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…

Nina & Brendan at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

Way back in May of 2020, I fell in love with Nina & Brendan during his heartfelt secret proposal to her: https://chrisandcami.com/brendans-surprises-nina-with-a-proposal/. I could tell this was indeed TRUE LOVE!!!  So you can imagine my incredible excitement when these two lovebirds asked me to photograph their wedding! Having been there with them at the beginning of this journey when she said “Yes”, it was an absolute pleasure to be with them at this special celebration when they each said “I Do”. 🙂

Nina & Brendan were married in a beautiful ceremony at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. The intricate half-dome ceiling in this place is nothing short of spectacular. But it paled in comparison to how absolutely stunning Nina was in her elegant wedding gown! Normally a rugged and weathered hard-working man, I have to say Brendan was looking incredibly sharp in his pressed gray suite as well. 🙂

After exchanging vows, Nina & Brendan celebrated with all their family and friends during a fantastic reception at the Historic Rice Mill. While sail boats bobbed in the background, this beautiful old restored waterfront venue gave us some wonderful backdrops for portraits of the newlyweds…the sun slowly sinking into the Ashley River in the distance. Inside, however, the energy and excitement was electric! Between a lovely solo sung by Brendan’s father for their first dance, hilarious toasts that had everyone doubled over in laughter, and a dance floor that simply wouldn’t quit…this turned out to be the celebration of the century!

CONGRATULATIONS to Nina & Brendan! We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together!!!

Amber & Paul’s Wedding at The Cedar Room

It’s hard for me to believe it’s been 3 years since I photographed Paul’s surprise proposal to Amber: https://chrisandcami.com/pauls-secret-proposal-to-amber-at-white-point-garden/. I instantly fell in love with them that day. You just couldn’t possibly meet two of the nicest, kindest, most genuine people on the planet!

In spite of a worldwide pandemic thwarting their wedding plans (multiple times), Amber & Paul just rolled with the punches until FINALLY they could celebrate their love the way they always dreamed of! And what a beautiful wedding day it turned out to be!!!

Preparations for the big day started off at The Hampton Inn Downtown Charleston with Paul and the guys getting ready. Then it moved over to the Hotel Bennett where Amber and the girls were doing their magic. Once everyone was ready, Amber’s Dad got a First Look with her on the balcony, before Paul got his First Look of her in her amazing wedding gown in Marion Square. Then it was off to Hampton Park for photos with their amazing wedding party!

The ceremony was held in a private courtyard just outside of The Cedar Room, which is an amazing event space located at The Cigar Factory. It was an elegant, and sweet service, officiated by Ryan who is one of their friends. Afterwards, Amber & Ryan made it up to the rooftop for a private moment with the incredible view of Charleston harbor during twilight. Then it was back to The Cedar Room for an awesome evening of dancing and celebrating!!!

Many thanks to Camilla @spellbound.events for all her hard work keeping everything on schedule and running smoothly!

And CONGRATULATIONS to Amber & Paul!!! We wish you both all the happiness in the world as you begin your new journey together…

USGC 61st Board of Delegates Meeting – Day 3

Day 3 of the US Grains Council’s 61st Annual Board of Delegates Meeting kicked off with more meetings in the big conference room, including great presentations, awards ceremonies, and votes for new officers.

Then I got to switch gears and turn to photographing headshots of the new board members, plus group photos of the new board of directors. I used the Nikon D5 + 70-200 f2.8 with the new Godox X2T transmitter in connection with 6 of the V860II flashes.  For destination events, I carry the Manfrotto 5001B light-stands, which are super compact and great to travel with. The flashes worked beautifully, and everyone was fantastic to work with!

Once the portraits were done, I had to pack in a hurry and head to the airport to catch my flight home. The entire event was a HUGE success!!! Many thanks to the US Grains Council Staff for all their hard work putting everything together and making it run so smoothly.

USGC 61st Board of Delegates Meeting – Day 2

Day 2 of the US Grains Council’s 61st Annual Board of Delegates Meeting started off with headshots for some new staff members. I love meeting new people!!! 🙂

After that we had tons of presentations, both in person and virtually. This was the first year of hosting a “hybrid” meeting, in which most of the international staff and attendees couldn’t be there in person. Everything went incredibly well thanks to all the hard work and planning that had been put into the conference!

