I just adore this young lady! I guess you could say she's been my photography muse over the years. Many years ago, when I was a young new photographer - one with a lot of want but not a lot of creative know how - I ran across a photo where she was dressed up in this awesome anime costume. I reached out to her for a photo shoot and the rest is history. She's been Beatrice, the Black Butler, the Mad Hatter, a Dark Angel, donned a mask and ball gown, and tromped through a forest of mosquitoes and broken toilets (another story for another day). It's been an honor to watch her grow into this gorgeous young lady over the years. I'm so thankful she trusted me many years ago and continues to trust in my artistic vision. I had a great time (as always) capturing her head shots for her sophomore year in college. I'm warning you now, you will see her name in lights.
What an amazingly fun, large family! When Pam contacted me and told me about her family's plans of coming down to Garden City Beach, SC to give the extended family time to spend with one another and reconnect, and she wanted to get some family portraits done, I was super excited! They rented a few beach houses from the great folks at Garden City Realty so we planned to meet up at the beach right near one of the houses.
We had a fabulous time getting some family photos of individual family groups as well as the while group of over 40! They were funny, sweet and sarcastic - my favorite combination!
Necessary Photography is a Myrtle Beach based photographer that specializes in fine art dance photography, senior portraits and family beach photography. If you're planning a vacation in the Myrtle Beach area (including Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Pawleys Island, Litchfield, Surfside, North Myrtle Beach or Cherry Grove) and you're looking for a photographer to capture your memories at the beach, give us a call!
I had such a wonderful time up in Cherry Grove with the Price family for their family beach portraits. If you haven't been to the Cherry Grove Pointe yet, I highly recommend that you add it to your 'to do' list. Cherry Grove Pointe is a gorgeous, mostly undeveloped stretch of beach just north of the Cherry Grove Pier. The waterway and ocean intersect creating a wide, gorgeous stretch of beach that is unmatched on the Grand Strand.
The Price family was visiting North Myrtle Beach/Cherry Grove from Kentucky and wanted to document their family vacation with some gorgeous family beach photos. The Cherry Grove Pointe was just perfect for this. Unlike other areas of Myrtle Beach, we were not fighting the beach crowds, but almost had the beach to ourselves.
Two of my favorite things about the beaches at Cherry Grove are the incredible dunes and the wild island across from the pointe. Because the island is undeveloped, shooting against it gives the photos such a unique look.
Necessary Photography is a Myrtle Beach based photographer that specializes in fine art dance photography, senior portraits and family beach photography. Are you on vacation and looking for fabulous portraits that capture your family's love and personalities? Give us a call!
When Ramona, another Myrtle Beach photographer, contacted me about doing some underwater maternity portraits of her, I was ecstatic! Back in February, I had purchased an underwater housing for my camera to use for the underwater portion of my mermaid styled session and I was itching to put that housing to good use again. She was able to secure the pool at Waterford Plantation in Myrtle Beach, SC for sunrise and we spent a few hours in the pool making sure we got everything we needed. As for the rest of the story, I'll just let the images do the talking.
Necessary Photography is a Myrtle Beach, SC based photographer that specializes in dance, family and senior portrait photography. She serves the Grand Strand area including: Cherry Grove, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawley's Island, Georgetown and Conway.
I love, love, love my clients! When I hopped out of my Wrangler at Caledonia to meet the Jan family, I was tickled pink. Not only are they a gorgeous family, but the mother, Huma, styled them perfectly!
You can't beat the gorgeous live oak and Spanish moss lined driveway that leads into Caledonia. It is as old world southern as you can get.
After we wrapped up at Caledonia, we headed down to the pointe on Pawley's Island. I absolutely adore that beach. It's one of the few beaches on the Grand Strand that aren't over developed. It has such great dunes and the jetties are amazing!
I was so thrilled when Danielle contacted me about scheduling a family beach session for her and her extended family while they were on vacation. She was super sweet and booked this session as a Mother's Day present for her mother, Susan. What a wonderful surprise! Danielle's little girls were the cutest little girls - complete with gorgeous curls!
