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 http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/ 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
Groom leaning bride back for a kiss - Kingston Plantation
Kiss on the beach walkway faded color effect - Kingston Plantation
Kiss on the beach walkway faded color effect - Kingston Plantation

 

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Small wedding at Ocean Isle Beach, NC

I had a very nice small wedding up in Ocean Isle Beach, NC this past weekend.  There was only about 40 guests and a small wedding party. Small weddings can be nice because everyone is generally more relaxed.  You can’t tell how large a wedding is anyway in my favorite type of pictures, the expressions on people’s faces are the important thing.  Ocean Isle is a bit of a drive from my usual area around Myrtle Beach, I don’t make it up there very often, but it is a really pretty area and it’s a lot less crowded then down here at the beach.

This wedding was held at a pretty difficult time of day for pictures, right around early afternoon.  Thankfully the sun wasn’t directly overhead, but it was still pretty high in the sky.  I’m getting quite good at being able to look at the light even in difficult conditions and get nicely exposed shots without any more harsh shadows than can be helped.  I was actually really happy with the way the family pictures turned out even though the sun was so bright, final adjustments in Lightroom always help as well.  I did some shots of the couple right after the ceremony, then we went out right before sunset to do some more pictures of just the two of them.  By then it had become very cloudy but at least the rain held off until the evening.  You can’t control what the natural light is going to do outdoors, you just have to learn to work with it.  But if you do have the choice when planning for pictures, evenings right before sunset are best.  The next best is earlier in the day but cloudy or in some shade, then finally the worst is full sun at noontime.  Think about this when doing your own photography.  I hope you enjoy some of the shots below.

Happy smiles - Ocean Isle Beach - NC
Happy smiles - Ocean Isle Beach - NC
Lacing up the dress - Sunset Beach - NC
Lacing up the dress - Sunset Beach - NC

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Beautiful spot for a wedding - Holiday cottage walkway at Brookgreen Gardens

Another beautiful wedding at Brookgreen Gardens

I had another wedding at the Holiday Cottage area in Brookgreen Gardens.  I always love going there, you just can’t beat the background and lighting that you get with lots of trees and a garden.  The weather had been so nice that a number of flowers were in bloom, this is always great in the background of a picture.  This wedding was for the bride that I recently did the fun bridal portraits for, you can read about that a couple of blog posts down from here.  I actually noticed at this wedding I didn’t take quite as many total …

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Last wedding of the year–Wachesaw Plantation Club

It looks like this is going to be my last wedding of 2010, it was at a beautiful spot at the Wachesaw Plantation Club in Murrells Inlet, SC. I can’t believe another year is over already, this past year really flew by. Now I get into my couple of really slow months that I look forward to when things are crazy in the summer, like 3 weddings one hot weekend in June, but then I pretty quickly wish I was busy again.  Well now I can make sure I’ve got everything caught up from the year, I still have a …

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Everyone in the pool

I had a really fun wedding a couple of weeks ago.  It was for Jason and Aracely from the website blog twobackpackers.com.  You really should check out their adventures backpacking around the world, there are some nice pictures and stories on the blog.  The groom and I got along really well as he is also very interested in photography, so we ended up talking about it a lot.  I was showing him how great the Nikon D700 is in the low light at the reception, if you haven’t used a full frame camera before, ISO6400 is pretty amazing.  This wedding was at a beach house in Myrtle Beach, with a pool in the back. I’ve never been to a wedding before where the groom actually threw the bride in the pool.  I just wish he had warned me he was going to do it, I wasn’t quick enough to get the shot until they were already in the pool.  Later in the evening everyone ended up either jumping in the pool, or getting thrown in, including the DJ.  It was a wedding I won’t forget. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below.

Now that's a first kiss
Now that's a first kiss!

Groom holding bride upside down

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Beach house wedding in North Myrtle Beach

As I’m writing this post, I’m testing out Microsoft’s new Windows Live writer.  If this works like it appears it will, this is going to be an great tool for making blogging easier on WordPress.  I guess I will see how this post turns out.  I’m glad to get last weekend’s wedding pictures finished, I know the bride was very anxious to see the pictures.  The sun was a little strong during the ceremony, it was a few hours before sunset.  We did some beach portraits which turned out fine, but it’s always more difficult earlier in the day.  Later, after cutting the cake, we decided to go back out and try some more portraits right before sunset.  I sure am glad we did.  There was the most beautiful sunset that evening, with really nice small clouds catching the light of the sunset.  In fact all my recent beach pictures seem to have had perfect sunsets, maybe it’s because the weather is cooling down.  When the weather is cool the sky seems more blue and everything is just crisp and clean looking.  I hope you enjoy a few of the sunset shots below.

Kiss in the sunset, Cherry GroveLooking at ocean, Cherry Grove

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Wedding at Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation

I had another wedding at Kingston Plantation up in North Myrtle Beach this past weekend.  Everything went really smoothly. I think it was the largest wedding party I’ve ever had.  I actually just looked at one of the pictures again to count, it looks like 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen.  I had to do one shot during the wedding ceremony where I combined 3 different pictures into a panorama to get the entire wedding party without seeing the backs of the audience.  Photoshop is amazing for stitching panoramas like that.  One of my favorite shots below was the party pretending to play …

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Wedding in Litchfield on Intracoastal Waterway

Last week’s wedding was at such a pretty spot. It was a private home right on the waterway in the Litchfield, Pawleys Island area, about 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach.  It’s too bad this isn’t a regular spot for weddings, although the homeowner did say he has had about 20 weddings there, various family and friends.  I can certainly see why.  Everything went really nice as well, there was the most beautiful sunset over the waterway, you can see below many of my favorite pictures feature that sunset.  The only slight problem was during the ceremony, the brides face …

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Wedding at Brookgreen Gardens – Murrells Inlet

It’s been a long time since I did a wedding at Brookgreen Gardens. It’s a really pretty area and weddings there always seem to turn out beautiful. This ceremony was at the Holiday Cottage, which was the same location I had a wedding the last time. I guess they also have weddings in another part of the gardens as well, but the cottage area is very nice.  In the past the only way a photographer could work in the gardens was if they were working for a wedding. However, the wedding coordinator at the Holiday Cottage told me they have …

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Another wedding at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club – Myrtle Beach

I like going back to a location multiple times, it’s just so much more relaxed going to an area I already know.  This was my second wedding in the actual Ocean Club, that is at the very north end of Myrtle Beach. I’ve had a number of weddings in the Grande Dunes that had their ceremony on the beach behind the club as well.  I don’t know how the pricing compares, but overall the Grande Dunes really is about the nicest place for a wedding and reception I’ve seen.  This week everything went super smoothly.  The videographers, AAA Photography, were great and the ceremony went off without any problems at all.  The only thing about the veranda (I guess is what you call it), is for the amount of people they had at this ceremony it got to be a little tight. The videographers were really squeezed in and it was a little hard to get some angles and shots I like when I have a whole beach to move around on.  Also, the groom was so much taller than the bride, it actually made some of my shots I normally do difficult. They were a great couple, and I thought almost all the pictures tuned out fantastic. My wife seem to think the groom was a little too good looking, I might have to hide the rest of the pictures :)  I hope you enjoy some samples below.

How guys get ready for a wedding - Ocean Club
The girls are going crazy in one room, and we see the guys busy getting ready here.

Bride putting on earings in mirror - Grande Dunes, Ocean Club

Bride in doorway, black and white - Grande Dunes, Ocean Club

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