Monday, July 30, 2007

Democratic Presidential Debate

Last week I had the honor of photographing the many meetings, luncheons, & receptions surrounding the Google/CNN Democratic Presidential Debate. The debate itself was held at The Citadel Field House. But I covered various events at Charleston Place Hotel, Deas Hall (and the high-profile VIP Tent beside it), the Holiday Alumni Center, and High Cotton Restaurant.
I'm not very "politically oriented"...and in the infamous words of Forest Gump, that's all I have to say about that. So I decided to share with you a photo from the Spouse's Luncheon at High Cotton. Aside from my colleague Brad Nettles of the Post & Courier, I was the exclusive photographer at this venue. Of noticeable absence of course is Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Obama. Maybe they were too good for the rest of us? But as you can tell by the expressions in this photo, WE all had a great time! It was a pleasure to mingle, laugh, and photograph these gracious potential First Ladies during the festive gathering at one of Charleston's most prominent restaurants.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Amanda & Ben

It may have been a misty, foggy, rainy day...but Amanda & Ben's wedding was FILLED with sunshine! From photographing her Bridal Portrait several months ago, I already knew what a gentle, kind-hearted person Amanda was. So I figured Ben would HAVE to be a great guy to have caught HER eye. :-) I was right! I know how much guys hate having their photos taken. But he was a real trooper and put up with me the whole day!

The ceremony was held at Summerall Chapel on The Citadel campus. What a GORGEOUS sanctuary...I always love photographing here! And as you can see, Amanda's dad had secretly arranged for a horse and carriage to take them to the Alumni House for the reception.

Ben & Amanda...I had an AMAZING time hanging out with you guys and feel privileged to have experienced the warmth and the joy that you guys share for each other and for those around you! May NOTHING as trivial as the weather ever dampen your spirits!!!

Fifty Years of Bliss

Last week Cami & I joined her two brothers and their families in celebrating their parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. We rented a large condo at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC. Since the family is so spread out we all had a great time hanging out together. We hiked, ate, played games like tennis, ping pong, and euchre, ate, shopped, ate...oh and I took a "few" pictures. :-) I like the shot of the two ducks because to me THAT is indicative of "Fifty Years of Bliss". Andrew is Cami's nephew and I had a BLAST learning how to play Narnia on his game console with his patient zen-master tutorship. That's Cami's niece, Kristin, sitting with her down by the pond. While I was out spending some quiet time along the banks, a Vow Renewal Ceremony took place. Naturally I couldn't resist grabbing a couple shots of the couple arriving by carriage. If you ever need a beautiful place along the Blue Ridge Parkway for a "getaway", we highly recommend this place!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Quintuple Sevens

Nicole & Alex planned THEIR big day around Quintuple Sevens. Yup, I'm not kidding. Last weekend they got married on 7/7/07, and the ceremony was at 7:07PM! How cool is THAT?!? But it doesn't stop there! I absolutely LOVED all the interesting, unique ideas these two came up with. But I digress...I'll mention them as I go along.

First, I just wanted to say what an AWESOME couple these two are! When I met Alex a while back I was so impressed with how he thinks outside the box, is a strong individual, and CHOOSES to have a mind of his own instead of just following the status quot. THEN, I met Nicole. And I'm telling you...she is EQUALLY as comfortable with her individuality, just as unique a spirit, and every bit as driven to think for herself and not just conform to what those around her might say. I was told Nicole & Alex have been dating FOREVER! And I KNOW all their friends and family have just been waaaaaiting for this day. Now that I've had the privilege of spending some time with these two, I totally agree that this day was destined to was just a matter of timing. Alex and Nicole were TOTALLY meant for each other. And I'm so happy for them that this day has finally arrived!

Their wedding was on the peninsula at Sunrise Park. And after their unique departure by golf cart, the reception was held at Charleston Place. You'll notice that the cake design is based around a chess board. Alex totally created the design himself. In appreciating how intellectually gifted these two are, he chose this theme because he and Nicole first met at a chess tournament! It was a complete surprise to her and she LOVED it! The center pieces on the tables also had a beautiful chess theme to them. The other really unique thing was the fact that Nicole had her dress specially crafted with optical fibers woven into it that would emit tiny pinpoints of glowing light. When she danced, it was MAGIC! At the end of the night, I got this last shot of them heading up to their suite. I just like the connection between this beautiful double-winding staircase and the double-winding staircase Alex designed into the cake! OK...I know I get a little TOO excited over the little things!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Nicole and Alex! I had a BLAST at your wedding celebration and can't thank you enough for inviting me to tag along! We wish you ALL the BEST...

Visit their Online Gallery to see the rest of the images...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Premiere

The Premiere of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner was broadcast live in 9 different languages. It connected all the major manufacturing plants simultaneously via satellite, including Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, Canada, guessed it...Charleston. My friend, Gary Coleman, and I were THERE to photograph the event at the Vought manufacturing facility here in town!

