Highlights from the last few weeks and the importance of a good DJ

I haven’t made a wedding specific blog post recently and I’ve been wanting to put up something new. I always get so busy in the summer. So I just decided to quickly pull out of my collection a few shots I liked from the last few weeks of August. These come from some family beach pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park, the mother of a bride I had last year getting married at the Grande Dunes Member’s Club, a wedding for a military groom at Brunswick Plantation in NC, and a wedding reception in Florence, SC. There is a lot in this one post.

One thing I especially wanted to highlight can be seen in the last about 15 pictures in this post.  They are from a wedding game I’ve heard called the Shoely Wed Game.  It’s really important if you want to have a fun wedding reception that you get a fun DJ. I’ve been to many weddings where the DJ really got everyone having fun, laughing and having a good time. This is always great for me because I like to take lots of reaction shots of the audience like you see in my pictures below. Good DJ’s usually get everyone into the dancing as well, most of the time it takes some effort to get everyone on the dance floor.

Just like with wedding photographers, there are some really bad ones as well.  I’ve seen some that barely do anything but play music, some where their lighting is so bad it causes me a lot of problems, and the worst was probably the one that actually had a CD collection for playing the music and couldn’t get the CD’s to play. In my opinion the DJ is the most important part of a fun wedding reception. It sure does make it better for me if I have lots of candid expressions to take pictures of.  I hope you enjoy some of the shots below.

Read post and view pictures Highlights from the last few weeks and the importance of a good DJ

Nice evening for engagement portraits at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I’ve been doing a lot of family pictures recently, it was nice to have some engagement portraits instead. This was a fun couple that seemed to be really having a good time.  From what I remember it was a really windy evening, but actually this couple made it pretty easy.  I only had to worry about the hair in one direction :)  It’s been windy almost every evening recently, but as long as you turn people into the wind so the hair is blowing back it’s not a big deal.  The only time it really gets bad is if the wind is blowing so much that it causes the sand to blow across the surface.  If sand is blowing in people eyes there isn’t very much you can do.  So far this week has been pretty good as far as the weather and the wind.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below, if you do please remember to let me know if the comments.

Read post and view pictures Nice evening for engagement portraits at the Myrtle Beach State Park

After reception trash the dress with the bride and groom – Ocean Isle Beach

I had a lot of fun after the wedding reception with this couple.  They planned it so that they could go to the reception for a couple of hours, then do a trash the dress session at sunset before leaving for the evening.  I’ve never had a bride and groom get completely in the ocean like they did.  The only problem we had, we were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, but I don’t let anything stop me when I shooting.  The poor bride in the first picture below had scratches that I had to Photoshop out on her arms because of getting bitten.  I think the results were worth the bit of suffering, I really love all of these, it was hard to pick just a few for the blog.

I’ve thought recently about selling my Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 lens because I never use it anymore.  It’s really heavy and bulky to keep in my bag all the time.  However, I’m glad I had it.  You might notice if you look closely, about half way through the pictures I switch lenses from my 85mm f1.4 to the 70-200 f2.8.  Using the 70-200 is how I get those really close up shots when the couple are deep in the ocean.  It looks like I’m on top of them even though I’m back on the beach.  Even if it’s heavy, I realize it’s good to carry around everything because you never know what you will need.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below, let me know in the comments if you like them!

Bride standing in front of the sunset - Ocean Isle
Couple standing in front of the sunset - Ocean Isle

Read post and view pictures After reception trash the dress with the bride and groom – Ocean Isle Beach

Fun wedding at Kingston Plantation in North Myrtle Beach

Kingston Plantation seems to be one of my usual spots, like the Grand Dunes, that I end up going to frequently.  It’s nice when I get to work at the same location multiple times, I can really get to know all the good photo spots after a while.   It’s also nice because it’s out of the Myrtle Beach city limits so you don’t have to worry about getting fined by trying to take pictures on the beach.  This couple was a lot of fun, I got a lot of just casual, fun shots of them as well as really nice …

Read post and view pictures Fun wedding at Kingston Plantation in North Myrtle Beach

Fun bridal portraits at Brookgreen Gardens, Holiday Cottage

It was nice going to the Holiday Cottage in Brookgreen Gardens without actually being there for the wedding ceremony.  I always get some nice shots of the bride at the cottage area, but it’s nice to have a whole hour just to concentrate on the one thing without being rushed.  This gives me enough time to be able to switch lenses and set things up a bit more, for example using my 50mm f1.4 almost wide open.  The bride featured here is actually having her wedding in Brookgreen so we were allowed to do pictures in the area without any …

Read post and view pictures Fun bridal portraits at Brookgreen Gardens, Holiday Cottage

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!

Read post and view pictures Everyone in the pool