Sunday, May 28, 2006

Wedding in a Wine Vineyard

Recently I've been doing a lot more Destination Weddings. Since Charleston is such a huge destination location, I guess it was only a matter of time. What we see happening is that brides who come to Charleston to get married often have young & single friends, family members, and bridal attendants who come from all over the country to attend the wedding. A few years later when THEY become engaged, they remember what a great job we did at their friend's wedding and call to ask if we travel. Since Cami & I both enjoy traveling, the answer of course is always a resounding "YES"! Ryan & Sarah held their wedding at a famous vineyard in the northern hills of Georgia. Ryan's brother, Stan, and his beautiful fiance, Holly, got married here in Charleston last year. Both Ryan & Sarah and Stan & Holly were so much FUN! I feel like I've gotten to know their family and become a friend instead of just "the photographer". It's always a pleasure working with such WONDERFUL people. And it's so INSPIRING to work in new and exciting locations. I've shot weddings as far as Phoenix, Dayton, and Norfolk...and all over North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Now I'm just waiting for that call from the couple getting married in Barbados!!! :-)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Maybank Monsters

WOW! What an adrenaline rush! The local tennis team I play on, the Maybank Monsters, FINALLY won the State Championships in our division. We've made it to the State Playoffs several times before. But never won it. Can you tell we're pretty excited about the accomplishment?!? We all play at the USTA 4.0 level. That's me kneeling down on the right. That's Chuck DeLorme, our team captain, standing on the far right. And the guy in the red cap standing behind me is my long-time doubles partner, Dan Harris. Dan and I actually won the final deciding match by a difference of only TWO POINTS in a tiebreaker! James Beck, the sports writer for the Charleston Post & Courier, even had a little blurb about Dan & I clinching that cliff-hanger match. So now it's on to the Sectional Championships...wish us luck...

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Treehouse

Mel, the editor from Charleston Magazine sent me an email the other day saying: "I do have another house we need to shoot on May 4th. Very Colorful, a little funky. And I'd very much like to shoot it with the bright, open feeling you shot the VanDyke house with. Are you in?????" What a silly question! If the words "colorful" and "funky" fall in the same sentence describing a subject...I'm DEFINITELY IN! :-) The house was totally unique. And Susan Simons, the owner, was such an eloquent, artistic, and well traveled individual. We had a great time working together and talking about the different countries and cultures we'd visited. Just to give you a taste, this shot is the master bedroom. The huge door to the left leads out onto a wrap-around deck that's literally built around the tree trunks that grow up that side of the house. The fresh sea breeze comes from beyond the branches where the view of Sullivan's Island and the ocean beyond that is spectacular. Make sure you pick up the next issue of Charleston Magazine to see the rest of the images!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Popcorn Photography

I know a lot of photographers call this "Popcorn" photography or "Cruise Ship" photography, as if it's of a lesser class than "real" photography. Sure, I agree it may not be the most artistic or creative expression of one's imagination. But you know what, even within those precious few minutes I'm given with each couple, there is always room to provide a BETTER experience for them...and create a portrait that EXCEEDS their expectations! It doesn't matter that the session is over in the blink of an eye. I can find out their names, ask where they're from, and make a little joke to loosen them up. Sometimes, taking that personal interest in them is all it takes to make their experience a positive one. By knowing what I'm doing, paying attention to the details, and anticipating that moment of peek expression, their portrait can turn out better than they ever imagined. This was just one of HUNDREDS of images created at an Awards Banquet I shot at The Sanctuary for all the top General Motors dealerships in Canada. They loved their portraits and were amazed that we had them ready for them that evening!

Monday, May 8, 2006

Lifestyle Series

Britt Gilbert has been steering his company, Commonwealth Financial Group, in the right direction. He's a great guy and a long-time client. He asked me to shoot a whole series of lifestyle images for use in their new ad campaign. He and his daughter enjoy playing soccer together. This was one of my favorites of them...isn't she ADORABLE? Check out several of the other ads created with his principals at!

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Change of Pace

As much as I enjoy working with people, every now and then the quiet solitude and more meticulous pace of a large architectural assignment can be a welcome change. Having built a reputation for the diversity of subjects we cover, I frequently get calls for architectural and interior photography. I covered the Hilton Garden Inn earlier this year and the Francis Marion Hotel last year. We have numerous other clients who are architects, interior designers, home theater installers, cabinet designers, etc. But this project was particularly personal to me because my old friend, Dan Blumenstock, was now the GM at this hotel! I had done an exterior shot at sunrise of the Hampton Inn & Suites for him when he was the GM over there many years ago. It was great to work with Dan again. And I admire what he's done with this new facility...truly 1st class! Check out tons of other photos from the shoot on their website here.