Fun beach wedding with a large bridal party – Ocean Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach

I always have a lot of fun photographing weddings at the Ocean Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach. My latest beach wedding for Sara and John was no exception. Sara had me arrive a little earlier then usual to start taking pictures, about 2 1/2 hours before the ceremony. This turned out to be …

View post Fun beach wedding with a large bridal party – Ocean Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach

Secret pictures of an engagement proposal again!

I recently had another chance to do pictures of a wedding proposal along with engagement pictures after. This client actually saw my last blog post and wanted to do something similar, so I guess people do read my blog sometimes. Something cool about being a photographer is you can count all your camera gadgets as a business expense, which if you are like me is where a lot of money goes anyway.

Olympus OM-D E-M5

I mentioned before that I recently got a small Olympus OM-D mirrorless micro four thirds camera, mostly to take hiking and for fun, but I’ve actually been able to incorporate it into my work a bit as well. Getting a good macro lens for a full frame camera like my Nikon D800 is extremely expensive, and I only use it very occasionally so it’s hard to justify. But I got a 60mm (equivalent to about a 135mm in a full frame lens) macro lens for my Olympus camera and I’ve done some amazing closeups of bride’s rings and things like that recently.

Macro of Bride’s ring using Photoshop focus stacking

However, I wanted to be stealthy for the proposal and not look like a big photographer with a huge camera, so I decided to try using my OM-D and the 60mm lens to get some candid shots. It did quite a nice job, the only problem was that I meant for him to take her further away from the pier to propose. There ended up being a bunch of people right in the background. Oh well it’s hard to be perfect. When I asked later, his fiance did say that she saw me taking the pictures, so I guess I wasn’t quite stealthy enough. But I didn’t notice her looking at me and it didn’t seem to bother the moment at all as far as I could tell.

Then of course after the initial proposal I went to my usual gear of the Nikon D800, Nikon 85mm f1.4 lens, and my off camera flash. Of course when you switch to expensive big camera gear you are going to notice a difference in the quality over my little Olympus camera. I actually listen to some podcasts where they seem to think that photography will be moving to these smaller mirrorless cameras. I can tell you they are nice, but they in no way compare to a big camera with a big fast lens. When it comes to camera sensors and lenses, for portraits bigger is always better. Without going into too much detail, the bigger a sensor and lens is, typically the better the blur or bokeh in the background will be.  I hope you enjoy some of these pictures below, please don’t forget to like and comment below if you do, or pin some to your Pinterest board.

View post Secret pictures of an engagement proposal again!

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!

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.

Fun sunset pictures with the bride and groom at Holden Beach, NC

This is the first time I’ve been up to Holden Beach in NC for a wedding. This wedding was for a couple that was bringing together their two families with adult children. Everyone just seemed really happy and got along great. That always makes things easier for me. The wedding was held at a really pretty private home on the ocean. It was quite a long walk from the beach house down to the actual ocean. The area behind the house was huge and just full of dunes and sea oats, as well as a small lake surrounded by tall grass. This was actually one of the prettiest beach spots I think I’ve seen. It makes you realize how much they have ruined the Myrtle Beach area. All the houses and hotels are stuck almost on the ocean, it has just ruined the beach and dunes. I guess there is nothing that can be done about it now except occasional beach re-nourishment when they pump sand out of the ocean. I decided for this post to highlight just one part of the wedding, pictures of the couple that we did at sunset. The whole afternoon I had been looking at spots and thinking about what it would look like at sunset. After spending some time at the reception the couple walked back down to the beach with me right around sunset time, like usual we only had a few minutes. The angle of the sun to the ocean is different here than it is in Myrtle Beach. That is why there are a lot of cool shots with the sun going down over the ocean. There is only a brief time during the winter when the sun’s angle will be like that here. I just love in the pictures below the way the sunset reflects off the edge of the water, as well as the ones of it going down behind the lake. If you like these pictures please comment and ‘like’ the post, it encourages me to post more often. A couple of these shots have been touched up, but most have not. I hope you enjoy them.

View post Fun sunset pictures with the bride and groom at Holden Beach, NC

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.

View post Nice evening for engagement portraits at the Myrtle Beach State Park