Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More from Tanzania

I FINALLY finished editing our pics from Tanzania. Here's a new batch...more on my Facebook Page...and the entire 1,900 image gallery at Enjoy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Aroostook F-Stops

A photography club in Northern Maine, The Aroostook F-Stops, made us today's featured photographer on their website. The really neat part is his wife went to the same school I did in the Congo (DRC) a few year's before me! How cool is THAT!?! Anyway, we are SO EXCITED to be honored in this way. Check it out at

Adrienne & Corey's eSession

Adrienne & Corey are getting married December 12th. So the other day we hooked up downtown to do their Engagement Shoot! It was a FANTASTIC afternoon with the sunlight sifting through the trees and buildings with a magical glow. Adrienne & Corey were fun, easy going, and a gorgeous couple. I CAN'T WAIT to photograph their wedding!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kristin & Eric at The Sandcastle

Kristin & Eric had a FABULOUS wedding at The Sandcastle on Kiawah Island last week! They live in Winston-Salem, but Kristin spent many fun summers on Kiawah during her younger years. So it was only fitting that she add yet ANOTHER wonderful memory to her collection of "Happy Days at Kiawah"! :-)

Enjoy the slideshow then Click Here to see the rest of their Online Gallery.

CONGRATULATIONS, Kristin & Eric! You guys were AWESOME to work with!!!

Bulow Plantation

For those who are planning a Wedding Reception, Rehearsal Dinner Party, or Corporate Event in Charleston...and want a more rustic venue to...I HIGHLY recommend looking into The Plantation at Bulow. I photographed the NACE Meeting there this week and captured this image at dusk. It really is a beautiful location!

School Portraits

Something I LOVE about my profession is that no two weeks are alike. One week I might be shooting a beautiful wedding, the next I might be shooting Serena Williams at the Family Circle Cup. This week, I was photographing the school pictures for the Child Development Center at Ashley River Baptist Church. Since I'm truly just a kid at heart anyway, I felt right at home. :-)

Many of you have asked me how I set up for assignments like these. So here's a couple shots of this year's set up. We decided to do an all-white high-key setup this year. To properly do high-key, it's CRITICAL that you light the background separate from the subject. This allows you to over-expose the background by a stop or so to give it that angelic glow. I have two Alien Bees with umbrellas lighting the white seamless background, and one AB in a large soft box lighting the kids.

Another great tip when working with kids is to always use a remote triggering device. Children are just TOO FAST to try and jump back to the camera to get the shot. Their smiles light up their face for an instant, the next they're digging for gold or admiring the ceiling tiles. I use a Pocket Wizard, attached to a PW Caddy, strapped to my belt. When I get the reaction I want, a quick tap to my hip transmits the signal to my receiver, which is picked up by the receiving Pocket Wizard, instantly firing the camera.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lens Lust

OK, so I've been suffering from a little bit of "Lens Lust" the last few months. I was searching for a smaller, lighter, telephoto for situations where I didn't nead the hefty Nikon AFS VR 70-200 f2.8. The new Nikon AFS VR 105mm f2.8 Micro fit the bill EXACTLY! As an added bonus, it's a highly regarded close-up lens. It features a non-rotating front, Internal Focus (IF), Vibration Reduction (VRII), the fast Silent Wave Focusing Motor (SWM), and focuses from infinity to an astounding life-size (1:1) ratio. Best of all, it boasts a high-resolution/high optical performance with Nano Crystal Coat and Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements, which enhance overall image quality by further reducing flare and chromatic aberrations, contributing to improved color, contrast and clarity. This lens recently won the TIPA Award For Best Professional Lens. In a nut shell...this baby is fast, versatile, and sharp...just what the doctor ordered. :-)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Josette & Dante at The Citadel

I've been looking forward to Josette & Dante's wedding for a long time! They are such a cool couple...truly into each other...yet so giving of each other to others. Read more about them and see their Engagement Portraits on their wedding website. They live in Charlotte now. But they absolutely LOVE the beauty and grandeur of Summerall Chapel on The Citadel campus, so they decided that's where they wanted to tie the knot!

