Danielle & Andrew are Engaged!!!

I had SO MUCH FUN meeting and hanging out with Danielle & Andrew this weekend during their engagement session!!! I owe a huge “thank you” to my friend, Kim, for her kind referral. 🙂

Although Danielle & Andrew were both born and raised in southern California, the two met while working in Washington D.C. They now live in Greensboro, NC, where Andrew works in infectious diseases, and Danielle does research on the long-term effects of tobacco use. They really like being closer to Charleston, where Andrew’s parents live now. Andrew lived here for several years in his younger days. And Danielle fell in love with our charming city during their visits. So they decided to have their wedding here!

Meeting up at Waterfront Park, we were overwhelmed by how packed the park was with young people dressed to the hilt. Turns out it was graduation weekend! But we ducked down some side streets to avoid all the mayhem, and had a fantastic evening strolling around and capturing fun photos of them to commemorate this beautiful time in their lives!!!

Paulina & Ben’s Engagement

You may remember Paulina & Ben from one of the most unique secret proposals I’ve ever had the honor of capturing: https://chrisandcami.com/ben-proposes-to-paulina-at-the-holiday-festival-of-lights/. Fast forward to springtime, when I had the pleasure of photographing their beautiful engagement photos last evening!!!

We met up at White Point Garden to take advantage of the gorgeous spring sunshine, and the amazing backdrops that this historic park and surrounding neighborhood has to offer. To make it extra special, Paulina & Ben brought their adorable 2 year-old Goldendoodle, Cooper. We all know what a big dog-lover Cami is. So of course she jumped at the chance to join us so she could play with Cooper when we didn’t need him. 🙂

For this session, I brought the flagship Nikon Z9, coupled with the incredibly versatile new 24-120 f4 Z-mount lens. This lens is in such high demand that it’s very hard to get. I’m lucky to have it in the bag! Attaching the WR-R11 wireless transmitter to the Z9 allowed me full control of the off-camera SB-5000 when needed.

We had an absolute BLAST exploring downtown Charleston and strolling along The Battery, photographing tons of great shots as we went! Paulina & Ben are such a perfect couple. I can’t wait to photograph their FABULOUS wedding!!!

Leslie & Colton’s Rainbow Row Engagement Session

I owe a HUGE thank you to Pam at First Citizens Bank for referring us to Leslie & Colton!

Leslie works at First Citizens. So after Colton proposed to her and she started looking for a photographer, Pam gave her our information. I am SO GLAD she did because these two are an AMAZING couple!!!

We met up at the famous pineapple fountain in Waterfront Park. Wandering through the French Quarter, up to Rainbow Row, and back down the cobblestone streets of Adgers Wharf gave us so many beautiful backdrops to work with. Our grand finale on the dock overlooking Charleston Harbor and the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge coincided with the last glow of daylight. It was a PERFECT day with two beautiful human beings! I’m so honored that I got to meet and work with these two!!!

Leslie & Colton, we wish all the happiness in the world as you begin this new journey together…

Brittny & Chuck’s Wedding on the Carolina Girl

When I met up with Brittny & Check for their sunrise engagement shoot on Folly Beach (www.chrisandcami.com/brittny-chuck-at-folly-beach-pier/), they INSTANTLY become one of my favorite couples ever! They are just so much fun to be around…always full of joy and laughter!!! 🙂

Arriving at The Marriott Hotel the morning of their wedding, I could tell this was going to be a truly special day. Brittny had surrounded herself with some amazing family and friends, full of love for her, sharing encouraging words, keeping the spirits high, and showering her with gifts as she got ready. Plus she looked absolutely STUNNING in her wedding gown!

Making my way to The Carolina Girl, a beautiful yacht that hosts weddings as it sails around the Charleston harbor, the guys (and Best Lady) were having a ball! We grabbed a ton of really fun photos before Chuck made his way out on the dock to meet Brittny. The threatening clouds held back juuust long enough for them to have their First Look before the skies cracked open!