We took some time to do some posed portraits, but then the family just enjoyed the beach and I was able to capture some great playful moments. It was easy to see that this family really loves each other.
While we were playing around on the beach, a local fisherman who was surf fishing caught a baby black tip shark. He was kind enough to let the girls touch it before he released it back into the ocean.
What Danielle had to say about her family's session:
Stephanie took family beach portraits for us while we were on vacation. I cannot say enough wonderful things about her. She was easy to communicate with before the session. She was open to discussing locations close to our hotel and gave details about the pros and cons of different spots. The day of the session, Stephanie was amazing to work with. She took beautiful pictures of our family. My 3 yo can be a little difficult to manipulate into posed pictures. Stephanie allowed her to be herself and got shots when she saw them instead of trying to pose her. Because of this, the true personality of my kids shined! We are thrilled with all the images and cannot wait to have them hanging in my house!
If you're looking for family beach portraits in the North Myrtle Beach, Cherry Grove, Myrtle Beach or Pawley's Island area, please give us a call. (843) 424-1652
Payton is absolutely AMAZING. She's a rising freshman at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, SC and is on their JV Cheerleading Squad. Not only is the girl super smart, and - quite obviously - gorgeous, she's such a humanitarian that truly tries to give back to her community. It seems that, in today's world, the trend in 14 years old is self-absorption. Payton is rebuking that trend. She's constantly volunteering, whether is is to feed the homeless, ring the bell for the Salvation Army, or to collect clothes and blankets for the less fortunate. She's recently wrapped up donation drives that collected items for the United Way and for the Ronald McDonald House.
We headed to Caledonia Golf & Fish Club for the dance portion of the shoot. You can't get any more southern than Caledonia's oak lined drive - and it just fit Payton's Gatsby inspired dance outfit perfectly!
This girl dances in nearly 100 degree heat and looked flawless doing it.
We decided to do the cheerleading portion of the session at Payton's high school, so we headed up to Socastee High School's Brave Stadium.
Since we shot on National Flag Day, it only seemed right that we incorporated the American Flag into at least one image!
Payton's competing for Young Miss Teen South Carolina in just a few weeks. I can't wait to see how she does!
Necessary Photography is a Myrtle Beach based photographer that specializes in fine art dance photography, senior portraits and family portraits.
Location, Location, Location: Central and Inland Myrtle Beach, SC
A few weeks ago, I began a blog series about great locations for portraits in the Myrtle Beach, SC area. The first blog in the series focused on the state parks and southern locations on the Grand Strand. For the second blog in the series, I'd like to focus on locations that are more centrally located in Myrtle Beach, SC and those that are further inland.
1. Market Common
Market Common is located off Farrow Parkway on the old Air Force Base. It is accessible from 17 Business (Kings Highway) or 17 Bypass.
1. Modern Cityscape: If you're looking for a modern cityscape for your portraits, Market Common is a great choice. It's filled with a ton of great choices, from full length reflective windows, to great alleys, street lamp lined sidewalks, etc. It's a great chic site.
2. Market Common is located extremely close to Myrtle Beach State Park. This makes Market Common a great choice if you're looking for variety that includes beach portraits. My larger package includes 2 locations. If you've chosen the larger package to fit your needs - Market Common + Myrtle Beach State Park are excellent choices.
3. A few of the old Air Force Base buildings are still standing and are now covered with graffiti. If you're looking for a spot with an urban vibe, Market Common is a great choice.
Things to consider:
1. Because there are so many popular restaurants and shops at Market Common, it can be quite crowded on the weekends and summer months.
2. There can be a good amount of traffic around Market Common. For this reason, I do not recommend Market Common as a location for families with children under the age of 5.
2. Downtown Conway
I absolutely adore downtown Conway, SC! Conway is located inland off 501, approximately twenty minutes from Myrtle Beach, SC.
1. Conway is so full of amazing history and gorgeous old buildings. If you're like me, and you love old historic strips - this is the place for you! Main Street of Conway is just fantastic! There are large live oak trees, quaint brick alleys, an old theatre and so many little nooks and crannies for photographs that it is impossible to list them all.
