Angie & Andrew’s Beach Wedding on Hilton Head Island

It was an absolute pleasure photographing Angie & Andrew’s beautiful beach wedding on Hilton Head Island last week!

Ever since they started dating, Angie & Andrew have been vacationing together at Hilton Head Island. The place holds such fond memories for them! So why not get married here?!?

The couple rented a huge beach house and invited their closest family and friends to join them. The day of the wedding was gorgeous, with a nice breeze and beautiful blue skies! Angie was absolutely stunning in her antique beaded dress. Andrew was dashing in his stylish khaki & white. They were such a sweet couple to work with.  And you could just feel the love surrounding them! Indeed their entire group of friends and family were so open and welcoming, that I felt like part of the family. I ended up staying overtime, just hanging out and chatting with everyone while the young people laughed and splashed around in the pool to cool off!

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

Matt’s Middleton Place Proposal to Becca

Becca & Matt are the most adorable couple ever!!!

When Matt called to ask if I would capture his surprise proposal to his girlfriend, Becca, I was super excited. He had already put so much thought into how he was going to propose, and had so many fantastic ideas. I could tell he was head-over heals in love. And I couldn’t wait to be a part of it!  We spent the next few weeks planning out every detail.

Matt knew how much Becca loved gardens and flowers. So he had chosen the Octagonal Garden at Middleton Place as the spot where he would ask her to marry him. Isn’t that awesome! I arrived at “the spot” a little early that morning to get in place. Right on cue, Matt led Becca around the corner and over to our pre-chosen location. Taking a knee in front of the girl of his dreams, he asked Becca to be his wife. She said YES!!!  🙂  I could hardly contain my emotions, as I witnessed the whole thing from inside my viewfinder.

Afterwards, we had so much fun, exploring the gorgeous grounds at Middleton Plantation, getting to know each other, and photographing a variety of authentic engagement photos for them to commemorate this special day! CONGRATULATIONS Matt & Becca!!!

Lea & Frank on The Carolina Girl Yacht

I love photographing all weddings. But it’s always EXTRA special to photograph a close friend’s wedding. Last week I had the pleasure of capturing the amazing wedding celebration of our long-time friend and neighbor, Frank, and his beautiful fiancé, Lea!

I met Frank many years ago at a wedding where he was the videographer and I was the photographer. His background in the TV industry has made him an incredible story-teller. Our shared passion for capturing the love between two people was the start of a wonderful friendship. Finding out he lived just 4 doors down from Cami and I made it even easier for us to grab coffee, go to lunch, or just stop by for a chat. Frank is an AMAZING guy…and we couldn’t be happier for him and Lea!

Although I haven’t known Lea nearly as long, it’s been such a blessing to watch their relationship grow and blossom. Lea has a kindness and gentleness about her that speaks volumes to her character. The way she treats Frank with love and respect, and the way she “gets” his corny jokes, lets me know know they are a match made in heaven.  🙂  Lea is also an amazing mother to her son Josiah!

Lea & Frank planned an intimate celebration on a gorgeous summer evening aboard The Carolina Girl Yacht. Arriving early, they shared a very special First Look in the picturesque park near the dock. After portraits with family and friends, we boarded the yacht for a fantastic cruise around Charleston Harbor. Close family and friends witnessed a touching ceremony…with a few funny movie quotes thrown in for good humor. The couple then shared their First Dance before sunset portraits on the bow. Afterwards, Frank & Lea joined guests in the main cabin for dinner. The delightful evening continued on the top deck with dancing and mingling as we enjoyed the gentle ocean breezes until the captain brought us back to the dock.

Many thanks to Camille, Sarah Beth, and Captain Trent for going above and beyond. And a special thanks to Captain Bob for making a guest-star appearance to make sure all was ship-shape before our departure!

It was an absolute honor to photograph Lea & Frank’s surprise proposal earlier this year: https://chrisandcami.com/lea-frank-are-engaged/. And it was an even deeper honor to be there for them to capture all these special moments of their wedding day!

Nick & Nicole’s Secret Proposal at The Sanctuary

After weeks and weeks of planning every detail for Nick’s secret proposal, we had to call a last-minute audible!!!

