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We had a blast at this dreamy Folly Beach engagement session on the “edge of America.” Usually the end of Folly Beach with views of the Morris Island lighthouse is packed before dusk with multiple photographers jockeying for position and clear backgrounds. I loved that the fog ran everyone off, and we had the place to ourselves! (Added bonus: I picked up Roadside Seafood‘s awesome shrimp tacos on my way home. Soooo good.) Sarah & Eric’s October wedding is fast approaching, and Eric’s been teaching Sarah to dance. I can’t wait to see the results! Meanwhile, I hope Sarah’s having a extended birthday celebration all weekend long.

fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-002fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-003fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-004fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-006fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-007fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-008fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-009fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-005fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-010fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-011fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-012fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-013fun-foggy-Folly-Beach-engagement-session-014Fun, foggy Folly Beach engagement session. © Carolina Photosmith

Thanks for visiting. Hope you’ll recommend this post and tell your friends to reach out when they’re researching wedding photography. In other news, I have a few more September openings for family photo sessions, so e-mail me if you’d like to secure a spot: jen@carolinaphotosmith.com

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I recently photographed a fun family around historic Charleston when they were in town on vacation. They hadn’t had family portraits taken in ages, and they figured it was time since their oldest daughter is starting her senior year. With all the trends in senior photography right now, I thought it was worth presenting another option from the full-blown magazine-style senior sessions that are having a moment. If you’re the type who takes pride in getting a great deal, then this combo session might be your best family photography value. And it doesn’t involve overzealous Grouponites or newbie Craigslist shooters building their portfolio. Instead, it’s tried and true portraiture with money left over for brunch with the family and a little King Street retail therapy.

Maybe you think $1000-$1500 is a bit exorbitant for more senior photos — especially since most students are still required to pose for the old-school senior portraits at their school. Or if you’re at all like me, maybe you prefer to see your offspring’s true personality (giggly, pensive or anything in between) in a portrait instead of a poetic pout inspired by celebrities and velvet-sofa-sitters on social media. As it turns out, most 17-year-olds are pretty skilled at doing their own makeup (thanks YouTube!), so investing in a dream team of experts to prep your daughter for a fashion shoot isn’t a necessity for documenting the here and now. As for who could really use a makeover, I’d say busy moms could benefit more from that than beautiful teenagers on the cusp of independence. But that’s just me. (Or is it?)

Enjoy this glimpse of a family wandering the streets of city they love. I think their photo session money was well-spent on documenting the family and The Senior. Leave a comment, and let me know what you think.

Combined-family-and-senior-session-in-historic-Charleston-015Fun and relaxed Charleston family photography near Waterfront Park. © Carolina PhotosmithCombined-family-and-senior-session-in-historic-Charleston-006Sisters and Charleston window boxes. Family portraiture © Carolina PhotosmithSisters who dance like pink and black architecture. Charleston family photography by © Carolina PhotosmithEasy, breezy family photography in historic Charleston, SC. © Carolina PhotosmithCombined-family-and-senior-session-in-historic-Charleston-011Combined-family-and-senior-session-in-historic-Charleston-010Combined-family-and-senior-session-in-historic-Charleston-005Combined-family-and-senior-session-in-historic-Charleston-013Combined-family-and-senior-session-in-historic-Charleston-012I love this one of Ava. Her big sis encouraged her to keep those braces hidden, but I managed to capture her full smile in a few images.Combined-family-and-senior-session-in-historic-Charleston-014

If you’re looking a few fun images instead of a model’s portfolio, I hope you’ll reach out. And check out senior sessions of Mackenzie at the beach and Meredith downtown — they did their own hair and makeup, too!

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So this was fun! Lara & Chris enjoyed a gorgeous spring day for their outdoor ceremony overlooking the marsh during their Daniel Island Club wedding. The bride and her friends looked fantastic in their varied shades of aqua and mint, and the guys looked handsome in their khaki suits. Gracious families, fun-loving friends (and die-hard football fans of Penn State and the Georgia Bulldogs), an elegant setting and loads of dancing made this a memorable day. We’re all glad Chris was able to (finally) break that glass at the end of the ceremony so everyone could enjoy cocktails and dinner. Congratulations, y’all! I’ve loved getting to know you.

