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The Sea View Inn, The Happiest Place on Earth

“A Family Affair”

Last spring, a new friend I made through my son’s baseball team and I met for breakfast.  We both have small businesses and we were brainstorming about new opportunities.  Being fairly new to the area, I was looking for newer ways to grow my photography business…..out of the ordinary way, that is.  She mentioned a friend of hers who was looking for a photographer to come to her seaside inn and take candid photos of the guests enjoying a low country boil…..every Wednesday……ummmmm whaaaaaat??  Me me me me meeeeeee!!!  Sounded perfect!!

I called the owner the next day and set up a meeting with her.  She invited me to come to the inn to see it, and I went.  I had driven by many times intrigued by what it looked like, as it was shielded by myrtle trees, flowers and adorable hand painted signs directing newcomers.  When I walked in, I immediately felt like I had been there before.  A step back in time, as was described by so many.  It was so welcoming, like two arms wrapping around your shoulders.  Out of the kitchen Sassy Henry emerged, her hand outstretched to mine.  She showed me around, beaming with pride as she talked about the Sea View Inn, an evident labor of love.  She and her husband Brian bought the Inn in 2002, and carried with it the tradition of coming to the beach to “unwind”.  They really didn’t change a thing….as requested by past guests.  And since 1937, hundreds have been coming here for years and years, every year, to do just that.  Everything about the inn says it.  Unwind, unplug, just be.  Could you imagine doing that for a few days?  A week?  On the ocean?  In a rocking chair with a book?  Doesn’t it sound amazing?  Yes, it does.  And yes, it is.

Every Wednesday, I began my photographic journey with Brian, Sassy, their two amazing daughters, and family who have kept the Inn running since 2002.  I looked forward to watching and photographing people enjoying themselves and their families, with no stresses of everyday life, no phones ringing, not even the background noise of a television.  The only sounds were laughter, waves crashing, stories being told, children playing and the whoosh of the boiler down on the deck full of shrimp, corn, potatoes and sausage.  And every week, I heard many of the people who stayed say this was their thirteenth year.  This was their eighteenth year.  This was where their parents brought them when they were kids.  Their grandparents brought them here when they were little.  Their sisters had a girls week here.  And, the Henry’s have hosted their friends here every year and every year they bring more friends, all of their children, and make memories of a lifetime at this seaside retreat.  Brian and Sassy gave some of the kids their first summer jobs.  For thirteen weeks, I looked forward to every Wednesday night here.  And the Sea View Inn, and everyone in it, all summer, are now new friends that I’ve known forever it seems.

Lucky, lucky me.  Thank you, Brian, Sassy and all at the Sea View Inn!!

South End of Pawleys Island, Portrait Session

I’ve been meaning to blog about this special place….since we moved here….and since it was chosen as the family portrait session location for this beautiful family, why not now?  The south end of Pawleys Island….not exactly hidden during the summer, and you really have to know when to go…as the parking is limited, but one of the prettiest beaches in the state if you ask me…Where the inlet meets the ocean, and the turtles are safe!  It is very coveted, this beach….and also has the most beautiful light.  Here is Nan and her gorgeous family…we had even more fun after the groups were done, and her adorable grandsons could run and jump and play.  It was a beautiful night.  

Katianne and Justin, Mansfield Plantation

Katianne and Justin are about to become members of the dashing Mommy and Daddy’s club!!  It’s a thing, trust me!  We spent some time at the breathtakingly gorgeous Mansfield Plantation for this session.  I actually want to go back and live there!  Katianne’s family celebrated her father’s birthday here, I can’t imagine how happy that must have made him!!  So many beautiful backdrops, a photographer’s dream!!  It’s also on Hollywood’s spectrum, “The Patriot” was filmed here!  Gah!!

These photos speak for themselves.  This couple, so in love and so ready for the newest addition.  I’m not going to lie, I am anxiously awaiting her text!!

Love.

 

Update:  Katianne and Justin welcomed their first born son today, at 5:15am.  Happy birthday, Baby!!  Congratulations to two people who will be amazing parents.  

 

Meghan and Justin, Married!

It was the weekend of the Masters Golf Tournament….and I drove from warm sunny South Carolina to Boston, to find it exactly how I remembered it….unpredictable temps but pulsing with excitement.  It was also the wedding weekend of Meghan Kelley and Justin Barrett, to be held at the beautiful Alden Castle in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Meghan’s family is already familiar to me, as I worked in her Aunt Barbara’s successful Headlines Salon and Day Spa on Cape Cod for just under 10 years.   Barbara has been a very important part of my success, and still is.  I photographed their entire family, in the upward numbers of almost 30, and it was then that I saw Meghan and Justin together.  He joined in on some of the family set ups and fit in perfectly.  I knew he would be a permanent addition when I saw the rapport he had with not only Meghan, but her brother and father, and the rest of the family.  So when I received the message from Meghan that she was looking for a wedding photographer, the grin on my face went from ear to ear.  I was so excited to hear of their plans, and the venue, which, for years, I drove by every night on my way to night classes at photography school, also happened to be her great grandmother’s residence when she was young.  Done deal there.  And it did not disappoint.  Holy moly, the preservation of the castle, with modern touches.  Nothing short of spectacular.  As was everything about the day.

Thank you, Barbara O’Neil for referring me to Meghan and Justin!  And to the amazing couple for having me share in your special day!  And it could not be better, having my friend and mentor, Kristin DeLeo Chalmers, photograph this special day with me.

 

Moorman Family, Atalya Castle, Murrells Inlet

Low country offers so many beautiful backdrops for family portraits.  The locations are endless as I learn everyday.  People from all over the country, heck, the world, to relax and marvel at the wide beautiful beaches and the historical nature of our coastal region here.

When someone contacts me to do a family portrait…especially when there are young ones, I always say, let’s get the formal family photos done first.  Then we can have fun!  The children, depending on their ages, basically run the show.  It’s all about managing expectations.  And the fun just keeps on and on!

Thank you Anna for reaching me to do this for your inlaws!  Your girls are so shy!!  Ha ha!!

I love my job.