Branden & Kendelle’s Surprise Proposal on Kiawah Island

When Julia told me Branden & Kendelle’s story, and explained that he was going to propose to her beautiful daughter the day before Thanksgiving, I knew right away that Cami and I needed to delay our travel plans by a day so that we could capture this moment!!!

Julia and I concocted the ruse that she hired me to photograph family portraits during their visit to Kiawah Island. We all met up at The Ocean Course.  I loved the colorful outfits they had all chosen.  And we had a blast, capturing a variety of shots, including their Christmas Card photo. Then towards the end of the shoot, I suggested some candid “walking on the beach” photos of each couple. When it was Branden & Kendelle’s turn, he took her hand, led her down the beach for a little privacy, dropped to his knee, and ask her to be his wife. It was SUCH a special moment!!!

Afterwards, everyone congratulated the newly engaged couple with hugs and high-fives. The others went inside for drinks at the Ryder Cup Bar while Branden & Kendelle did some engagement photos with me before meeting up with them in the Atlantic Room for dinner. As soon as the rest of the gang left, the overcast skies cracked open a sliver of light at the horizon, allowing the AMAZING sunset to shine through for the amazing couple!

CONGRATULATIONS Branden & Kendelle!  You have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!!! We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together…

Alex & Hannah’s Surprise Proposal at White Point Garden

Alex’s heartfelt email arrived on my desktop back in July: “I’m looking to propose to my girlfriend on the evening of either 11/11/22 or 11/12/22 and would love to have the surprise proposal photographed.”. (I owe my good friend and amazing photographer, Michael Cyra, a HUGE Thank You for recommending us to him!)

This contact sparked a wonderful series of emails and phone conversations with Alex, in which we concocted a secret plan of action. Alex & Hannah were going to be visiting Charleston that weekend. We decided that after a fun tour of The Aquarium, he was going to let her know he had arranged for a private walking tour around historic Downtown Charleston for the two of them. And they had to meet their “tour guide” under a certain tree at White Point Garden.

When the big day arrived, I got to the park ahead of schedule, and set up my spot. Due to the wind (remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole that had passed through days before), Alex and I had to call an audible. We needed to reverse their positions so that Hannah’s hair wouldn’t be blowing in her face! 🙂 Alex handled the change of directions with confidence and discretion…expertly guiding Hannah to a beautiful spot on the lawn, underneath the avenue of oaks that line the edge of the park.

Dropping to his knee, Alex delivered a beautiful speech, and asked Hannah to be his wife. SHE SAID YES!!! The park was filled with tons of tourists, who all noticed what was going on, and broke out in applause afterwards! It was such a special moment.

Following their surprise proposal, Alex, Hannah, and I enjoyed a wonderful stroll through the park, into the surrounding old historic district, ending up along The Battery for some dramatic shots with the sun setting in the distance over the Ashley River!

CONGRATULATIONS Alex & Hannah!!! We wish you all the best as you begin this new journey together…

Izzy & Stephen’s Surprise Proposal

It was such an honor being a part of Stephen’s Secret Proposal to his beautiful girlfriend, Izzy, last night!

Stephen & Izzy have been together for 3 years now.  Although her family now lives in Florida, her dad is originally from Colombia, which explains her gorgeous Latin complexion.  His is lives in North Carolina.  The two of them met at a college in NC and have been dating ever since.  They live near Charlotte, where she works for a marketing agency, and he works for the Whitewater Center (like a Theme Park for outdoor enthusiasts).

When his company purchased the gorgeous Middleburg Plantation in Huger, Stephen knew EXACTLY where he wanted to propose!  So he called me and we came up with a plan.  Because his company has had surveyors, maintenance workers, photographers, influencers, and marketing teams out at the new property to get it ready for launch, he said it would be easy to pretend that I was out there to photograph the grounds for the company brochures.  We agreed on the perfect spot under the long avenue of amazing oak trees for me to photograph his surprise proposal.  And sure enough, it worked like a charm!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Stephen & Izzy!  We wish you all the happiness in the world as you begin your new journey together…

Lindsey & Brock’s Rehearsal Dinner Party

My heart is overflowing! This weekend was filled with palpable excitement, heartfelt tears of joy, and a fairytale story of true love!

It all started with Lindsey & Brock’s Wedding Rehearsal at Forsyth Park in Savannah, GA. After rehearsing their vows for the day ahead, we strolled through the park, capturing a few beautiful portraits of this amazing couple as the sun’s final rays of golden light sifted through the trees.

The ensuing Rehearsal Dinner Party at 700 Drayton Restaurant was the perfect cap to a delightful day together. Everyone was in high spirits with anticipation of the day to come. And there was a palpable buzz of excitement in the air, as everyone enjoyed a wonderful evening of fellowship and celebration for Lindsey & Brock.

