Monday, June 30, 2008

Nikon D700 and SB900 Announced!

There's been some breaking news tonight! Rumors of a July 1st Announcement from Nikon have been floating around the back alleys of the World Wide Web for some time now.'s already July 1st in Europe! Sure enough, sites in countries like France, Germany, and Norway have made it official. The D700 will be Nikon's second FX Sensor body, presumably wedging the same 12mp sensor from the D3 into a smaller pro-sumer body. In addition, the SB900 was announced with limited specs. But my rusty french was able to decipher improvements in power, rotation (180 degrees left AND right), and capable of covering a range from 17-200mm and automatically switching between DX and FX sensor bodies. Last but not least is the final piece of the updated Perspective Control lenses. The 45mm and 85mm PC-E Micro Nikkor lenses join the 24mm announced earlier this year to complete the series. Just a little techie update for those who are interested before I head off to slumber. :-)

UPDATE: Nikon USA made all the official announcements in English this morning.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Megan & Brad at Cathedral of St. John

"I Love a Rainy Night"...the catchy 80s tune by Eddie Rabbit was floating through my head. I was driving behind the trolley Megan & Brad had rented to take the wedding party from the church to their reception. I don't know what it is, but I just LOVE the rain...the mystery, the wonder, the calming piter-pater on the windshield. Besides, it's supposed to bring GOOD LUCK, right?!? :-) The day started out beautifully as I captured first Brad and his entourage, then Megan and her wonderful attendants getting ready at the historic Francis Marion Hotel. From there we headed over to the majestic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist...surely one of the most beautiful sanctuary's in Charleston. Jimmy Ryan did an awesome job with the bagpipes as always. I absolutely LOVE the shot of the ladies fluffing Megan's crenalin in the church vestibule as her father looks on lovingly...waiting to hand her the bouquet, take her arm in his, and escort her down the isle. Her cousin, Father Kennedy, gave a beautiful homily. The rains started while we were in the sanctuary. So as we waited for it to subside, I was able to get this dramatic shot of them silhouetted in the huge doorway with the palmetto tree in the distance. That's my lovely bride, Cami, helping keep Megan's gown dry as they made a mad dash for the trolley. That's when the song started in my head. :-) We returned to the Francis Marion Hotel for a beautiful reception. After their grand entrance and VERY DIFFERENT first dance, Megan's Mom, her two sisters, and Leslie bustled her gown and touched up her makeup...the gorgeous light drifting through the rain-spattered window really caught my attention. Remembering the wonderful quality of that light later, I made this dramatic image of Megan & Brad sitting on the window sill before their grand departure through the gauntlet of bubbles. If you liked these, Click Here to check out the rest of their photos. CONGRATULATIONS, Megan & Brad!!!

Ben Affleck goes to Congo

In case you missed it last night, ABC's Nightline did a story on Ben Affleck's recent visits to Congo, the country of my youth. As one of four sons to lifelong missionaries, Bob & Anelise Smith, I was born there back when it was known as Zaire. I'm not telling you the year! ;-) If you're not familiar with it, this is the same country made famous by Joseph Conrad's book "The Heart of Darkness". You may have also seen the Academy Award Nominated movie "Gorrilas in the Mist" with Sigourney Weaver, which tells the true story of naturalist Dian Fossey. Much of the movie was filmed in Congo. More recently, you might have seen concern in the media as conservationists fear the fate of these gorillas since large numbers of human's closest biological relative are being killed by the rebels who now swarm the country. I left the Democratic Republic of Congo after high-school and have only been back once to visit in 1989. The REAL human-rights atrocities started after that. My parents and youngest brother who remained behind had to be evacuated at one point as the killing escalated. I'm so glad that Mr. Affleck has taken an interest in turning the world's eyes to the plight of the wonderful and loving people of this country who have had to endure unspeakable things that you wouldn't even wish on your family pet. I'll leave you with a few statistics from ABC's article: "More than four MILLION dead since 1998 (and many more before then), the most killed in any conflict since the Second World War. 1,200 people a day are still dying from conflict and conflict-related causes such as starvation and preventable disease."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Julie & Fred

Julie & Fred tied the knot at one of my FAVORITE locations to shoot weddings...Alhambra Hall. It was a gorgeous day with a nice breeze blowing off Charleston Bay, taking the edge of the early summer heat. Julie was absolutely stunning in her designer gown. Fred's and his posse looked like they were posing for GQ in their khaki suits - HA! The ceremony was held under the oak tree on the Grand Lawn with some beautiful rays of sun filtering through the leaves. The reception was REALLY cool...with a children's table complete with candy and coloring books, plus lots of chocolate and colorful treats on the other tables. As the sun slipped behind the horizon, we slipped outside to get a few shots in the glowing sky. I noticed the moon had popping up in the other direction and LOVE this shot of them with the moon glowing overhead. At the end of the night Julie & Fred made a grand escape through a long gauntlet of glowing sparklers. But before they took off I had them draw a symbol of their love in the breezy night, isn't that SWEET! Click Here to check out the rest of their photos. CONGRATULATIONS Julie & guys are DEFINITELY portfolio material!!! :-)

