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 and off-camera flash. I use multiple high-end Nikon cameras and exclusively prime lenses. Many wedding photographers’ portfolios have overly processed and overexposed images. The more stylized and processed a picture is, the more likely it will look dated in a few years. Natural, well-lit images with beautiful out-of-focus backgrounds will always be in style.
In my opinion, 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. You will always see the details of a white wedding dress in my images. My work combines portrait studio-type lighting balanced with the natural light from the sun. Please look through my galleries and blog to get a feel for my personal style.
Beautiful wedding photo gallery with social sharing
All my wedding packages include 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
I typically take 1000-1500 pictures at a 6-hour wedding in Myrtle Beach, and I usually narrow these down to around 1000 or so that I 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. There are no watermarks or copy protection on the images, you are free to copy and print them as desired. I will also send you a link to print a copyright release form. These are high-resolution jpeg picture files suitable for enlargement printing and any other desired use.
Please message me to find out if your desired date is available, the amount of time you need, and any other details I would need to know. 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. We can also discuss details by phone or video chat. 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 the selected package. I ask for a $300 deposit to hold the wedding date.
I will always be the primary photographer at your wedding, and I will also be personally taking any bridal or engagement portraits. 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.
All my camera bodies take an original and backup copy of every shot. After importing the images, they are automatically backed up to multiple drives and off-site. I will host your gallery online for at least six months. I still have backups from when I started wedding photography in 2008. I’ve often sent clients pictures they lost years after their wedding at no charge. However, I recommend you download and personally back up your wedding pictures.
Prints can be easily ordered through your client gallery using your photo credit (if included) and by credit card (of course, you can download and get prints made anywhere you like). These are all printed at one of the top national photo labs, with many 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. I do make a small commission when clients order prints through their galleries, so I appreciate it if you choose to.
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. Even if I hired assistants to shoot the video, I would think about that and wouldn’t give my full attention to photography. I have some fantastic videographers that I work with that specialize in wedding videos and do a great job. If you are interested in wedding videography, let me know, and I will give recommendations at different price points and styles. Check out my favorite vendors page as well for some suggestions.
It is usually very windy at the beach, so sometimes what looks excellent 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 how it will look, pulling on your hair and blowing and twisting in the wind. I 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 and catching the sand.
There are 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 barefoot sandals. It’s a good idea to wear comfortable shoes for any outdoor wedding because we usually do a good bit of walking. I’ve noticed personalized Vans as being very popular recently.
Keep in mind that if you have a summer wedding, it will be hot and humid in Myrtle Beach. Bringing a sweat towel to wipe off during the pictures is not a bad idea. 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 is popular and works very well.
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 many 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 my only shots are them looking down at the ground. I don’t find it necessary that anyone pauses at the beginning or end of the aisle for pictures. I can get great shots of everyone in motion with my high-end cameras. If the bride and groom want to stop and kiss, dip, 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 to light up the dancing area with warm romantic lighting.
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 already do this.
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 of time so I can prepare.
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. Have everyone show off for the camera once in a while.
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 disappears 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.
I will gladly 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 look more carefully at the pictures later.
I have many general ideas for fun pictures with the bridal party, and I’m always thrilled if you have any ideas. Please let me know anything you want to try for unique photos 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.
Shots with the bride and groom running through and kissing under sparklers can be stunning. There are uniquely made “wedding sparklers” that burn for a long time and don’t create smoke. Please spend the extra money on these no-smoke wedding sparklers, and don’t just get ordinary sparklers. It makes a big difference. If the DJ offers cold sparkler cannons as part of his package, those are also amazing for exit pictures.
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 the shine reduction of brides using a non-SPF foundation. Anything you can do to reduce face shine, especially in the hot summer, is great for the pictures. For example, bring some powder or even a towel to wipe off when it’s humid.
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 they place it. Of course, wedding albums will take longer to complete. My printing service usually prepares and ships an album in about two to 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 hectic times.
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. I adjust all your images in software called Lightroom, allowing me to correct 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 must 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, removing hair from in front of your eye is like taking scissors and cutting something out of the picture. What I have to do in Photoshop is copy one part of an image to another to recreate the missing area. Keeping this in mind, if hair covers a large section of a face, 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. Please keep in mind the difficulty of doing this when making requests. As of 2022, new AI tools make some previously impossible touch-ups more doable.
If you live in SC and I’m delivering your pictures to an SC address, 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 on the total 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 is if you only get a digital download of the pictures with no print credit, CD, USB Drive, wedding album, etc. However, you will lose any print credit because I can’t sell you any physical prints. Also, no one can order prints through my website, and I can’t make an album for you. For this reason, I don’t recommend this.
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.
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. Ryan Smith Photography is also 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.
Latest Wedding Reviews – View more reviews
Ryan was absolutely wonderful for our wedding day! He went above and beyond for us, from showing up a little early to get getting ready pictures, to posing us, and dealing with our crazy family! I couldn’t thank(...)
Ryan is the best wedding photographer ever! He is so flexible, easy to work with, and responsive. He was able to deliver exactly what I wanted and more. Our day of timeline got a little messy, but he was rolling(...)