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What a gorgeous day for a lush and colorful Magnolia Plantation wedding! Janice and Mike live in North Carolina and planned an outdoor ceremony beside Charleston’s Ashley River. Guests made their way from near and far (mostly far!) to celebrate the Nazers. I just love how tenderhearted Janice went from sweet tears to rocking dance moves in her stunning gown. (She found her perfect San Patrick dress at J. Majors in Charlotte.) What a bevy of beautiful bridesmaids – their dresses are from David’s Bridal, color is Wisteria; wedge sandals by Tom’s. And a huge shout-out to Kala and her crew at MOD Events, who did a fantastic job on the florals and flow of the day. Keeping with the lush and colorful theme, Mike and Janice just returned from their Hawaiian honeymoon. Dreamy, right?

What better way to start our day than by pulling over at a colorful roadside attraction where Timbo’s peanut-loving dog greets guests? (I’m pretty sure they don’t have these in Chicago.)
Radiant Orchid bridesmaids from Chicago are introduced to boiled peanuts. © Carolina Photosmithnazer002nazer003nazer004nazer005nazer006nazer007nazer008nazer009nazer010nazer011nazer012nazer013nazer014nazer015nazer016nazer017nazer018
Special thanks to Sol Basconcillo for helping me get great shots and bonus perspectives throughout the day!nazer019nazer020nazer021nazer022nazer023nazer024nazer025nazer026nazer027nazer028nazer029nazer030nazer031nazer032nazer033nazer034nazer035nazer036nazer037

If you love riverside weddings, sunlit mossy oaks or colorful flowers and bridesmaids who sport Pantone’s color of the year, I hope you’ll “like” this post and wish the Nazers well!

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Not only was our recent family beach week chock full of fun and relaxation, but I had the pleasure of making some fun portraits of my niece, who is about to embark on her senior year of high school. Even though many of her classmates use the same Atlanta photographer, we’re pretty excited that her senior portraits will look nothing like those of her Johns Creek pals. I’ve even edited them in a different style, thinking the vivid beachy vibe goes well with a lively, lovely teenager. And I included a few of our fave stylist, her big sis, Cody. Here’s to a great year, Mackenzie!

vibrant and fun senior portraits on the beach © Carolina Photosmithmackenzie002mackenzie003mackenzie004mackenzie005mackenzie006mackenzie007mackenzie008mackenzie009mackenzie010mackenzie011mackenzie012mackenzie013mackenzie014mackenzie015mackenzie016mackenzie017mackenzie018mackenzie019mackenzie020mackenzie021mackenzie022mackenzie023mackenzie024mackenzie025mackenzie026mackenzie027

I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to leave a comment below, and reach out using the links. Thanks for taking a moment to check these out. Please share this post with anyone looking for fun senior portraits. Happy end of July!

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  • christine - She’s gorgeous! And oh my goodness, that HAIR! Beautiful and FUN senior portraits :) ReplyCancel

  • Albert Palmer - Beautiful – I’m sure she’ll treasure these forever!ReplyCancel

  • Mercedes - Her hair! These are beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • ayesha - bright, clean, fun photos of a lovely girl! and yes that HAIR wow! just gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Jody Noland - I predict there will be a stampede of senior girls coming your way. One picture is better than the next. You are one AMAZING photographer. Absolutely beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks so much, y’all! Jody, your daughter was my first senior session! The high school nearby has more than 3000 students, so I’d be happy to work with a few students who like to frolic outdoors.ReplyCancel

  • Taylor - I love processing, goes perfect with the beachy vibe. or maybe it makes the beachy vibe :) the photos are great, and her hair is especially great.ReplyCancel

  • Adonye Jaja - really good senior portraits!ReplyCancel

  • heather nan - What a beauty… Beautifully done!ReplyCancel

  • Veronica Varos - Adorable shots. Her hair is amazing!ReplyCancel

  • rahul khona - Beautiful images! I bet she loves them!ReplyCancel

Here’s a serious dose of loveliness. Amber and Jensen came all the way from the left coast to marry here. I think it was worth it! Click the photo to check out their garden wedding at Confederate Home and amble around the corner to McCrady’s for the seated dinner and reception.

