Conway River Walk engagement pictures with the flooded Waccamaw River

We knew going into these engagement pictures that the Conway River Walk was completely flooded and inaccessible because of hurricane Matthew. We knew going into these engagement pictures that the Conway River Walk was completely flooded and inaccessible because of hurricane Matthew. it was even a foot and a half higher than the record flooding we had last year. This couple really wanted to do pictures in Conway, so we had to find some other locations besides the River Walk to do the portraits. They suggested doing pictures on Oak Street, I wasn’t really familiar with that area but I …

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Beautiful afternoon wedding at Wachesaw Plantation with a horse drawn carriage

I always love going to Wachesaw Plantation for a wedding, the oak trees on the Waccamaw River make a great backdrop for pictures, especially at sunset. It’s been a long time since I’ve photographed a wedding with a horse and carriage, it always makes for some really great pictures. I guess riding in on a carriage is the type of thing you really have to be at a plantation or garden style location like Wachesaw for it to work. I got the business card of the carriage company so I’ll add it to my favorite vendors page, maybe it will give some brides …

Read post and view pictures Beautiful afternoon wedding at Wachesaw Plantation with a horse drawn carriage

Beautiful Afternoon wedding at Wachesaw Plantation

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Wachesaw Plantation for a wedding. It’s a really pretty wedding site on the Waccamaw River, it’s especially nice at sunset the way the light filters through the many trees. The bride and groom at this wedding wanted to do a first look so they could get most of the wedding pictures done before the ceremony. That is actually a nice way to do things because the couple can start having fun as soon as the ceremony is over. This also means though that most of the pictures would be done earlier in the day …

Read post and view pictures Beautiful Afternoon wedding at Wachesaw Plantation

Cold and windy day for engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

There are always a couple of winter months where no one is looking to have portraits done outdoors or on the beach. During those months I always have some things to do like wedding album layouts and catching up with clients about orders from the previous year, but it’s nice to be getting busy taking fresh pictures again. I seem to be getting an early start this year with not only some engagement sessions but even a wedding this coming weekend.

The engagement session I’m highlighting this time was for a couple with an upcoming wedding I’m photographing this summer. It was a very cold and windy day at the Myrtle Beach State Park. I guess because the ocean temperature is so low right now, it seemed much colder on the beach then it did a little bit inland. Thankfully I brought along a sweatshirt, but I was still really cold even with that on. As cold as I was I felt really bad for the couple because they were just freezing in what they were wearing, I felt a little guilty in my sweatshirt. They wanted to go for it anyway, and I think we managed to get some really good pictures even with the wind and cold. In fact, the sky had an unusual look that day that I think gave some nice interest to the pictures, and we were the only ones on the beach which was nice. I guess a girl knows she has a pretty good guy if he will stay in a good mood through the cold and even three different outfit changes :) It makes me look forward to the wedding knowing a couple is easy going and will make the best of things.

I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please let me know if you do by liking or sharing the pictures, as well as commenting below.

Read post and view pictures Cold and windy day for engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

Engagement pictures with an emotional marriage proposal on the beach

I had another fun couple that hired me for their engagement pictures as well as a marriage proposal on the beach. This one was a bit different than my last couple of proposals because his girlfriend knew that he was going to propose. This actually made it a bit easier for me because I didn’t have to try and be sneaky with my pictures of the proposal.  I also got to set the position of the couple up a little bit so there wouldn’t be people in the background.  We started out doing just my typical style engagement pictures around the oak trees and sea oats in the State Park in Myrtle Beach. Then he proposed to her near the end of the session before sunset.

I was just thinking about how a lot of photographers get really caught up in trying to be artistic with their pictures, things like color effects or unusual composure and tilting of the image. Something you learn after a while, just capturing a clear picture of something emotional happening is so much more important than anything else.  For example, in one of the pictures below, his ‘about to be fiance’ is starting to cry as he shows her the ring. When I put this one on Facebook it immediately got a lot of likes, more than most of my pictures that I would consider more artistic.  This is just a clear, in focus picture using a high quality lens that captures the moment.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please comment if you do.

Read post and view pictures Engagement pictures with an emotional marriage proposal on the beach

Two couples doing sunset engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I had some really nice looking and fun couples recently for engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park. I’ve wanted to put up a new blog post for a while but I just don’t have time right now to post many pictures. I decided to just make a quick post from two of my sessions below. This time of the year I’ve really been liking the way the sun is hitting the sea oats in this one place at the State Park. There are some spots in the winter that look really cool that don’t work now because of the direction of the sun, and vice versa. I never thought about in the past how much the sunset direction changes from summer to winter until I started doing photography.

Also, I just went got away for two days and did some hiking in the mountains, when I get time I’ll post some of my GoPro footage, time-lapse and panoramas I shot with my Olympus OM-D. I did a 6 mile hike to one of the best views I’ve ever seen, I’ll post some pictures soon. I better stop writing about things and get back to work, I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below. Please comment below the pictures if you do!

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.

Another fun couple doing engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I met this couple for the first time on Friday to discuss photographing their upcoming wedding. While they were in the area we decided to do some last minute engagement pictures on Monday at the state park in Myrtle Beach. I’ve said it a lot of times before, but doing engagement pictures is really the best way to get to know a couple, and for them to get to know you as the photographer. If they like what you do during the engagement portraits, they are going to like you at the wedding as well. Pictures of the couple after the wedding is pretty much the same thing, just a little more rushed and with a little more stress.

We are finally getting some good weather, it was a beautiful evening with a great sunset. I notice it seems to be a really popular thing to get some flare from the setting sun in the lens.  You certainly wouldn’t want it in every picture because it washes it out, but it can be a cool look.  The really expensive Nikon lenses have a special Nano Crystal coating on them to reduce flare because it’s not normally something you would want. If you get the sun over to the side but in the frame enough where it’s hitting the lens you will definitely still get it.

One other thing I thought of.  Because of constantly looking into the sun I know I need to always wear sunglasses. However my current ones completely make the screen on the back of my camera not visible. I realized you have to get sunglasses that are not polarized. I ordered some nice Ray-Bans that should be really good without being polarized. I’m hoping that will make it so I don’t have to keep taking them off to see my screen.  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.

Cute couple with big smiles doing engagement pictures at the State Park in Myrtle Beach

I really made a big storyboard for this couple’s recent engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park. They looked great in so many pictures I just kept making selections. The way I do a blog post, when I’m going through the pictures in Lightroom, I put a flag on every picture that I think might be good for my blog. The nice thing about Lightroom, there are star ratings, color ratings, and flags.  So you can have multiple different ways of marking images for different uses.  I use star ratings (use keyboard keys 1-5) to pick the actual pictures that will be delivered to a client, which is usually well more than half of what I took.  I use color ratings (keyboard keys 6-0) for things like separating a wedding ceremony from a reception, usually for marking large groups of pictures.  Then I use the picks flag (push the p key for pick, u for un-pick) for my favorites that I might use in a blog post.

I always seem to find something to talk about in my posts, I hope some of the things are helpful.  Back to this couple, I saw the light was perfect in one of my favorite spots around the oak trees.  I really love when you can get a real power from the sunlight coming through the trees. I hope the engaged guys appreciate that they have a girl that will smiling at them like you see in every picture here. I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please like and comment if you do! As with all my recent posts, these are fully retina display ready, so to fully view these you need a new iPad or other high dpi device.