Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Charleston Rain

Driving home from a shoot in downtown Charleston that got rained out, this scene caught my eye. I waited for a break in the rain and grabbed this one image before heading home.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mindy & Eric are Married!

Mindy & Eric came to us as referrals from Kelly & Aaron, who's wedding we shot a few years ago. Apparently Mindy told Kelly "I've just GOT to have your photographer and your band!" ;-)

Even though they live in Atlanta, Mindy & Eric came back for a really fun e-Session on the beach last year. I had a great time getting to know them and just hangin' out that afternoon with the beautiful evening sunlight.

The wedding day started out at Charleston Place Hotel where Mindy and the girls were getting ready. I love shooting there with it's history, charm, and beautiful scenery. We even snuck into an open conference room I noticed was unlocked and got some dramatic pictures in the open window! The ceremony was at the historic St. Mary's Catholic Church. If memory servers correctly, it was the first Catholic Church in South Carolina! The sanctuary is just GORGEOUS! The reception was held at the Harbor Club...another beautiful venue. I love how they kept all the original brick walls, giving it a unique ambiance. Click Here to see the rest of their photos.

Mindy was STUNNING in her cathedral-length gown, Eric was clearly on top of the world, and everyone was so pleasant and fun to be around. I had so much fun at their wedding. CONGRATULATIONS Mindy & Eric!

Friday, June 26, 2009

State Farm is There

There's a new State Farm office just outside of Hilton Head Island. The Agent's name is Kevin Sevier. If you live down that way, make sure you go see him. He's got to be the nicest, kindest, most honest and strait-shooting insurance agent I know! I've photographed his kids. And I've photographed his entire staff. Trust me, do yourself a favor and go see him if you need advice on insurance!

One thing that our corporate clients like about us is that for the initial assignment we will come to THEIR OFFICE to photograph all the staff head-shots. That saves productivity since each person just has to step out of their office and stroll to the conference room (or wherever I'm set up). Sure beats each person driving to the studio on their lunch break, right?!? As I photograph each person, the images wirelessly fly across to my laptop where they can see the images immediately afterwards to make sure they're happy with them before returning to work.

But the real beauty is, several months down the road when a new person is hired, they can simply stop by the studio to have their head-shot taken on the same background with the same lighting as the others. That way even years down the road every team member has professional portraits that match and create an overall professional image for the entire company. John stopped by last week to have his picture added to the others we did for Kevin's office last month.

If you work for a company that doesn't have professional head-shots on their website, please let them know about our service!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Artist at Work

Most of you know Shelia through her Collectibles. Cami and I know her through our church. She's such a wonderful person and inspiring personality. I had the honor of photographing her in her studio this week. She's been working on some new and unique concepts for her art. Watch our world...here she comes!

Susan & John

Susan & John came down from Charlotte to celebrate their 1-year Anniversary at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island. Our friends and colleagues Bill & Kelli Nixon recommended us to them. (Thanks guys!) Susan & John brought their adorable yellow-lab named Molly with them. :-) Happy Anniversary you guys!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

MaryBeth & Brad

MaryBeth called me a couple weeks ago from Kentucky. She is the SWEETEST little Southern Lady you could ever meet! Her and Brad were coming down to Charleston to visit family and had seen some of our work. Since they were recently engaged, she wanted to do their e-Session with me while they were down here. They wanted ther Engagement Portraits to be TOTALLY different from all their friend's portraits. Since Kentucky isn't a coastal state...what better place than a beach session, right!?! :-)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Kerri & Wes are Married

I first met up with Kerri & Wes when I was in their hometown of Columbia shooting a wedding. Kerri is an AMAZING athlete and gymnastics instructor. Wes is a very creative and GIFTED musician! They had their wedding here at Alhambra Hall overlooking Charleston Harbor. Many thanks to Erin, Wes' sister-in-law, for being a guest at another wedding I'd photographed here a few years ago and recommending us to Kerri & Wes. :-) The ceremony was beautiful out under the Oak Tree on the Grand Lawn. And the Reception was one ROCKIN' good time, highlighted by Wes and the old gang taking over for the band and jamming to every one's delight! Click Here to check out their gallery of images. CONGRATULATIONS Kerri & Wes!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Remote Cameras Part II

In case you missed my earlier post about how much I enjoy using Remote Cameras to get IMPOSSIBLE shots, here's another cool application of that concept from last weekend.

