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Summertime brings families from around the country to South Carolina beaches to reconnect and frolic in the gentle surf. Nineteen people were in this crew, which made for a joyful Wild Dunes family reunion! I always start the photo session by assembling the largest group, then I break out individual families and couples. Toward the end of the session, I love to try and capture the kids being kids. If they happen to get wet, then that means we’ve usually had all the fun we can squeeze into an hour!

Wild Dunes Ocean Club family reunionA doctor and his three sons. What a legacy!

My Favorite Things

Ladies and gentlemen, we have now reached my favorite part of the evening! The young cousins relented and did their best in the group shots; now they’ve earned some fun. I’ve seen kids fearful of dipping their toes in the ocean, and I have witnessed a toddler’s first awkward steps. Sand eating and sand throwing are occasionally part of the festivities, and a dusky ocean dip is the perfect wrap to an adventuresome day.
When you’re getting together at the beach, I hope you’ll reach out and plan to document your time together with a few photographs. I live in Mount Pleasant and can make a quick jaunt in my Jeep for your Isle of Palms or Wild Dunes family reunion. Promise to keep it easy, breezy so you can get right back to enjoying your vacation! I recommend booking early in the week to allow for a rain date and minimize any awkward sunburns. Take a look at another Wild Dunes beach session with this family of four.


This is such a great story! Last year, Chris reached out to me from Chicago and shared his plans for an amazing surprise. Not only was he going to propose to Deana on his first visit to Charleston, but he had seized an opportunity to raise the bar! He worked with their parents and a local wedding planner to line up a destination wedding for 120 guests, all without Deana ever realizing it. A great venue, a well-dressed wedding party – he’d even sent out Save the Dates!

Will you marry me… this weekend?

So when he proposed one June Tuesday, he also had the pleasure of telling her that the wedding was going to happen a few days later on Saturday. She was completely floored and had so many questions! You’ll have to stay tuned for the full wedding story since I’m still editing the photos, but leave a comment and let me know if you love this idea! If you are completely shocked that any guy would plan a bride’s day without her input, you can tell me that, too. It’s so unusual, but it made for a fantastic week!

While waiting for a guy I’d never met and his girlfriend in a white dress, I kept busy.Then the couple appeared; we made eye contact, and he kneeled to propose!

Isn’t this awesome!? How would YOU respond if your boyfriend got on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me this weekend?” Let me know your thoughts and please tell your friends about Carolina Photosmith if you need a fun photographer who can keep a secret. Thanks!


Kacie & Trey’s intimate Charleston garden wedding was one of my absolute favorites! I first met the couple for their engagement pictures when they were visiting her aunt and uncle’s house in historic Charleston. We had fun hanging out and making some cool-weather engagement photos after our warm-weather plans were hijacked by Hurricane Matthew. When Kacie described the wedding plans, the intimate group of family guests and the dinner at a wonderful restaurant a short walk from the lush wedding garden, I knew it would be a special day! I love their easygoing manner and their fun and gracious families. It was such a pleasure to document their intimate Charleston garden wedding!


After dinner, we ambled back to the house. Everyone put on comfy clothes and returned to the courtyard, where the bride’s dad and uncle (who officiated) played some tunes. There was dancing beneath twinkly lights before the cops came to enforce the noise ordinance. Kacie’s mom insisted I stay until I tried some toasted coconut ice cream, which, like the rest of day, was so much better than I imagined it would be!

Charleston Wedding Dream Tream

In addition to singing the praises of Kacie’s aunt, who worked tirelessly to transform her garden into a delightful wedding venue and coordinated with the couple and their families to plan this gorgeous day, I’m thankful to all the others who lent their talents to kick off Kacie and Trey’s happily ever after:

Wedding Gown | BHLDN
Hair and Makeup | Lashes & Lace
Bride’s Bouquet | Tiger Lily
Champagne Toast Accompaniments | Goat Sheep Cow
Dinner | McCrady’s
Cupcakes | Sugar Bakeshop
Invitations | Minted
Personalized Cups | Sip Hip Hooray
Wedding Photography | Carolina Photosmith





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!