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It’s always fun making pictures in a place that is special to a family. These sweet friends spend lots of time at Hobcaw Yacht Club swimming, serving and socializing. I was glad Bowman could join the fun while we soaked up the last light a couple of days before one of the girls got braces. Let me know when you’re ready for a Mount Pleasant family photography session.

Mount Pleasant family photography. Hobcaw Creek. © CarolinaMount Pleasant family photography. Hobcaw Creek. © CarolinaMount Pleasant SC family photography. Hobcaw Creek. © CarolinaMount Pleasant family photography. Hobcaw Creek. © CarolinaPretty grins often factor in to when people book family sessions. Even if you can’t find time between the perfect baby teeth smiles, the snaggletooth grins or the tweens and teens with braces, most anytime is good for documenting kids being kids. I hope you’ll reach out when you or your friends are ready for Mount Pleasant family photography. Whether it’s your backyard, a park, a beach or a special island spot, it’s a great time to document the here and now for later.Mount Pleasant family photography. Hobcaw Creek. © CarolinaMount Pleasant SC family photography. Hobcaw Creek. © CarolinaHobcaw Creek family photography. Mount Pleasant SC. © CarolinaMount Pleasant family photography. Hobcaw Creek. © CarolinaHobcaw Creek family photography. Mount Pleasant SC. © CarolinaMount Pleasant SC family photography. Hobcaw Creek. © CarolinaHobcaw Creek family photography. Mount Pleasant SC. © CarolinaHobcaw Creek family photography. Mount Pleasant SC. © CarolinaHobcaw Creek family photography. Mount Pleasant SC. © CarolinaMount Pleasant family photography by Hobcaw Creek. Mount Pleasant SC. © CarolinaOur yacht club is a fun spot! Where else can you learn to sail, join swim team, launch your boat for tubing or fishing, swim as ships and tugboats cruise by and take in amazing Lowcountry sunsets?Hobcaw Yacht Club sunset. Mount Pleasant SC. © Carolina PhotosmithLike this family’s easy, breezy style? Simple, colorful clothing enhances your photos. Coordinate, don’t try and match. Be true to your style and personality. Learn more about how to ditch the white shirts for better photos, and contact me when you’re ready to book. I look forward to hearing from you!

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When I first moved to Charleston (in the last millennium), I wrote marketing content and and press releases for Blackbaud, a company that produces software for nonprofit organizations. Over the years, I’ve met so many people in town who worked there. Liz was one of the few who recalls the Leeds Avenue office before the Daniel Island campus came to fruition. I’m so glad she reached out about Wild Dunes family photography. What a pleasure it was to meet her family and make some fun photos during their beach vacation!

Like many people, she said it had been several years since they arranged a family photo session, and sadly, the photographer they used last never delivered their photos. We hit various spots around the Grand Pavilion at the resort and made the most of our time together. Her boys are adorable!

Relaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmMagic hour, magic moments. Wild Dunes vacation photography. © CMagic hour, magic moments. Wild Dunes vacation photography. © CRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmMagic hour, magic moments. Wild Dunes vacation photography. © CRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmRelaxed, fun Wild Dunes family photography. © Carolina PhotosmMagic hour, magic moments. Wild Dunes vacation photography. © CMagic hour, magic moments. Wild Dunes vacation photography. © CMagic hour, magic moments. Wild Dunes vacation photography. © CMagic hour, magic moments. Wild Dunes vacation photography. © C

If your family or friends are vacationing around Charleston, I’d love to help! Reach out here to book a Wild Dunes family photography session. Here are some other family sessions downtown, at Boone Hall and on other area beaches. Happy summer!

 

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Happy anniversary weekend to Whit and Hack, whose fun and elegant seaside affair was a blast for their family, friends and photographer! Whitnie reached out to me because she was a bridesmaid in Monica and Casey’s Kiawah Island wedding, and it was great to celebrate with her tight-knit crew again. It was an easy trip from Charleston to their St. Simons Island wedding, and I enjoyed checking out the King & Prince resort, a storied place my parents used to visit on Georgia/Florida football weekends.

St Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoThe King & Prince is a great place for a wedding, and Whitnie and her friends got ready in a cottage that was a quick walk from the oceanfront ceremony location. The weather was perfect for the outdoor wedding and cocktail hour. The renovated ballroom was elegantly decorated and had a big enough dance floor to accommodate Josh’s awesome moves and Whitnie’s selfie stick groupings.

And let’s face it, any girl who sports not one, but two, cat-centric t-shirts on her wedding day has my heart. This gorgeous ginger and her charming husband make a great couple, and I am happy they chose me to document the laughs, the moments, the dancing and the hug-filled West Virginia wedding closing I first witnessed at Monica’s wedding. Take me home, country roads! I hope your anniversary weekend on St. Simons, along with these photos, brings back a rush of happy memories! Whitnie, you’re the cat’s meow, and your wedding day was simply purrfect!

St. Simons Island Wedding Vendors

Wedding Photography | Jen of Carolina Photosmith
Venue and Catering | The King & Prince
Whitnie’s Dress | Universe Bridal in Lafayette, Ohio
Makeup | Michelle Dittrich
Hair | Devon Miller with Denae Daniels Salon
Bouquets | Cottage Flowers
Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music | Owen Plant
Reception DJ | Ray Smith
Wedding Cake | Sea Island
Day-of Coordinator | Thanks to Judy Margolin for stepping in to keep everyone on schedule!

 

St Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoSt Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoSt Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoSparkling sash on a one-shoulder gown on the screened porch of a King & Prince cottage at St. Simons Island wedding. © Carolina PhotosmithSt Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoSt Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoSt Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoSt Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoSt Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoSt Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoSt Simons Island Wedding at King & Prince resort © Carolina PhoElegant oceanside ceremony at St. Simons Island wedding at KingElegant oceanside ceremony at St. Simons Island wedding at KingElegant oceanside ceremony at St. Simons Island wedding at KingElegant oceanside ceremony at St. Simons Island wedding at KingElegant oceanside ceremony at St. Simons Island wedding at KingElegant oceanside ceremony at St. Simons Island wedding at KingElegant oceanside ceremony at St. Simons Island wedding at KingElegant oceanside ceremony at St. Simons Island wedding at KingElegant oceanside ceremony at St. Simons Island wedding at King
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Now that this beauty is honeymooning with Casey, I can share some of my faves from her fun afternoon of bridal portraits! I met Elizabeth and her mom at Jonny’s Cosmetics, where she had just stepped into her Martina Liana lace gown. We hopped around the historic district for a bit, while tourists waved excitedly, congratulating her (even though her wedding day was still a few weeks away). Later, we headed back to Beresford Hall to make more elegant Charleston bridal portraits on her family’s home turf. What a special and memorable afternoon!

Elizabeth found her dreamy lace dress at the Gown Boutique of Charleston. Hope you enjoy these images as much as we enjoyed making them. And follow my Facebook page to see some sneak peeks of their wedding day and reception at the Gadsden House. Thanks, y’all!

Elegant Charleston bridal portraits historic venue © Carolina Photosmielegant charleston bridal portraits by Carolina PhotosmithElegant bridal portrait historic Charleston © Carolina PhotosmiElegant bridal portrait historic Charleston © Carolina PhotosmiElegant bridal portrait historic Charleston © Carolina PhotosmiBreathtaking bridal portrait in lace gown by Dock Street TheaterCharleston bridal portrait at White Point Gardens Charleston HarCharleston bridal portrait at White Point Gardens Charleston HarCharleston bridal portrait at White Point Gardens Charleston HarBreathtaking bridal portrait in lace gown by Dock Street Theaterelegant Charleston bridal portrait dock street theater Carolina PhotosmithElegant jasmine-scented bridal portrait historic Charleston © CElegant bridal portraits at Beresford Hall near Daniel Island ©Elegant bridal portraits at Beresford Hall near Daniel Island ©Long haired bride in lace gown for backlit portait sunflare © elegant Charleston bridal portraits by Carolina Photosmith Barefoot bride lace gown swing Charleston live oak hydrangeas ©Afternoon sun casts spotlight in this elegant Charleston bridalElegant bride battles bugs for sunset portrait Beresford CreekElegant bride battles bugs for sunset portrait Beresford CreekMom and daughter pause on Beresford Creek after gorgeous bridal

