She said yes - Myrtle Beach State Park

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 evenings for a surprise engagement proposal with this young couple. His girlfriend thought we were just doing pictures of the two of them for Valentine’s Day. From what she said later in the evening, she thought it would be a long while until he could …

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Couple holding hands walking down the train track rails - Conway River Walk

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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Fun with sparklers and steel wool - Springmaid Beach

Having fun with long exposure, flash, steel wool and getting started with the Myrtle Beach season

With the beautiful spring weather in Myrtle Beach, it’s the time of the year my photography business starts really picking up. Of course that also means lots of pollen and traffic at the beach, but you have to take the good with the bad. I thought I would do a quick blog post highlighting my first spring engagement session and some long exposure light painting fun I had this winter. My photography friend Hannah Ruth and I wanted to experiment with some long exposure light painting shots using wedding sparklers. Painting with the light from sparklers can be as simple as putting your camera …

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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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Bride and groom sitting together of golf course greens

Early afternoon wedding photography at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club with a fun couple

Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club is one of my favorite locations that I photograph weddings at often.  The staff is very friendly and helpful and the site is great for photography. There isn’t much I can say that I haven’t said in some of my earlier blog posts about the site.  This wedding ceremony was in the early afternoon, so we had some harsh sunlight during the ceremony, but it wasn’t too bad.  The golf course behind the clubhouse is a great place for a wedding and for pictures after, it is nice to do everything in the same area …

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First dance at Wachesaw Plantation

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 …

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Dipping girl back in front of the ocean

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.

Engagement portrait sitting on the tree branch on hill at Myrtle Beach State Park Engagement portrait in the oak trees Closeup by the trees

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Leaning fiance back for a kiss at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach

Surprise engagement proposal at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach

This was another surprise engagement proposal I was asked to photograph, this time at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Broadway at the Beach. I was contacted by the young guy to hopefully get some surprise pictures of the proposal to his girlfriend, it’s usually hard for the girl not to know something is up by the time I spot them.  I’ve done a number of these type of surprise proposals recently, they are always really fun to shoot, and so far the girl has always said yes!  So maybe it’s a good idea to have me there :).

I’ve actually been to the Aquarium once for a wedding reception and one other time actually inside for engagement pictures.  For this young couple, they just wanted to do the pictures around the outside of the Aquarium on the lake and the walkways of Broadway at the Beach.  I believe he had told me they had first met, or possibly had their first date at Ripley’s Aquarium, so that is why he wanted to propose there.  Most of the year I would want to avoid that area for pictures, in the summer it’s just packed with people and it would be very difficult to do anything romantic. However, at the beginning of December, it’s a really off season time, and hardly anyone was around so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  I thought the pictures turned out really nice, let me know in the comments below if you enjoy them.

Surprise engagement proposal - Broadway at the Beach Saying yes to the proposal Engagement pictures with Wonderworks in the background

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Portrait of bride and groom kissing behind the sea grass at the Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach

Another fun couple getting married at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach

I’ve been going to the Ocean Club for weddings a lot this year, not that I’m complaining it’s a really nice location. The club is located at the very north end of Myrtle Beach, so there is a small area with dunes and sea oats with no hotels in the background.  This was a small ceremony down on the beach, I always like smaller ceremonies because they are usually more relaxed and flexible on time. I also prefer when they have the ceremony on the beach instead of the Ocean Club veranda. The veranda can get pretty tight to move around and get pictures. It’s not a big deal, I’m used to working at locations where I can’t move around freely during the ceremony, but I certainly prefer the beach where I can walk completely around the ceremony location. This was a very fun couple to work with, one of those couples that is just very easy to make look good in pictures. I previously put up a blog post about their engagement pictures as well, you can view them here http://www.ryansmithphotography.com/blog/2013/03/14/cute-couple-with-big-smiles-doing-engagement-pictures-at-the-state-park-in-myrtle-beach/.

I’m working on getting caught up with things, I’ve still got a lot of albums to finish up for clients.  Once I get caught up I’m going to post to the blog more weddings from earlier in the year.  I also want to talk some about my Macbook Pro setup with a Windows file server and how I’ve got that all setup to work with Lightroom.  For now I hope you enjoy the pictures below.  Please comment and like the post if you do.

Guys getting ready at the Ocean Club Closeup shot of rings with focus stacking

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