2. It is located right near the River Walk of Conway, so if you're looking for some variety, I would highly recommend my larger package and pairing the two locations together.
3. Most of the shops and restaurants are closed on Sundays, which means you can take advantage of this great town without a ton of people and vehicles crowding in on you.
Bonus: Conway is full of amazing restaurants. So, you can get your session done then head out to an amazing meal. My favorite restaurant on the Grand Strand is located in Conway. Make sure to check out Rivertown Bistro.
Things to Consider:
1. Shooting in Downtown Conway, SC involves a good bit of walking to fully explore the city and take advantage of everything this location has to offer. For this reason, I do not recommend historic Conway for anyone with health impairments that limit mobility.
2. Except on Sunday, there can be a large amount of traffic and people. For this reason, I do not recommend choosing Conway as your portrait location if your family has children under the age of five, unless you are willing and able to schedule the session for a Sunday.
3. Booth's Christmas Tree Farm
Booth's Christmas Tree Farm is located at 5918 Adrian Highway in Conway, SC. It is a family owned farm with the most amazing owners. It may sound odd to recommend this location for anytime of the year other than Christmas, but Booth's has a ton to offer in the way of location no matter what season it is.
1. The most obvious positive is that if you're looking for family Christmas portraits, this is the PERFECT location. Booth's has acres of Christmas tree fields for your Christmas portraits.
2. Booth's also offers the perfect country chic location for any sort of session, anytime of the year. There are two large barns, great county fencing, tractors, a vintage car, dirt roads, and much more! I am a huge fan of the rowed pine trees - they photograph beautifully (see above) and the wildflowers that bloom during different times of the year (see below). This year, Booth's has planted rows and rows of SUNFLOWERS that will bloom during the month of July (YAY!) as well.
3. This farm is locally owned and ran. You are spending local and helping our local economy.
After getting your family Christmas portraits done, get your tree! Booth's grows a ton of varieties of trees that you can cut yourself, and they import Fraser Firs from North Carolina. They drive to NC and get the trees themselves, so the Frasers from Booth's are much fresher than the ones from other large chains you will find in the area. Additionally, they flock trees and sell garland. This year, my family went and cut our own tree for the first time, and we had such an amazing time finding the perfect tree in the fields and my boys really had a blast cutting it down. We didn't just get a tree, we made memories.
Things to Consider:
1. Booth's can be very, very crowded during the Christmas season. Despite this, there seems to always be enough room to not feel too cramped during your session.
2. Sessions must be scheduled with Booth's as well to make sure other photographers aren't out there at the same time. Some sessions, like the Sunflower Sessions fill fast.
For the next blog, I will focus on some niche locations that are scattered throughout the Grand Strand that fit a specific need for certain clients.
Necessary Photography is a Myrtle Beach based photographer that specializes in fine-art dance photography, senior portraits and family photography.
Location, Location, Location Part 1: State Parks and Southern Locations
If I am honest, I feel so very lucky to live in an area with so many incredible places for portrait locations! Of course, Myrtle Beach's gorgeous beaches are the obvious location that many people, both locals and tourists alike, think of first. The reality is, though that there are so many different options available. I don't know about you, but I am a very visual person (probably why I'm a photographer), so I decided to put all of my favorite Myrtle Beach photography locations into a blog series so that you guys can reference them easily to pick the perfect location for your Myrtle Beach portrait session with Necessary Photography!
1. Myrtle Beach State Park
Myrtle Beach State Park is located just south of the city of Myrtle Beach, SC at 4401 South Kings Highway; Myrtle Beach, SC 29575. Depending on the season, you may find azaleas or gorgeous white lilies in bloom.
1. Tons of variety of locations within the park. There are boardwalks over swamps, awesome trees, a green meadow, a pier, the beach and tons of nooks and crannies that provide unique shots.
2. The beach within the park is undeveloped, so you don't have to worry about homes or towering hotels in the background of your pictures.