Nick and I had worked so hard to come up with the perfect plan for him to ask his beautiful girlfriend, Nicole, to marry him. We had picked a pristine beach at the northern end of Kiawah Island as the backdrop. We had chosen the perfect time of day to catch that “golden hour” light before sunset. But all our plans fell apart minutes before our scheduled time when the skies opened up, pelting buckets of rain down from the sky!!!

Fortunately, Nick and Nicole’s parents had secretly flown in to surprise the couple after the proposal. Since his parents were staying at The Sanctuary, they quickly scouted out a secluded spot indoors and out of the rain. They even placed a trail of rose petals leading Nick to “the spot” where he would do his magic. It worked out PERFECTLY!!!

Arriving right on cue, Nicole said later that she could sense Nick was acting a little strange. But she wasn’t sure why? Then Nick hit his mark, turned to face the love of his life, and dropped to one knee. It was a truly magical moment. Nicole burst into a HUGE grin as she realized what was going on…and she couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the night!

Afterwar she said “Yes”, we were able to incorporate the beautiful hallways, archways, and grand staircase of the famous hotel into a fun authentic engagement shoot. I got some neat candids of Nick & Nicole’s parents surprising them and checking out Nicole’s AMAZING ring. And of course we captured a few nice family portraits to commemorate the occasion.

CONGRATULATIONS Nick & Nicole!!! We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together!

Richard Surprises Stephanie with Folly Beach Proposal

SHE SAID YES!!!

It was such an honor capturing Richard’s Surprise Proposal to Stephanie on Folly Beach last evening!

This amazing couple met at Southwest College, where Stephanie played hard to get at first. But before long, her and Richard became inseparable. They’ve been best friends ever since. After 5 years together, Richard FINALLY dropped to his knee at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and asked Stephanie to be his wife. 🙂

While making plans to vacation on Folly Beach together, Stephanie thought it would be fun to schedule a couple’s session. Since Richard had already bought the ring, and was trying to think of the perfect time to pop the question, he thought this could work in his favor. Together, he and I worked out a secret phrase so that half-way through their couple’s session, he would know it was time to do his magic. Richard’s brother had joined us under the ruse of “helping hold your phones and sunglasses”. Unknown to Stephanie, he was also secretly hiding the ring! At our pre-determined time of 8:00 PM, I distracted Stephanie by asking to photograph a couple shots of her by herself…giving Richard time to get the ring from David. Richard then took Stephanie’s hand and led her down the shoreline for a little privacy. Facing her with waves gently lapping at their feet, he opened his heart and asked her to marry him. It was SO AWESOME!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Richard & Stephanie! We wish you all the best as you begin this beautiful new stage in your journey together…

Tres Surprises Keri with a Secret Proposal

I owe a HUGE “Thank You” to Tres’ mom, who called to vet photographers in Charleston for her son, and decided we were worthy of this special event!

Tres and Keri met online and have been inseparable since. Tres has known for a while that Keri was “the one”. In fact, he’s had her engagement ring since August!!! He wanted to wait for the right moment, and to make sure Keri had a very special proposal. I would say he pulled that off in spades!

Tres is from Alabama. But he and Keri now live in Charlotte. This weekend, they planned a fun “get-away” for a few days in Port Royal, with a side-trip to historic Charleston. It’s been so much fun working with Tres the last couple months, secretly scheming about how to make his proposal absolutely perfect!

Arriving at White Point Garden early, I scouted our location under the avenue of oak trees, and placed two branches in an “X” formation so Tres knew the right spot. I took my position on the curb, hid my cameras under a towel, and pretended to be a tourist reading a map. Arriving right on cue, Tres led Keri to the beautiful location he had picked, dropped to his knee underneath the gorgeous cathedral of oaks, and asked Keri to be his wife!!! 🙂

Getting to know Tres & Keri afterwards, as we walked around historic downtown, was so much fun! We captured a ton of fun engagement photos for them. These were “authentic” engagement photos because they weren’t staged months later, but actually took place moments after she said YES!!!

Eventually it was time for this amazing couple to head off to the next part of Tres’ surprise…a fantastic dinner cruise around Charleston Harbor.

Please help me in saying CONGRATULATIONS to Tres & Keri!!! We wish you all the best as you begin this new journey together…

Glenda & Larry’s Wedding at Taylor Ranch

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love always perseveres!