With dreams of the big day ahead, here are a few favorite images from Lindsey & Brock’’s Wedding Rehearsal.  I can’t wait to share their amazing wedding photos as soon as they are done! Stay tuned!!!  🙂

Caroline & Andrew’s Rehearsal Dinner Party

The monsoon rains cleared up just in time for Caroline & Andrew’s awesome rehearsal dinner party!

Although the ground was wet, and there was plenty of flooding around downtown, spirits were high as everyone toasted and celebrated this beautiful couple and the special day that lay ahead. Caroline and Andrew’s rehearsal dinner was held at the private room behind Leon’s Oyster Shed. Afterwards, everyone jumped on the trolley and headed over to Edmunds Oast. The outdoor event space had been reserved for all their friends to join the family, nibble on some treats, share in lively conversation, and party the night away. The rains held off as the amazing Southside 17 Band kept the tunes rolling, and kept the energy going!

CONGRATULATIONS Caroline & Andrew!!!

Matt’s Middleton Place Proposal to Becca

Becca & Matt are the most adorable couple ever!!!

When Matt called to ask if I would capture his surprise proposal to his girlfriend, Becca, I was super excited. He had already put so much thought into how he was going to propose, and had so many fantastic ideas. I could tell he was head-over heals in love. And I couldn’t wait to be a part of it!  We spent the next few weeks planning out every detail.

Matt knew how much Becca loved gardens and flowers. So he had chosen the Octagonal Garden at Middleton Place as the spot where he would ask her to marry him. Isn’t that awesome! I arrived at “the spot” a little early that morning to get in place. Right on cue, Matt led Becca around the corner and over to our pre-chosen location. Taking a knee in front of the girl of his dreams, he asked Becca to be his wife. She said YES!!!  🙂  I could hardly contain my emotions, as I witnessed the whole thing from inside my viewfinder.

Afterwards, we had so much fun, exploring the gorgeous grounds at Middleton Plantation, getting to know each other, and photographing a variety of authentic engagement photos for them to commemorate this special day! CONGRATULATIONS Matt & Becca!!!

Silverio Family at Hampton Park

A gentle breeze and soft lighting gave us the PERFECT evening for a summer family portrait session! I met up with the Silverio Family at the picturesque Hampton Park. They were in town enjoying their bi-annual family reunion. It was especially neat to have grandma Jean with us, celebrating her 83rd trip around the sun!

Many thinks to Cynthia for helping organize everyone. We had a BLAST and came away with some wonderful images!

(Nikon Z9, Nikkor 24-120 f4S, SB-5000 Speedlight, Lexar XQD Cards, Manfrotto supports)

Nick & Nicole’s Secret Proposal at The Sanctuary

After weeks and weeks of planning every detail for Nick’s secret proposal, we had to call a last-minute audible!!!

Nick and I had worked so hard to come up with the perfect plan for him to ask his beautiful girlfriend, Nicole, to marry him. We had picked a pristine beach at the northern end of Kiawah Island as the backdrop. We had chosen the perfect time of day to catch that “golden hour” light before sunset. But all our plans fell apart minutes before our scheduled time when the skies opened up, pelting buckets of rain down from the sky!!!

Fortunately, Nick and Nicole’s parents had secretly flown in to surprise the couple after the proposal. Since his parents were staying at The Sanctuary, they quickly scouted out a secluded spot indoors and out of the rain. They even placed a trail of rose petals leading Nick to “the spot” where he would do his magic. It worked out PERFECTLY!!!

Arriving right on cue, Nicole said later that she could sense Nick was acting a little strange. But she wasn’t sure why? Then Nick hit his mark, turned to face the love of his life, and dropped to one knee. It was a truly magical moment. Nicole burst into a HUGE grin as she realized what was going on…and she couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the night!

Afterwar she said “Yes”, we were able to incorporate the beautiful hallways, archways, and grand staircase of the famous hotel into a fun authentic engagement shoot. I got some neat candids of Nick & Nicole’s parents surprising them and checking out Nicole’s AMAZING ring. And of course we captured a few nice family portraits to commemorate the occasion.

CONGRATULATIONS Nick & Nicole!!! We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together!

Tres Surprises Keri with a Secret Proposal

I owe a HUGE “Thank You” to Tres’ mom, who called to vet photographers in Charleston for her son, and decided we were worthy of this special event!

Tres and Keri met online and have been inseparable since. Tres has known for a while that Keri was “the one”. In fact, he’s had her engagement ring since August!!! He wanted to wait for the right moment, and to make sure Keri had a very special proposal. I would say he pulled that off in spades!