3. It's pretty centrally located and easily accessible for those coming from the north or south.
Things to Keep in Mind:
1. It can be VERY crowded during the summer months.
2. There is a $5 entry fee per person unless you have a South Carolina State Park Pass.
2. Huntington Beach State Park
Huntington Beach State Park is located in between Murrells Inlet, SC and Litchfield Beach, SC right across from Brookgreen Gardens at 16148 Ocean Highway; Murrells Inlet, SC 29576.
1. Tremendous variety. Huntington Beach State Park has so many different options in one. First, there is Atalaya, AKA the "castle." You can use the outside of the castle at anytime, and the interior can be used from 9am-5pm for $2 per person. Huntington also has numerous trails that wind through the forests, several boardwalks that lead out to the beach, lovely sand trails that also lead out to the beach, as well as access to the inlet and boardwalks over the inlet.
2. While the part is definitely busier in the summer months, it is not nearly as busy as Myrtle Beach State Park.
3. Huntington Beach State Park allows dogs on the beach year round. If you are looking for a session that will include your furry friend, this is a great place for it.
Things to Consider:
1. There is a $5 entry fee per person unless you have a SC Sate Park Pass.
Locations on the South Strand
1. Caledonia Golf Course
Caledonia is located in Pawley's Island, SC at 369 Caledonia Drive, Pawley's Island, SC 29585. Although it may sound weird to recommend a golf course as a potential portrait location, the ground are timelessly southern and, as you can see, a gorgeous backdrop for your portrait session.
1. The gorgeous live oak lined driveway! Talk about southern. This drive is breath taking and offers the perfect backdrop for your portraits.
2. Their landscapers are top notch - there is usually something in bloom at Caledonia.
Things to Consider:
1. First and foremost, this is a golf course. It is important to remember there will be golfers around, and we are not allowed to disturb them or their game. For this reason, I do not recommend Caledonia as a location for families with children under the age of 5.
2. The ground of Caledonia are only available when the proshop is open. This means, that the shoot must be prearranged with enough reasonable time to make sure that it corresponds with the proshop's hours for that time of year/date.
3. Caledonia is not available for portrait sessions when a private event like a wedding is happening.
2. Hampton Plantation
Hampton Plantation is a State Historic Site. It is located roughly 15 minutes south of Georgetown, SC at 1950 Rutledge Road; McClellanville, SC 29458. The plantation home was built in 1735 and sits on roughly 300 acres. The grounds are lovely year round, but in early spring, it is particularly gorgeous at Hampton because the azaleas are in full bloom.
1. If you love history, specifically southern history - this place is for you! Not only is the home in wonderful condition, the ground also host the separate kitchen, George Washington once slept here (he is even rumored to be the reason why the huge live oak in front of the house still stands) and they are currently excavating the slave area of the plantation.
2. It's FREE! Other plantation homes in the area charge between $150 -$400 for a location fee.
3. Because the ground are so wide open, this is a great location for large family photo shoots as well.
Things to Consider:
1. It is a long drive. From Myrtle Beach, you can expect to drive roughly an hour - maybe more depending on traffic.
2. The ground close at 5pm in the winter and 6pm in the summer. So, unless you plan your shoot right before Day Light Saving's Time ends, you will not be able to take advantage of the beautiful sunsets that South Carolina has to offer.
3. If you plan on using any areas other than the main house or the driveway, I highly suggest close-toed shoes. Many of the gorgeous trees and ground are located in the midst of fields that are quite wild.
3. Pawley's Island Beach
Pawley's Island is located between Murrells Inlet, SC and Litchfield Beach, SC. The southern pointe of Pawley's Island is the area that I generally shoot at. It is gorgeous, uninhabited, and offers one of the few water's edge sunsets at the beach.
1. The southern tip of Pawley's Island is uninhabited. There is a large area of beach that has no homes or hotels on it, providing a natural beach backdrop for your portraits.