What an HONOR it was for Cami and I to photograph Glenda & Larry’s beautiful wedding! Glenda & Cami have been friends for close to 20 years. When Glenda moved away from Charleston for her new job, she had no idea what was in store for her! One day as she arrived for services at Biltmore Church, she met an amazing man named Larry. They soon fell in love. Larry proposed to Glenda in front of all their friends one morning during their small-group gathering before church!

Their wedding was held at Taylor Ranch in Fletcher, NC. It was a picture-perfect day with mild temperatures, and clear blue skies. Glenda was absolutely stunning in her elegant wedding gown, complete with adorable lace-toped tennis shoes. Larry was quite dashing in his embroidered guayaberas Sunday shirt with tan blazer. Led by their good friend Kelvin, the ceremony was heartfelt and spirit-led. A casual reception in the open-air pavilion, overlooking the lake, was the perfect place for everyone to relax and celebrate with the newlyweds!

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

Glenda & Larry’s Rehearsal Dinner

Glenda & Larry’s private room at The Season’s, located at The Highland Lake Inn & Resort, was filled with gales of laughter, tears of joy, stories of love, and sentiments of lives filled with blessings.

We were celebrating Glenda & Larry’s Rehearsal Dinner Party! Friends and family were gathered together to fellowship, and to bless the lives of this amazing couple as they prepared for their wedding day. A short rehearsal was followed by a delicious meal, then a time of sharing and showering Larry & Glenda with stories that exemplified their undying love, kindness, and faithfulness.

The evening closed with a GORGEOUS sunset as we all parted ways with great anticipation for the special day ahead!

Sally & Vincent’s “Carolina Girl” Vow Renewal

It’s been TEN YEARS since Sally & Vincent tied the knot. But at the time, they weren’t able to have a big wedding. So for their 10-year Anniversary, they decided to throw that beautiful “party of the century” wedding celebration they’d always imagined!!!  🙂

Sally & Vincent met and fell in love in Coney Island, NY. Her brother lived in Charleston.  So Sally kept coming down to the area for visits. Later on, Sally & Vincent moved to Connecticut.  But it wasn’t quite the right fit, and they still hated those cold winters. Eventually they took the plunge and moved to Mt. Pleasant.  Along the way, they started a family.  Their daughters, Vanessa and Scarlett, are absolutely adorable.  You can check out their engagement/family photos here:  https://chrisandcami.com/sally-vincent-folly-beach-engagement/).  Since moving to Charleston, Sally & Vincent have built their dream home…and have been here ever since!

To pull off this fabulous wedding celebration, these two lovebirds joined with the amazing team at The Carolina Girl Yacht (www.carolinagirlevents.com)!  Camille, Jessica, Captain T.J., and the rest of the crew helped them get every detail in place, and made sure everything ran smoothly throughout the event.

When the Big Day arrived, I met up with Sally and her girls at The White Room for their “getting ready” photos.  Sally was absolutely STUNNING in her elegant wedding gown!  Then it was off to The Carolina Girl to catch up with Vincent and his guys.  When the Party Buss arrived with the girls on it, Vincent was waiting in the picturesque park near the dock.  Knowing how long Sally & Vincent had waited for this moment, it was all I could do to hold back the tears and keep shooting while this amazing couple enjoyed their emotional First Look.  Next, we stepped up the pace with wedding party photos in the park before guests arrived.  Then it was off to The Carolina Girl for the rest of the evening!  From family and friends enjoying the scenic cruise around Charleston harbor, to their heartfelt vow renewal, to family portraits on the bow, to a delicious dinner, and finally the gleeful laughter reverberating off the water as everyone danced the night away…a FABULOUS time was had by all at Sally & Vincent’s Big Celebration.  That, my friends, is exactly how dreams come true!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Sally & Vincent!  You two are so perfect for each other.  We wish you all the best as you continue to love one another, love your wonderful girls, and live life to the fullest for MANY MORE anniversaries to come…

 

Lea & Frank are ENGAGED!!!

Frank has been a fantastic friend, a fabulous neighbor (4 doors down from us), and a fun colleague (he’s an awesome wedding videographer that I frequently get the privilege of working with). Yesterday, it was my distinct honor to help Frank capture this secret proposal to his beautiful girlfriend, Lea!!!

