Nikkor Z 400mm f2.8 TC at Magnolia Garden

I try to be spontaneous when I can!

So when my good friend and amazing photographer, David Archer, messaged me the other morning to let me know he was heading over to Magnolia Gardens, I took a break from the computer and zipped out the door to join him.

Although it was a beautiful morning, we didn’t get any prize-winning photos. But we had a beautiful day and a fun time catching up. PLUS I got to play with his new Nikkor Z 400mm f2.8 TC! What an AMAZING lens!!!  I also captured some images with the Nikkor 500mm f5.6 PF + FTZII, as well as the Nikkor Z 70-200 f2.8 + Nikkor Z TC-1.4x.

McLeod Law Group

One of the best parts of my job is meeting new and interesting people!

The other day I got to meet an amazing team of attorneys at the McLeod Law Group. I was there photographing them for a profile article being written in Super Lawyers Magazine. Cooper Wilson was my main contact, who was super helpful with logistics, scheduling, and organizing their team. Mullins McLeod was the principal attorney, and had so many crazy stories from his time practicing law. Everyone was such a pleasure to work with and we came away with a variety of great shots for them to choose from.

Ultimately, they selected the one with the reflection in the conference room desk as their favorite! The images was captured on a Nikon Z9 with 24-120 f4 S lens placed just above the surface of the table using a Manfrotto tripod. To expose for the sky, I shot at ISO 200, f7.1, 1/250 sec. To create a wall of artificial light that would balance out that daylight, I added 4 SB-5000 speedlights firing through 2 Westcott 60″ umbrellas at camera left.

It was an absolute pleasure working with this fantastic team of attorneys! They have an impeccable record and a ton of 5-star reviews. Check them out at: https://mcleod-lawgroup.com/?utm_source=GMB&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=charleston.

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!!!

Pierce Sloan Kennedy & Early

I’ve worked with the law firm of Pierce Sloan Kennedy & Early for several years now. You simply couldn’t ask for a more prompt, professional, and friendly group of attorneys! They like to have fun and always make me feel welcome.

This assignment was for a profile article being written about them in Super Lawyers Magazine. I used a big soft-box on camera-right to fill in the shadows of the first image. The rest were all captured with natural “open shade” lighting. Everything was shot on the Nikon Z9 with the Nikkor Z 70-200 f2.8 on Sony XQD cards.

Orangegrove Basketball

My friend Erin called me the other day and invited me to cover a high-school basketball game for her. It was so much fun!

Shooting with the Nikon Z9 and Nikkor Z 70-200 f2.8 in 3D tracking mode with eye-detect turned on was a dream. I also frequently switched into DX mode, providing an effective focal length of 105-300 f2.8. Settings were ISO 8000, 1/1000sec, f2.8, Auto WB, 10fps, and JPG fine.

The girls of Orangegrove played hard and eked out a thrilling victory in overtime over CE Williams. CONGRATULATIONS to Coach Alex and the girls. And MANY THANKS to Erin for the invitation.

Headshots for Thompson Turner Construction

Thompson Turner Construction is a major provider of new construction and renovation services throughout the Southeast. With high standards, great support, and full service, it’s no wonder they are so highly regarded in the industry!

It’s been my honor to photograph their team headshots over the last few years. Usually I set up in the hallway just outside their Mt. Pleasant office. That way, I don’t disrupt everyone diligently working away inside.

The kit I use includes a 53″ Savage studio gray backdrop, Manfrotto supports, Westcott light modifiers, Sony XQD cards, 4 SB-5000 flashes, a Z9 with a WR-R11 transmitter, and the Nikkor Z 70-200 f2.8S. This was my first time using the newest model of the venerable 70-200 on shoot with Thompson Turner. I recently upgraded from the previous model. I am TRULY impressed at how much quieter, sharper, and faster focusing it is than the previous generations I’ve owned over the years!

Paulina & Ben’s Greek Orthodox Wedding

Two weeks before the Covid-19 “shutdown”, I had the pleasure of photographing Sommer & Frank’s wedding. Several years before that, I had the privilege of photographing Sommer’s sister’s wedding, when Sarah & Trent got married. Now…3 years later…after the pandemic bans on public gatherings have been lifted…it was my GREAT PLEASURE to photograph Frank’s sister’s wedding!  Paulina & Ben tied the knot on a beautiful blue-sky afternoon at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity!!!

