Congrats to Trent and Katie on their engagement this past fall!!  After dating 7 years, Trent popped the question here at Folly Beach.  So what a perfect setting for their engagement photos…Folly Beach.   Katie and Trent brought along their gorgeous and sweet Husky, Kona…a name after my own heart.  My husband and I eloped to Hawaii for our wedding day, so all our dogs have had Hawaiian names.  So while I think of Kona coffee, Trent and Katie quickly reminded me of the Kona Brewing Company.  Both amazing reasons to name your dog Kona.  She enjoyed the salty air and playing around in the surf, while we explored this quiet end of the beach.  This session is truly one of my favorites…I just love the relaxed vibe that these two have.  Its obvious that they are best friends who are so in love.  Maybe because it feels like summer time in February, this session just had a special feel that I’ve been obsessing over as I edited these images.  I’m so happy for this sweet couple and look forward to their wedding day.  Trent and Katie will be getting married later this year at Founders Hall, which is an amazing venue located at Charles Towne Landing.
Engagement Photos Folly Beach
Engagement Photos Folly Beach
Engagement Photos Folly Beach
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By Ava Moore

Charleston Wedding Photography

Engagement photos folly beach

Engagement photos folly beach

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I couldn’t have been more thrilled when Emma contacted me for Middleton Place maternity pictures a few months ago!!  For one thing…Emma is gorgeous.  She modeled for me on a styled wedding shoot several years ago.  So the idea of doing maternity pictures for her, which is my absolute favorite thing in the whole world to photograph, just made me giddy with excitement!!  And Emma is one of those people who is as sweet on the inside as she is beautiful on the outside…just a true southern belle!!  Because Jason is a videographer (Jason Wheeler Video), we were able to work together on a wedding a few years ago as well.  He is one of the kindest and most professional videographers in our area.  So both Emma & Jason have made quite an impression with me!!   I couldn’t have been more happy to find out they were expecting their first baby, Miss Elsie Grace!!   So how about Emma’s floral flutter dress and floral crown??  What could have been more perfect, romantic, feminine, and heavenly looking than this floral dress immersed in early spring blooms of camellias and azaleas in February with 80 degree weather!!  I was also beyond happy that Emma & Jason chose Middleton Place for the backdrop of this photos session!!  It was a truly blessed day where every little detail came together perfectly!!  It almost felt like spring time arrive a little early just for us…..  Congrats guys!!  I’m so happy for you both!!!!
Middleton Place Maternity Pictures
Middleton Place Maternity Pictures
Middleton Place Maternity Pictures
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By Ava Moore

Charleston Wedding Photos
Middleton Place Maternity Pictures

 

Venue:  Middleton Place

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Did you know that happy families display lots of family photos in their homes?  It’s not surprising!!  And this is one family that has made family photos a priority over the years!  Meet Tim & Jennifer…a family I have known since first moving to Charleston.  This time around we did their family photos at Folly Beach lighthouse.  It’s made me happy watching them grow as a family over the years and blossom into wonderful parents!!  I met Jennifer at the Rice Mill years ago and we did our first photo session when she was pregnant with Lincoln.  We did family photos soon after he was born, and now we have welcomed sweet Willamae into the family!!  Jennifer is a talented event planner and owner of Teleios Events who collaborated with me on a styled shoot several years ago at McLeod Plantation.  You can check out her amazing work HERE.  Coincidentally, our model bride of this styled shoot is also expecting her first baby!!  So stay tuned for her maternity session later this week at Middleton Plantation!!  In the meantime you can get your “happy” on by scrolling through these super cute and sweet family photos!!  They are certain to make you smile!!!
Family Photos at Folly Beach
Family Photos at Folly Beach
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By Ava Moore
Charleston Wedding Photographer

Family Photos at Folly Beach

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It’s always so hard for me to sit on bridal sessions…just waiting for the wedding day to come so that I can share these beautiful images of these gorgeous girls!  Needless to say, I’m more than thrilled to share Manda’s Lowndes Grove Plantation Bridal Session.  Because this is wedding planning season, I also thought this was a great opportunity to share some tips on how to plan for your bridal session.  Read more below….
Lowndes Grove Plantation Bridal Session
Lowndes Grove Plantation Bridal Session
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First off, Manda is gorgeous and her dress is amazing!!   She found her gown at the Gown Boutique of Charleston; so for you brides who are still looking for their wedding dresses, please check them out!  The ladies at the Gown Boutique are so sweet and helpful!!  You will absolutely love your shopping experience!

So now for some tips on what to expect and how to plan for your bridal portrait session!  The first thing to ask yourself is, “am I flexible?” Due to the nature of bridal sessions the answer for most of us is “no”.  For example if we are coming in from out of town, we will need to reserve flights, hotel, hair & makeup, bouquet pickup, etc.  This requires planning and expense and these things cannot easily be rescheduled…if it’s raining.

As gorgeous as Charleston is, one thing it is not is consistently dry. The likelihood of rain will always be about 50/50 at best in any given season. So to ensure a gorgeous charleston bridal portrait session no matter the weather, I strongly recommend reserving an indoor venue.  This leads me to the first step of planning.