May 8th has special meaning to Frank & Lea. It’s Lea’s son’s birthday. It’s Mother’s Day. And it’s the day Frank’s beloved father passed away. Knowing how special this day already was in their lives, Frank wanted to make it even MORE meaningful to the two of them! So we came up with a mischievous ruse together…

Frank told Lea that he booked me to photograph a special “Mother & Son” photo shoot for her on Mother’s Day. We even had Cami print out a fake gift certificate for him to put in her Mother’s Day card. When I met up with them at the picturesque Stono River Park that morning, I pretended to follow along, photographing a variety of portraits of just Josiah and his mom as we walked along the path.

Arriving at the entrance to the boardwalk, I told Leah “Hey, we should get a few shots of you and Frank while we’re here!” This was Frank’s cue to lead her out onto the boardwalk, overlooking the peaceful marsh. When he got to the middle, he pretended to tie his shoe, and then surprised her with a beautiful diamond ring! Lea’s expression speaks for itself!!!  🙂

CONGRATULATIONS Lea & Frank! We wish you all the best as you begin this new journey together!!!

Lucas Surprises Callie with a Secret Proposal

I got a call over a month ago from Jamey who was interested in booking a family photo session…with a twist! Jamey and her family were going to be vacationing on Isle of Palms. She wanted me to photograph their family portraits on the beach. At the same time, her oldest son, Lucas, was going to be proposing to his longtime girlfriend. She wanted to know if that could even be done, and how we might work it out so that Callie didn’t suspect anything. After sharing some ideas with Jamie, and talking it over with Lucas, a doubly-devious plan was hatched! 🙂

Lucas invited Callie to join his family on their beach vacation. Jamie booked the family portrait session with me, and told everyone (including Callie) what day and time they were all expected to be dressed and ready for photos. Arriving for the shoot that afternoon, I rang the bell at their beautiful beach house, and went inside to meet everyone. As introductions were being made, Jamey explained that she wasn’t ready yet and to go ahead and start with a few couple’s photo of Lucas & Callie. Callie & Lucas had just bought a house together, and had talked about getting a few photos of them made during the family session that they could hang in their new home. So this all seemed totally natural to Callie.

After photographing a nice variety of couple’s shots for them, I suggested some casual candids of them holding hands and walking down the beach. We picked a spot where they would turn around. This was Lucas’ cue. He and I had pre-arranged which side he would walk on, which way he would turn, and how to drop to one knee at the turning point to completely catch Callie off guard.

It worked like MAGIC!!! Lucas did a fabulous job of hitting his mark. Callie was completely surprised by the whole thing!  And I just fired away, catching every moment of the excitement!  After she said “YES”, Callie & Lucas came back down the beach towards me. At this point, Luca’s parents and his younger brother, who were all hiding back at the boardwalk, came running out to join them and congratulate them!

We still had plenty of light left to photograph a variety of family portraits. And we capped off the session with some gorgeous shots of Lucas & Callie (with a sparkly new diamond on her finger) in the dramatic setting sun. BUT WAIT!!! The surprise wasn’t over yet!

After we got back to the beach house, Lucas told Callie she should go ahead and call her parents to let them know the good news. Little did Callie know, her parents had secretly arrived in town the day before. While I was out photographing the “couples photos”, Jamey called them to say the coast was clear. They then snuck into the house while we were doing the family photos, and hid upstairs. When Callie face-timed her Mom, she answered and pretended she didn’t have a clue. Thinking her parents were miles away in Georgia, Callie excitedly began sharing the “big news” of how Lucas had asked her to marry him.  While she was mid-sentence, Callie’s parents magically appeared on the staircase coming down towards her!!! The look of utter disbelief on her face was simply priceless!

What an AMAZING honor it was to capture Lucas’ Surprise Proposal to Callie!!!  Congratulations to Jamey and Lucas for pulling off a massive DOUBLE surprise!  And CONGRATULATIONS to Callie & Lucas!!! They are an absolutely adorable couple! We wish them all the happiness in the world as they begin this new journey together…

Historic Rice Mill with Z9

My friend Frank, of Francis West Studios, let me tag along on a fun wedding he was shooting at the Historic Rice Mill today.

He was the videographer for the event. So I helped out by running the secondary camera, getting drone footage, etc. But the fun part was, he let me bring the new Z9 to play with! Here are a couple dusk shots of this beautiful wedding venue taken with the new camera.

I still have a lot of subtle nuances to get used to…but this beast is really starting to feel at home in my hands! 🙂