Posted on June 30, 2017

I’ve added birth documentary photography to my offerings in the past year, and I absolutely love it.
One of my favorite assignments. I love the unobtrusive fly on the wall style that allows me to be present but not in the way, or usually even noticeable, which capturing some of the sweetest, cutest, funniest, most priceless moments in a family’s life together.

I’ve already shared this slideshow on my business Facebook page but wanted to share it here as well.

Sweet Sadie came into the world at MUSC East Cooper amidst style, love, and humor!

 

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Posted on June 8, 2017

 

 

It’s family beach photos time again!

 

Here’s a sampling of Folly Beach, Charleston, and Isle of Palms family beach portraits from last season.

I’ve been photographing some of these families for years, and I love catching up each summer!

 

My middle school daughter, since school is out for the summer, selected the images for this post.
Best intern ever.
She has a great grasp on my style, and is terrific at choosing images that convey to families what they can expect from a family portrait session with me.
We don’t tend to showcase the more standard, formal, everyone looking at the camera and smiling images, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take them.
Traditional, framed family portraits are valuable and important for posterity. I love the way an upcoming family describes it:
They want fun family candids, but also want a “90’s JC Penney catalog” type portrait of the whole family.
YES!!!!
Everyone needs a catalog shot.

She also intuitively abides by the rule we’ve come up with together. “Happy people, real smiles, Mom looks good.”
That’s so important. I want fellow mothers to love, or at least like, the way they look in family portraits.
And if that means selecting a few images and asking me to fluff hair, streamline a midsection (I call it “virtual Spanx”), reduce wrinkles, or whatever,
I’m all about it.

Not because we aren’t already awesome exactly as we are.
But because I understand a bad hair day because someone poured all the conditioner down the drain, or dragged peanut buttery fingers through your bangs, or left you so sleep-deprived that the new orange highlights honestly seemed like an awesome idea at the time.

Been there. I’ve got you!

 

Happy summertime–

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Posted on January 10, 2017

 

Judah Wilde and Jeremiah Cole should be coming into the world as I type!

 

I spent a little time with my friend and colleague McBee Photography and her boys Saturday, to document one of their last days as a family of Mom and three boys, to Mom and five boys.
She’s always said she’d like to run a home for boys someday. May not be the way she’d originally envisioned achieving that goal, but she’s making it happen all on her own!
She is such a Superwoman. I was being a bit of a brat and HAD to find an instrumental version of Book of Love (the song sheet on their piano) for their slideshow, and couldn’t find a simple one I liked to purchase. So I texted her and said, “Hey I know you’re a single mother of three and business owner who’s 39 weeks pregnant with twins and all but can you play Book of Love and record it for 3 1/2 minutes? In your spare time tonight?”
And 10 minutes later I got the audio file, with apologies for it being rough.
But it didn’t sound rough to me. It sounded charming and personal and imperfectly perfect.

On pins and needles waiting to hear the news!

 

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Posted on February 10, 2016

 

 

Around this time last year, I photographed the coolest baby shower at Restoration on King in downtown Charleston.

Let’s face it, no one is circling “baby shower” on the calendar and excitedly highlighting it with bright colors and arrows. I love how these days, friends are sure to show their love and excitement for each other, but reinvent time-honored traditions to make them fun for everyone. I knew this was no traditional shindig when the guys rolled in with the Yeti. Now it’s a party!

And the decor was fabulous. The oranges, yellows and and grays were the perfect hues to complement the open loft space. And while the vibe was chic and Lowcountry urban, they didn’t shy away from sweet, whimsical touches. It’s a baby shower, after all!

 

Well done, friends and family of John and Ashkia. You hit it out of the park.

 

01-restoration-on-king-loft-party

 

02-baby-shower-orange-flowers

 

03-baby-shower-for-couples-bar

 

04-baby-shower-yeti-cooler

 

05-baby-shower-giraffe-theme

 

06-baby-shower-gift-burts-bees

 

 

 

08-baby-shower-wishes-for-baby-tree

 

09-baby-shower-wishes-from-grandmother

 

D7C

 

10-baby-shower-friends

 

11-baby-shower-mimosas

 

13-urban-loft-baby-shower

 

13-baby-shower-wooden-giraffes

 

13-sweet-hug-girlfriends-baby-shower-charleston

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Posted on January 15, 2016

 

 

While compiling this series of photographs from the past year, I realized that I tend to like my images best when they are whimsical and/or dreamy. It’s hard to define one’s style, but I look back at this collection as well as collections from previous years and a theme is emerging for me. Lighthearted and romantic. Silly and soulful. Goofy and moody.

This explains why I’m obsessed with the dreamy imperfect look of freelensing, but also love to include a folder of outtakes to wedding clients. Why I’m just as likely to obsess over capturing the perfect blue sky and full moon shot as I am capturing the flower girl with a finger up her nose. Why a cinematic beach portrait in silhouette is great, but not necessarily better than snapping a slobbery dog mouth with a tennis ball 10 inches from the lens.