WEATHER:
With a bridal session, we CANNOT have rain or even damp ground.  We don’t want to soil your dress prior to the wedding day.  So if you are coming in from out of town or don’t think you will be able to reschedule your session in the event of bad weather, below are the venues that have beautiful indoor areas.  They run about $150 for a weekday portrait reservation and you can reserve them directly. Because these are wedding venues, most of them have a standing policy of Monday-Thursday reservations for portrait sessions.  And even if it doesn’t rain, the heat and humidity can be a challenge.  Depending on the time of year, the indoor conditioned air can be a real treat!

Legare Waring House
The Thomas Bennett House
the William Aiken House
McLeod Plantation
Gadsden House

Lowndes Grove is also an amazing choice of indoor venue.  Most of these images were taken indoors and they define a “Charleston” bride!

IF YOU HAVE FLEXIBILITY:
If you don’t mind rescheduling for bad weather, we will have more options because we can stay outdoors.  For example, if you are a Charleston Bride it may be much easier for you to reschedule.  You don’t have to think about travel plans and we can simply keep an eye on the weather and make a decision 48 hours ahead of time.  If it looks sketchy, you’ll have plenty of time to let everyone know that you’re going to reschedule.  At that point we can look at Magnolia Plantation or Middleton Place Plantation. They also have a bridal session fee, will need to be done during the week, and will require a reservation.  Boone Hall is another great option and is free to my clients, but it does also require a week day reservation that I will secure for you.
FOR WEEKEND ONLY SESSIONS:
If you absolutely MUST do your session on a weekend or would rather not pay for a venue, we still have the options of downtown Charleston and the beach.  Folly Beach out near the lighthouse photographs so beautifully.  And downtown always works well around Washington Square, the Battery, or the College of Charleston.  Again, you will need to be flexible in the event of bad weather.
HAIR & MAKEUP:
Absolutely make an appointment for hair and makeup with whoever will be doing this for you on your wedding day.  The bridal session is a wonderful trial run to see if there is anything that you would like to tweak or change.
BOUQUET:
Also be sure to discuss a bridal portrait bouquet with your floral designer as part of your floral package.  You will definitely want a bouquet for the session!
PROTECTING THE DRESS:
Wedding dresses are usually very forgiving when it comes to dry dirt.  It seems to just fall away like magic!!  Its always good to inquire about your specific fabric, but in most cases the dress will do great!

Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation
Gown:  Gown Boutique of Charleston

By Ava Moore
Charleston Wedding Photographer
F
ine Art Wedding Photography
Lowndes Grove Plantation bridal session
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Here is another gorgeous bride, Vanessa, who opted for a Gadsden House bridal session!!    This is one of my favorite venues here in Charleston.  The Gadsden House opened for business a little over a year ago and I’m so glad it did!!  It’s now one of the best wedding venues in Charleston especially for bridal portraits.  The space has been carefully and beautifully restored.  I’m totally in love with it’s rich and elegant interior!!  Vanessa’s amazing gown came from the Gown Boutique of Charleston, and you’ll also notice her cathedral length veil.  It is amazing….really~! She has inspired me to share some thoughts on veils…to wear one or not??  That is the question that I’m asked quite frequently, and I do see a lot of brides struggling with the decision up until the minutes before they walk down the aisle.  So what do I think?  Ready more below….


gadsden house bridal session
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gadsden house bridal session

 

The veil has a long, rich history, which ranges from practical to superstitious.  Most brides today wear one for traditional reasons and some for purely aesthetic reasons.  Let’s be honest, they are heavenly!  But the practicality of them is to be debated, especially the floor to cathedral length ones.  This is really the struggle most brides have.  They adore the look, but not the feel.

They do tend to feel loose and many times they pop out as soon as the bride tries to move around or sit down.  On windy days they actually get pretty cray cray!!  Lol…its the truth.  The wind whips them around like nobody’s business!!  But they are GORGEOUS especially when the wind is blowing them around!!  It’s just important to be standing in the proper direction so that your working with the wind and not against it!  Lol!  I’ve seen a lot of veil issues over the years, but if you love the look, I really do think it’s worth it!  I recommend putting it in right before you walk down the aisle.  It lessons the time that you have to spend “dealing” with it, especially if you are getting ready at a different location from your ceremony venue.  Walk down the aisle in your gorgeous veil!!  Enjoy it, embrace it!!

It can stay in until we get through the first part of your romantic couple’s portraits.  I just love to get a few dramatic shots with your heavenly veil and then we can take it right out!!  You end up wearing it about a total of 1 hour that way.  You get some gorgeous images and then you are free to move around without restriction!  It also helps to preserve the veil in the event it is an heirloom.

And as far as the length goes, I think the longer the veil, the better!!  Really!!  You actually have more control over the longer ones.  And if you can find one with lace or beading around the edge, it adds just enough weight to keep it under better control from the wind.  The shorter ones are so light that they just have a mind of their own, plus they  aren’t long enough to wrap around you or throw up in the air for those more dramatic shots.

So that is my 2 cents on veils from a photographer’s point of view…  Take it or leave it, but I hope it helps you girls finalize your decision!!!

 

Venue:  The Gadsden House
Gown:  Gown Boutique of Charleston
Shoes:  Badgley Mischka

 

 

By Ava Moore

Charleston Wedding Pictures

Gadsden House Bridal Session

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