Customer Satisfaction

Since we're so high on Customer Satisfaction, I thought I'd report that Nikon has just been ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Digital SLR cameras" by J.D. Power and Associates. We've been extremely pleased with the INCREDIBLE quality of their flagship D3 cameras. As a member of Nikon Professional Services, we were one the first studios in the country to receive a D3 out of the initial batch in November. We loved it so much we ordered a second one last month. Our stack of Thank You Cards and overflowing Inbox of appreciative emails is a testament to how happy our clients are with our photography. It is ground-breaking technology like the D3 that helps us deliver this level of Customer Satisfaction to OUR wonderful clients! Kudos to Nikon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Les Robinson Retirement Roast

Les Robinson's sport's resume is the envy of many a coach or athletic director. From Western Carolina University to East Tennessee State University to North Carolina State University to The Citadel...he's done it all. He even served as an assistant coach for the U.S. World Championship qualifying team in 1989! So when the opportunity came up for us to photograph his Retirement Roast at The Citadel last could we say no!?! It was a FANTASTIC affair with a guest-speaker list that reads like a who's-who of college basketball. To Kathleen and Gina...many thanks for all your hard work and for the pleasure of working with you on this amazing project! To Coach...we'll miss you!!!

Nason Medical Center

If you've seen any of the recent ads on TV for the Nason Medical Center, I'm sure you've been impressed! I had even MORE respect after meeting Dr. Barron Nason while doing a shoot for his new billboard that will be going up along Savannah Highway. He is so professional, personal, and down-to-earth! Next time you need emergency care, skip the ER and head over to their new facility. Like Dr. Barron says, "Don't wait on healthcare, let healthcare wait on YOU!"

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tiffany & Brandon

Ahhh...Tiffany & Brandon...what a GORGEOUS wedding! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know these two over the past year. You couldn't find two nicer people in the whole world! We had a BLAST during their engagement session at Folly Beach last year. And when I saw Tiffany in her wedding gown at her Bridal Session, I KNEW I was going to get some "portfolio material" out of her! Tall, elegant, and stunning!!! They were originally to marry at Bethel UMC. But due to some major termite damage, they're having to renovate that sanctuary. So they moved over to the Cathedral of St. Luke & St. Paul, which I think is absolutely beautiful. Don't these two look super excited to be married in that third shot as they recess down the isle? Their reception was held at The Old Exchange Building. Highlights of the evening included a guest appearance can figure that one out, and a hearty performance by the Village People. I could tell everyone had a great time and the pictures prove it. Click here to see the rest of their photos. CONGRATULATIONS Tiffany & Brandon!!!

New French Open Champion

I was a little disappointed in the men's finals this year. I guess since Federer had a win over Nadal on clay earlier in the season, I figured he'd give the "clay-court-king" a better run for his money. However, I really enjoyed the women's finals between two of my favorite players in the field today. Jelena Jankovic and Anna Ivanovic, both from Serbia, have epitomized the intensity, passion, dedication, and true sportsmanship that I most appreciate in world class athletes. Here's a shot of Anna Ivanovic I photographed during the Bausch & Lomb Championships on Amelia Island last year. Don't let the elegant ball-toss deceive you...this girl packs a powerful punch!!! :-) Congratulations to Anna on her first Grand Slam title.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Jacci & Scott

Jacci & Scott are a match made in heaven! I had THE BEST time photographing their wedding last weekend! They tied the knot at Sunrise Presbyterian Church on Sullivan's Island. The sanctuary there is so beautiful with it's vaulted ceilings, natural wood, and stained glass cross. One of my favorite shots of the day is of the girls hanging out in the back room before the service, as reflected in the floor-length mirror beside them. After the spirit-led ceremony, the bridal party made a fun pit-stop at the roof-top bar over The Boathouse on Isle of Palms before heading on to the reception at The Citadel Beach House. We had an AWESOME sunset that evening, so I was able to create some amazing images of Jacci & Scott on the beach. Their enthusiasm for making beautiful photos really pumped me up! The reception itself was just SICK. I have never seen such a high percentage of the guests out there dancing and partying all the way until the bitter-sweet end when Jacci and Scott scooted off into the night in their Black Cab. I had so much fun with everyone...the bridesmaids were beautiful, the groomsman were a trip, and the families were wonderful. Click Here to check out the rest of their photos. Jacci & Scott, THANK YOU for letting me be a part of your "heaven" for a day!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Allison & Brett's New Book

Allison & Brett just made my day with this WONDERFUL note about their new storybooks. Thanks you guys!

"The coffee table books looks absolutely AMAZING! We LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your work and we appreciate it SO much! Thanks again for adding to our perfect day!!"

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika 2008

It was HOT out there! But I still had a fun time photographing the Ginn Tribute again this year for the Charleston Metro Sports Council. This is a wonderful organization that's so instrumental in bringing sporting events to the Charleston area. A humongous THANK YOU goes to Kathleen Cartland for her incredible dedication. She's always a joy to work with!

Let's meet a few of "da pleya's" in their respective rolls yesterday...

" The Rookie who's Making Noise"

" The Lady who Lost it All"

"The Almost-Made-It"

"The Gracious Host"

"The Champion" (with her crystal, her new car, and a REALLY BIG CHECK) :-)