Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bridal Portrait

Since most brides-to-be don't want their fiance to see their wedding gown before the Big Day, I rarely get a chance to showcase any Bridal Portraits for fear that the groom-to-be might go peaking on our website. So today I thought I'd just post a few of my favorite Bridal Portraits from recent sessions.

Typically scheduled several months before the wedding, but after the final fitting of the dress, Bridal Portraits are an important part of wedding photography. Often on the wedding day, there are so many things going on all at once, that a bride really can't fully relax and enjoy her time in front of the camera. So by spending this time BEFORE the wedding focusing on simply doing one thing, creating GORGEOUS images of her in her gown, she doesn't have to feel rushed to do them on the wedding day. This is also a wonderful time for us to get to know each other and have some fun working together. Plus, one fringe benefit to doing this in advance is that she can have a beautiful portrait on display at the reception hall on the day of the wedding!

On TOP of all this, there are SO MANY incredibly picturesque locations in historic Charleston that can be used to create STUNNING portraits...Boone Hall, Waterfront Park, Lowndes Grove Plantation, Middleton Place, White Point Gardens, and the list goes on. Instead of just settling for a portrait in the sanctuary of the church where you're having your wedding, why not hand pick a truly unique, historic, or meaningful location that will elevate your images to the next level?

So when you're planning your wedding, whatever you do, DON'T forget the Bridal Portrait session!

Blast from the Past

So this past weekend an old buddy of mine from my college days decided to drop in...all the way from Michigan! Jeff "The Knappster" Knapp and I went to college together many years ago and played on the tennis team together. He and I, along with my other good tennis team friend Jeff Wayner, were known as the Three Amigos. As it turned out, The Knappster's daughter was graduating from Boot Camp at Fort Jackson...way to go, Rachael! Knowing that I was only a couple hours from Columbia, he drove on down to hang out with me and see the new house. It was a BLAST catching up and reminiscing about old times. But it was WAY too short, and we missed not having Jeff Wayner with us. Thanks for bringin' back the good times, Jeff!!! :-)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Imaging is Everywhere

I know it's not Halloween YET. However, everyone seemed to get a kick out of the photo of my optic nerve earlier this month. So I thought I'd share this digital panoramic X-Ray image from my trip to the dentist this morning. Dr. Hilton and his staff have taken EXCELLENT care of my teeth over the years. And they're always so nice that I actually look forward to visiting my dentist! Can YOU say that?!? If not, you need to check out Hilton Dental right away! Anyway, I just think it's AMAZING how visually oriented our world has become...imaging is EVERYWHERE these days!

Dr. Hilton, Debbie, Chantal, Kirsten, Eliza, yes and even Allison...THANK YOU for always doing such an awesome job and always making us feel so welcome!

Brittany & Chas

It was a warm, but BEAUTIFUL day when Brittany & Chas got married last weekend. And I could not have asked for two more WONDERFUL people to work with! Chas is a true charmer and the definition of a gentleman. Brittany is a southern lady through and through...sophisticated, elegant, full of life, and always the center of attention. (Is that about right, Jamie?) After having photographed their Engagement Session, Brittany's Bridal Session, and the Wedding, I practically feel like family! It was so much fun getting to know these two and being welcomed with open arms by everyone.

When I arrived at Zion Lutheran Church in Lexington, I was immediately struck by the plethora of fresh flowers. The entire church was dressed to the nine's with floral fragrance and color. I LOVED it. It was definitely representative of Chas & Brittany's class and attention to detail. This theme of quality and elegance carried throughout the day, as evidenced by the vintage Rolls Royce they selected to escort them to the reception, the decorations at the County Club of Lexington, and the abundance of fresh flower pedals the guests showered them with as they made their grand escape into the night.

Brittany & Chas, you guys DEFINITELY know how to throw a first class party! And I know that as you grow together and as you journey through life as a team, you will ALWAYS pick the high road and choose the classy path to travel on!!!

See the rest of the photos in their Online Gallery...

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I had a really neat "foodie" shoot for Star Foods yesterday. Owner John Mitchell, his wife Gloria, and his assistant April were all FANTASTIC to work with. The two new food products I photographed will be used to feed our military overseas. This tasty pork chop is one of them. And, yes, we ate while we worked. It was a blast! I can't remember the figures, but John told me how many $$$ we spend as a country just FEEDING those men and women - it was STAGGERING!!!

