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Meanwhile, here’s another collection of unpublished 2014 portraits.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!
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:
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.
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.
I love this shot. Check out the dapper groomsman’s expression.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?)
Posted on June 28, 2013
Check out Jennifer and Mike’s sentimental, eclectic, charming Lake House at Bulow wedding on Borrowed and Bleu today!
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 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:
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.
The whole family blessed the bride before they left for the ceremony.
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!
St. Johannes Lutheran Church
On to the Mills House!
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!
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!”
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:
Sea World Dolphin
Tacky airbrushed dolphin under the sunset scene
Fantasy island and dolphin scenario with glitter
Even tackier airbrushed dolphin
Seriously, this one leaped right off of a Myrtle Beach t-shirt
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?
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.”