At the end of the day, everyone celebrated in an off-site event. The USGC hosted “A Taste of Des Moines” at Cowles Commons, which is a big beautiful square with fountains and gardens in the heart of the city. There was food, drinks, an amazing band…everyone had a fantastic time!

With Day 2 in the books, everyone headed back to the hotel to rest up and get ready for the big finale the following day.

USGC 61st Board of Delegates Meeting – Day 1

Last year’s Board of Delegates Meeting got cancelled due to the pandemic. So it was with great pleasure that I was invited back to photograph the US Grains Council’s 61st Annual Board of Delegates Meeting this year!!!

This year’s conference was held in Des Moines, IA. I’d never been there before. It’s actually a really cool city, with a truly impressive state capital building! The meetings were held in the Iowa Events Center, which was connected via a sky-bridge to the Hilton Des Moines Downtown, where everyone was staying. The first day’s highlight was the keynote presentaion by Tom Vilsack, the US Secretary of Agriculture!

I’ve been photographing these conferences for the USGC for about a decade. The staff, and most of the members, have become more than just clients to me…they’ve become my friends. It was absolutely wonderful to see everyone again, and capture all these moments for them!

Margaret & Matthew’s Indianapolis Wedding

Anyone who knows Cami knows what a loyal and loving friend she is. She and Gereese have remained close “besties” ever since high-school. It’s been such a joy for me to get to know her and Guy through Cami, and to photograph their son Matthew through the many stages of his life. So you can imagine what an honor it was for us when Matthew and Margaret asked us to photograph their wedding!!!

Originally scheduled in Waco, TX, where they were living last year, the pandemic had other plans.  During that time, they did get married in a private ceremony in a beautiful field, with just the two of them and their pastor, Kelcey.  PLUS, they moved to a suburb of Indianapolis, IN, for a great job opportunity for Margaret!  Eventually the plans fell into place so that they could finally have their wedding celebration with family and friends last weekend!  🙂

The ceremony and reception were held at the old historic Fountain Square Theater in downtown Indianapolis.  Fountain Square was the first commercial historic district in Indiana.  Its existing buildings span more than a century of development from 1871 to the present.  Since 1928, the Fountain Square Theatre Building has anchored the corner at Shelby and Prospect Streets in Fountain Square.  It is an absolutely GORGEOUS theater with an amazing ambiance and a character all its own.  We could see why Margaret and Matthew fell in love with this beautiful venue!!!

Arriving at the Fountain Square Theater on the Big Day, there was a palpable energy about the place as staff (Brian the caretaker of the facility was awesome), family, and friends, went about their activities and preparations.  Meeting Margaret and her wonderful bridesmaids in the bridal suite, I could tell we were going to have a lot of fun.  Margaret was absolutely STUNNING in her wedding gown!  Meeting up with Matthew and his groomsmen confirmed my earlier suspicions…especially when the guys started a rowdy game of foosball!!!

The ceremony was elegant and heartfelt.  Their pastor, Kelcey, even traveled all the way to Indianapolis to partake in “Part 2”.  After the ceremony and some fun family photos, a beautiful dinner with a delicious meal ensued.  Following that was a fantastic evening of dancing and celebration as the two adorable newlyweds played games, ceremoniously cut their wedding cake, and partied like teenagers!

Please help me send out a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Margaret & Matthew!  We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together!!!

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Samantha & Todd’s Arkensas Wedding

It was an absolute pleasure to photograph Todd & Samantha’s wedding in Eureka Springs, Arkansas!
We met Samantha when she was brave enough to go on a mission trip with us to Tanzania, back in 2011. She had never met any of us. But she bravely jumped on a plane from Fayetteville and met up with us for the overnight flight to Africa. We fell in love with her the instant we met her! She is full of spice and everything nice. A lifelong friendship was born that trip!!!
Samantha later met Todd while she was in vet school. She brought him to Charleston for a visit, and we fell in love with him as well! Todd is a true gentleman, a good and kind human being, and absolutely perfect for Samantha. Thus it was a great honor for us to be invited to capture all the beautiful moments of their special day!
Even though their original plans were thwarted by the pandemic, Samantha and Todd were finally able to have their wedding celebration at the Blue Springs Heritage Center in Eureka Springs like they had originally dreamed of doing. Their reception was held at the famous Crescent Hotel.
Samantha and Todd are such a beautiful couple and we couldn’t be happier for them! We wish you both all the happiness in the world as you begin this new journey together!!!