Before the ceremony started, I used a Bogen Super Clamp and a Bogen Medium Tripod Head to attach my Nikon D2x and 10.5mm fisheye lens on top of the arbor. (You can barely see it in the shot, hidden against the branches.) Having checked with the officiate, I knew where Kerri & Wes would be standing and pre-focused.

A Pocket Wizard with special trigger cable is connected to the receiving camera. And another PW is attached to my D3 with the 70-200 since I know that's the camera I'll be hand-holding in the isle when they kiss. With this setup, as I fire the D3, it relays a message to the Remote Camera to fire a shot simultaneously on the D2x...and voila, you get the second image below. How fun is THAT?!?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Folly Beach Family Portrait

Jean & Dutch's family are all originally from the Dayton area of Ohio. As most of you know, that's where Cami grew up and where we met when I lived there after college. So it was GREAT talking about old stomping grounds and getting to know their family! They were vacationing on Isle Of Palms, but elected to make the trek to Folly Beach for their session. They LOVED the diversity and uniqueness of the beach compared to the more tame landscape on IOP. So they were pleased about their decision. But the best part was, they stopped at the famous Ye Ole Fashioned Icecream, a Charleston icon on this side of town that "happens" to be right on the way back to IOP. ;-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Photography on IOP Beach is Illegal

Since Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island have passed ordinances making it illegal to have professional photographs taken on their beaches, we've had to find alternative locations for our vacationing clients. I know...it's hard to believe that ANY town would put a ban on creating beautiful family photos that show the bonds of love, and preserve such special times in a family's history. But that's EXACTLY what they're doing. Here's a link: http://www.iop.net/FAQs.aspx.

Many of these families are made up of multiple generations, all coming from different areas of the country, who rarely see each other all together like this. And when an older matriarch or patriarch is involved, who knows when the NEXT time will happen that they'll all be together again?!? So a portrait to commemorate the occasion holds a great deal of weight.

Fortunately for the Henley family, the beach house they rented sat on a beautiful property with lots of nice landscaping. So we were able to photograph their session without them leaving. Here's a fun one of all the grand kids goofing off. ;-) Still, they didn't get any images on the beach...kind of the whole idea behind renting a beach house! Other families are forced to make the choice to drive all the way to Folly Beach...the nearest town without such a ban on it's beaches.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Amy & Evan

Amy & Evan flew into town this week to do a little wedding planning and do their Engagement Shoot. We had a BLAST! I can't wait to shoot their wedding in October!!! :-)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rachel & Adam are Married

I've been eagerly waiting for Rachel & Adam's wedding for quite some time. These two are such kind, loving, and down-to-earth people! Their mutual connection and strong bond is self-evident. And they both have such a positive outlook on life. I LOVE THAT about them!!!

One of my favorite parts about their wedding was Rachel's gown. When I photographed her Bridal Portraits at Cypress Gardens a while back, I just marveled at how unique it was and how much it totally complimented her personality.

Their wedding was held at Oak Grove Pentecostal Holiness Church. And their reception was held at Somerset, which was beautifully decorated. I absolutely LOVED the way the lawn backs right up onto Lake Moultrie...beautiful scenery! Rachel & Adam were as excited as I was about sneaking out and doing a few dramatic images out there while the party roared on inside. Check out their Online Gallery at www.chrisandcami.zenfolio.com.

CONGRATULATIONS Rachel & Adam! I'm SO LUCKY to have been able to share in your day with you!!!

Glorious Sunsets

Here's a glorious sunset over (or under?) the new Arthur Ravanel Jr. Bridge, which has rapidly become a symbol of Charleston. I caught saw this while driving home from a portrait shoot one evening and just sat and soaked up the light show...just STUNNING! I wise photographer once told me: "God only gives us ONE sunset a day...and no two are EVER the same...so enjoy them." :-)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blue Sky Magic

I've had a lot of folks asking me how I get my dramatic "BLUE SKY" effect. It's a technique I learned from the legendary Sports Illustrated photographer, Dave Black. And I recently saw a couple shots by Joe McNally with this technique as well.

