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Spring Has Sprung | 8 Days of Charleston Photography

For wedding and portrait photographers in the south, the winter months are welcomed as time to finish editing, refuel creatively, implement marketing ideas and brush up on new techniques. After I shot my last 2012 wedding December 28, January and February were quite leisurely. I think weeks went by where the only photos I took were on my iPhone. Turn the page to March — in like a lion — and bright new-growth greens signaled the end of my hibernation. Even though the warm weather has been fickle, colors are popping all over town, vacationers are hitting the beaches and happy couples are starting their married lives together. I had such a fantastic week photographing fun people! Now, as I hunker down for gobs of editing, here’s a glimpse of my first work week of Charleston photography in 2013. Happy new year, y’all!

Ashley and Zach had the Charleston destination wedding of their dreams! They buried a bottle of bourbon at the ceremony site to keep bad weather at bay. Coincidence or no, March 16 was a glorious 72-degree day.

Ashley and Zach are married! Beautiful springtime wedding day portrait with pink azaleas. © Carolina Photosmith

Let the Charleston wedding festivities begin! By destination wedding photographer Carolina Photosmith.

Outdoor ceremony on a spring day. Pink and colorful! © Carolina Photosmith

With this ring. Newlyweds recess after Charleston outdoor wedding. © Carolina Photosmith

Yummy cocktails, fun dancing at Patriots Point wedding by Charleston Harbor. © Carolina PhotosmithSassha and her clan moved from Maryland recently and booked a quick session to document her brother’s family visiting.
Backyard boys. Fun, relaxed outdoor portraits by Carolina Photosmith.

Colorful, relaxed family portraiture by Charleston

Timeless children

Lordy, lordy, Debbie

Glorious day to celebrate in the sun with this beautiful birthday girl on Sullivan’s Island!

Tuesday, I scooped up my friend and we met some girls at Poe’s for a beachy birthday lunch. If I ever turn 40, I hope I look that good 😉
When the kids got home from school, we decided to soak up more sun by making a run to Freshberry for some fro-yo in the Jeep. Later, I made the breezy drive over to Boone Hall for a magical bridal portrait session. Can’t spoil the gown surprise though!

Copyright Carolina Photosmith.

Just a glimpse from this gorgeous bridal session.

Thursday after I got the kids off to school (thanks to my hubby/chauffeur), I made a little road trip to Columbia, where I met with parents of a Spring 2014 bride. (I’d met with their daughter in Charleston a couple of weeks earlier.) After my interview, I met a dear friend for lunch, then we headed back to her house and frolicked outdoors in the awesome yard. Her twins gave me a tour of their cool teepee. I fired off a few shots in the bright sun — loving this one of the play-at-home mom with her three wild little men.
Play-at-home mom and her three adventuresome defenders of the fort. © Carolina Photosmith

After lounging at my friend’s house, I headed to another part of Columbia to meet a bride who drove down from Charlotte to have her portraits taken at her mom’s friend’s home on a lake. I’d love to show you how she rocks her sassy short veil, but not until after her Seabrook Island wedding. Her bridesmaid Steph helped keep her gown pollen-free while her mom and her friends oohed, aahed and sipped bubbly.
The bride

Whew, busy week, and that’s not including The Knot mixer I stopped by on Wednesday night at Marion’s downtown. Delicious pomegranate champagne cocktail and a make-your-own trifle made for a nice dessert, but a gal needs sustenance during a week like this. Perfect timing for a lunch and book signing with the Lee Brothers, local boys who just published their third cookbook. They weave a good yarn of boyhood tales and culinary history while spreading the gospel of boiled peanuts and grits. And my husband treated me to the smothered pork chops and vinegar green beans from this book last night. Outstanding!
Lee Brothers lunch and book signing at Fleet Landing in Charleston.

Deviled crab, roasted asparagus and grapefruit with citrus vinaigrette. Yum! © Carolina Photosmith

The clouds and gloom threatened, but Friday evening went well with this adorable family from Connecticut. Their girls bravely ran barefoot even though it was a little chilly. And mom, seven months pregnant, was so at ease, even tossing her tots in the air as she toted daughter number three.

Fun family beach photography by

Timeless children
Lifestyle family photography on SC beaches. © Carolina Photosmith
Lifestyle family photography by Carolina Photosmith

Saturday morning, clouds looming still, I headed downtown to meet a former co-worker from my Blackbaud days. She’s continued to work for Blackbaud and lives in San Francisco, where she met Brian. These two have done some serious traveling together, and they’re finally settling down to plan a wedding. I loved seeing HP in her old stomping grounds again and meeting her handsome fiance. As we ambled back to our cars, it started sprinkling. By the time I got across the bridge, it was pouring.

San Francisco couple takes time out of family visit for some engagement photos in historic Charleston.
Charleston engagement photography by Jennifer Hudson Smith. © Carolina Photosmith

Later on Saturday, I suited up in my rain gear and returned downtown to the gorgeous Unitarian Church for Tiffany and Jay’s destination wedding. Magically, the rain stopped just when we hoped it would, allowing for some portraits around town and preventing guests from getting soaked. These two are so much fun and wowed the crowd with their first dance. Here’s to the happily ever after, y’all!

From darkness to light. Staircase descent to church. Stunning wedding bouquet at church entry. © Carolina Photosmith

Till Death Do Us Part. Wedding Day portrait in historic Charleston graveyard by Carolina Photosmith.

Wedding party raises their signature cocktails on the balcony of Charleston

Zaniest wedding party members switched outfits for reception entrance. Hilarious!
I should have seen this coming — these two attendants were hilarious when they made the switcheroo before the couple and the wedding party was introduced at the Mills House reception.

Newlywed limbo at elegant and fun ballroom reception. © Carolina Photosmith.

So that’s it! I must admit I was a little relieved when yesterday’s family session was postponed due to rain and a sippy cup / black eye incident. But I’m grateful to be busy doing a job I love. Have a fave photo from this post? I’d love it if you’d leave a comment below. Please spread the word and follow my work using the social media links. Happy spring!

  • Sally - Love them all, but my fave is the bride leading the wedding party out of the church door. Love the light and the moment!ReplyCancel

  • TJ Romero - Wow! I had to do a double take on the guy in the dress! Great storytelling here!ReplyCancel

  • Jane Haglund - Love the lovely pastel colors in your work!ReplyCancel

  • Mike Garrard - Lovely vibrant colours and moments, love the clothes switch shot!ReplyCancel

  • Rahul - Great storytelling and moments captured!ReplyCancel

  • Dale Lempa - It is fascinating to see these collections together, to see what life is like for a photographer.ReplyCancel

  • Ben Tomlin - Some great moments captured, love they switched clothes – I bet there was lots of laughs!ReplyCancel

  • Judy Oshinski - A favorite! How could one possibly choose just one ?
    All just beautiful… I am tired for you after reading your “business” ! Great job Jen !ReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks for the comments, everyone. And thanks, Judy! When it rains it pours in this business. It’s pretty cyclical 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Daniel - Your photos always have such a beautiful vibrant feel to them. Wonderful work.ReplyCancel

  • Rob Dodsworth - Fantastic stuff. The switch photo had me in stitches.ReplyCancel

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