From lighting to boudoir, there's a workshop or session for you!
Lighting - This workshop has passed but look for future workshops coming soon. This workshop will be great as a refresher course for some of you, and it will be useful to anyone who would like tips and tricks to mastering natural light, flash and off-camera lighting in your photographs.
Since it is all glum and overcast outside today, this sunny Kiawah Island beach session is just the remedy to brighten things up. The Moore family came back to visit the place where “Mommy and Daddy” first became Mr. & Mrs. Moore. We went back to the Sanctuary grounds for some pictures, sitting on the lawn right where their ceremony was held. And the kids got their first “toes in the sand” experience on the beach just behind the Ocean Course clubhouse. What the family wanted most were some classic black and white shots that could grace their walls and some fun candids of the kids playing.
There’s going to be a handsome discount exclusive to Kim Graham Photography clients, so be sure to make it to the bottom of the page before moving on along!
Oh hi. My name is Jebb Graff. You may recognize me from the various roles I’ve played on several made-for-TV and direct-to-DVD movies including but not limited to “Dog Catcher #2”, “Portly Street Sweeper” and my most famous role to date “Ridiculously Good Looking Photobooth Guy”. Well, the actual credit reads as “Photobooth Photographer”, but my mom tells me otherwise and my cat thinks I’m his pajamas. Actually he just likes to sleep on my head, but that’s another story.
My esteemed colleague Kim Graham, asked me (read: accepted bribe) to write up a little piece about myself and the latest addition to my photography & design business for her blog. I thought to myself while polishing my mirror, “well I love talking about myself, and everyone loves what I have to say, so yeah…I guess I’ll do it” (read: I hate talking about myself and Kim may be crazy for allowing this).
Alright alright…enough shenanigans for a few words. Kim and I have known each other and worked together on various projects for quite some time now. She even photographed my wedding! We’re both photographers, and we like to work together to provide fantastic photos more than we like to duke it out as competitors. I’m writing this post today to share my wedding & event photobooth with you.
Though I do occasionally second-shoot (an industry term meaning “shoot second”, or “also photograph”) weddings with colleagues, I stopped photographing them solo so I could hone in on children portraiture for my own photographic art. I love the one-on-one experience and planning that goes into portraiture as well as the honest/experiential world that children live in. For the most part, kids don’t have the same fears of being in front of a camera as adults do. They’re not worried about their weight, wrinkles or hair and can really be themselves in front of the camera. You may be asking what this has to do with a photobooth. My answer to that? Everything!
As a wedding photographer, I’ve had my fair share of “don’t take my picture” or the classic hand in front of face pose from guests over the years. Without being too NOVA-esque and delving deep into that psychology, I’ll make my own personal observation about those circumstances. People don’t like to be bothered. Pretty simple right? Well what do people like if they don’t like to be bothered? Duh…people like to have fun! If a kid doesn’t look happy when you ask him to look at the camera and smile, do you think the average adult will? No way Jose’! Ever notice how great the dancing photos are from wedding receptions? It’s not because the photographer instructed Fred & Ginger to laugh and throw their hands up in the air! It simply comes down to the fact that awesomely fun photos come from people having an awesomely fun time! That’s where the photobooth comes in.
Our photobooth isn’t the tiny box kind you find at the mall foodcourt. Think prom pictures sans the perm, braces and awkward teenage hormones. We have a big backdrop, big studio lighting – set up in a fashion style to make everyone look stunning, an instant preview of the pictures on a huge screen and best of all…no order forms! Your guests get a little card with instructions that take them to a page for a free download of their photo that’s already sized for Facebook. Easy, breezy, beautiful…[don't want a lawsuit, but you know the phrase]. So what’s fun about that? I may lose my serious photographer cred for saying it, but the photobooth has very little to do with photos. It has everything to do with having a good time. The actual photos are basically the icing on the cake when it comes down to it. We have all kinds of props to make the booth a fun time. It gives wall-flowers a fun option during fast songs and rug-cutters something fun to do during the slow songs. Win-win!
Using the sophisticated hardware and software of the GraffBookPro, I’ve come up with this intensely powerful statistical data where a+b=c.
a) Approach group of people snacking on their delicious hors d’oeuvres served by one of Charleston’s finest caterers.
b) Ask them for a photograph.
c) Photo of guests annoyed due to interrupted conversation and self conscious smiles due to fear of asparagus appetizer being emulsified to teeth.
~ OR ~
a) Book Graff Creative Photobooth for your wedding.
b) Guests see shiny lights and other friends having fun at star-studded photobooth.
c) An actual line forms for pictures, and you have real deal, smiling, happy, honest to goodness, true blue photographic proof that your guests had a blast at your wedding.
