Myrtle Beach Wedding Photography
Prices, Packages and Information
Prices, Packages and Information
I love what I do and I try to offer the best personal service and amazing images. Most brides today are looking for a mix of candid photojournalist and traditional style photography, Myrtle Beach is the perfect place for this. I concentrate less on poses and more on capturing the perfect moments. While I will set up traditional formal portraits, I take hundreds of candid shots of the event as it happens, documenting the emotions of the day. When I do pose a couple I concentrate on relaxed, candid and fun shots using the location well and a mix of natural and flash lighting.
Being one of the top local photographers in the Myrtle Beach area for almost 10 years, I’ve shot weddings at all the popular locations and I’m familiar with the special difficulties that come from working on the beach. 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 the state of SC and I have a Horry County, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach business license. I’m also an FAA certified commercial remote “Drone” pilot so if you want any aerial photography let me know.
I notice overly processed and overexposed images in many wedding photographer’s portfolios. The more stylized and processed a picture is, the more chance it will look dated in a few years. I’m careful to properly expose a picture, you will always see the details of a white wedding dress in my images. Instead of relying on adding textures, vignettes and strange color effects, I prefer clear, crisp and clean color and black and white images that can only be done with Nikon’s best lenses and an expert understanding of lighting and flash. I always keep up with the latest photo gear, software, and techniques. I use the latest high-end gear like the Nikon D810 body and prime lenses like the beautiful 85mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4 lenses. I consider myself one of the most technically knowledgeable photographers in the Myrtle Beach area.
Both my main camera bodies take an original and backup copy at every shot. After importing the images they are automatically backed up to a raid system with redundancy. They are also automatically backed up off site. I process images on a high-end 27″ 5k iMac. Sometimes you will hear stories about photographers loosing images, because of my background in computer technology I have the skills to make sure that doesn’t happen.
You will have a personalized online gallery that you can share with family and friends to view your pictures. Everyone can buy prints directly from the gallery at reasonable costs, or they can just download the pictures and print them anywhere. Click here for an example of the client gallery system.
Don’t forget to check out my wedding blog section for some of my favorite real weddings organized by venue and location.
Where do I begin?! When searching for a photographer for our wedding we needed someone affordable but whose portfolio captured the style of photos we were looking for - candid, fun, and inspirational. We also needed someone who worked well with children, as it was super important for us to get photos of our girls on our big day. Ryan was fantastic to work with! He corralled our giant family and directed us (we needed a lot of direction) with out missing a beat. He was courteous and worked great with the kids! As my grandmother said, "that man was everywhere!" Ryan captured all the joy and laughter and moments we may have missed otherwise. When I looked at our wedding photos all of the emotions that we experienced that day came rushing back and it was absolutely splendid. It's true what they says about the day speeding by and I am so glad to have these moments in photographs to relive each and every one. We have received numerous comments on how fantastic our pictures are and we could not be more pleased with the entire experience!
These packages are required on weekends April-October. All packages include full resolution digital copies that you are free to copy and print, see common questions below for more information. These include 6 Hours of wedding coverage, extra hours are $100/hour. Most weddings I work as the solo photographer, but if you do need two photographers, for example if you need someone in multiple locations, it’s typically an extra $200 charge. Shipping cost is $15 for albums or $7.25 for prints only.
I recommend doing either engagement or bridal portraits with me to make sure you like my style. I discount the engagement or bridal session to $250 and that includes all the digital copies of the pictures.It’s a great way to get to know each other.
I like to make my prices clear and easy to find with no hidden costs – Click below then select wedding package options for a quick photography cost estimation!
All Off Season Packages include 2 Hours of Myrtle Beach wedding photography coverage, extra hours are $150/hour. These discounted smaller packages are usually for weekdays or for my slower months like November-March. If your wedding is only a couple of months from now, and I still have your date open, you can pick from these smaller packages on weekends as well.
For a very small beach ceremony with just the couple I can price it like engagement pictures. View more info here.
This album type is slightly thinner and less padded than the Infinity Album. These still have solid pages about the thickness of a penny, pictures printed directly on the pages using archival quality Kodak paper, leather or cloth covers and more. The pages are just slightly thinner and the album is not as heavy and padded. Additional pages also cost me much less so I can offer 40 pages for an extra $100 or 50 pages for an extra $200. These include leather covers with a choice of colors Black // Midnight Blue // Sterling Gray // Cardinal Red // White // Mocha // Distressed // Distressed Cappuccino as well as canvas covers in Black or Oatmeal. I have examples of both album types at my home office, please stop by and take a look.