Thanks to Borrowed & Blue for sharing this featured destination wedding.

Featured Charleston wedding photographer Carolina Photosmith on Borrowed & Blue

If you or someone you know is planning a Charleston wedding, I hope you’ll reach out!

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It seems like ages since our first family visit to Botany Bay, a serene Wildlife Management Area on the edge of Edisto Island. Our first trip was almost five years ago, but we’d been wanting to spend another afternoon on this pristine swath of coastal preserve. Our last trip has been wrongfully associated with my husband’s onset of swine flu, which landed him in ICU for a week. Thankfully, finding a summer afternoon where bedtime for school wasn’t a concern, we picked my birthday weekend to revisit this blissful beach.

We loaded up bikes, chairs, fishing gear, fried chicken and shoes for the amazing beach lined with prickly trees and sharp shells. We checked the radar, which showed some isolated showers, but nothing serious enough to threaten our outdoor plans. Of course, Mother Nature had her own ideas, and the showers intensified throughout the hour drive toward Edisto. A little lightning followed white-out conditions from horizontal sheets of rain were bumming us out, but we didn’t turn back, figuring we could have a picnic in the car before heading home.

As we drove down the sand road through the tunnel of oaks, the rain started to let up. We checked in at the entrance, and I watched a few cars exit as Pearsall chatted up the ranger. As we made our way to Jason’s Lake, the showers turned to drizzle and a blue patch of sky appeared. Although we didn’t reel in any redfish this time, it was fun chasing fiddler crabs and watching all the birds collect their supper at the dive-in eatery.

Pristine Botany Bay WMA © Carolina Photosmithbotany002botany003botany004botany005botany006botany007botany008botany009Coastal Living on the Wild and Natural Side © Carolina Photosmithbotany012As luck would have it, we met an awesome woman named Scott, who was kind enough to let Cidney hop up on Tucker. Not only was this Cid’s first time on a western saddle (also a Tucker), shorts and flops were riding gear novelties. As we chatted about my gal’s love of horses, we learned that Scott also went to Camp Cheerio, the gorgeous YMCA camp Cidney returned from a couple of weeks ago. Small world! After sending Tucker on his merry way, Cid and I pedaled over to some sunflower fields. Next year, I need to visit a week earlier, but even in their droopy state, the supersize flowers were lovely.botany013botany014botany015botany016botany017botany018Botany Bay panorama © Carolina PhotosmithGet Lost, Close to Home. © Carolina Photosmithbotany020botany022botany023botany025botany026Black and white photography at pristine Botany Bay Beach near Edisto © Carolina Photosmithbotany027botany029botany031Sunset panorama of Botany Bay Beach in South Carolina. © Carolina PhotosmithEventually, we packed up fishing gear and headed toward the beach for the amazing sunset. There were a handful of other people heading back to their cars when we got there. So amazing to have an island so wild all to ourselves! What a blissful afternoon. So glad we waited out the rain.Wild and wonderful South Carolina coastline at Botany Bay WMA © Carolina Photosmithbotany030botany035Beach bliss at Botany Bay. Pristine, wild, nature galore. © Carolina Photosmithbotany034
All the photos in this post were taken with my Canon 5D Mark III, except for the panoramas, which I love to capture on my iPhone 5. If you enjoy field trips and serene stretches of beach, I hope you’ll recommend this post, and contact me when you need a wedding or portrait photographer. Happy summer, y’all!

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  • Judy Oshinski - You are amazing.. Just beautiful !!ReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks for the note, Judy. Nature is amazing! We’re just grateful the rain stopped so we could enjoy the early evening here!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Puig - Jen, these are absolutely gorgeous! Each one is even more amazing than the last…and knowing all of you makes them more special. Love, Linda P.ReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks so much for your sweet note! It is such an amazing place – a special summer treat. See you around soon.ReplyCancel

Every year around our wedding anniversary, I think I should dig out old photos and scan them for a blog post. As it’s always wedding season and I’m immersed in editing and end-of-school-year activities, it never really happens. So today, I pulled out my trusty iPhone and my wedding album (long before flush-mounts, there were matted albums), and I pixelized some photos that were taken by our wedding photographer, David Edwards.  At the time (1999!), he was the only photographer I met with who didn’t show me a dozen standard shots and say “Here is where we do the hand and ring shot.” Even before “photojournalistic” was a wedding photography descriptor, I knew I wasn’t keen on being told how and when to do stiff poses on my wedding day.