I met up with Josette and her entourage at the Holliday Alumni Center. She was STUNNING in her wedding gown! Once everyone was ready we headed over to the courtyard outside the chapel for photos. It was a beautiful day and the lighting was fantastic outside. After Josette left, Dante arrived with his posse. He was looking sharp and ready for some fun. After photos with the guys we all moved inside for the ceremony. I just love how regal the inside of the sanctuary looks in photos...I love shooting weddings here. Afterwards we headed back over to the Alumni Center for an UNBELIEVABLE reception!!!

I just had a great time capturing all the fun flavor of Josette & Dante's wedding day. Click Here to check out the rest of the photos. CONGRATULATIONS you two!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Strobist Gathering

Recently a bunch of us Charleston photographers, David Hobby followers, and Strobist aficionados got together for a little "Strobist Gathering". My good friend Charlie Thiel did a great job organizing it and helping the Canon folks with their questions about E-TTL. My buddy Robbin Knight set up an outdoor location-type shoot and helped show off what Radio Poppers can do. My friend Mahmood Fazal helped folks with Pocket Wizards. And finally, I set up a completely wirelss studio and helped answer questions about Nikon's CLS system. It was a total BLAST and we all had a great time...especially once we hit the pizza joint at the corner after we were done. :-) Part of the purpose of the gathering was to raise awareness and support for

Here's a "before" shot while I was setting up, taken by my friend Kip Bulwinkle.

Here are a couple shots I took with my lighting setup.

I used my Nikon D2x with the WT-2a attached. This allowed the images to magically pop up on my laptop, allowing everyone to see exactly what I was getting.

Here's a crude (HA...understatement!) diagram of my setup.

Here's a quick grab-shot of the scene outside with some of the location shooters.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Flash Freeze

I created this image at Erin & Jason's wedding last week. Everyone was marveling at how dramatic the moon was that night. It didn't take much prodding to get Erin & Jason to join me for a daring adventure to capture that drama in an image of them! :-)

Working with a minimalist amount of gear, I had my two Nikon D3's, each fitted with a Nikon SB-900, plus one remote SB-800 on a Bogen 3333 stand I had used earlier for group photos.
I set the SB-800 off on camera right, zoomed to 70mm to concentrate the beam of light on them. I took the SB-900 off one camera and flipped it to remote mode (I LOVE how quickly you can switch modes on the 900 vs. the 800). This one was placed behind the couple for a rim light. I positioned Erin & Jason so that the street light in the distance was behind her veil. And there's some landscape lighting on the famous Pineapple Fountain I liked.
To pick up the ambient light of the moon, street lamp, and landscape lighting, I used ISO 1600, f2.8. Even so, I was at 1/30th of a second. I was using the D3 with the 70-200. I had no tripod with me. So you're probably thinking at that slow a shutter speed, this image is going to be blurry, right? Well, by carefully placing Erin & Jason so that all the ambient light was behind them, the couple was pretty much pitch black at this point. The only light hitting them from the camera side was the off-camera SB-800. This is VERY IMPORTANT! By doing this, I am essentially using the high-speed burst of light from the strobe to FREEZE them in place. At this point, the shutter speed of the camera is only affecting the ambient light, it has nothing to do with the exposure of the main subject. So even hand-holding that long lens at such a slow shutter speed, Erin & Jason are as sharp as a tack!
And that's how you use Flash Freeze to save your behind when you don't have a tripod with you! :-)

Erin & Jason at Harbor Club

Erin & Jason are friends of ours from St. Andrew's Family Fitness Center where we work out. So it was extra special for me to be able to celebrate their wedding day with them AND capture all the joy of their Big Day!

