Wedding Photography

Ryan Smith Photography’s wedding packages, album info and Q&A

Husband and wife wedding photography team serving Myrtle Beach, Conway, Pawleys Island, Ocean Isle and more

I love what I do, and I try to offer the best personal service and amazing images. Today, most brides are looking for wedding photographers in Myrtle Beach that use a mix of candid photojournalist and traditional fine art style photography. While I will set up traditional formal portraits, I take hundreds of candid shots of the event as it happens, documenting the day’s emotions. When I pose the wedding couple, I concentrate on relaxed and fun shots using the location well and a mix of natural and studio-style strobe lighting.

Local Myrtle Beach wedding photographers for over a decade

Being one of the top Myrtle Beach wedding photographers since 2008, I’ve shot hundreds of weddings at all the popular locations. I’ve taken over one million photographs since I started my business. There is no substitute for many years of experience when it comes to weddings. Now, joined with my wife Lizeth, we are a fantastic wedding photography team. Because I work for myself and this is my full-time job, I will go the extra mile to make my clients happy. Ryan Smith Photography® is a licensed and insured retail business with SC, and I also have Horry County, Myrtle Beach, and North Myrtle Beach business licenses. I’m also an FAA certified remote drone pilot.

Timeless wedding pictures in Myrtle Beach using modern lighting and techniques

I prefer clear, crisp, and pure color and black and white images captured with the best lenses and an expert understanding of lighting. I use multiple high-end Nikon cameras and exclusively prime lenses. I’ve noticed overly processed and overexposed images in many wedding photographers’ portfolios. The more stylized and processed a picture is, the more likely it will look dated in a few years.

I’m also careful to expose a picture properly. You will always see the details of a white wedding dress in my images. Some Myrtle Beach wedding photographers who call their work “light and airy” or “natural light only” don’t understand proper exposure and off-camera flash techniques. My work combines studio portrait-style lighting balanced with the natural light from the sun. Please look through my galleries and blog to get a feel for my personal style.

All my wedding packages include the full resolution digital copies that you can copy and print, see common questions below for more information. You will have a personalized online gallery to share with family and friends to view your pictures. Everyone can buy prints directly from the gallery at reasonable costs, or they can download the images and print them anywhere. Click here for an example of the client gallery system. Don’t forget to check out my blog section for some of my favorite real weddings organized by venue and location.

Wedding Prices and Packages

I have very reasonable pricing for weddings. From small one-hour beach weddings to full all-day packages. Please get in touch by clicking below and let me know your venue and date and I can send you my current prices or customize a package to meet your needs!

Common Wedding Photography Questions and Answers

What are the Digital Copies / Digital Files, and can I print from them?

I typically take 1000-1500 pictures at a 6-hour wedding in Myrtle Beach, and I usually narrow these down to around 1000 or maybe a little less to deliver to you. I have a beautiful online gallery system called Pixieset to view and download your pictures. From here, you can download all the digital files and order any prints included with your package. You can make as many prints from the digital files as you like, wherever you prefer. There are no watermarks on the images. I will also send you a link to print a copyright release form. These are very high-resolution jpeg picture files suitable for enlargement printing and any other use desired. You will also get maximum quality viewing from the iPad with a retina display.

What is the process for scheduling wedding photography in Myrtle Beach?

Please email or call me to find out if your desired date is available and the amount of time you need me for, and let me know any questions you have. If you are available locally, we can meet at my home office to discuss details, and I can show you more examples of my work. If you are from out of town and can’t meet locally, we can discuss and set up the appointment through email or over the phone. After you decide to use me as your Myrtle Beach wedding photographer, I will email or give you in person a contract that lists the date of your wedding and selected package. I ask for a $300 deposit to hold the date of the wedding along with the signed contract.

Do you send out employees, or do all the photography yourself?

I will always be the primary photographer at your wedding. If we set up anything else like bridal or engagement portraits, I will also be doing those personally. I also do post-processing like adjustments, photoshop work, and album layouts. That is why you always get consistent quality with my work because I’m always doing it myself.

How do I backup and protect your wedding pictures, and how long are they stored?

All my primary camera bodies take an original and backup copy of every shot. After importing the images, they are automatically backed up to multiple drives and backed up off-site. Sometimes you will hear stories about photographers losing photos. Because of my background in computer technology, I have the knowledge to make sure that doesn’t happen. I host your gallery online for at least six months to download and share the pictures. I still have backups from when I started in 2008. I’ve sent clients pictures they lost many years after their wedding. However, I always recommend you download and backup your wedding pictures.

What is the price if I order prints through you or when using my print credit?

Prints can be easily ordered through your client gallery using your photo credit and by credit card (Of course, you can download and get prints made anywhere you like as well). These are all printed at one of the best photo labs with many different mounting and paper type options. I try to keep the cost of the prints reasonable. Visit my print store for a complete list of prices.

Do you also offer wedding videography?