With pre-orders of over 600 of the new airplane, this is the MOST SUCCESSFUL launch of a commercial aircraft IN HISTORY! Boeing has incorporated ergonomic concepts in designing the interior with aesthetics and extra creature comforts, including the largest windows of any commercial airplane. They've also used radical new designs that include increased use of lightweight composites and advanced aluminium alloys, making the aircraft more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly. It will be able to fly up to 16,000km at speeds up to Mach 0.85, yet still be able to land at smaller airports on their shorter runways.

In the first photo, you'll see the two largest sections of the fuselage, which are the main components manufactured at the plant here in Charleston. The second image is the "money shot" that was seen around the world with all the employees holding their "Building the Dream" cards. I was standing on a 40-foot lift, right next to the TV Camera Operator who was shooting for the live broadcast. About 60-seconds before he went live, he leaned over and whispers to me "don't breathe". I included the third image just to give you some perspective on the precarious nature of our location! :-)

Anyway, you've probably seen plenty of hype on TV and in the press about this amazing new breakthrough in aviation. For me it was just a pleasure to be there in person, knowing that I was witnessing and preserving a part of aviation history!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Erika & Robbie

Erika & Robbie's wedding last weekend was such a DELIGHT to photograph! I also photographed Erika's Bridal Session as well as Erika and Robbie's Engagement Session. So it's been really neat to get to know these two over time...both as the unique individuals they are...and as the combined persona they exhibit as a couple. I thought it particularly touching that Erika had her mother's bridal gown modified for her to wear on HER wedding day. And of course Robbie's tux was SOOO "Him"! Robbie, only a REAL man could pull that off the way you did!!! :-)

The wedding was held at the Rutledge Chapel on the USC campus in downtown Columbia. It's in what's known as the "Horseshoe". And that whole area is just incredibly PICTURESQUE! On top of THAT, the historical significance of this part of our state really made for a fitting location for these two to celebrate their wedding since they are both intellectually in tune with the our world, appreciative of it's history, and aware of the value of our heritage there in. (Erika's chosen vocation is in Archeology.)

Robbie & Erika, thank you SO MUCH for letting me be a part of your BIG DAY! As you begin building your NEW life together, may these images be a happy reminder of this special day in YOUR history...

Visit their Online Gallery to see the rest of the images...

Small Wonder

For his poignant article about Chrissie Zartman, Dominic Bonvissuto of Sports Illustrated writes: Among the forest of professional beach volleyball players waiting to check in at the AVP Crocs Tour stop in Huntington Beach, Calif., a freckle-faced girl with sandy blonde hair shuffled through the entrance marked, "Players Registration." Standing 5-foot-3, it would have been easy for her to get lost in the crowd of tall, tanned athletes. One tournament official did notice her, however, and approached. "I'm sorry," he said, "this area is for players only."
"When I told him I was a player, he smiled," Chrissie Zartman said. "I think he thought I was just some kid who played volleyball."

His article, uses three images I photographed of Chrissie while she competed in the AVP Charleston Open last month. This is the FIRST TIME we've been published with SPORT'S ILLUSTRATED! So I'm extremely excited to share this article with you. Audra Silverman, representative for AVP writes: "Three of your photos are predominantly featured and the story is the most popular story on the site right now. It came out great!"

Check out the rest of the story on SI's website here...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Kim & JD

There were SO MANY cool images from Kim & JD's wedding that I didn't know HOW TO CHOOSE which ones to post on the blog. That's a GOOD dilemma to be in! :-) Anyway, here are just a few of those favorites. As always, you can see the rest of the images in their Online Gallery.

I had been looking forward to Kim & JD's wedding for a long time. Ever since our initial meeting way back when, Kim and I have just "clicked". As a photographer, I always strive to see the world through my client's eyes and get a feel for who they are. Through studying their personalities and paying attention to how they react to situations and interact with one another, I can better serve them by creating images that reflect who they are. Of course this task is made so much more intuitive IF my client's personalities are already in tune with my own! This is how it was with Kim & JD.

The first image was taken while Kim & the girls were getting ready. As she checked her make up in the hand-held mirror, I caught her eye in the reflection. For extra punch I left the mirror in color and changed the rest of the image to black-and-white. The second image was taken after the ceremony. The wind swirled Kim's veil as the newlyweds kissed. The third image was taken right after Kim finished dancing with her Dad. She went and sat down with two of her bridesmaids to watch as they took snapshots of JD dancing with his Mom. The last image is a clean, simple, and pure representation of the energy, excitement, and emotion at their reception. I call it "Happy Feet". :-)

Kim & was an honor and a privilege to be there for you guys as you celebrated this landmark in your lives. May you have happy feet FOREVER!