Posted on May 6, 2013
Happy sunny Monday!
I realized that I forgot to put a sneak peek image of Erin and Ben’s wedding on my Facebook page, so it’s the perfect time to preview a few of their images on the blog while I finish editing their lovely wedding.
I arrived at the South Carolina Aquarium for the rehearsal dinner under gray misty skies, but with weather.com’s assurance that there was 10% chance of rain until storms rolled in around 11 pm. Usually the chance of rain is overestimated, so imagine my surprise when I noticed guests looking and pointing to something outside the window, and saw this.
As lovely and hospitable as a typical lowcountry sunset is, I think this was actually a more unique sight for out of town guests. I have rarely seen such a perfect storm front roll in, and we had the ideal vantage point.
Erin’s something blue. Aren’t they fabulous?
What downtown destination wedding would be complete without a battery stroll?
And an alley portrait!
Their Peninsula Grill coconut wedding cake was topped with a fun homage to their home city of Philadelphia. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I didn’t catch the reference when I was taking the pictures. It wasn’t until I was scrolling through files on the computer that I was like, “Oooooh! I get it! It’s a miniature version of the sculpture in Love Park.”
I got a kick out of that and emailed the Erin to tell her.
I’ll post more sneak peeks as I wrap up editing.
I’ll also be posting a few images of Jordan and Adam’s Wadmalaw wedding this past Saturday on my Facebook page today or tomorrow, so check back over there too!
Posted on March 1, 2013
Earlier this week, a wonderful friend posted this link on my personal Facebook wall, and said,
“This is why I love your wedding pictures.”
Another wonderful friend chimed in;
“Exactly. Sally, your pictures make me want to get married all over again and have you take pics. As I have said before, you have a great knack for catching real emotion and meaningful moments!”
That made me feel awesome, y’all. That’s what it’s all about! That’s why I do this! Truly, I am such a photojournalist at heart. But I also replied that I was mulling it over, and here’s why:
I’ll be honest. I don’t care about your flowers.
Not nearly as much as I care about the way you snuggled into your brother’s shoulder when you guys hugged before the ceremony, or the look on your relatives’ face when your normally reserved uncle breaks it down on the dance floor, like a total boss (who knew he had it in him?), or that moment when your new groom kissed you on the nose on the dance floor.
The Harlem Shake trumps Pantone’s color of the season, hand-holding wins over cufflinks, high-fives are more important than hors d’oeuvres.
Sometimes seemingly superficial aspects of a wedding (in the industry, we call them “details”, meaning anything decorative; anything that sets the theme, from shoes to table settings to cake) are more important than I could possibly imagine if I didn’t know the story behind them.
An heirloom locket. Your “something blue”, if you choose to follow that tradition. Maybe your groom found an idea on Pinterest, (it could happen, right?) and up until then he was lukewarm/confused on the whole wedding planning deal, but after that he took the idea and ran with it.
I had a bride last fall who unexpectedly lost her mother, and they chose to honor her in many ways, including putting her parents’ wedding cake topper and her mother’s pearls under a glass dome on the dessert table.
When my father died, I helped my mother with most of the necessary details.
When we went to pick out the flower doo-bob thingy that covers the casket, I flipped through the book once, then twice, and then glanced over at my Mom with this helpless look, like, “Um, 1997 called and wants its cascading ivy arrangements back…”
There was nothing wrong with their flowers. Lovely people, lovely shop. But it just wasn’t going to happen. I’m sure they thought I was bonkers, but I asked if they’d sell me the foundation piece as well as the flower stems of my choosing. My mother, from whom I inherited my DIY propensities as well as my taste, understood. The staff was super-nice about it.
“Honey, it’s your Daddy,” the owner said. “You do what you want.”
What we wanted was a masculine, Lowcountry and Scottish inspired arrangement, and we used heathery bits and red roses and spanish moss and palm fronds. It was beautiful, but I needed a specific item of foliage to complete the look.
I made my husband drive me all over south Georgia for an hour and 40 minutes in search of “those buff-colored feathery thingies that grow out of pampas grass.”
