First look with bride putting her hands around the groom's eyes - Folly Beach - Charleston

Intimate wedding with family at the Tides in Folly Beach, Charleston

Nicole and Adam found me through WeddingWire, back before we knew anything about Covid-19. They were having a small wedding ceremony on the beach, with just a few family and friends, on September 10th of 2020. This actually worked out perfectly, since most weddings in 2020 ended up being scaled back from the original plans. They were having a separate larger reception later on in NC. They only had me there to take pictures up until dinner time. I was actually glad to not have to stay late since I had another wedding in Charleston the very next day. This …

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Family on the foliage covered walkway to the beach - Huntington Beach State Park

Family portraits at Huntington Beach State Park for my previous wedding clients

I’ve had a really busy summer this year with family beach photography. It’s a good thing to be busy, but I won’t mind when things slow down a little and the kids start going back to school. I don’t get to post family pictures to my blog very often. However, if you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been trying to post 10 quick pictures from many of my recent family sessions. So if you like to keep up with my work please follow me there! I wanted to post this recent session because they were also my previous wedding clients. …

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Happy family of 6 laying in the sand together - Huntington Beach State Park

Family portraits at the Huntington Beach State Park with a happy family of 6

I had a lot of fun taking portraits of this family of 6 at the Atalaya Castle area and beach in the Huntington Beach State Park. Even though it was hot and a little windy, the family was very happy to be taking pictures and had great smiles from the beginning. We have had some very hot weather in Myrtle Beach the last couple of weeks, but near sunset time and by the ocean the heat isn’t too bad. I’m still really happy with my decision to switch away from the Myrtle Beach State Park to the Huntington Beach State …

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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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Kiss on a path through the forest - Reserve Harbor Yacht Club

Wedding at the Pawleys Island Chapel with a reception at the Reserve Harbor Yacht Club

This bride and groom, Mary and Shane, had a beautiful wedding ceremony at the Pawleys Island Chapel with a reception at the Reserve Harbor Yacht Club. They also had their two daughters featured as flower girls in the wedding. I had my assistant head over to take pictures with the groomsmen and I went to the home where the bride was getting ready on the inlet in Pawleys Island. This home was a beautiful location with a dock on the water. Because I didn’t have to take pictures with the groomsmen, it gave me an extra few minutes for flying …

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Bride and groom with a reflection in the lake - Members Club - Grande Dunes

Beautiful wedding at the Members Club at Grande Dunes with the bride, groom and their children

This week I’m featuring another beautiful wedding I was the photographer for at the Members Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach. I like that I’m photographing more weddings lately at the Members Club, it’s a really beautiful location on the golf course with a great interior and large ballroom. This bride and groom had both been married previously and they had their children as part of the wedding party. The bride’s daughter was one of the bridesmaids, so I got some very sweet pictures of her helping her mom put on the veil and helping her with the dress …

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Little boy laughing at family behind the Atalaya Castle - Huntington Beach State Park

Winter family pictures at the Atalaya Castle

I thought I would make a quick post about one of my family portraits sessions over the Thanksgiving weekend. With the clients featured below, we didn’t pay to go inside the Atalaya Castle at all, but there are still a lot of nice exterior areas for pictures. The front lawn with the castle in the background is very pretty as well as the patio area in the back. I normally really like the walkway in front of the castle and some other spots, but because of the mosquitoes we had to leave that area quickly. Perhaps it’s something to do …

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Wedding couple from 5 years ago came back for family pictures - North Beach Plantation

Family portraits at North Beach Plantation with my previous wedding couple

I had to put up a quick post about this family of three because I also shot their wedding pictures back in 2011!  It was really fun getting to see a previous wedding couple again after so many years, this time with a new addition to the family. Their new baby girl was also a great subject for pictures. Sometimes I need other family acting silly or making sounds behind me and the camera to get a baby to smile, but she was being great just for me without any extra help. She had some of the cutest expressions like she …

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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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Family of 4 in front of a beautiful sunset by the sea oats

Taking family pictures to the next level with all prime lenses like the Nikon 85mm f1.4G

For several years now I’ve used my Nikon 85mm f1.4 prime lens primarily for weddings and engagement pictures. My other workhorse lens was the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens. This is considered an excellent lens and it should be as much as it costs. It focuses very quickly, and it gives a fantastic range for family pictures. I could shoot the whole group and still get nice close up portraits of individuals and the kids. The longer I do photography the pickier I get about wanting a certain look to the pictures. I want that really soft Bokeh or out of focus background …

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