New Orleans Greenscreen Event

We live in interesting times!!!

Photography certainly has evolved over the 40 years since I first got “hooked” with my Dad’s Pentax K1000. I photographed all through high-school as the senior yearbook photographer with that camera and a Rikoh KR-5, switching to the Pentax Program Plus and ME Super in college. I upgraded to medium format Mamiya 645 when I turned pro after college. When auto-focus technology arrived, I converted to Nikon N8008, N90, and F100. Things got really interesting when digital hit the scene. I was an early adopter with the D100, progressing to the D2x, D3, D4, D5, and many other variations in between. Most recently, the big change has been switching to mirrorless. I’m currently working with the Z9 and loving it!

But what’s really cool is how cameras and computers have become so integrated! Last week I had a fantastic time photographing a greenscreen event in New Orleans for one of our favorite clients, the US Grains Council! Similar to how the weatherman shows you the maps on TV, I used a green background that the computer would later drop out and replace with a digital background.  With my D5 tethered to one laptop, Lightroom would instantly import the image. Then a special program from the awesome team at Photo Party Upload would watch that “hot folder” and pop the image up in an intuitive kiosk app.  If the first laptop was still being used by the previous guest in the booth, I had a second laptop set up with the same kiosk app running on it for the next person to use.  After getting their picture made, guests would go to one of the kiosks to choose which background image they wanted, and use the touchscreen to pinch and zoom their photo, placing themselves in the “scene” wherever they wanted. Finally, they could instantly share the final image on social media, or simply email it to themselves.

It was so much fun watching everyone get creative and have fun with the system! 40 years ago, if you had told me I’d be doing this king of “magic” with today’s technology, I would have told you you were crazy!!! 🙂

Commodity Classic in New Orleans

The Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural & educational experience! It’s a massive 3-day event where farmers gather every year to find the answers, solutions, and information they need to gain greater clarity and vision for their farm’s success.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of photographing the 2022 conference and trade-show for the US Grains Council.  They are an amazing organization, focused on developing markets for American corn, barley, and sorghum…enabling trade…and improving lives. The 3-day program was held at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. With over 7,000 attendees, it was a huge success!!!

(All images captured with Nikon Z9, Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 S, and Lexar XQD cards.)

US Grains Council 19th International Marketing Conference – Day 3

The 3rd and final day of the 19th International Marketing Conference and 62nd Annual Membership Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville was a time to celebrate!

All the Advisory Team Leaders shared the progress reports and final results from their intense break-out meetings. Recognition Awards for exemplary service were handed out to deserving recipients. And final words of inspiration were shared before the conference was finally adjourned.

It was an absolute pleasure being back in person, photographing another fabulous event for the US Grains Council!

US Grains Council 19th International Marketing Conference – Day 2

Day 2 of the 19th International Marketing Conference and 62nd Annual Membership Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville begin with some fantastic presentations. But the majority of the day was spent in break-out meetings, focusing on different sectors of the market.

That night, everyone got to blow off some steam during an off-site reception at the famous BBQ at Zen!

US Grains Council 19th International Marketing Conference – Day 1

Day 1 of the 19th International Marketing Conference and 62nd Annual Membership Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville started off with a bang!

A very full schedule included highlight appearances from Mayor Pro Tem of Greenville, Lillian Flemming…Ryan LeGrand, President and CEO of the USGC…Ambassador Katherine Tai…Jason Hafemeister, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs…Sharon Yuan, President of The Asia Group…and many more!

A casual Welcome Reception Welcome Reception was held in Noma Square that evening so everyone could de-compress from the days events.

US Grains Council 19th International Marketing Conference – Day 0

Following two years of cancellations, postponements, virtual, and hybrid meetings, the US Grains Council was finally back to having in-person meetings!

The 19th International Marketing Conference and 62nd Annual Membership Meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency Greenville. The Greenville downtown area has been completely revitalized over the last decade. It’s a beautiful city, with tons to offer. And this year’s conference was held right in the middle of it!

Arriving in town the day before the conference began, I was able to photograph a wonderful reception hosted by the outgoing chairman of the board, Jim Raben. It was a wonderful evening at Jack n’ Diane’s Dualing Piano Bar. Spirits were high as everyone re-connected with one another, and prepared for the 3 days of intense presentations and meetings that lay ahead.

CTAR Event – Harbour Club at Westedge

Getting to see and experience all the beautiful venues around Charleston is one of the highlights of my job!

It’s been a pleasure working with the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors for many years. Everyone is always so fun and friendly. I always enjoy photographing their programs. And Claire does an AMAZING job of organizing everything!

Last week I had the pleasure of photographing their end-of-year holiday luncheon at the new Harbour Club at Westedge. It’s a gorgeous location with an amazing view of the city skyline. The staff was wonderful to work with. And I loved all the natural light from the massive windows that wrap around the room!

I’d like to congratulate all the new inductees into their new roles for the coming year!

WP Chrysler Club Conference

It was great to be back at Belmond Charleston Place this week, photographing the WP Chrysler Club sales meeting.

The program started off with a welcome reception for all the sales leaders and their significant others. My friend Gary and I partnered up to provide couples portraits, which Gary printed and delivered on-site for the guests to take home as a memento of the evening. We also photographed head-shots for the various dealership owners. Then everyone enjoyed a beautiful cocktail hour, followed by a fabulous dinner!

The next morning I photographed the business meeting, including all the networking opportunities, the keynote speakers, and of course the award presentations to the top sales leaders.  CONGRATULATIONS to Chris & Joel for their achievements!