If you haven’t already, check out the beautiful story of their Secret Proposal here:  https://chrisandcami.com/ben-proposes-to-paulina-at-the-holiday-festival-of-lights/.

When the big day arrived, I met up with Paulina and the girls on the top floor of the Harbour Club at Westedge, where they were all getting ready.  The atmosphere was fun and festive.  And Paulina looked stunning!  I absolutely LOVED the pride and joy in her Dad’s eyes when he came in for that “First Look” with his little girl!

Meanwhile, my good friend Robbin caught up with Ben and the guys, who were all getting ready at the Courtyard by Marriott Charleston Waterfront. I think one of the most special moments of the day was when the trolley was taking Ben the guys over to the church, and he had them stop so he could come up, lean his head on the outside of the door, hold Paulina’s hand, and tell her how much he was looking forward to marrying her!

Once everyone was at the church, a beautiful, warm, candlelit sanctuary welcomed friends and family from far and wide. The ceremony was FILLED with so many special moments…from Paulina and Ben’s brothers laying out the aisle runner, to Ben’s mom singing a soulful rendition of Ave Maria…from Paulina’s Dad singing in the choir, to her godfather being the Koumbaros and assisting with the Exchanging of Rings and The Crowning ceremony. Father Ari led a touching heartfelt ceremony. And Ms. Cleo did an amazing job of keeping everyone on schedule. It truly was a special ceremony I’ll never forget!

A highlight for me personally was getting to spend a few minutes in a private session with Paulina & Ben at Brittlebank Park on our way to the reception.  The vibrant orange glow from the final rays of sunshine, and the transitioning sky as “blue hour” set in, provided a dynamic backdrop for a few dramatic portraits of the gorgeous couple!

Then it was on to the reception back at the Harbour Club at Westedge.  Robbin had already covered the cocktail hour.  So once Paulina and Ben had gotten a few minutes to catch their breath (while he changed into a suit and she put her hair up), it was time for the Main Event!!!  After an enthusiastic welcome for the wedding party, Paulina & Ben’s first dance as husband and wife, and some touching toasts, DJ David kicked things into high gear!  I always love the energy and enthusiasm of Greek dancing.  And WOW…did this group know how to do it right?!?  Everyone had a BLAST, while Robbin and I captured all the excitement of the evening!

Many thanks to Ashleigh with Everything After the Ring for the beautiful florals, and for keeping everyone organized throughout the day.

CONGRATULATIONS Ben & Paulina!!!  You are so perfect for each other!  We wish you all the best as you begin this new chapter in your lives…

Morgan & Ryan’s Engagement Session at Hampton Park

I met Morgan’s parents at a fun event I was photographing for the Aucoin Family. When they asked me to photograph their daughter’s wedding, I was absolutely DELIGHTED!!!

With an unseasonably gorgeous 70-degree day yesterday, we headed out for a fun engagement shoot at Hampton Park. But not just your average engagement shoot, I was so excited when they brought their new baby boy, Wyatt to join us! The light was amazing. Wyatt was adorable. And we all had an amazing time exploring the park and capturing a wide variety of images to preserve this special time in their lives!

CONGRATULATIONS Morgan & Ryan! I can’t wait to be there for you guys at your wedding in just a few short months. 🙂

Dorchester County Council

I’ve never been to a “swearing in” ceremony before. So when Michelle asked me to stay a few minutes at the end of our photo shoot to capture a few action shots of new Council Members taking their oath of office, I was absolutely delighted!

We had just wrapped up photographing a variety of drone shots, group photos, and headshots for various departments at the Dorchester County office building in Summerville. We had also photographed headshots, group photos, and some interior marketing shots of the Council Chambers. So to be able to stick around and see the government in action was pretty neat!

Many thanks to PIO Michelle for her hard work organizing and scheduling these photo shoots. I always enjoy working with her, and appreciate all the fun challenges she throws at me!

Pet Portraits

Cami and I are animal lovers! I always enjoy photographing pets. So while we were visiting family over the holidays, I offered to do a few portraits of their beloved 4-legged fur-babies!!! 🙂

(Nikon Z9 with animal eye-detect enabled, Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 Z, Sony XQD cards)

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…