Engagement portraits at the Garden City Pier and Atalaya Castle

These engagement portraits were for a fun couple getting married very soon in August.  I always prefer doing engagement portraits for a couple before I photograph their wedding, that is why I offer a discounted engagement session for wedding clients.  It’s a nice way to get to know each other and make sure that they …

View post Engagement portraits at the Garden City Pier and Atalaya Castle

Surprise engagement proposal on a beautiful winter evening in Myrtle Beach

I always love the Myrtle Beach State Park at sunset in the winter. This time of the year the sky just seems clearer and the water is more blue. I don’t know if it’s perhaps the lower humidity or just the difference in the angle of the sunset. We had one of those perfect winter …

View post Surprise engagement proposal on a beautiful winter evening in Myrtle Beach

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 …

View post Engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park after the flooding

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.

View post 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.

View post Engagement pictures with an emotional marriage proposal on the beach

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.

Engagement pictures by the oak trees and pier and responsive design website updates

January and February are always my really slow time of the year. In some ways it is good because I can do some things I don’t have as much time for the rest of the year. I really make an effort to follow up with previous clients that have’t placed picture orders yet. I also try to get up with wedding clients that haven’t given me their album selections yet so I can get the layouts and orders done.

I also have more time to work on my website. I’m constantly optimizing the code, one big change I made this year was to make the site completely responsive using HTML5. What this means is the site and photo galleries will not only work on any size device such as an iPad or smartphone, but it will scale to fit the screen perfectly. A well designed website today, when you view it on a tablet or phone, you shouldn’t need to zoom in and out of the page. The page should scale itself to fit the screen properly, which my site now does. I was just checking around some other photographer’s websites recently, such as the really big multi-location photographer that has been in this area for a long time. When you visit their website on an iPad it says you need to download Flash Player and it hardly works.  That is just ridiculous in my opinion, today your website is your storefront.

Back to the pictures, it was nice to have some engagement pictures to do, it’s been a few weeks since I had a client. I was a little worried at first, like most guys it was really hard to get him to be romantic and smile. I’m sure I would be the same way myself if I was trying to do pictures with my wife. But once we got warmed up I thought things went really well.  I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below, I’m going to make an effort to post more regularly when things pick back up.

Fall family pictures in North Myrtle Beach and the State Park

During the summer when I’m doing lots of family pictures I don’t have time to blog about them, most of my posts are about weddings and the occasional engagement session. But since it’s my slow time now I thought I would put up a post about a couple of recent family sessions.

The first was a family session I did up in the Cherry Grove area of North Myrtle Beach. They had the idea to bring out a bench which made for some cute shots. It wasn’t the greatest weather that day, but the happy family made the pictures work great anyway. It’s nice when brothers and sisters of that age will have fun with the pictures and not just act like their parents are forcing them. I do my best to make the pictures relaxed and easy, but if everyone in a family can just be positive it sure makes my job easier.

The second session was a cute large family I photographed at the Myrtle Beach State Park. We actually got about a 20 minute late start from when I wanted to begin, so I was in my rapid fire wedding mode where I’m shooting as fast as I can. But we pretty much got everything we needed, and it worked out so some of the last pictures were right at an amazing sunset. It was cold that evening, but this time of the year also brings really beautiful sunsets, you just don’t get anything that looks quite like this in the summer. Let me know if you enjoy the pictures below, getting likes or comments really makes it easier to go through the work of posting.

Fall engagement portraits at the Myrtle Beach State Park

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about engagement pictures. When I’m doing engagement pictures for an upcoming wedding, I try to keep them in my slower times of the year if possible. When it cools down a bit is usually a great time anyway, the color in the ocean and sky seems better once things cool off. This is a fun couple who’s wedding I have coming up in April at the Grande Dunes. I like it so much better when I already know a couple well at the wedding, and they already have a good idea what they are in for :) I hope you enjoy some of the shots below, I’ll also be posting soon some engagement pictures from Georgetown which I think everyone will like.

After wedding pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

Now that things have slowed down some I’m going to try and go back and blog about some of my previous weddings and events.  This couple was married the day before, and just wanted to do some portraits of the two of them.  The Myrtle Beach State Park is really a great place for pictures because of the options like the oak trees, the pier and the really nice dunes, all in the same location.  Also, it’s out of the Myrtle Beach city limits, so you don’t get in trouble for doing picture there.  The only thing is, you have to be really careful about getting on the dunes.  I still see other photographers getting in trouble with the park rangers sometimes.  I saw this one photographer recently not only up on top of the dunes and getting talked to by a park ranger, but also waist deep in the swash trying to photograph a model, which is highly contaminated with bacteria.

Back to this couple, the evening turned out to be great with some really nice colors in the sky.  I was even able to catch some of the seagulls flying by in a few shots, which is really cool of you happen to get it.  This is a good example of how you can get some really nice pictures no matter how big your wedding is, I just did this like I would do any set of family or engagement pictures and got a lot of nice shots.  I hope you enjoy some of them below.

Couple sitting on oak tree root
Bride leaning against oak tree - Myrtle Beach State Park

View post After wedding pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park