At the end of the day, everyone gathered for a big group photo on the famous Grand Staircase. That was the last “official” duty before everyone dispersed to partake in their various free-time activities, including golf, shopping, carriage tours, etc.  As soon as I snapped the last frame, everyone scattered like school kids on the last day of class before summer break!  😉

I’ve been slowly incorporating the new Nikon Z system into some of my shooting. Although most of these images were photographed with my trusty Nikon D5, many were captured with the Z6II, which I’m very impressed with. However, there are still a few things that have left me wondering “why did they do that?!?”. The jury is still out as to whether I will fully switch over to mirrorless.  But so far it’s been fun to play with.  So stay tuned…

Elanco Livestock Legend at Middleton Place

Earlier this week I had the priviledge of photographing the Elanco Livestock Legend event at Middleton Plantation.

It was a beautiful fall evening with clear skies and perfect temperatures. As soon as the group arrived, I was able to photograph candid portraits of the award winners with their spouses. Then with drinks in hand, they strolled the grounds with personal guides telling about the history of this amazing plantation. Arriving at the Stableyards just after sunset, a casual cocktail hour included more interesting history told by blacksmiths and potters. Then it was off to The Pavilion for good food, lively conversation, and dancing. Plus of course the various regions got to have their group photos made!

It was a lovely evening celebrating the company’s accomplishments. Many thanks to Missy at Absolutely Charleston, and Samantha at Middleton Place for making it such a successful event!

Anna & Jimmy’s Wedding at Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Jimmy is an awesome bagpiper, and a respected member of law enforcement in Charleston. I’ve had the privilege of bumping into him many times over the years as he’s played his pipes for tons of weddings and events that I’ve photographed. It was a great honor that he and Anna asked me to photograph their wedding!!!

Jimmy & Anna have known each other for over 20 years. Like many of us in life, they were good friends that drifted apart and lost track of each other. But they found their way back to each other when they re-connected through Facebook in 2014. They have been inseparable ever since! They fell in love and were married at the courthouse in June of 2019. But with the pandemic of 2020, their big wedding celebration had to wait until last weekend!

With preparations starting off at the Indigo Hotel in Mt. Pleasant, the sun was out and spirits were high! Anna looked absolutely stunning in her wedding gown. And Jimmy was quite dapper in his bowtie. Guests were shuttled to Sacred Heart Catholic Church on an old restored 1960s buss, which was REALLY cool!!! A beautiful ceremony was led by Father Jack, or “Uncle Jack” as he preferred. Jimmy’s Uncle came all the way from New York to perform the ceremony! After the service and formal portraits in the church, Jimmy & Anna stopped at the Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park with me for some beautiful portraits before sunset. Then it was back to the Indigo Hotel for an awesome reception!!!

It was nice to see Sara Cavallon again, who coordinated everything at the church. I also enjoyed teaming up once more with my friend Robbin Knight as second-shooter. And Nicole with Direct My Days did an awesome job as their Day Of Coordinator. Also, many thanks to Carmella’s Bakery, Paper Dolls, Atlantic Executive Limousine, Lowcountry Valet, JW Wedding and Event, Blacktree Music Group, and all the other vendors and staff that helped make this day a huge success for Anna & Jimmy!

CONGRATULATIONS Anna & Jimmy! We wish you all the best as you continue loving life, loving each other, and loving this new journey you have begin…

Ben & Kyle’s Wedding Upstairs at Rue de Jean

It was such an honor for me to photograph Ben’s surprise proposal to Kyle last summer: https://chrisandcami.com/ben-kyles-secret-garden-proposal/. So imagine my excitement when they called to ask if I would photograph their wedding?!? 🙂

When the Big Day finally arrived, I met Ben at Hampton Park, where Kyle would be dropped off for their First Look. It was a truly magical moment! After which the three of us stepped across the street and into some of the old historic alleys and charming streets that Charleston is so known for. When we got back, their wedding entourage with family and friends had arrived for some fun “portraits in the park”. We all had a great time and came away with a variety of great photos!

Then it was off to Rue de Jean, where Ben & Kyle had rented out the upstairs ballroom for their wedding and reception. It’s a beautiful venue with rustic wooden beams, old brick walls, and great character! There was a heart-felt ceremony, led by Kyle’s good friend, Troy. Then Kyle, Ben, and I snuck down to the alley behind the restaurant for a few more photos while the room was flipped. The reception started with great conversations, delicious food, and joyous laughter. A fun introduction, a touching first dance, a great cake-cutting, and hilarious toasts kicked things up another notch. But the energy and excitement of the dancing took the level through the roof! It was an awesome party as everyone celebrated Ben & Kyle’s love for each other.

CONGRATULATIONS Ben & Kyle! We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together…

Daisy & Anthony’s Beaufort Wedding

Anthony’s mom, Christine, is an amazing photographer! We’ve been friends with her and Tony for quite a while, especially since they love to travel as much as we do. It was an INCREDIBLE honor when they asked us to photograph their son’s wedding!!!

Daisy and Anthony picked a gorgeous fall day to tie the knot in beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina! Preparations for the day began at a historic Air B&B. Daisy was absolutely STUNNING in her fairy-tale wedding gown! And Anthony was quite dapper in his suit and bowtie!!! I especially loved the heartfelt emotions as Daisy shared a private first look with her Dad and then with Anthony.

Next it was off to the eclectic Old Bay Marketplace Loft & Rooftop for the ceremony and reception. Aside from a brief sprinkle right as the processional began, the weather turned out fantastic! They were able to have their ceremony outside on the rooftop as planned, with the reception following indoors. But of course in between the two, we couldn’t resist running across the street for some really cool sunset photos along the waterfront first!!! 🙂

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