2. Because the sun sets in the west, it is nearly impossible to have sunset photos on the beach. Yes, with most beach locations, you can get lovely pinks and oranges in the sky on the beach at sunset, but you never really get the full impact of the sunset. Because Pawley's is an island, and the pointe is at the very tip with water on both sides, Pawley's Island offers a fantastic location for those looking for 'sunset beach pictures' in the Myrtle Beach area. I believe Pawley's Island offers, hands down, the best sunset on the Grand Strand.
3. Even though it is only a beach location, the jetties at Pawley's Island as well as the vegetation on the inlet side offer some variety from your normal beach photography.
Things to consider:
1. Choosing Pawley's Island for your portrait location is only recommended if it will be low tide during your session date and time. The beach is very short and the jetties unusuable during high tide.
2. During the later summer/early fall, black biting flies can be found in great abundance at Pawley's Island at sunset. I do not recommend shooting at Pawley's this time of year because I have yet to find a type of bug spray that deters them and they are horribly painful.
4. Surfside Beach, SC
Surfside Beach, SC is located on the southern end of the Grand Strand in between Myrtle Beach, SC and Murrells Inlet, SC. It has a small, quaint historic strip as well as the beach and the Surfside Pier.
1. The beach offers a little bit of variety with the addition of the pier.
2. While it does get crowded during summer months, Surfside is generally not as crowded as Myrtle Beach, SC and it is more of a family friendly beach that Myrtle.
3. The small historical strip offers several neat locations including some awesome staircases, wood piles (don't laugh - they photograph beautifully) and great streetlamp lined sidewalks. The strip is less than a mile from the beach, so it's easy to do both in one session.
Things to Consider:
1. The historical strip is quite small. If you're looking for a historical city feel, I would definitely recommend historical Conway over Surfside. It is also important to note that the strip can have heavy traffic flow. For this reason, I do not recommend the strip of Surfside for families with children under the age of 5. Surfside Beach and pier is fine for all ages.
2. If your session is scheduled before 7pm, you will need to pay for parking at the Surfside Pier. It is $1.25 an hour - and the machine takes cash and credit.
Stay tuned for my next blog which will cover locations in Myrtle Beach and Conway!
Necessary Photography is a Myrtle Beach based professional photographer that specializes in fine art dance photography, senior portraits and family pictures. Contact me today to schedule your custom portraits!
Meet my favorite dancer. Now, I realize I may be a bit partial.....he is my son after all. Miles has been dancing with Palmetto Dance Starz in Myrtle Beach, SC for not quite two years now - and he loves every single minute of it.
Miles, my intern (Jessica) and I headed up to the old abandoned buildings at Market Common in Myrtle Beach, SC. The buildings were once a part of the Air Force Base that used to be in Myrtle Beach but now sits empty, collecting weeds and graffiti.
Miles has made so much growth over the past two years thanks to the dedication and talent of Ben and Scoop, his hip hop instructors. The dance studio has become like a second home, and he absolutely adores the friends he has made. Being involved with dance has really helped his confidence soar - and I'm so thankful for PDS, and I am really looking forward to watching him continue to grow.
Thursday, April 9, 2015 at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, SC was a pretty amazing night.
There is something pretty magical about watching kids who you see every day blossom into super stars, seemingly overnight. As a middle school teacher, we don't always know how insanely talented at dance one of our kids is, or how one can belt out a Broadway tune like it's nothing, or how that one quiet reserved kid in class can be a fireball on the stage. This is what watching Legally Blonde, Jr. was like for me. I can't even begin the describe how wonderful Forestbrook Middle's production was, and what an honor it was to be able to see it unfold. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all the adults who made this musical a reality for these kids. They will never forget the feeling they had on stage, the comradery they forged with their fellow players, and the seed of confidence that was planted during this musical will grow forever.
A few of my favorite shots from the show.....
This year, one of my business resolutions was to put myself out there more, share my work, submit to magazines and blogs and enter photography contests. In January, I entered the Shoot and Share International Photography Contest. 110, 982 photos were entered in this contest across 21 different categories.