The assignment came from our friends over at Bernstein Lash Marketing. They do incredible graphic design and marketing material over there. And we're ALWAYS glad to supply them with quality photography for their clients. Thanks for the referral, Terri!!!

Nikon's Latest

I haven't written a journal entry about equipment in a long time. Clients these days are so much more informed than even just a decade ago. (Back then, we didn't have the Internet on which to do research!) That's why we keep a current list of our equipment in the Gear Box on our website. We believe that a professional should use professional grade equipment. Because the events we photograph are often once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, we wouldn't dream of covering them with amateur grade equipment. We need our cameras to produce the highest quality images, to keep up with our fast-paced shooting style, and to constantly fire at this tempo for long periods of time without a break! That's why we keep our Gear Box full of Nikon's top of the line equipment.

Today Nikon has upped the ante and announced several new EXCITING products that will push the level of technology in our cameras even higher, allow us to work even faster, and give us the freedom to be even more creative! Pictured is their new flagship D3. They also announced a D300, two new fast-aperture zoom lenses, and three new super telephoto lenses. It's an interesting time to be a photographer....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

We're FINALLY Moved In!

It's been a looooong process, but Cami and I are FINALLY starting to feel settled in to our new home. We still have plenty of nick-knacks to hang on walls and sample portraits to hang in the studio upstairs. But yesterday we finally completed the last of the major modifications. So I went out this morning and took this photo. Our first big project was to get our golden, Henry, a nice fence in the back so he could relax outside when he wants to without our supervision. :-) Then yesterday, the two nicest guys, Jerome & Shawn, finally finished installing the hardwood floors in the studio upstairs. So now I can start bringing all my studio lighting and backdrops in from our downtown location.

What we LOVE about the inside is how open and spacious it is. When you go in, there's a nice big hallway that leads straight back, past the stairs leading to the studio and the formal dining room on the left, past the two guest rooms and full bath on the right, and into a huge open area with high vaulted ceilings. This is the family/living/entertainment room. To the left of that is the kitchen and bar area, as well as a breakfast nook. Strait past the family room is the master bedroom, bathroom, and walk-in closet. And to the right is a nice screened in porch. There's another screened in porch outside the breakfast nook on the far side, and a deck outside the master bedroom that overlooks the back yard and community pond behind us. The upstairs is completely dedicated to our photographic passion. In the photo, the top right-hand window is where Cami's office is. This is where all the accounting, preliminary editing, and business management takes place. The top left-hand window is my office, where all the final editing, image management, and web development takes place. Outside these rooms the entire upstairs is a completely open floor plan for the studio. On the far side of that is a full bath for clients and closets for equipment storage.

Anyway, we'll have an open-house soon. But so many of our clients, family, and friends don't live in Charleston. So we wanted to share all the exciting progress with EACH ONE of you! MANY THANKS for all your kind thoughts and helpful support throughout this process!!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rebecca & Rafael

Rafael and I play on the same USTA Tennis Team. So photographing his wedding was kind of like hangin' out with a friend for a day! In fact, I tried to get him to pose in his tux with a tennis racquet over his shoulder, but of ALL the days that neither of us had our gear in our cars, this was one of them. Oh well, I still love the shot of him leaning back and looking out the window...Rafael, you're SUCH A STUD! :-)

Rebecca and I got to know each other when I photographed her Bridal Session at Azalea Park. She is the gentlest, kindest sweetheart you could EVER meet. I just LOVE that pensive shot of her looking at her flowers with the light streaming in behind her. It really captures her thoughtful spirit. Rebecca, it's NO WONDER your friends and family love you so much. That image of you where all the girls have their arms around you says a lot about who you are!

These are just a few of my favorite shots from Rafael & Rebecca's Big Day. Their ceremony was at Summerville Presbyterian. In all my years photographing weddings here, I don't ever recall covering one at this church. Let me tell you, I really enjoyed not only the aesthetics of the sanctuary, but also the pleasant folks who work here. Kathi Ward, the wedding director, was a PLEASURE to work with. And pastors John & Mike led a service that lifted my heart. The reception that followed was in the social hall at St. Paul's Episcopal, where I photograph quite frequently. They have a GORGEOUS campus over there.