Package 3 an above include Infinity flush mount albums from my photo lab. I design the albums myself and use the lab to build the album based on my design. These are beautiful, very heavy, thick, padded high quality albums that may be different from what you have seen in the past when prints used to be glued to pages. If you would like to see an album example please let me know and you can come by my home office and take a look. These albums also have more upgrade options vs the standard album, for example the album pictured below has the $75 acrylic cover upgrade.
Standard leatherette color options: Black // Brown // Burgundy // Grey
$35 – Leather Upgrade Leather additional color options: Yellow Green // Teal // Olive // Camel // Tangerine // Cocoa // Sage // Lavender // Sky Blue // Tango // Beige
$75 – Cameo Cover ( Includes leather upgrade )
$75 – Acrylic Cover ( Example Above ) or Metallic Cover
$5/line – Embossing – Two lines included with wedding package
A typical flush mount album allows for a variety of template layouts for each album side or page, view the example above. I prefer clean simple layouts that focus on the images and don’t have background distractions. You are welcome to get specific on how you would like each album side designed, but what most clients do is just send me their picture selections and let me lay out the album.
These are the standard type of album included with wedding package 2. I can give a $100 discount on these if you want an exact duplicate of the bride and groom’s album and I don’t have to make a new custom layout.
20 Side 12×12 Album – $400 | 30 Side 12×12 Album – $500 | 40 Side 12×12 Album – $600
It’s very important that your photographer has at least a Myrtle Beach city business license. At any city owned location they will check the license status of all your vendors and they will not allow the wedding to be held if any vendors don’t have a license. I just recently had a bride call me last minute because her photographer wasn’t allowed to photograph the wedding. I keep a general Horry County license as well as North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach. I’m also a licensed retail business with SC.
I typically take 1000-1500 pictures at a 6 hour wedding, I typically narrow these down to around 1000 or maybe a little less that I will deliver to you. All the images provided will have been color corrected and adjusted and look very nice. The only digital copies that will include requested Photoshop touch-ups that take a lot of effort, for example removing someone from the background, will be ones you’ve also chosen as prints or album selections. If you are only getting the digital copies, you can also request a reasonable number of touch-ups. ( See Photoshop question below for more information )
I have a beautiful online gallery system as described at the introduction to this page. From here you can download all the digital files and order the prints included with your package.
You are allowed to make as many prints from the digital files as you like wherever your prefer, there are no watermarks on the images. I will also send you a link to print a copyright release form, this is required at some locations such as Wal-Mart.
These are very high-resolution (typically 20-24 megapixel) jpeg picture files suitable for enlargement printing and any other use desired. You will also get maximum quality viewing out of the iPad with retina display.
Please send me an email or give me a call to find out if your desired date is available and the amount of time you need me for, as well as let me know any questions that you have. If you will be 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 for your wedding photography, I will email or give you in person a basic contract that list the date of your wedding. I ask $200 deposit to hold the date of the wedding along with the signed contract.
I really 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 etc), but I had a problem where some of the family immediately left the area, and we never got back to some important pictures. Please understand, I’m there for whatever you need, but I don’t always know what you need. It’s the clients responsibility to gather the family they want in the pictures. Or even better a wedding planner or parent could do this. I don’t know who everyone is, and I don’t have time to do that. For example I might say “now lets do the parents and siblings”, but if they aren’t anywhere nearby, someone will have to get them. If they leave when it’s time for pictures, or if you don’t tell me someone needs to be in a picture, they might get missed. At the reception I will be glad to take any pictures you would like. I’ll always be taking candid shots, but if you want a group shop that was missed before, please gather them together and let me know. I’m usually right nearby. That is why I highly recommend making a family group list, and giving it to someone that is good at gathering the family together and making sure no one important leaves. Also, I try to take detail shots, but if there is something special to you please let me know just to make sure I don’t miss it.
I had some really beautiful shots with the bride and groom running through sparklers at a recent wedding. A while later I had another wedding where the sparklers burned for a really short time and just created a huge cloud of smoke. I found out there are special made sparklers for weddings that burn for a long time and don’t create much smoke. Please make sure to spend the money on these, and don’t just get normal sparklers. Otherwise all I’ll get shots of is a huge smoke cloud.
If at all possible plan the wedding in the evening closer to sunset. The best time for romantic couple portraits is right before sunset. For the reception try to avoid having a black background for dancing. Hanging lights and bulbs or some type of light 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 nice, warm romantic lighting as much as possible.
Please ask the DJ if possible to cut the disco lights down low or off during important dances or to avoid hitting the dancers with the lights. Later in the evening fun lighting is great, but you don’t want a romantic dance to have a strange color cast and spots of colored light all over a couple. Most DJ’s that know what they are doing just do this normally.
Don’t rush the flower and garter toss to make sure I get ready for some good shots. If anything unusual is being done please let me know ahead to be ready.
