Graham & Clint with the Nikon D500

Graham and Clint are two of the TOP body builders in the entire state! Next weekend they’ll be competing in the IFBB NBC South Carolina Grand Prix. That means they are now in peak form. So I jumped at the chance to photograph them!!!

Even though they’ve been in Charleston a long time, one of their “summer bucket list” items was to finally visit the historic and picturesque Morris Island Inlet on Folly Beach. Since that’s one of my favorite areas to shoot in, we decided to meet there for their photo shoot. The late evening light was gorgeous, we got some KILLER images, and Graham and Clint were able to check one of their bucket-list items off the list!!!

To be the best of the best, Graham & Clint have to push their bodies to extreme limits. I thought, what better way to put the new Nikon D500 to the test, than to use it for this shoot? The snappy 10 fps allowed me to capture micro bursts of peak action. The beautiful 21MP sensor delivered excellent dynamic range. And the lighter weight body made it a lot less tiring to hand-hold.

But what most impressed me was the AF sensor’s ability to focus in extreme back-light situations. For the photos where the sunset is behind Graham and Clint, the subject is completely black and you have to squint really hard into the sun just to see their shadowy outline. Previous to this camera, I would have to take a couple steps to the side and acquire focus with the sun out of the frame…then step back into position to re-compose and shoot. With the D500, it effortlessly locked focused on the shadow-side of their faces without any trouble!

All images were photographed hand-held with the Nikon D500 and Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII. Natural light was augmented with 3 Nikon SB-800 flashes on my home-made triple-threat mount, attached to a Manfrotto 3333 light-stand off-camera. The setup was triggered via a Nikon SB-800 master flash on-camera, using a RadioPopper Px transmitter to communicate to the others.

I owe a HUGE Thank You to Graham & Clint for suffering through the humidity and bugs on a muggy Charleston evening! But we had a BLAST, and they were AMAZING to work with!!! You can follow their crazy life at #clintstagraham, where you’re sure to be inspired to better fitness. 🙂

Martin Family at White Point Garden

The Martins are one of my all-time favorite families! They are so fun, friendly, and willing to open their hearts to let a perfect stranger like me feel like I’m actually PART of the family. 🙂

Instead of doing the usual beach portrait session like we’ve done in the past, they decided to do something different this year. Driving all the way downtown from their vacation week on Kiawah Island, we met up at the historic White Point Garden. Also known as Battery Park, this is one of the most picturesque parks in Charleston!

In an interesting twist, this was my first portrait session with an absent member taking part in the photo shoot…through Facetime. Joey had to work and couldn’t be there in person this year. So the kids rang him up and made sure he appeared in a shot or two!

As always, we had a BLAST! Until next year…you guys ROCK!!!

Gillis Family at Hampton Park

It just doesn’t get any cuter than a 2 year old chasing ducks in the park!!! 🙂

Photographing Erin and her extended family over the years has been such a joy to me. From photographing Erin as a girl, to covering her beautiful wedding with Rette, and now coming full circle in photographing THEIR daughter…it’s just such an honor to be a part of this family’s life!

Saylor is absolutely adorable! I was cracking up at all the crazy expressions she has in her repertoir. Congratulations Erin & Rette…you got yourselves a keeper!!!

A Four-Generation Christmas

We had a little trouble with weather, illnesses, and schedules…so I thought it might not happen until after Christmas. But suddenly, a sliver of an opening, everyone healthy, and the sun warm and shinning…the perfect opportunity to squeeze in a Four-Generation Christmas Shoot for one of our all-time favorite clients! 🙂

I met up with Dr. Lori, her daughter Ellie, her mom Maxine, and her grandmother “Granny G” at granny’s retirement community in Mt. Pleasant. With Christmas just around the corner, the atmosphere was festive, the staff was wonderful, and we all had a great time! Ellie has really come out of her shell this year.  She is so inquisitive…exploring and investigating EVERYTHING in site!  I just love this “age of discovery” when little boys’ and girls’ eyes light up at new and exciting “Eureka” moments.

Since I opened the year by photographing Ellie’s 1-year birthday party the first week of 2014, it was so fitting that she was ALSO the star of my last photo shoot of the year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Ellie and her wonderful family…and to each and every one of you…our amazing families, clients, and friends!!!