Lizzie’s Dream Team

Wedding Dress | Martina Liana at Gown Boutique of Charleston
Makeup | Jonny Sherwood
Hair | Jade and Lisa at Salon Bellezza
Nails | Kellie at Salon Bellezza

Bridal portraits are such a great way to soak up this special time (and spend some extra hours twirling in what is likely your most expensive dress). Learn more about why I love them, and please share my name with friends who need a wedding photographer. Thanks!

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It’s been way too long. The cooing baby is now playing lacrosse, the three-hour preschool days have stretched into 8-hour school days (before homework), and your snaggletoothed cutie is making college visits. Book that family photo session, ditch the white shirts and let me make fun, beautiful photos that will not be trapped on a smartphone!

It’s your session, so wear what pleases you and makes you feel most at ease (excluding threadbare T-shirts or gear with prominent logos). Your comfort level will show in your clothing choices, which is one more reason the all-white idea just makes families more self-conscious instead of more relaxed. I get it – most people have white shirts, so it’s easy to tell everyone to pull one out and be done with it. In addition, since whites are bleachable, they are usually more uniform than all navy or all black, since both of those colors fade differently and have tinges of green that are noticeable in a group shot.

But let’s not strive to be uniform. And let’s be real – what works on the toddler would look silly on you and ridiculous on grandma, so be you! Nobody does it better. In fact, since you’re going to be photographed, be an even better, more jubilant you!

After a quick scan of some sessions, I dug up some inspiration for various color schemes. I’ll refrain from additional rules if you follow my primary one: Ditch the White Shirts. Seriously. Unless you’re coming straight from Diner en Blanc or are emulating the Modern Family cast three years ago, do not sport white shirts. Following are some tips for making that happen:

How to Ditch the White Shirts

  1. Start with a print. It may be a Matilda Jane sundress for on the 3-year-old, or it could be a colorful maxi dress that you picked out after you called me. Roll with it!
  2. Identify three hues in the print that the other family members can wear. Prints are great because they are festive and because they help you start with a color scheme that someone else put together. Try to avoid having three hues that are decidedly masculine or feminine, and if you can mix warm and cool shades, go for it! This adds dimension and personality to your photos, lessening your workload. (Kidding!)
  3. Communicate color scheme to the rest of the clan. Gunning for a family reunion shot? Snap a pic of your inspiration print and text this info to everyone involved in your session. “Hey guys!  I’d love it if we could wear coral/aqua/yellow for the beach photos, and I’ve attached a pic of Dad’s hilarious Hawaiian shirt to show you the colors.”
  4. Throw in some neutrals to make it easy. “But I don’t have coral shorts!” he says. Not a biggie. Wear khaki, white, or denim shorts/skirts/pants/jeans. “Can I wear my aqua/white checked button-down? And she has a yellow/white polka dot skirt?” Sure, throw in another pattern or two. Like in home decor, it’s best if the size of the prints vary and don’t compete.
  5. Kick it up a notch. Add a zippy necklace, cute headband, a colorful belt, groovy earrings, a gauzy scarf, a cardigan, etc. Collars (just not too much; mind the breezes!), an architectural neckline, a breezy ruffle, these are all good.
  6. More pro tips: Sleeveless isn’t the best choice for most people. Something that skims the body makes people look smaller than blousy/poofy things that mask all shape. I can’t control the wind, so think about securing long hair if we’re shooting at the beach or on arctic tundra. Finally, bonus points are awarded for considering your clothing in The Group Photo as well as smaller subsets like mom/kids, all adults, grandchildren and elders, all the men, etc. The fewer the people, the more obvious your clothing will be. Choose wisely!