It started at the Harborview Hotel with preparation photos of Erin, followed by their "First Glance" on the grand staircase. After that we spent some time in and around Waterfront Park creating some beautiful images. It was a gorgeous day, Jason was looking SHARP, and of course Erin was STUNNING in her wedding gown! We circled back around, ending up at the Harbor Club, where the wedding took place on the Pavilion as the sun was setting over the cityscape.

Later we noticed how dramatic the moon was that night. Erin & Josh were so adventurous and gladly slipped out with me to create an amazing image of them beside the Pineapple Fountain with the moon overhead! Click Here to check out the rest of their images. CONGRATULATIONS Erin & Jason!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Melanie Oudin

The young, talented, and fearless Melanie Oudin from Marietta, GA, will be playing today as she advances to the second week of the US Open. Earlier this year at the Family Circle Cup I had a quick private photo shoot with the 17 year old tennis sensation. She is as sweet off the court as she is feisty on the court. Catch the action on ESPN and cheer her on!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Deana & Will at Debordieu Colony

I was so EXCITED last weekend as I drove North on Hwy 17 heading to Debordieu Colony. I was on my way to photograph a BEAUTIFUL wedding, in this PICTURESQUE setting, with a FANTASTIC couple, all coordinated by the AMAZING Elizabeth of Grand Occasions!

Deana & Will were so much fun to work with...not an ounce of stress...nothing but energy. Deana was adorable in her beautiful gown that was perfect for the beach setting they selected. After the ceremony everyone headed to the club house for cocktails on the lawn while
Pan Fusion, a steel drum band, floated "island style" tunes into the air. Inside,
M Gladden Designs had created an amazing spread of floral displays like you would not believe. As guests entered the club house, award winning Incredible Edible Cakes had their masterpiece on display at the center of the circular staircase for Deana & Will to do the honors. Upstairs in the ballroom, DJ Wally B raised the roof as the couple made their grand entrance!

The whole day was absolutely perfect. Click Here to see the rest of their photos. CONGRATULATIONS Deana & guys!!! :-)

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I've finally found a couple hours to edit some more of our Tanzania Adventure photos. By our second day on safari, our excellent guide, Leonard, had led us to all of the "Big Five". These images are from our first day in the Serengeti. We were UNBELIEVABLY lucky with our lion encounters. These big cats aren't anything like the tame, placid animals you see in the zoo. THESE have vibrant mains, sinewy muscles, and a fire in their eyes that sends a shiver down your spine when they look directly at you. It was SO COOL to see how God and nature intended these great beasts to live!

Robin & Leif

Here's a few of my favorites from Robin & Leif's fun family session. They have the most ADORABLE kids, don't they?!? It was a little stormy that day. But they decided to take a chance and were WELL rewarded. This is PROOF that days you don't "think" will be good for portraits are often the BEST days for portraits. The drama of that sky just ads so much dimension to the images! :-)

Corporate Head Shots

I had a fun shoot for the folks at the David Gilston Insurance Agency the other day. This was my second time out to their office. I know, it looks like this was photographed in some expensive studio somewhere. But we have an AMAZING portable studio setup we take on location to provide studio-quality portraits to our corporate clients IN THEIR OFFICE! They love it because there's no "down time" for their employees. Instead of each employee trucking over to our studio and wasting an hour of their time, we set everything up there and they simply walk down the hall when it's their turn. It's so cool because while I'm shooting, the images are wirelessly flying over to my laptop. So each person can review their images to make sure they're happy with the results before going back to their desk!

If you work in an office environment, or know of any companies that would benefit by having professional, executive-style head-shots, please let me know. We are accepting new corporate clients!

Wood Stork

Wood Storks sure have pretty markings when they fly overhead. But up close...mmm...not so much! :-) The Wood Stork is the only stork that presently breeds in North America. There is a small and endangeredd breeding population in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, along with a recently discovered rookery in southeastern North Carolina.