Beautiful aqua bridal party with gowns from Bridals by Jodi at Daniel-Island-Club-outdoor-wedding-001Elegant Daniel Island Club bride in Maggie Sottero gown from Bridals by Jodi. © Carolina PhotosmithThe bride adores her new husband as he toasts and makes everyone smile. © Carolina PhotosmithAqua bridal party with hydrangeas. Dresses by Mori Lee at Bridals by Jodi. © Carolina PhotosmithElegant-spring-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-PhotoDaniel-Island-Club-outdoor-wedding-005Bride reads card from her almost-husband. Daniel-Island-Club-outdoor-wedding. © Carolina PhotosmithGroom takes a deep breath as his bride-to-be walks toward him during first look at Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithElegant-spring-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-PhotoDaniel-Island-Club-outdoor-wedding-008First look for bride-to-be at Daniel-Island-Club-outdoor-wedding. © Carolina PhotosmithSweet moment during pre-ceremony portraits as the couple see each other before the outdoor ceremony at Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithNewlyweds at elegant Daniel-Island-Club-outdoor wedding. Charleston wedding photography © Carolina PhotosmithDaniel-Island-Club-outdoor-wedding-012 © Carolina PhotosmithDaniel-Island-Club-outdoor-wedding- party in aqua and khaki. © Carolina PhotosmithDaniel Island Club bride shares a moment with her ring bearer and flower girl. © Carolina PhotosmithGroom and his buddies have a toast before croquet on the lawn at the Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithDapper groom and his guys enjoy a bit of croquet with cold beers before the Daniel Island Club outdoor wedding. © Carolina PhotosmithHere comes the bride at the Daniel Island Club. On her dadThis flower girl rationed her petals during the aisle walk and kept tossing them throughout the ceremony. Bravo!Diligent flower girl continues to toss petals during the ceremony. Awesome wedding moments. © Carolina PhotosmithAqua bridal party and brideGlass wonA couple of stomps only made the glass roll away, but the crowd cheered when it finally crumpled beneath the napkin.Finally glass breaks and he can kiss the bride. Whew! Funny wedding moments by Carolina PhotosmithA post-ceremony toast in the garden of the Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithAqua wedding party at the Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithFun-loving wedding parties are my favorite. Aqua on the marsh at Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithNewlyweds are jubilantly received in the Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithNewlyweds first dance at their Daniel Island Club reception. © Carolina PhotosmithChris takes his mom for a spin on the dance floor. Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithBoth dads were awesome toastmasters at the Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithHydrangeas and ferns adorn this marshside wedding arbor by Out of the Garden at Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithHappy newlyweds at Daniel Island Club beneath rustic wedding arbor. © Carolina PhotosmithGorgeous wedding arbor by Out of Hand in Mt Pleasant, SC, at Daniel Island Club ceremony. © Carolina PhotosmithA song and a twirl for his girl on the boardwalk of the Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithNewlywed portraits at Daniel Island Club © Carolina PhotosmithNewlyweds in front of Daniel Island Club © Carolina PhotosmithHilarious wedding moments often ensue with cake cutting. Daniel Island Club. © Carolina PhotosmithThe bride adores her new husband as he toasts and makes everyone smile. © Carolina PhotosmithGirlsNewlyweds leave Daniel Island Club in Rolls Royce. © Carolina PhotosmithNewlyweds leave Daniel Island Club in Rolls Royce. © Carolina Photosmith

Many thanks to all the talented people who came together to make this such a great day:

Makeup | OOH! Beautiful
Hair | Swish
Venue | Daniel Island Club
Gown | Bridals by Jodi (Designer Maggie Sottero)
Bridesmaid Dresses | Mori Lee at Bridals by Jodi
Suits | Joseph A. Bank
Ceremony Music | Charleston Virtuosi
Florist | Out of Hand
DJ and Uplighting | Epic Charleston
Wedding Coordination | OOH! Events

If you like the photos from Chris and Lara’s beautiful wedding day, I hope you’ll recommend this post and tell your friends to reach out when they’re looking for a wedding photographer.

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Considering a bridal portrait session? I highly recommend them. In fact, my primary wedding photography package includes either a bridal portrait session or engagement photos. Some couples hire me to shoot both additional sessions, and it’s so helpful to spend time together before the wedding day.

Bridal portraits are somewhat popular for brides in the South, and I think they’re a great use of an afternoon for several reasons — no matter where you live. Here’s why:

1. You can do a hair and makeup run-through before your big day. By scheduling a practice run with your stylist and makeup artist, you can ensure your vision of wedding day style comes to fruition. Maybe the sleek updo or boho braidfest you think you want isn’t true to your personality or well-suited for seaside breezes — try it out first! Considering airbrush makeup or false eyelashes? You still want to look like yourself on your wedding day, and that means being comfortable in your skin. If you’ve never had glue painted onto your eyelids to adhere fake lashes or sported a bold red lip instead of tinted lip balm, it’s best to give it a whirl and make sure you can embrace your glam self. The more at ease you are, the more elegant you’ll feel, making for relaxed and beautiful photos — on portrait day and on your wedding day.

