it, the pictures always turn out nice. I thought this was a really cute and happy family, I hope you enjoy the pictures below.