The best part of my job is that “my people” keep finding and trusting in me, year after year, and although I’m admittedly terrible about keeping up with my blog, I’m so excited to share some of the wonderful moments I’ve made, in collaboration with my Charleston clients, over the past year. This selection is from the past couple of months; I hope to share a lot more from the rest of the year.

 

charleston-siblings-portrait

 

founders-hall-wedding

 

folly-beach-butterfly

 

folly-beach-wedding

 

bored-ring-bearer-charleston-wedding

 

charleston-bridal-portrait-lifestyle-laughing

 

wedding-flowers-charleston-bouquet-lavender

 

folly-beach-wedding-boho-chic

 

wild-dunes-small-wedding

 

 

 

weddings-sign-by-the-sea-i-pledge-my-love-to-thee

 

charleston-country-club-wedding-sunset-portraits

 

wild-dunes-wedding-unique-photography-charleston

 

barn-wedding-first-dance-black-and-white

 

riveroaks-family-lifestyle-portrait-photographer

 

charleston-engagement-photographer

 

isle-of-palms-beach-photography

 

bride-laughing-with-grandmother-charleston-wedding-family-portraits

 

charleston-wedding-bouquet-sunset-colors

 

charleston-wedding-flower-baby-with-bride's-shoes

 

james-island-wedding-hair

 

isle-of-palms-candid-beach-portraits-baby-belly

 

charles-towne-landing-wedding-funny-bride-and-father-dance

 

north-charleston-wedding-quarters-k

 

first-prayer-before-wedding-first-look-barn-wedding-not-seeing-each-other

 

isle-of-palms-first-birthday-photographer

 

isle-of-palms-family-beach-portraits

 

charleston-candid-wedding-photography

 

north-charleston-full-moon-clouds

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Posted on May 14, 2015

Kate and Jonathan were married in the small garden at his mother’s home on Broad Street and took a horse and carriage ride to their reception at the Carolina Yacht Club.

I’ve always been outspoken about my love for weddings at home, so I was thrilled to be there. There’s such a lighthearted, personal feel.

Kate asked for very minimal posed photos and lots of candid moments. I was happy to do that, and their whole crew made it so easy, especially with all the adorable, camera-happy little ones running around!

 

broad street house charleston sc

white wedding florals charleston

charleston wedding flower girl floral crown

flower girl holding bible

guests at charleston back yard wedding

father walking bride down aisle sun flare

garden wedding broad street charleston

funny ceremony moment charleston sc wedding

charleston flower girls

bride and groom recessional black and white sun flare

charleston sc wedding white bouquet

charleston south of broad wedding flower girls and ring bearer

 

 

bride and groom red door portrait

bride and groom portrait charleston wedding

bride by red door

flower girl looking at family photos

wedding guests chatting

 

ring bearer white knee socks saddle shoes charleston

horse shoes horse drawn wedding carriage charleston farrier

palmetto carriage company charleston sc

bride and groom palmetto carriage wedding

st michaels church steeple at sunset charleston broad street

bride and groom carriage east bay street

bride and groom entering carolina yacht club

staircase old building carolina yacht club

dessert table carolina yacht club wedding

fireplace carolina yacht club wedding

carolina yacht club wedding catering crab legs lemon

carolina yacht club sunset charleston

wedding first dance charleston

 

wedding guests black tie carolina yacht club

wedding guests slow dance black and white charleston

cute elderly couple

woman smiling wedding reception

laughing wedding guests charleston

light blue wedding koozies charleston

wedding guests laughing

dad carrying flower girl

flower girl drinking shirley temple charleston bartender

black tie charleston wedding guests

wedding dancing charleston

carolina yacht club lights

full moon over charleston harbor with palmetto frond wedding blue





Posted on January 15, 2015

 

January for portrait photographers is like summer for teachers.

Preparations, desk work and continuing education are always a priority, but there’s also a little time to creatively meander, and it’s fabulous. Here’s to growth through downtime!

My goal this month is to dust off my film cameras- I don’t think I turned them on my children even once last year.

Dreary days are perfect for moody Holga and twin lens reflex images.

Meanwhile, here’s another collection of unpublished 2014 portraits. Enjoy!

 

mother and daughter spinning candid portrait

 

charleston family portrait pineapple fountain

engagement photo dock charleston

grandfather helping grandson ring bearer william aiken house

 

isle of palms photographer candid family pyramid

 

folly beach grandparents and grandchildren portrait photographer

charleston waterfront park swings photos

 

charleston child portraiture

wild dunes child photographer

wild dunes lifestyle photography

prohibition rehearsal dinner

wild dunes candid family portraits

 

charleston wedding cabell house

charleston engagement session

charleston prohibition engagement photos

charleston couple photographer

isle of palms family portraits

 

jekyll island club family photos

mount pleasant sc wedding funny ring bearer candid

charleston bridal portrait candid

jekyll island wedding photographer

shem creek

charleston senior portraits casual

isle of palms winter family photos

william aiken house at night

 

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Posted on January 6, 2015

 

I get nervous before every shoot.

We all do.

It’s a great thing-it keeps us on our toes. Packing lists to triple-check, meeting someone new, and the generalized anxiety of our responsibility to you and your family. It’s never something we take lightly, going into it.