The rain didn’t dampen their spirits one bit!!! We had a beautiful ceremony on the top deck under the protection of the awning, followed by a fantastic meal on the main deck, then back to the top for a CRAZY night of partying and dancing into the wee hours!

Many thanks to Libby with Details Wedding Planning, as well as Jessica, Captain TJ, and the entire staff of The Carolina Girl, for keeping everything on track.

CONGRATULATIONS to Brittny & Chuck!!! We wish you both all the happiness in the world as you begin your new journey together as husband and wife…

Whitmer Family at Shem Creek Park

Photographing the Whitmer Family over the years has been such a blessing. They are the nicest, kindest, neatest humans you could ever hope to meet! Plus of course it’s so cool watching all the little ones grow from tiny tots into beautiful young people.

The morning of our shoot all our weather apps were threatening 30% chance of rain. But we decided to go for it…and it worked out BEAUTIFULLY!!! The sun was out, with soft diffusion from a layer of clouds. As a bonus, we even got to stop and watch some manatees swimming in the creek!!! Then right as we got back to our cars, it started to rain…what perfect timing. 🙂

We had so much fun exploring Shem Creek Park together and coming up with these beautiful images to commemorate their annual vacation together!

Shem Creek Infrare & Aerial Photography

By commission of a client of mine looking for artwork to go in her new home, I went out to photograph some images of Shem Creek a few weeks ago.

The original request was for some of my fineart infrared photos. For those I use a special camera. It’s a Nikon Coolpix A, which is a compact rangefinder camera with a large DSLR sensor in it! The camera has been converted to see IR light by a company called Kolari Vision. It was a beautiful day and I got some great Infrared shots, which the client ended up hanging as 40×50 Acrylic prints in her home.

If you have an old digital camera you don’t use much and would like to convert it to Infrared, here’s the link:  https://kolarivision.com/?ref=74.  For a $10 OFF discount, use Coupon Code “chrissmith” at checkout.

While I was there, it was just too perfect a day not to fly the drone. I just couldn’t resist!!! 🙂

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Citadel Square Baptist Church

Citadel Square Baptist Church was the fourth Baptist church established in Charleston, South Carolina. The original “Citadel Square Church” is a daughter of the First Baptist Church of Charleston (est. 1682), the “mother” church of Baptists in the South. In 1854, approximately a dozen members of the church sought to establish a new church for the Upper Peninsula, to be known as Fourth Baptist Church.

The construction of the church building at 328 Meeting Street began in June 1855. The new building was opened on November 23, 1856. A Sunday School building was added in 1891, then replaced in 1921. In April 1951, an educational building was added to the campus. The church was the first in Charleston to televise its services, doing so for more than 40 years until 1998. In its history, six churches have planted by Citadel Square: Cannon Street Baptist Church, Southside Baptist Church, FBC Mount Pleasant, Ashley River Baptist Church, James Island Baptist Church, and Folly Beach Baptist Church.

With a break in the programming at an event I was photographing nearby, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fly my drone and get a gorgeous panoramic aerial view of this historic church in the golden rays of the setting sun. Visible in the background is the iconic Mother Emanuel AME Church. And beyond that, the elegant Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge spans the great Cooper River.

Sarah & Seth’s Beautiful Day in Rock Hill

Last weekend, I had the honor of photographing Sarah & Seth Beautiful Day in Rock Hill, SC!  They live in Charleston now.  But they’re from Rock Hill.  They’ve known each other since pre-school, but didn’t start dating until college. The wedding was held at Bethesda Presbyterian Church.  It’s a very historic church in town and I loved the organic atmosphere with all the hardwood and hand-crafted molding.  We laughed a LOT throughout the day.  But I think the best part was when Sarah sort of spaced out during the ceremony (probably just so enamored with how handsome Seth was) and had to be asked “Do you take this man?” a second time.  The whole place burst into laughter and with perfect comedic timing, Sarah turned to the congregation and said “OOPS!”.  J  After their ceremony it was off to the reception at The City Club of Rock Hill where the band, U-Neek Flavur rocked the house.