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2. You’ll star in some breathtaking photos at a gorgeous venue. Dreamy Charleston backdrops are so plentiful that it’s worth taking an extra hour to make gorgeous portraits in a favorite location. It could be a quiet hour at your wedding venue, but it could just as easily be another location that is meaningful to you such as your family home, or a spot that contrasts where you’ll be on your wedding day. Marrying in a church and heading to a ballroom reception? Outdoor bridal portraits are a great way to get more Lowcountry beauty in your photos without taking up precious time on your wedding day. Stroll streets, a garden, a plantation or amble along a dock at sunset. Can’t figure out how to have your pet participate in your wedding day? Consider having a friend bring your furry friend along for a few sweet portraits instead. Anything goes!

Stunning-natural-bridal-portrait-timeless-Charleston-cobblestone © Carolina PhotosmithTimeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Lowcountry-016

3. You can spend a leisurely afternoon twirling in your dreamy gown before the wedding. You’ve heard it from friends and read it in mags, but a wedding day can be a blur of preparing, transporting, assembling and all the other compulsory elements that surround the main event of exchanging vows with the one you love. Remember that fist-pumping feeling when you found the perfect wedding dress? (My daughter would say “hashtag The One!”) By scheduling a portrait session, you get to hold on to that a lot longer. After your final fitting, it only makes sense to model your gown, and you may as well do it on the day of your hair and makeup trial. You’ll be relaxed with a friend or your mom along, and it’s a great way to make sure the gown is as comfortable (and hug-friendly and dip-worthy) as you hope. Not sure whether the satin sandals will work better than the rhinestone wedges? Spending a little time doing a full dress rehearsal will ease your mind and even help you identify any final adjustments needed before the wedding day.

Timeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Lowcountry-0044. We’ll have fun! Most every bride who has taken the time to create bridal portraits recommends the experience. We’ll get to know each other a little better, and hopefully you’ll come away with a newfound ability to feel at ease as I follow you around with cameras. And once you see the images, I hope you’ll be confident that you look stunning from every angle. And if you look this beautiful by yourself, think how much you’ll glow next to the man of your dreams!

Elegant-spring-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-005Bridal portraits in Warrenton, Virginia by Carolina Photosmith

5. You’ll get a jump start on enhancing your family’s legacy with some beautiful portraits. Of course Mom wants one, maybe your grandmother does, too. And your almost-hubby would be happy to receive a small framed portrait for his desk. Even if you have no plan embrace the very Southern tradition of displaying a large portrait at your reception, you will enjoy having them, and your grandchildren might someday get a kick out of seeing a few portraits of your youthful elegance. So enjoy some more Pin-worthy loveliness, and call me when the stars align.

Timeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Lowcountry-011Elegant historic Charleston bridal portraits © Carolina PhotosmithTimeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Lowcountry-005Timeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Lowcountry-001Timeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Lowcountry-003Timeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Lowcountry-002Breathtaking bride in golden light on CharlestonTimeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Lowcountry-013Timeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Lowcountry-006Charleston-winter-bridal-portrait in IElegant-spring-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-004Elegant Charleston bridal portrait by Carolina Photosmitherica-twirl-1Timeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Columbia-001Timeless-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-Lowcountry-014Elegant bridal portrait at DeBordieu Club and Atalaya by Carolina PhotosmithRomantic bridal portrait at the elegant gates of Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, SC. © Carolina PhotosmithElegant-spring-bridal-portraits-by-Carolina-Photosmith-Charleston-001

I hope you’ll reach out when it’s time to find your dream gown. I’d love to photograph you in it! And check out my most favorite bridal portrait session at Vanessa’s Virginia home, including a “first look” with her dad. It’s worth a trip through the archives of my little blog.

Check out more of my wedding photography, too: here’s a small wedding gallery and here are some blog posts featuring full weddings. Read some client feedback, too. I look forward to meeting you!

 

 

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Kirstin and Rick’s colorful Lowcountry wedding on Johns Island was featured on The Wedding Row today. I loved the vibrant bouquets with sunflowers and zinnias, and they really popped against the navy bridesmaids’ dresses. Click through and check out this beautiful riverside wedding! The photo below isn’t in the feature, but it’s the one Kirstin ordered on canvas for their home. Nothing like a little sunset joggling board action at a Charleston wedding!

She switched from her navy Kate Spade slingbacks into these multi-colored confetti Keds for dancing.

She switched from her navy Kate Spade slingbacks into these multi-colored confetti Keds for dancing.

I hope you’ll stick around to see more of my wedding photography and portrait photography, and reach out when you’re looking for a laid-back photography who likes to have fun outdoors.

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