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 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 October 31, 2013
Here’s our Haunted Tree pumpkin. He won’t win any awards for execution, but he makes me happy. I have this stubborn *thing*-I insist on dreaming up original (to me) designs and freehand carving them with nothing more than a steak knife. None of this stencil and tiny electric saw business for me. (Although that method makes some jaw-dropping art, for sure.)
I don’t know if I’ll take out the real camera or not today, but I’m sure I’ll Instagram a few shots of our evening.
Have a great one, y’all!
Posted on September 4, 2013
It’s a huge thing, to leave your kid in the mountains without knowing a soul.
As soon as we put his things in his cabin, he disappeared over the rocks and down the hill, shoeless, like a billy goat.
So I knew he was going to be just fine. But the way he hugged me when we left told me he was nervous.
Charles kept eyeing me on the way back down the mountain, saying, “Are you OK? How are you doing?”
And I was completely OK.
I mean, there were horses, a welcome llama, and a giant slip and slide that runs down the hill into the lake. How could I not be thrilled for him?
And then the week ended, and we were on our way back up the mountain, and about 5 minutes away from the camp, eager to see our boy, and I burst into tears.
The hubs gave me The Baffled Look (I’m not a weepy type person), and I said, “I just…I’m just so ha-ha-haaappy for him, and it’s so sp-sp-eeecial up here, and now he’s going back to ordinary boring home, and I’m not ready for his life to not be spe-eeecial anymore, not quite yet. Sniffle sniff sob.”
Moms can be kind of nuts.
Happy fall, y’all!
Posted on June 11, 2013
First, a few updates.
As usual, I post new images as I’m editing on my Facebook business page, so please head on over there to see my most current work!
I’ve also had work featured on a few blogs lately and wanted to link to those. Almost all of the images featured have not yet appeared on my blog, so be sure to check them all out!
The Wedding Row featured Kate and Blake’s gorgeous Boone Hall Plantation engagement session here
Red Dirt bride, a blog for rustic wedding inspiration based in Oklahoma, featured Jenna and Michael’s lovely Alhambra Hall wedding with DIY accents here.
The Lovely Find featured Kellie and Russ’s beautiful Lowcountry casual meets English garden riverside wedding here.
And look for Jennifer and Mike’s Bulow Landing wedding, coming on soon on Borrowed and Bleu!
On a personal note, I’ve gotten several emails lately from parents wanting their 10-12 year old children photographed. The individual phrasing is slightly different, but the same theme runs through all the requests. They want their children documented during those fleeting moments of childhood. That stage where the knees are extra-knobby but the cheeks, in certain light and angles, still retain traces of chubbiness. That stage before Mom and Dad are, OMG, a Complete Embarrassment!
I was at my older childrens’ elementary school last month, and ran into my son’s 4th grade class, lined up in the hall. He saw me. I’m pretty sure he saw me. But he immediately averted eye contact and froze.
Like I was a T-Rex.
And I realized that I probably do some freezing and averting of my own. Sure, we’re great buds, and I spend lots of time with him, and I’m not afraid to discipline him and be active in his life, the good and the bad. But with the camera, I’ve definitely backed off. Part of it’s that he’s less into it, and is on the threshold of some serious orthodontia. Another reason is he’s entered that universal photographic wasteland, from which kids typically emerge around JV sports, and for awkward prom photos.
But I don’t want his tween and teen years documented only by goofy faces, images involving shin guards, or, God forbid, 500 mirror selfies of him trying to look tough with his hand thrown in a sideways V. (What IS that, anyway?).
So I’m going to get better about taking pictures of him. He deserves it. He’s pretty awesome. He’s the only person in the whole wide world who thinks my nonsense song lyrics when I change up or forget the words are hilarious.
If you feel the same way about your child, contact me and we’ll set up a session! I make it painless on them. Promise.
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!