While some companies in Myrtle Beach claim to do everything from the wedding setup to photography and videography, I’ve found, if you want someone to do the highest quality work, they have to focus on one specialty. While I have the equipment to shoot videos and occasionally shoot very simple videos for clients, I specialize in wedding photography. Even if I hired an assistant to shoot video, I would be thinking about that and wouldn’t give my full attention to photography. I have some fantastic videographers that I work with that specialize in only shooting wedding videos and do a great job. If you are interested in a wedding video, let me know, and I will help you find someone that will do a great job while allowing me to focus on taking the best pictures possible.

Do you have any specific recommendations for beach weddings?

It is usually very windy at the beach, so sometimes what looks great inside can cause issues on the beach. For example, a long and flowing veil can look beautiful in pictures in a sheltered area. However, imagine it will look like pulling on your hair and blowing and twisting in the wind. I’ve seen brides end up having to remove their long veils as soon as they walk down to the beach. I highly recommend a shorter veil for beach weddings. Keep the beach in mind when picking a dress as well. Imagine what it will be like pulling through the sand and it catching the sand.

There are important special rules on what is allowed for weddings in the Myrtle Beach City limits. Find out more here.

Keep in mind your shoes and walking on the beach. Some brides will even go barefoot or wear what they call barefoot sandals. It’s actually a good idea to wear comfortable shoes for any outdoor wedding because we usually end up doing a good bit of walking. I’ve noticed personalized Vans as being very popular recently.

Keep in mind if you have a summer beach wedding, it’s going to be very hot and humid. It’s not a bad idea to bring a sweat towel to wipe off during the pictures. It’s also usually crowded at the beach; when setting up the ceremony, try to do it closer to the water so we don’t have people setting up umbrellas and walking by as much in the background.

Lighting candles is almost impossible at the beach. However, a sand ceremony where the bride and groom pour colored sand into a container together is popular and works very well.

What are some general suggestions for wedding time and location preparations?

If possible, plan the wedding in the evening, closer to sunset. The best time for romantic portraits on the beach is right before sunset or at locations with a lot of trees about 30 minutes before sunset. Check out sunset times here. If the wedding is earlier in the day and the sunset is very late, I like to pull the bride and groom back out for some sunset pictures if possible.

It’s nice to mention to the bridal party to try and look up and smile when walking down the aisle to the ceremony. I’ve had a few times when the only shots I have are them looking down at the ground. I usually don’t recommend that anyone needs to pause at the beginning or end of the aisle for pictures. I can get great shots of everyone in motion. Of course, if the bride and groom want to stop and kiss or high-five some guests while walking back, that is great for pictures.

For the reception, try to avoid having a dark background for dancing. Hanging small lights and bulbs in the background can make a big difference. My camera is very sensitive to a small amount of light, so hang lights wherever you can and try to light up the dancing area with warm romantic lighting as much as possible.

If possible, ask the DJ to cut disco lights down or off during important dances or to avoid hitting dancers with lights. Later in the evening, fun lighting is excellent, but you don’t want a romantic dance with a strange color cast and spots of colored light all over a couple. Most DJs know to do this normally.

Please don’t rush the flower and garter toss to make sure I get ready for some good shots. If anything unusual is happening, please let me know ahead so I can be prepared.

Later in the evening, when it’s time to shoot some fun dancing shots, it would be fantastic if you and the wedding party would occasionally turn and dance facing the photographer. Just once in a while, have everyone show off for the camera a little. A good DJ will typically suggest these types of things for pictures.

Any suggestions for the bridal party, family groups, and other wedding detail pictures?

I recommend that you make a list of who you want to get in the family pictures. I have the usual things I will go through for family groups (parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.). Sometimes, the family will disappear after a wedding, and we can’t find them for pictures. There needs to be someone in charge of ensuring the family stays for photos after a ceremony. If certain family members leave when it’s time for pictures, or if you don’t tell me someone needs to be in an image, they might get missed.

I will be glad to take any pictures you would like at the reception. I’ll always take candid shots, but if you want a group shop that we missed before, please gather them together and let me know. Also, I love to take detail shots of whatever you would like. If possible, try to leave out for me an invitation, flowers, rings, jewelry, or anything else you would like pictures of.

Please make sure no one is chewing gum! I can’t always see the gum sticking out from the bridal party or family’s teeth until I’m looking at the pictures later. You would think adults would know not to smile with a chunk of bright colored gum in their teeth, but you would be surprised.

For the bridal party pictures, I have a lot of general ideas I always use for fun pictures. I’m always very happy if you have any ideas as well. Please let me know anything that you want to try for fun pictures with the girls and guys, even things you’ve seen online or in magazines. I always try to mention it when taking bridal party pictures, but if you can also help me keep an eye on the bridesmaid’s bouquets, it’s best if they can be held low enough to see the top of the dresses and also at a similar height if possible.

Any suggestions for sparkler pictures?

Shots with the bride and groom running through and kissing under sparklers can be stunning. I’ve had weddings where the sparklers burned out in a really short time and created a massive cloud of smoke. There are uniquely made “wedding sparklers” that burn for a long time and don’t create smoke. Please make sure to spend the extra money on these no-smoke wedding sparklers, and don’t just get ordinary sparklers. It makes a big difference.