Those are real-life teenagers having fun and smiling getting their photo taken, and that’s just one of the mild ones I have permission to post! Just imagine what the photobooth pictures from your wedding will look like when your friends and family get to posing. Especially that one…you know the one…that person that you’re a little worried about. Here is where he/she can shine. Can you say over the top?! Or if you don’t spreken ze English: over ze top!
So you may notice a shortage of photos on my website. That’s why I’m here. I am running an extension of my special offer for brides & grooms that book a wedding with Kim Graham Photography. It’s simple. Book Kim as your wedding photographer, get our photobooth for 50% Off and No Travel Fee for weddings in the Charleston area. That offer is extended for the first 5 people to book Kim and yours truly together.
Thanks be to Kim for letting me ramble on your beautiful blog, and to those who made it all the way through to the end of this post! See you soon!
John and Denise…they have stories. Really, really awesome stories. Somewhat unbelievable, definitely loveable. I hope they make a movie about these two one day. Without giving away their sweet secrets, I can say that it would be a mix between “Four Weddings and a Funeral” minus the funeral, “Trains, Planes and Automobiles”, and “National Lampoon’s Vacation”. And that is just the story of how they met.
John and Denise…her Greek heritage, her career in the NYC fashion district, a prominent judge as a close family friend, his well-known family business to run, and super cool and relaxed demeanors. John and Denise waited a long time to find each other, and no amount of threatening weather would dampen the sweet peacefulness and intense love these two share.
The storms were pretty intense. The forecast had huge rain and thunderstorms covering the entire area. I couldn’t help but take several shots of the weather progression throughout the day. It was hard to describe, but the guests were talking about the odd way the clouds formed around the house all day. It was raining on either side of us up and down the beach. The clouds were scary and threatening but all the while, there remained a small opening for the sun just overhead. You couldn’t have been there and not know it was unusual. Magical. Blessed. The rain held off until the very last picture was taken, at which point the bride and groom took off running into the house.
The house is special, too. It belongs to John’s parents. It has been the site a other family weddings and special occasions. DeBordieu is a beautiful place and their home occupies a particularly beautiful stretch of beach. The family and close friends that were invited to the wedding were so much like their hosts….loving and wonderful! It’s amazing to be around a whole group of people like that. And they filled the place up with their children. It sometimes looked like there were more children than adults!
In case the many pictures of Denise’s bulldog don’t give it away, Denise LOVES her doggy. She actually preferred I take pictures of her bulldog than of herself. So I took a bunch!
When I left John & Denise, they were dancing beneath a full moon to the crackle of a fire and the crash of the waves.
This sweet family lives in Beaufort, but our ties run deep. Peyton’s grandmother Gretchen became a good friend of mine years back when we worked together on her daughter’s wedding. Gretchen is a design maven here in Charleston, so I am hugely flattered anytime she calls on me. This time her call was to bestow my services as a gift to her son’s family. Peyton is the first grandchild in the family and loved like the angel she resembles. We chose to shoot downtown to take advantage of the Charleston scenery and revisit a few places special to Peyton’s parents.
After chasing Peyton through the park and around several trees, she quite beautifully collapsed on her favorite blanket. Then she rolled over and gave me these “older than her years” poses that made her daddy blush.
This precious child LOVED to smell flowers. And like most children, her curiosity for all things new overcame her desire to pose for the camera. But these sweet and playful photos are exactly why I love to photograph children.
There’s no time like vacation to update the blog. Seriously, it takes a vacation to justify blogging over editing here at the end of spring wedding season when the editing list is quite long. Let’s just start back at the beginning of the season with a day so beautiful, I can still remember the cool breeze and warm sun, flowers blooming without fear of wilting. It was an absolutely perfect day for a wedding. The ceremony was held at the Unitarian Church in Charleston, easily on my top five list of prettiest churches of all time.
Anna and Scott live in Georgia, but Anna’s love of Charleston stems back from her College of Charleston days. Their wedding party was small, primarily close family and a few cherished college friends. After their intimate ceremony, the party moved to a nearby restaurant for dinner. The flowers were provided by Charleston Flower Market.
That cool breeze turned into some gusts, which led to some hilarious photos throughout the day. The bride even lost her veil at one point when it blew across the street. Her wonderful groom saved the day when he chased it down for her.
Congrats go out to Kelli and David who tied the knot Saturday at the Thomas Bennett House in Charleston! It was a glorious day for their beautiful wedding. There will be wedding pictures coming up at a later date, but I am always excited for the wedding to get here so I can show off the bridal portraits. Here are just a few of the many shots we took all over the grounds and throughout the house. The Thomas Bennett House is one of my favorite spots in Charleston, as you can see we have so much historical prettiness to work with. Thanks for being so great to work with Kelli!
