Reviere Family at Hampton Park

For my last family portrait session before Christmas, what a pleasure it was to be with the Reviere Family!

Their son is a recruiter for a financial firm in New York. And their daughter just started medical school at MUSC. So they all congregated in Charleston to be together as a family for the holidays!

As part of his wife’s Christmas gift, Dee contacted me to photograph some updated portraits for their family…and yes, the dogs are definitely part of the family! 🙂 We met at Hampton Park for a beautiful morning session. I had so much fun with this amazing and loving family!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Speedlight Sunset

I love photographing on overcast days. The light is soft, the colors are saturated, and the subjects don’t squint as much. But sometimes the images come out a little flat and lack impact…kinda just blah. Fortunately, I have a great little tip to keep all the benefits of the soft natural light, but add a little extra POP back into the image.

Here’s a little technique I call “Speedlight Sunset”. My preferred setup is to work with 2 or 3 speedlights mounted together on my home-made triple-threat flash bracket. Having multiple flashes ganged together provides me with extra power, directionality, and versatility when needed. But you can definitely do this with just one speedlight as well.

Instead of using your wireless off-camera flash as a fill or main light, place it far back behind your subject in the corner of the frame. For best effect, I try to have it shining through a background element like some low-hanging leaves or a clump of Spanish moss. This serves to obscure the true source of the light, and also defuse the quality of the light so that it looks more like the real thing. For best effect, you should also add a CTO gel over the flash. Also known as Color Temperature Orange, this piece of plastic changes the color of the light source to a deep warm tone, like that of a setting sun.

I prefer to trigger my wireless off-camera flashes with radio waves. Nikon’s built in Creative Lighting System is free and will do the job up to a certain distance as long as the Master flash and the Remote flash can see each other. But to place your flash further distances away, or hide it behind leaves and trees, you’ll need a radio triggering system. I sometimes use RadioPoppers to trigger my older Nikon SB-800 flashes. PocketWizard is another great solution that’s out there. But with the new Nikon D5 (as in this case) and Nikon D500 cameras, I can remotely trigger my Nikon SB-5000 flashes via the built-in AWL (Advanced Wireless Technology). I just plug in the WR-R10 Remote Controller, and away we go!

Many thanks to Kelli and Tom for being so much fun to work with on their beautiful maternity shoot.  Check out more of their images and see more samples of this Speedlight Sunset at:

I hope this helps open up some ideas and possibilities for taking your images to the next level. Speedlights are small, light, and portable. But they can make a HUGE difference in the quality and creativity of your images!

Kelli & Tom at Hampton Park

I just about did back-flips in my office when I got this email from Kelli, one of my all-time-favorite brides:

“Hey Chris!! Hope all is well! So… from taking family pictures when I was 12 years old… to engagement… to wedding pictures… and now I want to ask if you wouldn’t mind doing maternity pictures?” 🙂

After tons of planning and adjusting, the day of the big photo shoot finally arrived. Kelli & Tom (and little baby Peyton) met up with me at Hampton Park. We had a gorgeous morning with wonderful soft light to work with. It was so much fun catching up with these two as we wandered around the beautiful grounds, capturing gorgeous images to preserve this special time in their lives.

Kelli & Tom have big plans ahead…moving to a new city, opening a new restaurant, and now…starting their new family. We couldn’t be happier for these two. CONGRATULATIONS Kelli & Tom! You guys are going to be the best parents ever!!!

Bible Family at Hampton Park

Hampton Park is Charleston’s largest public park. It boasts an extensive floral display, giant live-oaks, long tree-lined avenues, a beautiful gazebo, and a wonderful duck pond that’s always teaming with activity. It’s no wonder this is one of my favorite locations for family portrait sessions!

This morning, I met up with the AMAZING Bible Family, who are all down here from Ohio celebrating Roger & Sara’s 50th Anniversary!  The last couple days of rain cleared up just in time for us to have a lovely morning with refreshingly cool temperatures. We all had a great photo shoot, and captured some really funny moments. Isn’t that what family is all about?!? 🙂

Many thanks to Kim for all her hard work coordinating this crazy crew! And thanks to everyone for making me feel part of the family!!!

Kellerman Family at Hampton Park

I just added Part 3 to my list of “Life’s Greatest Joys with the Kellerman’s”

1) Photograph Shelby & Jim’s Wedding at the I’On Creek Club
2) Photograph their daughter Courtney’s wedding to Will at the French Huguenot Church
3) Photograph their new son Kai’s portrait session at Hampton Park

I can’t wait to see what Part 4 brings!  🙂