We married by the Ashley River at Lowndes Grove, long before Patrick Properties bought it and made it even more wonderful. We opted for a daytime wedding — crazy, I know, having an outdoor ceremony at 11:30, with the sun beaming down everyone’s noses and unflattering shadows all over the place. I wore my mom’s silk organza wedding gown, which we tweaked by removing the brittle lace elbow-length sleeves and by adding a couple of inches at the waistline. Even though I was svelte at 30, she was positively tiny when she married at 19. My bridesmaids wore ivory linen dresses my mom found on the rack at Lord & Taylor. I’m pretty sure my petite DC-based friend could have made a second dress with the leftovers from her alterations.

I don’t remember much about the food except that it was catered by Hamby’s and that the shrimp and grits were a hit. Brunch is my favorite meal, so I think there were also omelets and such at the food stations. I opted for purple and green flowers, and I took a photo from Martha Stewart Weddings to the florist to show what kind of bouquet I wanted. It was mostly white and green, but like some of the brides I’ve worked with, the bouquet that was delivered didn’t really include the flowers I thought we’d discussed. It wasn’t a huge deal, but I remember that each time a client seems a little shocked how her bouquet differs from the photo she’s had on her phone for a year.

My brother played his guitar and sang a few songs, and then we also had a DJ, who played Lyle Lovett’s version of Stand By Your Man followed by Aretha’s Respect. Despite having few single friends (um, late bloomers!), we went ahead and did the bouquet and garter tosses because they were traditional and no one had really skipped it back in the 90s. I still think they are a pretty awkward tradition, so by all means, skip it if you’re not up for it. Or if it looks like the flower girl may be the only one going for the bouquet. Sorry, Cody, I should have let you keep it. Kristi didn’t want it anyway!

I changed into a champagne silk shift so we could hop on Pearsall’s boat as we left the reception. Guests threw handfuls of lavender, which I sourced online, long before Pinterest. Some friends drove us down the Ashley for a champagne toast and then to City Marina. That night, we met friends at Magnolia’s for dinner. The night before, Pearsall’s parents hosted a fun rehearsal dinner at the Harbour Club followed by a cocktail or two at Blind Tiger. Funny how much as restaurants come and go in Charleston, all these places are still there. Nancy and her mom hosted a yummy bridesmaids lunch on Folly, but that little spot, across from current Taco Boy, is no longer there.

Thanks to everyone who celebrated our wedding day with us! And to my dear maidens, I am truly sorry for leaving you to pack up my apartment so we could catch our plane to California. Procrastination remains a challenge to me, but I really feel bad about that and for leaving Lyle in charge of Two Men and a Truck. How they moved my bed down the tiny spiral staircase is beyond me.

We honeymooned in California, hopping about from San Francisco to Yosemite (where it snowed!) to Sonoma (70 and perfect) and wrapped up in a little hippie cabin in Point Reyes where elk roamed the foggy cliffs over the Pacific. Good stuff.

And without further ado, here are some photos of photos from the last millennium.

jenpip001I like this one of the girls in what is now the yellow room by the entry.jenpip045jenpip002jenpip003jenpip004jenpip005jenpip006jenpip007jenpip008jenpip009jenpip010jenpip011jenpip012jenpip013jenpip014jenpip015jenpip016jenpip017jenpip018jenpip019jenpip020jenpip021jenpip022jenpip023jenpip024jenpip025jenpip027jenpip029My dear friend Meredith and her hubby Eric — they look the same as when I photographed their son’s bar mitzvah a few months ago!jenpip030My Blackbaud co-workers.jenpip031jenpip032jenpip033jenpip034jenpip035jenpip036jenpip037jenpip038jenpip039jenpip040jenpip041jenpip042jenpip043jenpip044

Check out the next post and be whisked to Ashley and Mark’s gorgeous day at the same venue, 15 years later. Time flies, y’all. Enjoy every minute. Or most of them!

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