 Enjoy their music video at www.chrisandcami.com that I put together to give a little vignette into the story of Sarah & Seth’s beautiful day.  Then head on over to www.chrisandcami.zenfolio.com to see the rest of their photos in the Online Gallery.

 CONGRATULATIONS to Sarah & Seth.  You guys are ONE OF A KIND!!! 



Jackie & Chris at Sunrise Presbyterian Church

Jackie & Chris’ wedding has been a long time coming!  But through all the ups and downs of Chris’ fight with cancer, the families rallied together and victory was claimed!!!  I truly believe the difficult times in life draw us closer and strengthen our bonds beyond measure.  I was witness to the evidence of these bonds time and time again throughout Jackie & Chris’ wedding day.  It is such an honor and a privilege to have been able to share in this special day with such an AMAZING couple! 

Jackie & Chris were married at the gorgeous Sunrise Presbyterian Church on Sullivan’s Island.  After the ceremony, we walked across the beach to sink our naked toes in the sand and get some fun shots of the wedding party.  Then we joined the PARTAAAAY on the Carolina Girl Yacht.  I always love working with Captain Bob and his crew…they are top notch and always make sure everyone has a GREAT time on board! 

Enjoy Jackie & Chris’ fun Music Video at www.chrisandcami.com/blog.  Then head over to www.chrisandcami.zenfolio.com to see the rest of their photos.  CONGRATULATIONS Jackie & Chris.  You guys are a very special couple to me and I will never forget sharing this beautiful day with you!

Joy & Michael on the Carolina Girl

Joy & Michael had an AMAZING wedding celebration last weekend!!! Their day started out at the fabulous Wentworth Mansion…a beautiful and historic place I always love photographing in. They were married on the Carolina Girl Yacht with The Battery as our scenic backdrop. Camille did a fantastic job as usual orchestrating everything. All of Joy & Michael’s friends and family were on board to help them celebrate. So the party went on non-stop throughout the evening as Captain Bob and his crew took us on a romantic cruise all over Charleston Harbor.

Click Here to see the rest of their photos. CONGRATULATIONS, Joy & Michael! You guys are an AWESOME couple!!!


Flash Freeze

I created this image at Erin & Jason’s wedding last week. Everyone was marveling at how dramatic the moon was that night. It didn’t take much prodding to get Erin & Jason to join me for a daring adventure to capture that drama in an image of them! 🙂

Working with a minimalist amount of gear, I had my two Nikon D3’s, each fitted with a Nikon SB-900, plus one remote SB-800 on a Bogen 3333 stand I had used earlier for group photos.
I set the SB-800 off on camera right, zoomed to 70mm to concentrate the beam of light on them. I took the SB-900 off one camera and flipped it to remote mode (I LOVE how quickly you can switch modes on the 900 vs. the 800). This one was placed behind the couple for a rim light. I positioned Erin & Jason so that the street light in the distance was behind her veil. And there’s some landscape lighting on the famous Pineapple Fountain I liked.
To pick up the ambient light of the moon, street lamp, and landscape lighting, I used ISO 1600, f2.8. Even so, I was at 1/30th of a second. I was using the D3 with the 70-200. I had no tripod with me. So you’re probably thinking at that slow a shutter speed, this image is going to be blurry, right? Well, by carefully placing Erin & Jason so that all the ambient light was behind them, the couple was pretty much pitch black at this point. The only light hitting them from the camera side was the off-camera SB-800. This is VERY IMPORTANT! By doing this, I am essentially using the high-speed burst of light from the strobe to FREEZE them in place. At this point, the shutter speed of the camera is only affecting the ambient light, it has nothing to do with the exposure of the main subject. So even hand-holding that long lens at such a slow shutter speed, Erin & Jason are as sharp as a tack!
And that’s how you use Flash Freeze to save your behind when you don’t have a tripod with you! 🙂