Take this scene for instance. It was a dreary, overcast, hazy, UGLY GRAY evening sky. Who wants a BLAH background like that, right? So to make it POP, you have to set your camera's White Balance Setting to a cooler tone. You can set it on the Tungsten setting if you like. I prefer to use the Kelvin Scale since it gives me more control. I often use 4,000K, which is a little warmer than full Tungsten. Now changing this in the camera means it's a GLOBAL change...everything in your scene will be blue, including my subject.

So to get the right color back on my subject I place a WARMING gel over my flash and light him separately. I underexpose the sky by about a stop and a half to make this easier and to give the background more saturation. I have an SB-800 just out of camera frame on the left, zoomed to 105mm, with a full CTO (Color Temperature Orange) gel, at about 1/4 power. I'm controlling this flash through Nikon's CLS system (I didn't have my Radio Poppers on me at the time). The flash on my D3 is an SB-900, pointed strait at the sensor on the remote flash. All it's doing is telling the SB-800 what to do and when to do it. I was shooting from across the street with the 70-200 to frame the subject with just enough of the beautiful Spanish Moss covered oak tree overhead. This was shot last week at Legend Oaks Golf Course.

As you can see, legendary golfer Bill Kalback now has a nice warm shaft of setting sunlight on him, while the gray sky in the background shifts to a complimenting blue twilight tone. Next time you're faced with an ugly sky, give this a try!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Family Vacation

It's summer time! That means FAMILY VACATION! I enjoy photographing family portraits for folks who are vacationing here in Charleston, Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island, Folly Beach, and Kiawah Island. These are all popular vacation rental sites. If you're planning a trip to the area, call ahead as summer bookings get snatched up fast..

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kelly & Robbie

I photographed Robbie & Kelly's wedding several years ago. They've referred so many of their friends to us over the years that I get to see them quite often as guests at those weddings when I shoot them. It's a lot of fun showing up at these weddings and already knowing half the guests...almost like I'm part of the family now! :-) Their adorable daughter just turned one. Here are some of the portraits with this beautiful, sweet girl and their family.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vendor Client Relations

My good friend and fellow photographer, Robbin knight, sent this to me. It's hilarious! Enjoy...

Whitney's Bridal Shoot

I've been saving these because I didn't want Logan to "accidentally" see Whitney's dress. But now that they're married, here are a few fun shots from Whitney's "Charleston Charm" Bridal Shoot...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Whitney & Logan

Whitney & Logan's wedding was like being a part of a celebrity event! They are both just so full of life, full of good looks (yes, you two Logan!), and full of the kind of charm that makes you want to get to know them better! When I photographed Whitney's bridal shoot I knew right away I had a gorgeous young lady on my hands. But as I got to know her personality and her spirit, I realized it was the truth, kindness, and beauty within that REALLY caught Logan's eye! Since he was a Citadel graduate, their ceremony was held at the impressive Summerall Chapel. After a fun ride in a Rolls Royce, they arrived with much fanfare at the Sand Dunes Club for the reception. The amazing Eddie "L" from ProWedding Entertainment was Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Logan & Whitney had cooked up something TRULY SPECIAL for their guests, performing a salsa dance number worthy of a final on Dancing with The Stars! As the party came to a close we snuck out to the beach for some dramatic closing images in the gorgeous evening light before all their friends and family lined up to cheer them on with sparklers. What a great day for creative story-telling. CONGRATULATIONS Whitney & Logan...you guys are AMAZING together!!!
(See their Online Gallery at www.chrisandcami.zenfolio.com)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day-After Shoots

Day-After Shoots are some of my favorite assignments! How can you go wrong with a beautiful couple, full of love and emotion from the previous day's excitement, but without an ounce of stress in their bones!?! Samantha & Erik's shoot was a particularly enjoyable one for me. They're both so photogenic and just fun to be around. Here's one of my favorites from their session...

Remote Cameras

I love using remote cameras to get impossible shots. Before the ceremony, I snuck up a tiny hidden staircase behind the alter that led to where the pipes were for the organ. I secured my D2x with 10.5mm fisheye and Pocket Wizard with a special trigger cable up there. You can barely see my black pants in the doorway at the very back of the church. I'm shooting with another PW attached to my D3 with the 70-200 f2.8. When I squeeze the trigger to get the traditional tight close-up of "the kiss", my remote camera fires simultaneously to give me a different perspective. Who said you can't be in two places at once?!?

Monday, June 1, 2009