Posted on April 30, 2012

May has been dragged out to the soccer field, two seasons a year, since birth. We love Charleston youth sports. It’s all she’s ever known. She’s a mean dribbler and will try to steal the ball from anyone of any age or size.

She’s talked about the singular unfairness of being forced to be on the sidelines while she watches her siblings play for a year now.

“I wanna play soccah. When is my soccah team?”

Finally, she’s turned 3 years old and can start the James Island Rec Center’s Smart Start Soccer program.

Saturday was her first clinic, and after all the begging and whining, she refused to have anything to do with it. Total bummer. Finally I figured out that she hated the shin guards, so I took them off, and it was Go Time.

Pre-scrimmage pep talks from her “sistuh” and “bwudduh.” She sounds like a mini Joe Pesci.

city of charleston youth soccer program

bayview soccer field james island sc

She brought her cherished ball. I finally had to just take it off the field. It wasn’t the other kids’ fault that they were going for the acid green ball in a sea of plain white rec center issue balls, but it was making her crazy. Gotta work on sharing.

“Take my ball once, shame on you.”

soccer for three year olds

“Take my ball twice, shame on me!”

tie dye soccer uniforms

burger king sponsor charleston city recreation


mother and daughter casual portrait charleston family photographer

mother and toddler kiss

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Posted on April 23, 2012

I met this wonderful family out at Mepkin Abbey on Saint Patricks Day. I’d never been, so we brought my whole family out so they could explore the property while I worked.

My husband says they encountered a baby alligator on the path, and had to turn around and walk all the way around the long, meandering garden pond. I asked him why they didn’t just step around the gator and proceed, and I got The Look. What can I say-I’ve always had an unnatural, unwise lack of fear of all types of wildlife. (Except that giant erratically hopping grasshopper in our kitchen the other night that almost landed on my head. That unglued me.)

I love this family. They were lots of fun, and awesome sports.

It started sprinkling the moment we got there, but thankfully the rain was short-lived.

Family portrait under red and blue umbrella

This is one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken, ever ever.

50th anniversary photographs

family portrait under live oak white shirts and jeans

I always stress to clients how important timing is. Ideally, you want to shoot at sunrise, or about an hour before sunset. However, that’s not always feasible. This whole session took place in fairly harsh lighting, and I actually love the results. We just have to be a little more creative with angles and locations and posing, and wait for clouds to pass over the sun here and there.

older couple hugging in portrait mepkin abbey

Charleston family photographer big family portrait

Family portrait by the Cooper River Mepkin Abbey Moncks Corner SC photographer

Candid father in law and son in law

Portrait with St Patricks Day hat

Father and two grown children hugging photograph

Little girl with headband Summerville SC

Portrait of three sisters Charleston SC

Portrait of teenage brothers posing

Mepkin Abbey flowers garden butterfly

Teenager portrait posing idea

Grandfather and granddaughter on bench by the river

Family candid portrait Charleston SC photographer

Modern vintage photojournalism Charleston SC

This was after the session. I didn’t even see the family praying together. My husband did, and urged me to go snap a pic. I didn’t want to intrude, but I’m glad I caught this anyway.

family praying

man praying at statue of virgin mary mepkin abbey

Posted on April 19, 2012

I have been woefully remiss in updating my blog.

My wonderful father passed away the Tuesday after Easter. Even though he’d battled leukemia for almost 13 years, it seemed so sudden and entirely too soon.

I photographed some of the indirect activity surrounding his death and funeral, particularly the incredible outpouring of kindness, support and solidarity our family received from my parents’ family and friends.

I thought I’d compile them for publication (not here, but somewhere) at some point, but right now I can’t bear to look at them.

I’ve found comfort in getting back to work and all the never-ending but somehow soothing minutiae that accompanies daily life.

And I understand my wonderful clients’ positions too. You sympathize and pray for me, but fact is you’ve still entrusted me with the honor of capturing some of the most important moments of your life. And I can truly say that I’m more than up to the task. I look forward to it.

Perhaps my feelings are best expressed in Annelle’s quote from Steel Magnolias:

“Miss Truvy, I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.”


Much love,


copyright 2014 Sally Watts