Check out the rest of Rebecca & Rafael's photos in their Online Gallery...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Studio Photography & Design

So what do I do in my spare time? I devour a plethora of photography magazines of course! :-) One of my favorites is Studio Photography & Design. Recently they asked a bunch of us "pros" the question "Is a Pro Photographer Wannabe Cutting Into Your Business?". It's an interesting article. And since they quote me in it, I thought I'd share it with you. Here's the link. Scroll down to the Quotable Quotes section to see what they quoted me on.

This is one of my favorite images from a portrait session I did for Scott & Nyoka at Two Meeting Street Inn last week. There's just something about the synchronicity in their gaze that grabs me!

Monday, August 13, 2007


Take a GOOD LOOK...this is where it all starts. This is where I visualize the images I create!

Cami and I work hard to stay fit, eat right, and live healthy. Of course part of that means visiting our health care providers to make sure everything looks good. So I paid a visit to Dr. Elizabeth Sharpe to make sure my eyes were healthy. After all, my passion and my life DEPENDS on my eyes! Anyway, as part of the check-up, she has her staff photograph my optical nerve so that she has a visual record she can refer back to if something ever becomes amiss. I just think that's SO COOL!

Carolyn & Bill

I frequently have the privilege of traveling to other cities to photograph weddings. I enjoy the change of scenery and the chance to work in NEW venues that I haven't photographed in before. It keeps my photography "fresh" and helps prevent me from getting complacent or stuck in a creative rut. Last weekend I was in Columbia, SC at the historic Rutledge Chapel for Carolyn & Bill's BIG DAY! Named after South Carolina statesman John Rutledge, and located in USC's famous "Horseshoe" area, this was the first building built on the campus.

Having photographed Carolyn's Bridal Session, I already knew how beautiful, witty, and full of life she was. What I didn't realize was that Bill was going to be JUST as much fun to work with. He's easy going, quick to laugh, and does a FANTASTIC "Blue Steel" pose! :-) Needless to say, we all had a BLAST throughout their wedding day.

Their reception was held at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce...a beautiful red brick building on a well manicured lawn. The food was delicious, the cake was a delightful creation, and everyone danced so hard the make-shift dance floor started coming apart! As the evening came to an end, everyone cheered the newlyweds off with sparklers held high. I love that last shot as they stopped for one last kiss before heading off into the night.

Bill & Carolyn, all I can say is THANK YOU! Thank you for reminding me that life is too short NOT to find JOY and EXCITEMENT in every moment of every day...even when it's 104 degrees in the shade on your wedding day!

See the rest of the photos in their Online Gallery...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Anchor Commercial

Anchor Commercial has been a favorite client of mine ever since I first photographed them for the Charleston Regional Business Journal years ago. They use an all-white background which I think has a clean, dynamic look to it. I set up the background, studio lights, and laptop in their lobby. That way, each team member can pick out their favorite shots and then go back to work while I'm photographing the next person. It really works out great! This shot is of Jessica from a follow-up shoot I did this week. She's SO AWESOME, TOTALLY ORGANIZED, and ALWAYS UP-BEAT! I don't know what Bob's been putting in the water over there. But his team is always a WONDERFUL group to work with!!!

Abby & Daniel

Abby & Dan picked Charleston as kind of a Destination Wedding for them and their families. They are from Philadelphia and almost everyone you see in that enthusiastic group photo came from SOMEWHERE out of town! :-) That's GOT to show Abby & Dan how much their friends and family love and support them. But if that isn't enough of a demonstration, you should have heard all the heartfelt toasts given by everyone at the reception! I could just tell in hanging out with these two, plus mingling and talking to their friends, that they "got it"! They truly understood that life is about relationships. The relationships they have with their family and friends are very deep. And the relationship they have with each other is TRULY special. With this kind of a support group around them, these two really don't need any well-wishing from me. :-) But Abby & Dan, I DO want to wish you guys all the love and all the laughter your heart's can hold. And I DO want to challenge you to always look at each other the way you looked at each other this night!!! (I LOVE that shot of you guys in the stairwell before being introduced into Alhambra Hall.)

I also really like the last shot with your rings in the sand. Each ring is kept in perfect alignment by leaning on the one next to it. So always remember to lean on each other and trust one another to keep each other in perfect alignment.

See the rest of the photos in their Online Gallery...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Jessica's Senior Session

Last week I got to photograph Jessica's Senior Session downtown. Jessica is Erika's sister, who's wedding I photographed a few weeks back. We had a great time walking all over and going to different locations to bring out her personality and exuberance. She has such a beautiful smile and a positive energy! Here are just a few of the shots that I LOVED!!!