Beautiful evening for bridal portraits at Atalaya Castle in Murrells Inlet, SC

I was able to work with a really pretty bride the other evening doing bridal portraits at Atalaya Castle in the Huntington State Park. The evening was great except for being a bit cold. Because of the 5:00pm closing time of the Atalaya Castle, we had to stay outside the castle to be able to catch the sunset. The poor bride almost froze to death by the end of the session, but I think it will be worth it to her when she sees the pictures. She did a pretty good job of not looking cold, at least as long …

Read post and view pictures Beautiful evening for bridal portraits at Atalaya Castle in Murrells Inlet, SC

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.

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.

Read post and view pictures Nice evening for engagement portraits at the Myrtle Beach State Park

50th anniversary vow renewal at the Myrtle Beach State Park

This was a very nice family to work with. They let me know that instead of just doing family pictures, the grandfather wanted to surprise his wife by doing a short vow renewal service at the end. They were a very sweet older couple that you could tell loved each other a lot, and they were quite fun to do pictures with.

It turned out to not be the best evening, it starting raining and there was some nearby lightning, but it never got so bad that we had to stop. A little rain doesn’t bother my camera because the higher end gear is all water sealed. You might notice a number of the pictures are in black and white, which is a good way to hide when the sky is gloomy or the lighting isn’t too nice. However a cloudy sky can give a nice soft look to the pictures, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing. We were afraid of rain so for the vow renewal we went over to a shelter, of course the florescent lights are also not the best but it wasn’t completely dark so it worked out fine. Please comment at the end of the post if you enjoy the pictures.

Read post and view pictures 50th anniversary vow renewal at the Myrtle Beach State Park

Fun engagement portraits and getting a new lens

I’ve had a lot of really nice engagement portrait sessions this winter.  The weather has been fantastic, I’ve noticed I had more work this winter then last year probably because of the nice weather.  I actually don’t have anything scheduled this weekend, but I have a couple of engagement session for the next.

I’m getting a new portrait lens the Sigma 85mm f1.4.  You might wonder why I’m not buying the Nikon version of this lens.  I almost exclusively use Nikon, my go to lenses the 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 are fantastic.  Ryan Brenizer, a photographer I really trust, reviewed the Sigma lens and really loved it.  With the problems in Japan, Nikon lenses are so expensive and hard to get right now, I just decided to go with the Sigma instead.  The reason I’m mentioning this, is this will probably be my new lens for engagement pictures, at least for many shots.  For example the Bokeh, or out of focus sun coming through the trees in the first image, with the 85mm prime lens at f1.4 would be much creamier and and softer.  It makes for a really amazing look.  It’s harder to use a prime lens of course, because you have to zoom with your feet.  Also accurate focus is critical when shooting at very wide apertures like f1.4.  I’m going to give the lens a good try and I’ll probably write a review myself as well.

The couple featured below was a lot of fun.  They haven’t set a date for the wedding yet, so I was just doing engagement pictures separately from the wedding.  They were very happy and couldn’t stop smiling at each other, it made for a lot of fun candid shots.  I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below.

Engagement portrait in front of the oak trees - Myrtle Beach State Park
Couple sitting on the oak tree in black and white. - Myrtle Beach State Park

Read post and view pictures Fun engagement portraits and getting a new lens

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

Read post and view pictures After wedding pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

Really cute family and senior pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

I just wanted to put up a quick post.  I’ve been loving some of my family pictures recently. Sometimes I will get a really big family with a lot of grumpy two year olds, you know how that can be at times.  But lately I’ve had some of my favorite family pictures in a long time.  I also want to apologize for the delay in getting some family proofs ready for viewing, I’m really going to be working on getting them all up this next week.

This month has just been really busy, I’m actually making a decision to cut back some to make sure I can keep up with the clients I already have, if you do write me and I’m booked I can give you some good suggestions of photographers in the area to try.   On a week I have weddings I’m keeping it down to about 3 or 4 family sessions during the week.  I’m not going to become a business where I send out photographers to do the work for me, keeping things small seems to be working well for me.  I hope you enjoy some of the pictures, if you do please comment below.

Senior portrait with the sunset reflecting on the water - Myrtle Beach State Park
Fun adult family pictures in an old tree - Myrtle Beach State Park

Read post and view pictures Really cute family and senior pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

Highlights from the first half of May

This is such a busy time of the year I can’t really post about each wedding on my blog, I just don’t have time.  But I wanted to highlight a few pictures from the last couple of weeks.  One was a wedding in Andrews, SC of the same bride featured in my previous blog post.  I’ve also included a few family and engagement portraits from the Myrtle Beach State Park.  I discovered a new spot for pictures I really like at the park, at least the way the light is right now.  It’s the drainage ditch for land runoff into the ocean.  You don’t want to get in that water, but it makes a really great background at sunset.

Another thing I’ve done at my last couple of weddings is display pictures from the ceremony on my iPad.  When I get a chance at the reception, I will load in a few pictures from earlier in the day and put them up in a slideshow.  This seems to go over really well, there was almost always a small group around the iPad looking at the pictures.  I’m going to try and start doing this from now on.

Another fun thing I’ve been doing, which I will have more pictures of later on, is working with the latest Pocket Wizard wireless flash triggers.  I’ve been good for a long time at seeing great light and making use of it.  But now I’m trying to get better at making good light myself, even under bad conditions, using multiple flashes.  The website is a great resource for really learning advanced flash techniques if you want to learn more.  I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below.

Groom leaning bride back for a kiss - Kingston Plantation
Kiss on the beach walkway faded color effect - Kingston Plantation


Read post and view pictures Highlights from the first half of May

Beautiful Sunset – Myrtle Beach Park

I’ve been extremely busy the past few weeks, I haven’t had time to put up a blog post with recent pictures. Remember if you click “most recent images” on my home page you will find some of my recent uploads that don’t always make it to the blog.  Today I was working on some family/engagement pictures and I really loved the sunset and wanted to highlight some of them.  This may look like a wedding, but it was really just a family photoshoot of a recently married couple and their family. We were able to do some with the bride in her dress, and because the wedding was over she didn’t mind getting it dirty. One thing that made these pictures really nice is the fact that it was almost sunset, at a normal wedding I might be trying to do pictures 2 hours or more before sunset because of the ceremony time, which isn’t really ideal.  I hope you enjoy these.

Read post and view pictures Beautiful Sunset – Myrtle Beach Park