150 Year Birthday Celebration

When Mr. & Mrs. Aucoin asked if I would photograph their combined 150 Year Birthday Celebration, I was absolutely DELIGHTED!!!

I had been recommended to them by their good friend Elizabeth Gardner, who’s son’s wedding I photographed last year in Florence. Bryant and Mary Beth’s wedding was so much fun. So I knew the Aucoin’s birthday bash would be as well!  🙂

The celebration took place at The Lake House at Bulow. I remember photographing the property for the original owners, Bill & Coy, before they sold it to the James Island County Park system. It’s a gorgeous property with a huge log cabin, nice lawn, and wrap-around decks, overlooking a pristine lake.  They’ve also built a picturesque bridge that goes over to an island covered in tall pine trees.  I’ve photographed weddings held on that island, surrounded by those majestic trees.

With close friends and family coming from far and wide, the festivities began on a gorgeous spring afternoon. The air was filled with chatter and laughter as people reconnected, played games, enjoyed good food and drinks, and celebrated this amazing couple. As day turned into night, the party continued with music and dancing, toasts and roasts, and so much more!

It was an absolute pleasure being a part of this special celebration. CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. & Mrs. Aucoin!!!

Trident Health Holiday Gala

I’ve been photographing Trident Healthcare’s Christmas Party for almost a decade now…sheeesh that makes me sound old. 🙂

Held at the old historic Francis Marion Hotel, I set up a portrait station by the Christmas Tree just outside the banquet hall. This includes a Nikon D5, 4 Flashpoint Speedlights, Manfrotto supports, and Westcott umbrellas. As soon as each couple gets checked in, I snap a photo of them, which is instantly transferred to the laptop, where Cami fine-tunes the image if needed, and sends it to the DNP DS40 5×7 printer. Within seconds, their print comes out and is slipped into an elegant black 8×10 folio.  Guests can take them right then if they wish.  Otherwise, we lay them out on a table for them to pick up as they leave for the evening!

Once everyone has arrived, I switch to the Nikon Z9 for candid photos of everyone mingling during cocktails, catching up during dinner, and enjoying the presentations and awards by the CEO of Trident Health, Christina Oh, and her team.

Capturing the couple’s photos, candids, and awards ceremony at the annual Holiday Gala for Trident Health has become a milestone I look forward to each and every year!!!

James & Sadaf’s Surprise Proposal at White Point Garden

James and Sadaf have been together for almost exactly one year. When James called me several weeks ago, I could just hear it in his voice…he KNEW Sadaf was the right girl for him!!!

Together we came up with a beautiful plan to surprise Sadaf during their weekend get-away to visit Charleston. Thinking they were meeting a guide at White Point Garden to take them on a short historic walking tour, Sadaf was totally unaware of the secret plan James had in store for her!

Leading his gorgeous girlfriend to a spot under the avenue of oaks, James dropped to one knee and asked her to be his wife. It was such an incredible moment that I could feel all the other tourists around me collectively holding their breath as soon as they realized what was going on. When Sadaf said “YES” and gave him that big hug, everyone burst out in enthusiastic applause!!!

I got to know James and Sadaf a little bit that afternoon, as we spent some time together wandering the historic downtown streets, creating some magical engagement photos for them.  And I can truly say, they are absolutely perfect for each other.  CONGRATULATIONS James & Sadaf! We wish you all the best as you begin this new chapter in your lives together…

Seamon Whiteside Christmas Party at Hibernian Hall

Seamon Whiteside is such a fun company to work with. They have a culture that exudes positive energy and enthusiasm. The management team really cares about it’s people. The friendships and work relationships within their staff are genuine and true. All this becomes self-evident at their Holiday Party each year!

This year’s gala was a fabulous Hawaii-themed event at the Hibernian Hall. Cindy from Eventfully Yours Charleston had completely decked the place out with palm trees and pineapples. And TruSol from East Coast Entertainment absolutely rocked the night away!

CONGRATULATIONS to all our friends at Seamon Whiteside for another successful year!!! Here’s looking forward to many more good times in 2023…

Charleston Trident Association of Realtors at The Dewberry

An historic event took place at the Installation Reception for The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors earlier this week. For the first time in the history of CTAR, an African American woman was voted in as president! It was a pleasure photographing this wonderful event at The Dewberry Hotel. Congratulations to Katesha Breland and all the other inductees!!!

The Righteous Gemstones Wrap Party

Cami and I had an absolute BLAST providing an interactive photo-activation in front of The Redeemer this weekend!!!

The Redeemer is the name of the monster truck featured in the popular HBO series, The Righteous Gemstones.  The show features John Goodman, Danny McBride, Adam DeVine, Cassidy Freeman, and many more colorful characters.  After completing filming for the season, the cast and crew gathered at the Firefly Distillery for a private “Wrap Party” to celebrate. The truck was placed on the lawn, where we set up lights, laptop, printer, and a fog machine. Throughout the evening, cast, crew, and guests would stop by and do photos in front if the setup, which we instantly printed and handed to them in an elegant black portfolio.

There were food trucks, drinks, dancing, and tons of other activities going on. But once people started seeing the photos we were producing, the line never stopped! The photos were a HUGE HIT…and we loved every minute of it!!!  🙂

Many thanks to Andrea and her team for making it all happen, and to my friend Matthew for the kind referral.

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!

Rosen Hagood Open House Event

“Personal attention. Know-how. And seven decades of South Carolina legal experience. That’s Rosen Hagood.”

After ten years at their Meeting Street location, Rosen Hagood has relocated to the Charleston Gateway Center at 40 Calhoun Street. To celebrate 75 years in business, and to introduce this new “home” to their clients, the award-winning law firm held a fantastic Open House Event at their new office this week.  It was my pleasure to cover the event!

Back in 1947, Morris Rosen founded the firm on Broad Street. In 1985, Brew Hagood became partner. In 2022, Rosen Hagood celebrated 75 years of South Carolina legal experience and leadership.  This driven and dedicated team received six Tier 1 rankings and one Tier 2 ranking in the 2023 U.S. News Best Law Firms” list!!!

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…

Another Awesome Wild Dunes Event

I always enjoy working with my good friend and amazing photographer, Gary at Coleman Photography!

This was the second event I shot for him out at Wild Dunes Resort this weekend…and it was absolutely AWESOME!!! We had covered this awards conference for many years up until the pandemic put things on hold. But this year it was back…and bigger than ever! It was so much fun catching up with their amazing staff that we haven’t seen in a couple years.  🙂

My kit for covering the event included the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Nikon Z9 (x2), 14-30S f4, 24-70S f2.8, 105G f2.8 Micro, Flashpoint flashes, Manfrotto stands, and Westcott modifiers.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners!!!

Dart Container for Gary Coleman

I always enjoy working with my good friend and amazing photographer, Gary at Coleman Photography!

This week we tag-teamed to cover several events for the Dart Container Summit. Gary had me cover the rooftop reception and awards banquet at the new Sweetgrass Inn on Isle of Palms. This new property is part of the beautiful Wild Dunes Resort.  The views from the rooftop deck outside the Indigo Ballroom are AMAZING!!!

It was a fantastic evening of fellowship and fun, which I covered with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Nikon Z9 (x2), 14-30S f4, 24-70S f2.8, 105G f2.8 Micro + FTZII, and Flashpoint flashes.