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 …

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

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 …

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

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

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

Putting on the engagement ring in front of the pier

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.

Couple sitting on the oak tree Couple standing behind the dead oak in the state park

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

High contrast black and white under the pier

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.

Candid pictures of marriage proposal at the Myrtle Beach State Park

View post Secret pictures of an engagement proposal again!

Beautiful engagement portrait girl looking up at guy backlit by sunset - Myrtle Beach State Park

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!