Masthead header

Ashley and Nathan recently escaped to Charleston for the first time to celebrate their tenth anniversary! In addition to touring and dining at all the hot spots, their Charleston anniversary trip included a vow renewal ceremony at one of the city’s oldest churches, First Baptist. I met them on a Friday afternoon at the church, and we wandered around inhaling the scents of jasmine and magnolia after their intimate ceremony.

I loved providing them with these special mementos of their vacation. Maybe next time they’ll bring their sons along with them to Charleston. Happy anniversary, y’all!

A Typical Charleston Photobomb: A horse, of course!

Such a relaxing time away from home to reconnect. Doesn’t make you want to plan an anniversary trip? Reach out so I can help you document your Lowcountry escape!


I am a long-time fan of Dee Ruel jewelry in Mount Pleasant. I’ve gifted my friends, my mom and myself with some of her breezy creations the past several years. And today, she’s celebrating her 10th anniversary in business with an all-day sale and confections from 5-7. Stop by her Coleman Boulevard boutique and shop Dee Ruel jewelry. And brides, if you’re looking for some custom adornments for you or your bridesmaids, she can help with that, too.

I confess that I’ve never embraced styled shoots in the past. Staged wedding setups and a model couple look like they could be fun to photograph, but honestly I prefer real people, happy guests and real emotions. So this particular afternoon with Dee and her lovely jewelry-making helper was something new for me! We were a good match since we share a fondness for salt air, colorful textures, layered beauty and sunsets.

While my wedding work has enjoyed a little winter hibernation, I’ve been trying to keep my perspective fresh by branching out a bit. It’s been fun to photograph TedX Charleston, beer guys, crumb cakes and middle school orchestra students. All good things, right? I’ve learned a lot with each varied assignment. I’ll have to come up with some other fun products and people to photograph!

A Fun Collaboration

Anyway, this shoot with Dee Ruel Jewelry and the lovely Caitlin was so fun! Many thanks to Makeup by Jami for enhancing Caitlin’s natural beauty. I purchased a beautiful linen dress at the Anthropologie outlet in Augusta a while back, and it was a perfect fit for Caitlin and the beachy boho vibe of Dee’s love of the coast. (The artist is from Maine and just returned from Hawaii, where she lived for several years.) The little nook where we shot is one where I ride my bike, and I’ve always thought it would be a serene setting for photographs. The golden glow illuminated the woods beautifully, and then we stepped out into the marsh for the day’s last light.

Happy 10th anniversary to Dee! Visit Dee Ruel Jewelry at 826 Coleman Boulevard.

Shop Dee Ruel Jewelry. Photography by Carolina Photosmith.

Remember to shop Dee Ruel Jewelry to layer up some loveliness. And if you’re on the hunt for a portrait photographer, reach out and let’s schedule a session!


This spring wedding day was chock full of special people and lovely locations and skillfully coordinated by Sara Cavallon Celebrations. We started at Elizabeth’s parents’ home, which had plenty of room for the girls to spread out and enjoy a relaxed morning. The couple married at Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian in the Old Village, and horns galore filled the Gadsden House reception on East Bay Street. Take a look at this elegant, fun pastel affair, and scroll down to see links to the creative team that made it all happen.

Elizabeth and her girls noshed on nibbles from Hamby’s Catering, while Jonny Sherwood worked his way through the lineup making the bride, her mom and all her friends extra gorgeous. I loved the special first look when her dad first saw Elizabeth in her gown!

Something blue 11 breezy bridemaids charleston spring weddingAfter the ceremony, we made some portraits around the church and the Hope House.Meanwhile my assistant for the day, Rachel Ashcraft, was photographing all the lovely florals and furnishings at the reception venue before the guests arrived.This wedding was so springy! Pastels with lots of pinks, even in some of the drinks!

Gadsden House reception charleston spring wedding carolina photosmith
The newlyweds were happy to sneak to the 3rd floor for a few minutes to eat some yummy appetizers and have a celebratory toast before they were introduced to all the wedding guests in the courtyard.Gadsden House reception charleston spring wedding carolina photosmith


Gadsden House Reception Creative Team

Event Planning | Sara Cavallon Celebrations
Photography | Carolina Photosmith
Gown |Martina Liana at Gown Boutique
Florals | Justin Wham
Hair | Salon Bellezza
Makeup | Jonny Sherwood
Ceremony Location | Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church
Caterer | Hamby Catering
Cake | Gala Desserts
Rental Items: Snyder and Event Haus
Reception Location | The Gadsden House
Reception Music |
Andrew Theilen Band
Invitations | Dodeline
Transportation | Holy City Transportation and Lowcountry Valet

Hope you’ll recommend this post and reach out about wedding or portrait photography! And don’t miss Elizabeth’s bridal portrait session. We had so much fun wandering downtown and swatting at no-see-ums on a creek dock.

