Ryan Smith Photography – Photo Story Blog

Myrtle Beach photography blog documenting the stories of real weddings and family portraits from around the Grand Strand area

Pawleys Plantation wedding with a Beauty and the Beast themed reception

I always love going to Pawleys Plantation Golf Club for a wedding, it's a very pretty area and the staff there is very nice.  I really loved the bride's dress at this wedding, she had a Beauty and the Beast Disney theme to the dress and wedding reception.  You can see some pictures of the ballroom decorations below.  I recently got a new 14mm prime lens so I was enjoying playing around with some super wide angle shots of the reception decorations.  Looking through the lens is so wide though I realized I was almost sticking my camera in the cake without realizing it.  It's not the kind of lens that I will use often, but it's fun for a few shots here and there.  I also finally got a really big case to carry all my gear. It's the largest Lowepro rolling case they have.  It looks like a big suitcase, but inside it has dividers that can be arranged for photo gear.  I have my 4 camera bodies, flashes, various lenses etc. all organized together in one case.

The wedding ceremony was a few hours before sunset, so after the bride and groom finished eating I took them back out of the reception for some sunset pictures. When the days start getting longer, most ceremonies are going to be a while before sunset, so if possible I always try to get the couple out for some sunset pictures when the light is much softer.  At least at locations like Pawleys Plantation with a lot of trees, there is always somewhere to get some shade from the sun.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please let me know in the comments below if you do.

Bride on porch of Pawleys Plantation Bride and sister on porch of Pawleys Plantation There are many more pictures, click here to continue viewing this post . . .


Cold and windy day for engagement pictures at the Myrtle Beach State Park

There are always a couple of winter months where no one is looking to have portraits done outdoors or on the beach. During those months I always have some things to do like wedding album layouts and catching up with clients about orders from the previous year, but it's nice to be getting busy taking fresh pictures again. I seem to be getting an early start this year with not only some engagement sessions but even a wedding this coming weekend.

The engagement session I'm highlighting this time was for a couple with an upcoming wedding I'm photographing this summer. It was a very cold and windy day at the Myrtle Beach State Park. I guess because the ocean temperature is so low right now, it seemed much colder on the beach then it did a little bit inland. Thankfully I brought along a sweatshirt, but I was still really cold even with that on. As cold as I was I felt really bad for the couple because they were just freezing in what they were wearing, I felt a little guilty in my sweatshirt. They wanted to go for it anyway, and I think we managed to get some really good pictures even with the wind and cold. In fact, the sky had an unusual look that day that I think gave some nice interest to the pictures, and we were the only ones on the beach which was nice. I guess a girl knows she has a pretty good guy if he will stay in a good mood through the cold and even three different outfit changes :) It makes me look forward to the wedding knowing a couple is easy going and will make the best of things.

I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please let me know if you do by liking or sharing the pictures, as well as commenting below.

Engagement portrait sitting on the tree branch on hill at Myrtle Beach State Park Engagement portrait in the oak trees Closeup by the trees There are many more pictures, click here to continue viewing this post . . .


Two engagement photography sessions at the Conway River Walk, one with a Poodle

Penny Smith

Penny Smith

I really like during this slower time of the year to do engagement sessions for my upcoming weddings.  I had two sets of weddings clients recently that wanted to do engagement pictures at the Conway River Walk, so I decided I would just combine pictures from both their sessions into one post.  The first set below I'm a little partial too because they had a poodle that looks almost just like my dog Penny.  You can check out her Facebook page here, she needs some more friends. Their poodle was a little nervous especially up on the railroad track, just like my dog would be with the tail tucked down tight.  The very last picture in the first set below was cute. He was trying to be good and sit while we did pictures, but he was so happy when they finally called him over.  I thought both the engagement sessions turned out very nice, the Conway River walk is a great spot this time of the year.  I had a little trouble with getting the guys to smile, but I understand because I can't smile for pictures myself.

The two engagement photography sessions below can give you an idea of the difference between a sunny and a cloudy day.  They both have a different look, but I can't say one is better than the other.  I like the soft look of a cloudy day, especially in a black and white. Of course, when you can get the sunset filtering through a tree in the background, it is always great as well.  I don't get to choose if it's going to be cloudy or not, so I just had to learn to make it look good either way.  I'd say if you are a beginning photographer try for a cloudy day, it's a lot easier to get an acceptable picture, I see a lot of photographers make a mess of things with the sun.  I hope you enjoy the engagement pictures from the Conway River Walk below, let me know in the comments box if you do.

Engagement portrait with poodle sitting on the train tracks - Conway River Walk Getting a low angle on the train tracks There are many more pictures, click here to continue viewing this post . . .


Surprise engagement proposal at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach

This was another surprise engagement proposal I was asked to photograph, this time at the Ripley's Aquarium in Broadway at the Beach. I was contacted by the young guy to hopefully get some surprise pictures of the proposal to his girlfriend, it's usually hard for the girl not to know something is up by the time I spot them.  I've done a number of these type of surprise proposals recently, they are always really fun to shoot, and so far the girl has always said yes!  So maybe it's a good idea to have me there :).

I've actually been to the Aquarium once for a wedding reception and one other time actually inside for engagement pictures.  For this young couple, they just wanted to do the pictures around the outside of the Aquarium on the lake and the walkways of Broadway at the Beach.  I believe he had told me they had first met, or possibly had their first date at Ripley's Aquarium, so that is why he wanted to propose there.  Most of the year I would want to avoid that area for pictures, in the summer it's just packed with people and it would be very difficult to do anything romantic. However, at the beginning of December, it's a really off season time, and hardly anyone was around so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  I thought the pictures turned out really nice, let me know in the comments below if you enjoy them.

Surprise engagement proposal - Broadway at the Beach Saying yes to the proposal Engagement pictures with Wonderworks in the background There are many more pictures, click here to continue viewing this post . . .


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