Tres is from Alabama. But he and Keri now live in Charlotte. This weekend, they planned a fun “get-away” for a few days in Port Royal, with a side-trip to historic Charleston. It’s been so much fun working with Tres the last couple months, secretly scheming about how to make his proposal absolutely perfect!

Arriving at White Point Garden early, I scouted our location under the avenue of oak trees, and placed two branches in an “X” formation so Tres knew the right spot. I took my position on the curb, hid my cameras under a towel, and pretended to be a tourist reading a map. Arriving right on cue, Tres led Keri to the beautiful location he had picked, dropped to his knee underneath the gorgeous cathedral of oaks, and asked Keri to be his wife!!! 🙂

Getting to know Tres & Keri afterwards, as we walked around historic downtown, was so much fun! We captured a ton of fun engagement photos for them. These were “authentic” engagement photos because they weren’t staged months later, but actually took place moments after she said YES!!!

Eventually it was time for this amazing couple to head off to the next part of Tres’ surprise…a fantastic dinner cruise around Charleston Harbor.

Please help me in saying CONGRATULATIONS to Tres & Keri!!! We wish you all the best as you begin this new journey together…

Lea & Frank are ENGAGED!!!

Frank has been a fantastic friend, a fabulous neighbor (4 doors down from us), and a fun colleague (he’s an awesome wedding videographer that I frequently get the privilege of working with). Yesterday, it was my distinct honor to help Frank capture this secret proposal to his beautiful girlfriend, Lea!!!

May 8th has special meaning to Frank & Lea. It’s Lea’s son’s birthday. It’s Mother’s Day. And it’s the day Frank’s beloved father passed away. Knowing how special this day already was in their lives, Frank wanted to make it even MORE meaningful to the two of them! So we came up with a mischievous ruse together…

Frank told Lea that he booked me to photograph a special “Mother & Son” photo shoot for her on Mother’s Day. We even had Cami print out a fake gift certificate for him to put in her Mother’s Day card. When I met up with them at the picturesque Stono River Park that morning, I pretended to follow along, photographing a variety of portraits of just Josiah and his mom as we walked along the path.

Arriving at the entrance to the boardwalk, I told Leah “Hey, we should get a few shots of you and Frank while we’re here!” This was Frank’s cue to lead her out onto the boardwalk, overlooking the peaceful marsh. When he got to the middle, he pretended to tie his shoe, and then surprised her with a beautiful diamond ring! Lea’s expression speaks for itself!!!  🙂

CONGRATULATIONS Lea & Frank! We wish you all the best as you begin this new journey together!!!

Tyler & Melody’s Surprise Waterfront Proposal

Melody got a new Fuji XE4 and has turned into quite an amazing photo buff. So Tyler thought hiring me to give her one of my private photography mentoring sessions (https://chrisandcami.com/workshops/private-mentoring/) would be the perfect ruse for his proposal. HE WAS RIGHT!!!

It’s been so much fun secretly scheming with Tyler over the last few weeks to come up with the perfect plan to surprise the love of his life. Finally the BIG DAY arrived! I met up with Tyler & Melody at the famous Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park. After going over Melody’s camera settings, and practicing a few techniques, we went on a fun walk-about around the picturesque back alleys and colorful walkways of our historic city. Melody and I would stop periodically to shoot photos together. And I would suggest they do a nice portrait in front of whatever backdrop had caught our eyes. Since they are moving into a new house soon, and wanted photos to decorate it with, the “let me get a shot of you guys here for your house” excuse was a natural part of Tyler’s plan.

Now let me back up here for a minute. Believe it or not, Tyler & Melody got together because of the pandemic! Originally from L.A., Melody moved to Dallas, where she enjoys her career as a financial planner. Tyler travels a lot for his work as a medical consultant.  Originally from Michigan, he lived in the same apartment complex as Melody. In fact, they were neighbors on the same floor, and kind of knew each other in passing. When the pandemic shuttered a lot of travel, forced everyone to quarantine indoors, and curtailed extra curricular activities, Tyler & Melody began hanging out and became good friends. Then they began hanging out a LOT MORE!!! Until…well…here we are today.

Tyler really wanted to propose with the gorgeous Charleston Harbor behind them. So we had planned to conclude our photo walk down at the dock with the soft glow of twilight. Arriving at our location, it was miraculously void of all tourists and fishermen! Tyler and I had a secret sign arranged so that he would know when to make his move. Right on cue, as we stood on the open dock with the famous Arthur Ravenel Bridge standing as witness, Tyler NAILED IT!!! Melody was so surprised!  It was a beautiful moment I’ll never forget.

Some heartfelt words were spoken by Tyler. A GORGEOUS ring was placed on Melody’s finger. And SHE SAID YES!!! Please help me in congratulating this amazing couple! 🙂