  • Jessica Schilling - Gorgeous wedding! I especially loved the black and white reception shots with all the globe lights – such a dreamy setting!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - Thanks for the note, Jessica. It was beautiful and fun!ReplyCancel

Our middle school has a wonderful arts program thanks to dedicated teachers. It’s a big draw for kids in the orchestra, band, jazz band and chorus. Before Christmas, the 7th and 8th graders came together for a magnificent performance that blew everyone away! Last year, when my daughter started playing violin in 6th grade, the teacher asked if I’d consider making musician photos to raise money for the orchestra. After wedding season wrapped up for me, I arranged the Moultrie Orchestra Fundraiser and was able to make a $2200 to the school. I was so happy to reach my $2000 goal!

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pull off my ambitious plan to make some good photos in just a few minutes with each child. As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. Middle schoolers were a delight to photograph! I secured permission to shoot outdoors on a property with lots of trees so I’d have some decent light at various times of the day, and Sign Up Genius made it easy for parents to choose a time slot. I encouraged the kids to wear whatever they wanted to be photographed in, which resulted in a variety of middle school looks, from casual to formal concert wear and everything in between.

Moultrie Orchestra fundraiser by Carolina Photosmith of Mount PleasantMoultrie Orchestra fundraiser Carolina Photosmith Mt Pleasant

Moultrie Orchestra fundraiser Carolina Photosmith Mt PleasantMoultrie Orchestra fundraiser Carolina Photosmith Mt PleasantMoultrie Orchestra fundraiser Carolina Photosmith Mt PleasantMoultrie Orchestra fundraiser Carolina Photosmith Mt PleasantMoultrie Orchestra fundraiser Carolina Photosmith Mt Pleasant
Middle school arts fundraiser Moultrie Orchestra Carolina PhotosmithMiddle school arts fundraiser Moultrie Orchestra Carolina PhotosI tried to create a mix of shots, with the kids playing and holding their instruments. I uploaded a handful of choices from each mini session, and sold prints, which I delivered before Christmas break. I even had a few families book the mini sessions and use images for their holiday cards, which worked okay since I wanted to make sure we hit the $2000 mark.
By timing our portrait sessions before the holidays, I was able to create some great gifts for proud parents and grandparents. Thanks to all who participated and making my first Moultrie Orchestra fundraiser a huge success! These kids look like rock stars! I hope you’ll reach out and share my name with others in Mount Pleasant and Charleston who need some timeless portrait photography in the great outdoors. Take a look here for some of my other favorite portraits from last year.


This quiet winter season makes for some quality time to sift through the wonderful couples, families, children and pets I photographed last year. Between wedding days and warm afternoons on the beach, I am reminded how fortunate I am to pay some bills by frolicking outdoors with fun and gracious people. I hope you’ll enjoy a look at some of my best portrait photography from last year.

I am grateful to live among such beauty and to have the opportunity to make something lasting for families in different stages of life. It’s difficult to pick favorites because I create straightforward, posed shots and delight in freezing snippets of personality. There’s a lot to be said for both types of photographs. I’d be honored to meet you this year, so please share my name and work with your friends, and reach out when you’re ready for some low-stress time to document the here and now for later.
Colorful family beach photography Carolina Photosmith

As much as I love colorful backdrops and personalities, I often include some beautiful black-and-white images in my client galleries. A timeless monochrome image puts the focus on the subject and their features.On the flip side, wandering around Charleston making environmental portraits is wonderful, too! Colors and personalities shine and can even tie to the timing of the photo session. The family below had a rough year battling cancer and was eager to commemorate some happier times on vacation portrait photography childhood playground siblings CarolinaCharleston best family photography sisters Kiawah Carolina PhotosmithBest portrait photography isle of palms Carolina PhotosmithCharleston engagement photos for Atlanta couple

The In-Betweens

As I test my exposure while generations assemble, I can’t resist the in-between moments where everyone is doing their own thing before I manage to get their attention. My approach is more like Bil Keane’s “The Family Circus” than Norman Rockwell, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
in-between moments best portrait photography Carolina PhotosmithChicago couple engagement portrait historic Charleston Carolina

Historic Charleston bridal portrait fresh colorful Carolina PhotosmithWild Dunes family photography beach vacation portrait Carolina PhotosmithCharleston Beer Can Professor poses with his awesome beard and our Jeep CJ8Nine jumping cousins fun colorful IOP beach photography Carolina PhotosmithI hope you enjoyed this quick glimpse at some of my best portrait photography. Please recommend or share this post when you’re looking for someone to document your here and now for later. I’ll make it easy and fun if you make it colorful. Reach out and book your session!