It’s exciting to photograph a proposal…there’s this nervous anticipation of how the bride-to-be will react, the real and unposed reactions of the moment. My favorite part, though, is meeting such delightful and thoughtful young men who prepare so carefully for this moment that they even consider hiring a photographer to make sure the day is thoroughly documented. I was charmed from the very beginning by Chad and his manners. He was all “yes, ma’am…and thank you, ma’am” in every email he sent.
Something I learned from my time with Chad was that Betsy’s dad is an accomplished architect. He designed the house Betsy grew up in, and that her parents still live in on Pawleys Island. It was important to Chad we use the house as the backdrop for the pictures. Chad also made sure he obtained Betsy’s dad’s permission to marry his daughter. He secretly drove from Florida to Pawleys Island one weekend to visit with Betsy’s dad, and he was the only person for quite some time who knew of Chad’s intentions to propose.
On an otherwise normal weekday, Chad arranged for Betsy to get the day off without letting Besty know. He called Betsy’s supervisor and cleared it with him to pick Betsy up and start the day of surprises. The couple spent the day in Charleston eating and shopping before heading out to Pawleys Island. Betsy believed that her parents were out of town on vacation and that she and Chad would be house sitting for them. But Chad had arranged for their immediate families to be there waiting on them, ready to celebrate the engagement with them. I was the only person allowed to watch the proposal, though. : ) Hiding from the bushes, of course!
In Chad’s own words:
“Betsy and I met at a summer camp in West Virginia, as counselors, in 2006. In 2005 I worked at the same camp with her sister Kate who proclaimed that I would fall in love and marry her sister (kind of scary). With little contact before the next summer Betsy and I met and became best friends. We immediately had a lot in common because she was from South Carolina and I had moved down to go to school. Unfortunately I was in a relationship at the time; however, by the end of the summer I had clearly found the love of my life and my best friend. There is just something about girls from South Carolina.
We started dating during that summer and continued our relationship even though we were 2 hours apart. She was a junior at Clemson and I was a Senior at Winthrop. After I graduated I moved to Georgetown to pursue my passion of restoring classic cars, as she finished her Senior year. As the distance grew longer we devoted more time to driving, but every weekend I would drive to Clemson to spend time with her. We looked forward to the summer where she would be in Pawleys and we could enjoy being close to each other; however, an opportunity came up for her to study abroad in Paris for the summer. The Atlantic Ocean presented a small problem with driving, but I got working on my passport in secret. With a little help from her professor I showed up one sunny afternoon at the Eifel Tower and surprised her.
After that she moved to Charleston and I continued to live in Georgetown. Shortly there after she began her masters degree at College of Charleston and began work at Ashley Hall. One night at a Riverdogs game I realized my passion for aviation and we decided it would be best for me (and us) to pursue a masters degree in Daytona Beach at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. We have both always been about getting the best education we can and ERAU offered that. So we moved further apart again. Currently I live in Daytona and she lives in Charleston and we make it work. In August I will finish my degree and move back to Charleston and we will begin our life together.”
It is time to check in, refresh the blog page and let you all know what I’ve been up to lately. There have been bridal portraits (which can’t be posted until the respective weddings are here), weddings out of town and around Charleston, a gazillion baseball practices and games, a mostly “unplugged” spring break with the kids out of school last week, and Easter festivities. I’m on the phone alot these days scheduling sessions and rescheduling sessions due to rain. : ) The buzz is back and I’m not just talking about the bees. Charleston is in full bloom. But check out the hail we had last week! There’s never a dull moment when you rely on the weather for your work schedule.
Change has been the theme of 2011 for me thus far. I’m creeping up on 40 and I keep checking for signs of wear and tear. Oh, it’s there on the body, but my spirit and outlook are as comfortable and youthful as ever. Maybe more than ever. It’s changing the way I see life through the lens. It’s also changing the way I look at people, LOVE people, parent and love my husband. God’s voice is louder and clearer these days. I’ve got more purpose and direction and feel drawn to reach out of my comfort zone. It’s such an amazing thing to match up the passion that’s always been burning inside of me with a direction and an action. Let’s see…more changes… The lease on my office space is up in June. Luke and I are moving out and not sure where to. I may go back to working strictly from home but we’ll see what happens. My oldest is going to middle school in August (yikes!) and I enrolled my youngest for Kindergarten this morning. My husband just enrolled for college classes this week and is pursuing a new career with Boeing. Changes, changes everywhere. So as I get more comfortable with who God purposed me to be, I am realizing that finding a cozy spot to settle in and rest is just not what it’s about. I’m embracing the journey as my destination. (and loving it!)