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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Posted on May 8, 2014

 

 

This family photo session reminded me of a moment from my own parenting history.

When my middle daughter was two months old, I gently placed her into my sweet two year old son’s lap and snapped a few images of them together. When I announced, “We’re done!” my son nodded with satisfaction, and tumbled the baby onto the grass. There was no malice involved. He was just a roughshod two year old boy who’d been told he didn’t have to hold something anymore.

Jane didn’t even cry, she just lay there, face smushed on the lawn, making this hilarious, confused “Meeeh. Meeehhhhhh” sound as I quickly scooped her up.

The classic posed images are lovely heirlooms, but the images that encapsulate the heartwarming chaos of this era in the Chandler’s life, when the older children are full of love and enthusiasm but age-appropriately short on self-control, are the ones that crack me up. Finger to the eyeball! Yank your brother’s ear! Cautionary parental hands entering the frame!

Love it all. Look at all these beautiful babies. Blessed.

toddler brothers portrait black and white

 

boy sweater smiling candid portrait

boy candid with plant

The Chandlers’ home in Bell Hall Plantation is stunning. I love that it’s a gorgeous design that still looks and feels homey, and reflects the reality that toddlers live there. (See the crayon on the wall?)

toddler boys at picnic table

belle hall family portrait

 

mount pleasant family lifestyle photography

charleston sc whimsical family photographer

 

blond toddler boy soulful candid portrait

 

candid brothers portrait

toddler smiling candid baby ralph lauren

newborn baby boy wrapped in blue and white blanket

proud older brothers and newborn

 

mount pleasant child photography

 

older brother kissing baby newborn brother

 

charleston black and white siblings portrait

charleston silly child photo

 

charleston family photography funny

charleston candid family photographer

sweet three sons with mother

charleston family portrait with boxer dog

 

mount pleasant photograph boy hugging boxer dog

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Posted on June 28, 2013

Check out Jennifer and Mike’s sentimental, eclectic, charming Lake House at Bulow wedding on Borrowed and Bleu today!

handmade wooden wedding sign

Happy Friday!

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Posted on June 11, 2013

Hello world!

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.

charleston boy

laughing boy





Posted on April 15, 2013

 

 

 

So Sabrina and Jason are fabulous. I actually booked their wedding through Sabrina’s wonderful mother, so I didn’t get a chance to meet or talk to them until their wedding day this past fall. However, I could tell right off the bat that they had this great, witty,  shared sardonic sense of humor. I’m all about that.

 

They had a destination wedding in Charleston, with the ceremony at St. Johannes Lutheran Church and then another Indian ceremony at the reception. It was gorgeous, and I was so honored to have the opportunity to be there.

 

Getting ready at Stella Nova salon in Mount Pleasant:

 

stella nova salon mount pleasant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of family flew over from India, and they all stayed in a wonderful beachfront home on Isle of Palms. Hurricane Irene tried to derail the festivities, but we all just went with the flow.

 

bride red lipstick

bridal portrait indian american hybrid wedding

The whole family blessed the bride before they left for the ceremony.

Blessing the bride

 

My second shooter for the day, Bridgit, slowed down her shutter to capture all the graceful whirlwind movement prior to departing for the church.

It started clearing up almost immediately after this. Yay!

Boutonniere charleston

St. Johannes Lutheran Church

St Johannes wedding Charleston

bride from balcony st johannes church

Groom tying necklace on bride Indian wedding

st johannes church charleston

bride and groom portrait birdcage veil

bride and groom hasell st charleston

On to the Mills House!

flowers indian wedding

bride and groom under umbrella indian wedding

indian wedding ceremony charleston sc

indian wedding ceremony coconut

The bride’s sisters organized a surprise flash mob. Every guest was sent a video of lyrics and dance moves to the Muppets tune, “Life’s a Happy Song”.

So much fun to see all those smiles and reactions!

flash mob at wedding

kids dancing at wedding





Posted on March 26, 2013

 

 

 

I love this image from last Sunday’s Boone Hall engagement session. So dreamy!

 

 

 

Head over to my Facebook page to see a few additional images from this session, as well as some cute family sessions I’ve shot over the past few weeks.   I’m also still newly enthralled with Instagram, and I’m enjoying learning more about shooting in a new medium.

 

If you want to check out some fabulous inspiration from some of the most talented names in the photography field, check out the new SWPB Pinterest Boards.  Now is the perfect time to follow along and see how these collectively curated boards unfold.

 

Speaking of Pinterest, we’re sort of on speaking terms again. During the fall wedding and portrait rush, we had to part ways. There was just no time for that fabulously addictive yet time-sucking nonsense. Now, though, I sneak in occasionally. I try to Pin Responsibly. It’s what the Surgeon General would want.

Anyway, as stated on my bio page, I think my Pinterest boards are a great and fairly comprehensive way to get a sense of my personality and style, especially for destination wedding couples who want to see if we’re a good fit.

So imagine my surprise when I got home from a wedding a few weeks ago to a facetious Facebook message from a friend that said, “Those are some beautiful dolphins on Pinterest, Sally!”

Huh?

I logged on to find that my 7 year old daughter had been assiduously pinning to my boards in my absence, so to someone perusing Pinterest at the time, my activity looked something like this:

 

Dolphin

Dolphin

Sea World Dolphin

Tacky airbrushed dolphin under the sunset scene

Fantasy island and dolphin scenario with glitter

Mermaid

Mermaids

Even tackier airbrushed dolphin

Seriously, this one leaped right off of a Myrtle Beach t-shirt

Mermaid

 

I need to look into making her cute little self a private board. Really, no one over the age of 12 needs to be subjected to that.

 

Let’s erase those images with another dreamy one, shall we?

 

 

 

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Posted on June 7, 2012

May is 3,  and can be accordingly quirky. We’ve been growing her bangs out for-what-8 months?

They were just tucking behind her ear, but she doesn’t like to wear it that way.  She’s also not big on the whole thing where we brush it, wash it, style it, make it not look like a rat’s nest.

Rather than deal with daily negotiations and painful rubber bands and howling, fat-fist-shaking recriminations,  and after a lot of wishy washy thought (seriously, it’s ridiculous, how long I contemplated the bangs-or-no-bangs thing) I granted her request for “Dora hair.”

And I think she rocks it.

(C.R. and I got summer cuts too but I haven’t taken pictures yet. Plus my hair pretty much looks the same no matter what.)

.

Before

(After helping herself to my makeup bag. Asking for permission= feh.)

black and white child portrait

.

After

three year old girl haircut ideas





Posted on June 4, 2012

Good morning!

Fun with passenger vans:

wild dunes wedding bride wearing white orchid in her hair

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!

http://www.facebook.com/sallywattsphoto





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,

Sally





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