Any makeup recommendations?

While I’m always using just a mild amount of off-camera flash, sometimes, when it’s hot, you can get a bit of shine on your face. I noticed an improvement in shine reduction of brides using a non-SPF foundation. I would also recommend using a good foundation. Anything you can do to reduce face shine, especially in the hot summer, is great for the pictures. For example, bringing some powder or even a towel to wipe off when it’s really hot.

What is the turnaround time on a picture order?

I will send the digital copies to you to download as soon as I finish adjusting and working on the pictures from the wedding. The printing service I use has a fast turnaround time, and I’ve never had it take more than a week for a client to receive an order after I send it for printing. I can’t guarantee a time but usually about two weeks, during my hectic times of the year when I have many orders it can take longer. Of course, wedding albums will take longer to be completed. My printing service usually prepares and ships an album in about four weeks. If you add to that the time it takes for me to prepare the images for the album, eight weeks at the most under normal circumstances, but it could be longer during really busy times.

What can be requested for Photoshop touch-ups?

Sometimes Photoshop is thought of as something magic and that I can change anything in a picture. Some of the tools in Photoshop are pretty magical, but there are some limitations. All the images you will get have been adjusted in software called Lightroom; this allows me to adjust color and exposure and get the image looking lovely. That is all most pictures need before printing. If they need specific editing, such as removing people from the background, I have to go into Photoshop. You can request a reasonable number of particular touch-ups at no extra charge.

The vital thing to keep in mind, when I remove something from an image, there is nothing behind it. For example, if I remove hair from in front of your eye, it’s like taking scissors and cutting something out of the picture. Anything under an area I removed I have to recreate. What I have to do in Photoshop is clone, or copy one part of an image to another to recreate the missing area. If the hair is going across your forehead, that is pretty easy. I copy from right next to the hair and cover it up. If a tiny bit of hair is even going across an eye, I can carefully clone from other parts of the eye and cover it up. However, keeping this in mind, if a large section of the face is covered by hair it may be impossible to recreate what is underneath in a realistic way. The same applies to anything you want to be moved or removed from an image. Anything under that spot must be recreated, so I have to use a similar area to clone. Please keep in mind the difficulty in doing this when making requests.

Why and when do I have to pay the 8% SC State Sales Tax?

If you live in SC, I have to collect sales tax on your purchases, just like if you were to buy something in a physical store. This tax is required to be collected on the full price of the package; SC does not allow a photographer to separate the labor or sitting fee from the final taxable price. If you find a photographer that doesn’t charge sales tax on the total package price, they are not following the state tax laws correctly. If you live outside of SC and I am shipping your items out of state, I don’t collect this sales tax.

If you live in SC, the one exception to this is if you are only getting a digital download of the pictures with no print credit, CD, USB Drive, wedding album, etc. In this case, I do not have to collect the sales tax even if you live in SC. However, that means you will lose any print credit if included with the package because I can’t sell you any physical prints. No one can order prints through my website as well, and I also can’t make for you an album. For this reason, I don’t recommend this. Again, this is only if you live in SC.

If you are interested and want to ensure my information is correct, please view this official SC rules pdf here. View the examples section of the pdf.

What business licenses do you have, and why is this important?

Especially for Myrtle Beach wedding photographers, it is important to have proper business licenses. At Myrtle Beach city-owned locations, they will check the license status of all your vendors, and they will not allow the wedding if any vendors lack a license. I keep a general license for Horry County, North Myrtle Beach, and Myrtle Beach. I’m also a licensed retail business with SC. I even have my business name now as a registered trademark. I recommend always making sure your vendors have proper business licenses before booking. I don’t update the images below every year. I can provide up-to-date copies on request.

I’m also a Part 107 FAA-certified remote UAS drone pilot. While I don’t use a drone very often at weddings, if you ever want some drone photography or location shots from the air, I’m certified to do this professionally.

South Carolina Retail Business License
South Carolina Retail Business License
Myrtle Beach Business License
City of Myrtle Beach Business License
North Myrtle Beach business license
City of North Myrtle Beach Business License
Horry County business license
Horry County Business License
Registered Service Mark with US Trademark Office
Registered Service Mark with US Trademark Office

Latest Wedding Reviews – View more reviews

Jackie Pardo

We hired Ryan for our 7/11/2022 wedding on Myrtle Beach. Being that this was a destination wedding, we did not meet him until our wedding day. He was on time, professional, and our photos came out gorgeous!! We(...)

Erin Hopper

Ryan recently photographed our wedding at Caledonia Golf course in Pawleys Island. He was recommended by our wedding planner and since we live out of town, I had not met him until he showed up to the venue.(...)

Billie Jean Long

Ryan is amazing! He captured our beach wedding beautifully. Everyone that has looked at his work has commented on how he captured the genuine emotion of everyone. The love literally jumps off the screen, thanks(...)

Lauren Coleman

We had the best experience with Ryan for our wedding! He was so fun to be around and honestly felt like another friend with us on our big day. Ryan went above and beyond to get us all the pictures we wanted. He(...)