Myrtle Beach Wedding Photography

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

Serving Myrtle Beach, Conway, Charleston, Pawleys Island, Ocean Isle and More

I love what I do and I try to offer the best personal service and amazing images. Most brides today 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 emotions of the day. When I do pose the wedding couple I concentrate on relaxed, candid and fun shots using the location well and a mix of natural and studio style strobe lighting.

Local Myrtle Beach wedding photographer for over 12 years

Being one of the top local photographers in the Myrtle Beach area since 2008, I’ve shot hundreds of weddings at all the popular locations and I’m one of the most experienced photographers in the area. 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 my service mark is registered with the US Trademark Office. I also have a Horry County, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach business licenses.

Timeless wedding pictures using modern lighting and techniques

I notice 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 careful to properly expose a picture, you will always see the details of a white wedding dress in my images. I feel that photographers who call their work light and airy or natural light only, typically don’t understand proper exposure and off camera flash techniques. I talk more about my advanced lighting techniques in a recent blog post.

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 including off camera studio style strobes. I always keep up with the latest photo gear, software, and techniques. I use the latest high-end camera gear like the Nikon D850 and prime lenses like the beautiful 85mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4 and 35mm f1.4 lenses. I consider myself the most technically knowledgeable photographer in the Myrtle Beach area.

Beautiful wedding photo gallery with social sharing

All my wedding packages include the full resolution digital copies that you are free to copy and print, see common questions below for more information. 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 Myrtle Beach wedding photography blog section for some of my favorite real weddings organized by venue and location.

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Click the button above for prices and packages or use the form below more information.

Links to more Wedding Info on My Website:

Wedding Album Information

All my wedding albums are large and beautifully constructed. These are 12-inch by 12-inch leather bound books with the pictures printed directly on the pages, these are larger than the typical wedding albums from other photographers. All albums start with 30 pages and more can be added if desired. A typical flush mount album allows for a variety of template layouts for each album side or page, view the examples below. 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 image selections and let me lay out the album.

Standard Style Album

These albums 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 as the Infinity Album. Additional pages also cost me 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 cloth covers in Black or Oatmeal. I have examples of both album types at my home office, please stop by and take a look.

Infinity Album

These are beautiful, very heavy, thick, padded high quality premium leather albums that may be different from what you have seen in the past. 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 cover options vs the standard album. Included in the price is the upgrade to a cameo or acrylic cover. A cameo cover has a smaller picture embedded in a window on the front leather cover, so there is still the option for your names and wedding date in the bottom corner. An acrylic cover has a picture across the entire front as pictured below. If you want no picture on the front you can also just get the real leather or leatherette cover with your names and wedding date embossed on the front.

Leather color options: Black // White // Ivory // Red // Baby Pink // Navy Blue // Beige // Sage // Yellow Green
Leatherette (If you don’t like leather these still look great) color options: Black // Grey (Matte) // Brown // Burgundy

Common Wedding Photography Questions and Answers

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

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. 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 any prints included with your package. You are allowed to 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, this is required at some locations such as Wal-Mart. These are very high resolution (typically 20-40 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.

What is the process for scheduling a wedding?

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.

How do you backup and protect our wedding pictures, 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 as well as backed up off-site. Sometimes you will hear stories about photographers losing images, 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 6 months for you to download and share the pictures. I still have backups from when I started over 10 years ago. I’ve sent clients pictures they lost many years after their wedding. However, I always recommend you download and backup your own wedding pictures as well.

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 lots of different mounting and paper type options. I try to keep the cost of the prints reasonable. Visit my print store for a full list of prices.

Do you also do wedding videography?

While there are some companies that 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 do have equipment to shoot video, and I do occasionally shoot very simple videos for clients, I only specialize in wedding photography. Even if I hired an assistant to shoot video, I would be thinking about that and wouldn’t be able to give my full attention to the photography. I have some great 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 letting me focus on taking the best pictures possible.

Any suggestions for family group and special pictures?

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 client’s 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 let’s 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.

Any suggestions for sparkler pictures?

Shots with the bride and groom running through and kissing under sparklers can be very beautiful. Many years ago, I had a wedding where the sparklers burned out in 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 smoke. Please make sure to spend the money on these no smoke wedding sparklers, and don’t just get normal sparklers. Otherwise I’ll just get shots of a huge smoke cloud.

Any makeup recommendations?

I had a bride tell me she wore non-SPF makeup to prevent shine on her face from the flash. This was the first time I had heard of that making a difference. I always try to use a mild amount of flash, but sometimes it is necessary. Especially when shooting indoors or when a subject is backlit. I also always use a little flash to brighten the eyes. I actually noticed a big difference in the pictures of the bride using a non-SPF foundation, her face didn’t seem to have any shine issues or reflections that I sometimes have to touch up. I would also recommend using a good foundation.

What are some general suggestions for wedding location preparations?

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 so I can 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.

What is the turnaround time on a picture order?

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 turnaround 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.

When and why do I have to pay the 8% SC State Sales Tax?

If you live in the state of 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 total price of the package, SC does not allow a photographer to separate the labor or sitting fee from final taxable price. If you find a photographer that doesn’t charge sales tax on the full package price, they are operating illegally by SC laws and will eventually get a huge tax bill. If you live outside of SC and I am shipping your items out of state, then I don’t collect this sales tax from you.

The one exception to this is if you live in SC, but you are only getting a digital download of the pictures with no prints, no CD, no USB Drive, no 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. You can only download all the full resolution pictures from your wedding gallery and make prints, albums or USB sticks yourself. If you decide to order an album later, I have to charge you sales tax on the entire wedding package price. Again, this is only if you live in SC.

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

What can be requested for Photoshop touch-ups?

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 most pictures need before printing. If they do need specific editing such as removing people from the background, then I have to go into Photoshop. You can request a reasonable number of specific touch-ups at no extra charge.

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. 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 use a similar spot to clone from. Please keep in mind the difficulty in doing this when making requests.

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

Especially for a wedding it is important that your vendors 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 to be held if any vendors lack a license. I keep a general Horry County license as well as for 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. There are a lot of dishonest service businesses in this area, I would recommend to always make sure they have proper business licenses before booking.

South Carolina Retail Business License
Horry County Business License 2019
2019 City of Myrtle Beach Business License
City of North Myrtle Beach Business License 2019
Registered Service Mark with US Trademark Office

Latest Wedding Reviews – View more reviews

Michelle Kerscher Plyler

Ryan was not only amazing throughout the wedding day, remaining a calming force through a stressful time, but his photos were AMAZING. I would recommend Ryan to anyone looking for a photographer that knows how(...)

Brookgreen Gardens wedding? I wouldn’t have used anyone but Ryan. His work speaks for itself and he’s a nice person on top of all of that! Simply the BEST!

Kim Mulling

Easily 5 stars. Ryan's artistry is top notch, his use of light and shadows makes ordinary photos come to life. His professionalism is unparalleled. In the midst of COVID 19 we were forced to change basically(...)

Tara Gonzalez

Ryan was amazing. So easy to work with before, during and after the wedding. I planned my sister's wedding from NJ and Ryan was so accommodating and helpful. I initially said she wasn't really into the typical(...)