To a guy, that description sounds like this: “Wah wah waaaah, blahblahblahblah.”
Any other time, he would have been complaining, but what could he do? It was obviously a day for 100% support, so even though it probably took superhuman strength to suppress his sighs and keep his eyeballs from rolling out of his head, he did it, and seeing the images of those flowers makes me smile, thinking about how he activated his hyperpatience powers. I also remember how therapeutic it was, being able to talk to visitors but also having something to do with our hands, and the soothing idle sort of “maybe move that to the left? And fill in a little over there?” chatter added to our collective conversation. There was traditional type of comfort in the midst of deep sadness in reclaiming something that’s typically outsourced and making it very personal.
I also laugh, recalling how many chigger bites I got from the Spanish moss.
Now, I am *so* not saying you should do your own flowers. That’s a potential disaster waiting to happen.
I’m saying that the wedding industry gets way too caught up in the themes and things; of course it does. And typically they should absolutely be secondary to capturing people. But at the end of the day, I can’t and shouldn’t tell you what is and isn’t important to you, on your wedding day. You should be telling me. I don’t want you, as a couple getting married, to ever have to apologize for placing importance on “things”. I want to make sure I really pay attention to those items with lots of personal significance.
If your grandmother picked out your flowers because the color reminded her of her own wedding flowers, 52 years ago, they move higher up on my list of priorities. If your sash was made with your Mom’s wedding gown, I’d love to know, so I can take special care to photograph it up close.
Conversely, if your planner picked out the centerpieces because you didn’t much care one way or another, and they’re fab, but oh my gosh, your college roommate brought her boyfriend and you guys are hoping he’ll propose to her this weekend? I need to know. I’ll get the centerpieces done for sure, but I need to keep a special eye on those two…
Love makes the perfect wedding, for sure.
But communication makes the perfectly captured wedding.
Posted on February 28, 2013
Amber and Casey are awesome.
Amber is a dental school student at MUSC, and Casey is an airline pilot.
They take their careers very seriously, but they also know how to have fun. I’m a big fan of “work hard, play hard” type people, so I was right at home getting to know them. Their wedding reception definitely reflected the fun side of their relationship!
These are from their engagement session
Getting ready on the big day
Time for the Old Exchange Building reception!
Every once in a while, at a wedding, I realize I’m the only person in the room with no idea what’s going on. I love it when that happens. I just go with it, and enjoy learning something new. Did you know that Hang on Sloopy is the official rock song of the state of Ohio and Ohio State University?
I do now! Here’s the crowd, paying homage.
Posted on January 22, 2013
Last year was a good year.
I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats!
At a 2012 wedding, I was walking past a groom who was waiting in an alcove for his wedding ceremony to start, in mere minutes. He was a little verklempt, and I raised my camera, then paused, looked at him, and said,
“Is this OK? Or would you prefer privacy?”
And he said, “No, stay. I want the truth. Well… I want the truth, maybe just a little bit more beautiful.”
Yep. That’s why I do this.
The truth, maybe just a little bit more beautiful.
With that philosophy in mind, here’s a look back at some of the sessions and weddings I shot over the year– a good mixture of both candid and posed and/or planned shots.
My goal for 2013 is to shoot candid moments with more intention and purpose, so that I produce single images that can stand alone and tell stories.
Here’s what we did in 2012:
Hung 0ut in the good light
Kissed a little
Got up offa that thang
Showcased the Lowcountry
Modelled for Mom
And called it a wrap!
Posted on August 24, 2012
Lisa and Justin packed up and moved away right after their beautiful Charleston wedding this summer. I’ve had another couple move away after the wedding too, and I’ve photographed weddings for couples who didn’t live in town.
It’s sort of a weird feeling. It’s like, “What? You won’t be around? I won’t run into you at Whole Foods?”
Not that I’ve ever run into a past client at Whole Foods, uh, EVER, but it could happen, you know?
On the flip side, it’s an incredibly romantic notion too. Getting married and then whisking off to face the next adventure that life will bring, eyes forward, together.