Yet when I return from a wedding or family session, my husband will joke,

 

“Let me guess. They were the nicest and most interesting group you’ve ever met.  They were ‘totally precious and you just adored them all’, right?”

 

Yep. That’s how it always works.

Your hugs, expressions,  inside jokes, even the way you squabble. Each group has a unique fingerprint.

I can’t really explain it, but I think you are ALL the cat’s pajamas.

Some sessions and weddings have been blogged already, and a few weddings are still pending publication elsewhere, but here’s Part One one of a sampling of my 2014 work that I haven’t yet shared:

 

Sullivans Island family portrait

 

Charleston white bridal bouquet

candid mother and daughter portrait charleston

boy and mother laughing isle of palms

charleston beach portrait baby in pink

 

family portrait in charleston sc with catahoula dog

jekyll island child portrait

jekyll island photographer bowtie

coleman hall mount pleasant wedding

 

william aiken house wedding tree

 

cottage on the creek shem creek wedding

 

isle of palms family photographer

 

kiawah island candid family portraiture sanctuary

isle of palms toddler pink swimsuit

hampton park charleston cousins photos

charleston child portraiture black and white candid

charleston child headshot photographer

isle of palms candid beach photography

coleman hall mount pleasant wedding dress

 

blue wedding shoes charleston

 

black and white child portrait charleston

 

isle of palms family photographer what to wear

 

 

magnolia plantation 20's themed wedding

isle of palms winter family portraits

 

 

 





Posted on June 13, 2014

 

 

It’s no secret that I love a rainy wedding day.

Preferable not ALL day, and of course I wouldn’t wish less-than-perfect weather on anyone. But when it does happen, I find the resulting images to be lighthearted, intimate, and romantic.

Whitney and Andy planned their Charleston destination wedding from California, where Andy is in the Air Force.

There’s a certain joyful, calm, festive atmosphere that accompanies most destination weddings, and this one was no different.

No stress, just fun.

dragonfly on leaf magnolia plantation

 

silly flower girls

 

bride and bridesmaids champagne toast before wedding

 

wedding guests seated charleston

 

blue wedding shoes

flower girl putting on shoes

bridal portrait under tree magnolia plantation

ceremony time charleston wedding

different shades bridesmaids dresses

magnolia plantation and gardens carriage house wedding

grooms sister and mother wedding umbrella

bride and grandfather

ashley river magnolia plantation

ceremony magnolia carriage house charleston

salt shaker boat charleston

 

happy recessional charleston wedding

 

Whitney surprised Andy by renting this vintage car (Camaro? I think? Please let me know if you recognize it for sure!) for Andy to show up in and as their getaway car.

groomsmen vintage camaro

 

bride kissing groom's hand

magnolia plantation wedding portrait by fence

wedding portrait under oaks charleston sc plantation

sun flare charleston wedding photographer

bride and bridesmaids charleston wedding different colored bridesmaids dresses

 

 

 

I love this shot.  Check out the dapper groomsman’s expression.

bridesmaid in rain

 

magnolia carriage house wedding decor

bride and groom under umbrella first dance

clemson wedding cake

Apple butter wedding favors. Ask any wedding photographer-we love our wedding swag! Especially at destination weddings, guests tend to leave favors behind, so we’re often offered goodies on the way out. I’ve made shrimp and grits from gift bags of local grits, brought home candy to the kiddos, sipped personalized wine, added to our collection of monogrammed cups and koozies (yes, we really do use them, and remember our favorite moment or image from your wedding every time.) I wasn’t sure what to use the apple butter for at first, but one day I stirred it into an apple crisp I was throwing together. Delicious!

apple butter wedding favors

bride and groom lifted in chairs on dance floor

magnolia plantation carriage house dancing

wedding guests dancing

I’m not sure how safe this was, but it was one of my all-time favorite shots of last year. I love the Mad Men vibe.

groomsmen lighting cigars on torchesair force groomsmen dance floor

charleston sparkler exit

 

 

 

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Posted on May 20, 2014

 

Ella Grace’s family has a history of having professional portraits made when a child turns 10. She is, I believe, the 3rd or 4th generation on her mother’s side to follow this lovely tradition.

I think it’s such a neat idea. I’ve written before about how the years between early teenhood and high school graduation tend to not be as well documented as the younger, chubbier, dimplier years. I love the idea of mindfully commemorating and celebrating a decade of laughter, running, playing-being *them*.

At ten, the jawline is starting to cast shadows, the elbows and anklebones are etched, the eyes are rolling, and the limbs attenuate. But the smiles are still those of our babies.

We started our Charleston portrait session near the Doc Street Theater, and worked our way down to the Waterfront Park.

 

 

ten year old portrait charleston alley

charleston child photographer

haunted alley charleston portraits

 

pineapple fountain charleston

 

 

child white dress waterfront park charleston

portrait session alley charleston

near mccradys alley charleston sc

charleston pink roses queen street

child photographer charleston golden light

waterfront park pier charleston sc

philadelphia alley black and white portrait charleston sc

 

 





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copyright 2014 Sally Watts