Frito Lay Headshots at Wild Dunes Resort

As part of our contract to cover Frito Lay’s Atlantic Region Rollout Meeting at Wild Dunes Resort, we were asked to provide headshot stations for anyone needing an updated portrait.

Over 200 employees signed up…and we had a very short window in which to photograph them before the general session began! So I reached out to my good friend Jason of Docent Prodigy to double up with me. Jason is my Moto Photo Adventures partner-in-crime (check out our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/motophotoadventures), and an amazing photographer in his own right!

We set up our “double-trouble” studio in the Boardroom at the Boardwalk Inn, using a Savage Studio Gray backdrop in a diagonal pattern to allow more shooting space on each side. Each station included a Z9, Flashpoint trigger, 2 Flashpoint Speedlights in a Westcott 60″ umbrella as the main light, 1 Flashpoint Speedlight in a 43″ Westcott umbrella as the fill light, and 1 Flashpoint Speedlight in a Westcott Apollo Strip soft box as a kicker light. Everything was placed on Manfrotto supports, held down by BoaBags for safety. In one station, the Z9 was mounted with 24-120S f4 lens (set at around 105mm). In the other station, the Z9 was mounted with a 70-200G f2.8 (also set around 105mm). Everything was shot at ISO 400, f5.6, 1/200, with the flashes dialed to 1/16 power. These settings ensured fast recycle time and no risk of running out of battery power in spite of such a large group.

Even though we had calculated a window of approximately 2 minutes per person, our task was made even more challenging when we were told we also had to rename each person’s headshot to include their region, first name, and last name. This meant each camera had to be tethered to a computer. We used Lenovo Yoga laptops for the task. But since Lightroom doesn’t yet support tethering to the Z9, we used Nikon NX Tether software for the job. It’s a simple, clean, and robust program. And the best part is, it allows you to press a shortcut key to bring up a renaming dialogue box before you shoot each person. This allowed us to input each person’s region, first, and last name into NX Tether before each client. Thus, each image was being automatically renamed by the program while it was transferring to the laptop.

The system worked beautifully, everyone was so friendly, and we had a BLAST!!!

Many thanks to Kate at Destination South, Jason with Docent Prodigy, and Donna & Tracey from Frito Lay for all their help. I couldn’t have done it without you!

Loesch Family at Rainbow Row

13 years ago, I had the pleasure of photographing Erik & Julia’s beautiful destination wedding in St. Thomas. Earlier this week, I got to photograph some fun family portraits for them near Rainbow Row in the old historic area of downtown Charleston. It makes my heart full to see them with their two adorable girls, a loving home, and a happy ever-after…

Stith Family at Hampton Park

What a beautiful fall evening for a family portrait session!!!

A while back, I had photographed headshots for the law firm where Melanie works. So I was particularly delighted when she contacted me about also photographing some updated family portraits. She and Anthony hadn’t had a “real” family portrait done since the kids were little. So it was about time! They have such a beautiful family, with three amazing kids. We all had a blast, catching up and creating some memorable images for them just before the holiday season “rush” begins!

We settled on Hampton Park, with its beautiful trees and natural surroundings, as the backdrop for our photo session. I love exploring this old historic park with wonderful clients like the Stiths. It was their first time here…but I don’t think it’ll be their last! 🙂

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…

Ally’s Senior Portraits

I had so much fun photographing Ally’s high-school senior portraits yesterday!

Ally is an adorable young lady, with a beautiful smile, a bubbly personality, and tons of energy!!! Not only is she beautiful, she’s also brilliant, hoping to study Marine Biology at the University of Georgia. And to top it all off, she’s an athlete…hoping to make the college baton twirling team!

CONGRATULATIONS Ally! We wish you all the best for a bright future ahead…

First Headshots with New Nikon Z9

The Nikon D5 has been my go-to camera for headshots and corporate assignments for many years! The files from that camera have just been so clean and noise-free that I thought it would be impossible to beat.

Now that I’ve had some time to test out the Z9, I am REALLY impressed. The images are even sharper. The eye-detect auto-focus system adds a whole new level of accuracy.  And the higher resolution sensor captures even MORE detail. Nikon’s new flagship camera has definitely earned it’s place in my bag!!!

(Nikon Z9, Nikkor 70-200 f2.8VRII + FTZII, Manfrotto stands, Flashpoint trigger, 4 Flashpoint flashes, Westcott Apollo 50″ softbox, Westcott Apollo strip box, BoaBags sand bags.)

Seamon Whiteside Marketing Photos

I had another fun photoshoot with Seamon Whiteside yesterday! We captured several headshots for some new team members, and also created a number of “collaboration” style marketing photos for their website.

It was a beautiful morning in their courtyard.  And the Nikon Z9 was the perfect tool for the job! Although I brought some off-camera lighting, I didn’t need it. The dynamic range of that camera’s sensor is amazing!!!

Fairfax Family at Folly Beach

As Hurricane Ian barreled down on a direct path to Charleston, I have to admit I was a little worried. We called Kelly on Thursday to see what she wanted to do about her family session. To her credit, she said, “let’s wait and see.” I am SO GLAD SHE DID!!!

Ian skirted past Charleston on Friday with no major damage. And Saturday turned out to be absolutely GORGEOUS!!! So we all met up at Folly Beach County Park as planned. 🙂

I had so much fun photographing the Fairfax Family. It was a nice cool evening. The sunset was incredible. And we came away with some beautiful images for them to commemorate their family vacation!

Berkeley County Promo Pics

I have really enjoyed working with Jenna at Berkeley County to capture a wide variety of promotional pictures for their marketing team. Today was another fun day in pursuing that goal!!!

Charleston Water Systems

With the right lighting, professional headshots can be done just about anywhere!

I had the pleasure of photographing updated headshots for the management team at Charleston Water Systems last week. You would never know it, but these were made in their basement with an archive of records on one side, and a breakroom sink on the other! But regardless of the environment, we had a great time and came away with some awesome shots!!!

(Nikon D5, Nikkor 70-200 f2.8, 5 Flashpoint Li-On flashes, Manfrotto supports, Westcott modifiers and backdrop, Lenovo laptop, Sony XQD cards)

Many thanks to Mike Saia for all his hard work in coordinating everyone’s schedules.

Berkeley County Government

I have really enjoyed working with Jenna, the amazing Public Information Officer over at Berkeley County this year! Last week she had another great day of photography lined up for me.

It may look like a ton of work…like we were zipping all over the place, from one office to the next, from building to building. But Jenna is so organized and so cheerful when she enters a room, that it made the whole day a ton of fun. I can see why she is so well known, and so well appreciated by her colleagues!

(Nikon Z9, Nikkor 14-30 f4, Nikkor 24-70 f2.8, Nikkor 24-120 f4, SB-5000 Speedlights, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Manfrotto stands, Westcott modifiers)

Fitzpatrick Family on Isle of Palms

Traveling from Ohio, Judy & Colin planned a fun trip to the beach to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary!

I had the pleasure of catching up with the Fitzpatrick Family during their vacation at Wild Dunes Resort on IOP. Their kids and their spouses had also joined them. It was fantastic to see the whole family together laughing and having fun. They made me feel so welcome as we explored the beach capturing beautiful images for them to remember this special time. It reminded me of fond memories from our own family gatherings!

CONGRATULATIONS Judy & Colin!!!