Posted on March 5, 2014
In case you haven’t heard, Bravo’s Southern Charm premiered Monday. The whole city of Charleston has been at pre-emptive Chicken Little emotional Defcon 2 since about mid-January, when the pre-press for the series kicked into high gear.
Y’all. People are MAD about this show.
I watched. I admit it. I considered pretending it wasn’t happening, but in the end, I did it for the curiosity. I did it for the scenery.
Mostly though I did it for the Twitterfest. (Check out #charmageddon for local commentary on the show. Pretty funny last night. I hope by next week the wit will be out in full force.)
Not loving the production side. I don’t know what budget they were working with, and I certainly don’t expect it to look like House of Cards, but Charleston has beautiful, soft afternoon light, and wonderful, warm, pastel colors, and to be honest, the city is much lovelier than this harshly lit depiction.
And what’s with the music? I can see a modern soundtrack working, or if they insist on kicking it old school, maybe a lazier, hazier Porgy and Bess sort of vibe. The brassy, frenetic theme tunes sound goofy to me.
But the cast? They’re not THAT bad!
A lot of the people I see saying especially mean things on social media refuse to watch the show so I’m not sure where they’re getting their information. I get why a lot of people despise “reality” tv in general. And also understand that some folks are irritated with the rest of the country getting the wrong impression. We could be living somewhere saying, “Have at it, network TV. You can’t make this dump look any worse.” No, it’s magical here, and we know it and try to preserve it. Anything that threatens the long-woven thread of local pride will be met with hostility. I can appreciate the NIMBY solidarity. But I don’t think the show is the epic tragedy it’s being made out to be.
Only one episode in, but I am loving the girls. Cameran and Jenna are beautiful, seem sweet, goofy, fun, independent, and quirkily awesome.
The jury’s still out in terms of my opinion of all the guys-by design, I assume. But the big buzz is that no one in Charleston behaves like they do. (“That’s not how we act like down here.”)
I disagree. When I was single and out and about, I knew guys-many guys- who acted, dressed and spoke very much like each of these cast members. Sure, they’re not representative of all of Charleston, but no one said they were. They’re representative of a specific type of Charleston resident, and pretty spot-on, I’d say. The other side of that, though, is that financially privileged Charlestonians (not to be confused with “old Charleston” people-the show blurs that important distinction) also tend to be quite philanthropic, involved in the arts, their church, etc. And can often be great conversationalists (an art I hope isn’t dying with the next generations and their iphones.) It remains to be seen whether or not any of the guys’ redeeming qualities-assuming some were captured during filming-will be edited in or if Bravo will go strictly for the shock value jugular.
I appreciate that the cast and supporting cast varies in age and appearance. They’re not all generically spray tanned and spackled. In that typical seeking-out-the-best-in-everyone photographer fashion, I think they’re all quite interestingly lovely.
That’s not to say that there aren’t thumps on the head to be dished out.
(I don’t need to catalog the EWWW moments. You know who you are.)
But it’s not like these people are chucking their mint julep cups at snuzzly newborn puppies. They’re just having fun, navigating their career, raking in some dough, getting a little tipsy, and letting their preppily-dressed eccentric freak flags fly.
And if that isn’t a real side of downtown Charleston, then I don’t know what is.
Posted on February 20, 2014
C.R. turned 11 yesterday. He’s a football-loving, Minecrafting, guitar-strumming, didgeridoo-learning, reading-all-the-time all American boy.
(Did I mention the Minecrafting? Lots of Minecraft.)
And last week he received an award for a 100% on his South Carolina PASS standardized test writing section. I’m proud of that! A perfect score on a written essay is pretty awesome.
Posted on February 10, 2014
“Mommy, do you like my earrings?”
It’s dull and brown this time of year. But for about 10 minutes each evening, the front yard gets wonderful golden sun.
It’s a little too cold to be playing with the hose. But we like to live dangerously.
Posted on February 3, 2014
Well, -ish, anyway.
But quasi-snow is enough to shut down our city (lots of bridges and islands!) and to have us all marveling at little things like a drop of water frozen on a winter berry. We almost never see that.
May, walking the dog. Our neighbor’s yellow lab romped luxuriously in the ice. Miller mostly shivered. Bichons are agile but they’re not cut out for the elements.
Elvis was also not sure about it.
Posted on January 27, 2014
Molly’s vision for her family session was to capture them having fun and being themselves. And we did! I love the light, colors, humor and energy here.
Posted on January 23, 2014
I’m always so proud to show off how friendly and polite Charlestonians are to out-of-towners.
When I’m meeting Brits, though, it’s a toss-up. There’s a witty good-naturedness to the English that wins me over every time.
The wonderful Potter family gathered in Charleston from Chicago and England for a wonderful vacation and a photo session to document the gang.
Posted on January 15, 2014
I have a confession.
When I was planning my wedding, there were scarce options available on the web for inspiration. I used The Wedding Channel to gather ideas. Thinking about it now, it’s a wonder that Pinterest and wedding blogs didn’t get invented sooner, because it was a fairly inefficient planning tool. But the plus side was that all the women there read each others’ journals and many became friends.
I know this sounds like chick lit, but it’s true: now, 12-ish years later, many of us are still in touch. Over the years the group has had meetups all over the country.
We’ve career trajectoried and marathoned and roller derbied and surrogate birthed triplets and published and cooked and cleaned and carpooled. We met Vince Vaughn in a restaurant in New Orleans. Some of us lost months of our sanity to babies who refused to sleep at night, and argued about how to turn that disaster around. Others decided having a dog was more their speed. We’ve shelved Elves and planted gardens and learned to totter around and cope (or just given up) when, for heaven’s sake, every year, the heels get higher and higher. Feuds, bff’s, divorces, renovations, exotic vacations, incredible opportunities, and, sadly, departures.
We lost a hell of a woman to metastatic breast cancer in December. Quite possibly the wittiest, smartest, gorgeous-est one of us all.
A few of us decided to meet up in Beaufort to honor her.
And typical of our little subclan, our idea of collective grief involved handcrafted cocktails, great food, lots of laughs, and a viewing of I Love You, Man.
Laters on the menjay, dear C. You were a revelation.
Posted on January 3, 2014
The weekend after Christmas, I met up with a lovely family for portraits downtown.
They were running a few minutes late, so I had an ideal unexpected block of time to try my hand at street photography. It’s one of my favorite genres, but due to time constraints, I have virtually no experience with it.
However, I needed to stay in one place so I’d know when the family arrived, so my challenge was to shoot from a static position.
I think serendipitously being in that situation led me to notice the traffic and vibe on King in a way that I’m not sure I have in a long time. I wasn’t attempting to anticipate or frame moments or being proactive about composition; I just photographed whatever happened by and looked unique or interesting.
It was a great way to spend 7 minutes.
Here, the woman in the scarf walked out of the door and called, “I was told to grab the woman in the red sweater?”
I couldn’t understand the context of their conversation thereafter but thought it was a wonderfully Charleston vignette.
Posted on December 13, 2013
I had a few spare minutes today, so I ordered photo Christmas cards with images from this quick mini-session I did with my own children earlier this fall.
To all my clients: there’s still time to order cards right from your gallery!
I hope everyone’s having a wonderful holiday season-
Posted on November 21, 2013
I met the adorable and vivacious Fornshell family this past spring with a group of their friends.
The group of 4 families opted to do four back to back mini sessions of each family, as well as get a few whole group shots. It was not only an affordable way to commemorate your gang on vacation, but, more importantly, works out well with the kids’ attention spans. It was unseasonably chilly, but I hope they had a great time anyway.