I wish Lisa and Justin, who are so warm, kind, and fun, a wonderful journey together.
This next series is from my trusty assistant for the day, Bridgit of McBee Photography. I love them. She has such a way with the guys. (Wait, does that sound right? you know what I mean.)
How great are these green apple place settings? I completely geeked out over them; even considered switching my logo from my longtime beloved lemon to a green apple. I love everything about them: crisp, perfect, bright, southern, festive but not fussy, organic…
Justin converted family wedding portraits to black and white to display at the reception. It was a fabulous idea, and he did a wonderful job.
I love this shot of Justin and his Dad. it has such an old-fashioned speakeasy feel to it. Can’t you just see them in an old photograph? Like the image in the opening sequence of Cheers?
Isn’t this awesome? Cooling off at the end of “Shout!”
If you do it up right, that song *is* quite the workout.
Venue and Catering: Historic Rice Mill
Hair: Piccolo Salon
Flowers: Maria at Saint Sampson
Cake: Cakes by Kasarda
Posted on July 27, 2012
I just love this one.
Posted on July 9, 2012
Melissa and Serg have a fairy-tale story.
Have you ever been on a trip to a new and exotic (to you) location, and you think how romantic it would be to look across a crowded room and see your future husband? And you overcome culture and language and citizenship barriers to be together, because as a couple, you were both meant to be, and unstoppable?
That’s these two. Pretty cool. They met when Melissa was on a mission trip in Costa Rica a few years ago and have been together ever since. This year, Sergio moved to the U.S. to be with Melissa, who just graduated from MUSC’s PA program.
Getting ready at Belazza Salon and Spa :
Uninvited, misbehaving guests. Gnats. They have no sense of decorum. What can you do?
Gorgeous, vibrant flowers from the Charleston Flower Market.
These are from the bride and groom session we did the Wednesday before the wedding.
Cake by The Cake Stand. I’ve never seen a design quite like this one and I loved it.
Posted on June 4, 2012
Fun with passenger vans:
I posted a few more sneak preview images of this wonderful wedding I photographed this weekend over on my Facebook page.
Go check them out!
Posted on May 14, 2012
I am doing a lot of second shooting for other Charleston wedding photographers this month. Assistant shooting is a lot of fun.
You’re there to do whatever the main photographer needs you to do, and generally that means you get the honor of being a second pair of eyes; to be able to capture little vignettes going on behind the scenes while the big moments occur.
I am headed out to Daufuskie Island this weekend to assist for McBee Photography, and while I was cleaning out files this morning I found this series from a wedding I shot with her a few months ago at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on King Street. I can literally count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to a Catholic wedding, so I was like a kid in a candy store.
Several of my couples this year have opted for a second photographer in their wedding package as well, and I’m excited to collaborate with other area photographers. It’s a really great way get more coverage for your wedding day at a very reasonable rate.
I laughed when I got this. It was the first image I took when I walked in the door of the church. I actually don’t know how to make a tiny infant wave to the camera on command, but how awesome would that be?
Here comes the bride!
Posted on March 12, 2012
Ainsley and Trey got married at Citadel chapel, on a wonderfully warm mid-December day.
The great thing about this affair was that it really did have the feel of two weddings in one. The Post House in Mount Pleasant, where the rehearsal dinner was held, Summerall Chapel, and the Harbour Club were all already decorated for Christmas, so there was a festive, twinkly-lights vibe. But Ainsley and Ali Fisher at Carolina Food Design also used delicate whites and pale pinks that both complemented the weather and the bride’s fresh-faced, willowy beauty.
For laughs, the fathers of the bride and groom arrived at the packed North-meets-South rehearsal dinner in Confederate and Union uniforms. So awesome.
Ainsley is always looking at Trey adoringly, like this. He does it too! A lot of very sweet head-leaning, with these two.
On to Stuart Laurence salon the next morning for hair.
These next two are from my second shooter for the day, Bridgit McBee. I love them. Such sweet moments with her grandmother.
A skillet of cornbread! I loved the all the Southern touches on the midday menu.