What I loved about the Shoot and Share contest was that the photos were presented on their own merit. They popped up randomly, with no identifying watermarks and no photographer's name. Over 23 million votes were cast by over 73,000 people.
I'm absolutely humbled, and so excited that one of my photos placed 5th place!
Head on over to Shoot and Share's website to see more information on the shot including the story behind the shot, all my EXIF data and a behind the scene's video.
This was my first major contest entry - and I am tickled beyond belief with this photograph's placement. Guys, put yourselves out there - you never know!
My son has been dancing with Palmetto Dance Starz for about a year and a half. He's recently been expressing some interest in competing during next year's season. So, I thought it would be a good idea to go support our studio and take Miles to watch so he could see what competition was all about to make sure it was something he was interested in. We headed up to Dance Machine Myrtle Beach (AKA America's National Dance Championship) at Myrtle Beach High School.
I knew I'd want to snap some photos of our studio's dances, so I brought my camera. I really wasn't planning on taking a lot of photos, or taking any of dancers from other schools. I'm not an event photographer. While I absolutely love dance photography - I really figured what I loved was the combination of capturing fine art dance images outdoors. I didn't expect to be moved by what I saw on stage at Myrtle Beach High School. I was wrong. Turns out, it doesn't matter if the dancer is on the beach or on an old high school stage, I just love photographing dancers. Period.
Watching each dance is like watching a story unfold and escaping into that story for just a few moments - It is so inspiring and refreshing - and ....well.....as cheesy as it sounds, just moving. The years of hard work and dedication are insane. These dancers pour every piece of themselves into those three moments on stage. During one performance Sunday, I watched a dancer in a trio perform flawlessly. As soon as she stepped off stage, I caught a glimpse of her in the wings of the stage. She nearly hit the floor - and another girl had to help her limp backstage. I don't know what she'd done to herself on that stage because she never showed it. She pushed through - and performed as if she was perfectly fine.
Imagine what the world could be like if we all lived every day as if we were a dancer? Pushing through - performing our absolute best - no matter what. Giving every moment everything we had.
Below are some of my favorites from the day.
Palmetto Dance Starz all boys team: Rhythmic Kingz (high platinum and 1st overall)
Sierra Rector, Palmetto Dance Starz. High Platinum - 1st overall Teen Solo
Ireland Carroll, Palmetto Dance Starz. Platinum, 3rd overall Senior Solo.
At this point, I just became inspired and started taking photos of the dancers as they came onto stage. I was so inspired by these young ladies from Elite Dance Center in Fayetteville, NC; they were amazing! Huge thank you to Carrie Clark for helping me identify them!
Above is Nicole Burdett, and Haley View is below.
Above: Keriann Rodriguez, Nicole Burdett and Ally Jones from Elite Dance Center. Below Ally Jones.
Above: Keriann Rodriguez (Kate Reames is in the background) from Elite Dance Center.
This next group of ladies were from The Studio: Center for the Performing Arts, LLC. They were mesmerizing to watch. It was obvious they were really in synch with one another - they just flowed. They danced together a few times and each time it was magical.
Two of Palmetto Dance Starz' dancers got up for a duet. Jalin and Marisa nailed it! They stirred up the crowd and landed a Bravo Award, high platinum and 1st place overall for Teen Duet.
One of my favorite dances from the large group category was this creepy number called "Where Have all the Children Gone?" I have no idea which studio this was, if anyone knows - please comment to let me know and I will make sure to credit them too.
I was able to stay for one more of Palmetto Dance Starz dances, "Ladies Choice." This fun dance earned a platinum and 2nd place overall for teen large group.
All in all, it was a fabulous weekend. Even though I missed their performance, I still want to give a shout out to Palmetto Dance Starz small groups that performed Sunday evening. They won 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall in the Teen small group category and "Let Him Go" also won a Bravo Award.
Necessary Photography is a Myrtle Beach photographer who specializes in portraits including, fine art dance photography, senior portraits, family, maternity and engagement pictures. If you’re looking for a photographer to capture your senior or dance portraits, please give us a call.