Later in the evening when it’s time to shoot some fun dancing shots, it would be wonderful if you and the wedding party would occasionally turn and dance facing toward the photographer. Don’t do this a lot, 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.
The digital copies will be sent 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 turn around time, 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 2 weeks, during my really busy 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 4 weeks. If you add to that the time it takes for me to prepare the images for the album, 8 weeks at the most under normal circumstances, but it could be longer during really busy times.
Many times I just work solo at weddings. Typically I get shots of the bride preparations, then spend some time with the groomsmen and other family, and still have plenty of time to meet the bride before she is finished with preparations. If you would prefer to have a second photographer (for example if the bride and groom are getting ready in different locations), I have an assistant I regularly work with when needed. It’s typically an extra $200 to hire her which may be more or less depending on time and distance etc.
You can usually tell pretty quickly looking at a photographer’s pictures, even if you know nothing about photography, if they are using top of the line lenses. As I’ve matured as a photographer, I’ve switched to almost exclusively using prime lenses. They take more experience to use because you have to learn to position yourself for every picture, you zoom with your feet. But they give a look you can’t get with even the most expensive zooms. One of the reason my pictures really stand out is that I’m using top of the line full frame Nikon equipment, I really like keeping up with and getting the latest and best equipment. I usually have about $12,000 in equipment I’m bringing to a wedding.
As of 2016 I’m using . . .
For my photo processing I use the highest end configuration of a 27″ retina iMac with 2 attached secondary displays, Drobo for photo storage, Windows server for backup, as well as online backup using Backblaze.
Sometimes Photoshop is thought of as something magic, that anything can be changed in a picture. Some of the tools in the latest 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 really nice. That is all a lot of pictures need before printing. If they do need specific editing such as removing people from the background, then I have to go into Photoshop.
The important thing to keep in mind, when something is removed from an image, there is nothing behind it. For example if your hair is removed from in front of your eye, if I just remove the hair it’s like taking scissors and cutting something out of picture, there is just a hole left. Anything that is under an area removed has to be recreated. 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 just copy from right next to the hair and cover it up. If a small 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 is true for anything you want moved or removed from an image, anything under that spot has to be recreated so I have to have a similar spot to clone from. Please keep in mind the difficulty in doing this when making requests.
Also, I can take two images and combine them by taking heads from one and moving into another. Please realize though this can only be done if the poses are almost the same. I normally take 3 or 4 shots of each pose, so faces in two of these can be combined so you can’t even tell, but not if the poses change significantly and people move too much.
Editing an image in Photoshop takes a lot of work, that is why I only do it after a client has picked out their images and paid for a package, if there is something you’re not sure if I can do just let me know before ordering. Typically the client will let me know what touchups they want and if I can’t do a request in a way that will look professional and realistic I will let them know before printing so they can pick something different.
Most modern videographers have smaller DSLR’s for exciting film-like video and they might even use equipment to steady their cameras so they can move around during the ceremony. They might be able to get some cool video shots in one position while I get a shot from a different angle and we try to stay out of each other’s shots as best we can. However, there are a few videographers that set up large cameras on tripods for the whole ceremony in one position or set up right in the isle and then not move around. This can really mess up some special picture opportunities. Of course I will work with whatever the couple wants, but if it’s something you have not thought about I would recommend discussing it with your videographer. Or you could also use some of the videographers I list on my favorite vendors page here that I especially like working with.
I’m a really easy going guy. I never mind other photographers during the ceremony or family pictures. In fact I’ve had many times I will wait while everyone gets their shot. My goal is really to be the nicest, and most accommodating photographer you have dealt with. The only problem sometimes is during the couple portraits. I recently had a family member follow me around the entire time with her own camera, and instruct and pose the couple. I kept trying to say that letting the couple relax and be natural is really the best. If you really want the benefit of my experience you will have to make sure we get time alone for your portraits. If the family members want to take a lot of pictures, you might tell them to get family and friend shots that I’m not available for while we are doing your portraits.
Unlike in a studio, in nature you have to use whatever light you can find. The best place for a portrait is in the shade, away from direct sunlight. However, on the beach, shade is something that is very hard to find. In direct overhead sunlight, shadows on the face can be very harsh, for example there will be shadows under your eyes and nose. If you have ever seen a typical beach snapshot, you will see faces that look unattractive and eyes that are closed or squinting. This is why it’s really best to avoid the times of the day when the sun is overhead.
Later in the day, around an hour or so before sunset, the light becomes much softer and easier to deal with. I do have tricks that can help reduce the effect of harsh sunlight like good positioning and using fill flash. For larger family groups, the light becomes even more difficult to manage. Of course for a wedding you have to work at whatever time you are given, but if for a least the pictures of the couple we can do some right before sunset, the results are much better.