Whew! I already have another blog post in mind after sharing that last idea, but before I trip over myself, I’ll share some timeless photos of happy families. I first met Katie as a glamorous bride, and I just booked her clan for another beach session this summer. Love to watch families grow!

Colorful family beach portraits. Contrast against your backgrounColorful, relaxed Charleston family photography. © Carolina PhotosmithColorful Hampton Park family portraits with twinfants. © CaroliColorful Hampton Park family portraits with twinfants. © CaroliColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhBrothers. Ugh. Twin ones? She rolls with it!Colorful family portraits with Carolina Photosmith. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhDitch the white shirts for best family photos with Carolina Photosmith in Mt Pleasant SCColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhLove how Kylee found a seamstress on Etsy who used the same fabrics in all three girls’ outfits, but each is unique. A bit of planning can make for an awesome collage of photos on your wall!Colorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhI first photographed Rebecca and Dave on their wedding day. Then came Ila Gray in a Moses basket, Ramsey being a toddler, and next time there will be five!Colorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhSisters who dance like pink and black architecture. Charleston family photography by © Carolina Photosmith

These light dresses would fade away at the beach, but they pop against the pink wall. Consider your backdrop and wear color that will contrast with your setting.

Are you a fan of prints? Me too! Just like in your home decor, you can mix them for photos. Eric and Sarah look great on the foggy beach since his small blue checks meld with the bold paint strokes on her feminine top. And instead of sporting khaki or white up top, their jeans and pants just blend away.

Fun and foggy Folly Beach engagement session © Carolina Photosmith

Embrace color for best photos © Carolina Photosmith

Chilly sessions call for layers. Ellie sported this jaunty purple coat over her chocolate dress. MK was possibly humming “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins while pondering the duckies below.Charleston portrait gallery features colorful, unscripted moments

Ditch the white shirts and play for best family photos. CarolinaPhotosmith.comColorful family portraits. Relaxed, fun, vibrant! © Carolina PhColorful, vibrant, unscripted family photography at Boone Hall Plantation. © Carolina PhotosmithEmbrace color for outdoor portraits. Head shots of sales reps byEmbrace color for outdoor portraits. Head shots of sales reps byColorful family beach portraits. Contrast against your backgrounColorful family beach portraits. Contrast against your backgrounColorful family beach portraits. Contrast against your backgrounColorful family photos in historic Charleston. © Carolina PhotoColorful family photos in historic Charleston. © Carolina Photo
Colorful family photos in historic Charleston. © Carolina PhotoDitch the white shirts for best family photos. © Carolina PhotosmithColorful family beach portraits. Contrast against your backgrounColorful family beach portraits. Contrast against your backgrounColorful family beach portraits. Contrast against your backgrounColorful Hampton Park family portraits with twinfants. © Caroli

Historic Charleston Engagement. Photography © Carolina PhotosmithEmbrace color for outdoor portraits. Head shots of sales reps byDitch the white shirts! Dozen cousins in birth order, color-code

Yes, I had to wrap with my tots (in yellow!) and their cousins at Ormond Beach. Grandchildren in birth order, color-coded siblings.

Did you catch some flashes of white up above?

Sure you did! You don’t have to banish it completely. Littles are cute in white sundresses, and white linen may be the best backdrop for your ROYGBIV necklace. Just use it sparingly and purposefully, and strive to inject color and pattern. You’ll be so glad when you ditch the white shirts!

Contact Jen to book your session. Oh, and follow me on Pinterest for What to Wear boards for both families and couples. Thanks, y’all!

 

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