Blu Moose Photography

God's Little Angel

I don't know where to even start with this blog.  There is always that story that you hear that simply moves you and melts your heart. This couple reached out to us last year following a fundraising event at Habitat for Humanity that we both participated in.  We had an expiration date on the services that they won in a the silent auction and it had already expired. But once I received Josh's email and in that email he briefly told me their story I knew I wanted to do this for them.  So we scheduled a date to meet in February of this year and hearing their story at that meeting from both Suzanne and Josh I was almost brought to tears. Their story goes from being heartbreaking to a beautiful new chapter that is about to unfold. Here are few images of their maternity session at the beautiful Calendonia Golf and Fish Club in Pawley's Island. 

As for their story of God's little angel, I will let them tell you themselves...Listen to Suzanne and Josh as they share their story of heartbreak and joy as they are about to welcome little Miss Tenley Brooks into this world.

If you know of anyone who have or is struggling with this type of loss in their lives share this with them to let them know that they are not alone. That they can feel joy again and maybe share their story with others. We never know what God has in store for us and your struggles could one day help others. However,  I can tell you that He will not give you anything you can't handle. 

God Bless You Suzanne and Josh and THANK YOU for allowing us to tell your story. Until next time...Be Blessed, Stay Happy and Keep Smiling!!!

Many thanks goes to:

Taylor Sparks for makeup and hair and Kevin Dunbar of Media by KD.

Pawleys Island Community Church Wedding | Deava & Issac

What made this wedding so special is that Deava and Issac's love sustained a long distance relationship. Over half of the 3 years that they dated was long distance because Issac was serving our country in Afghanistan. They both credit their faith in God which gave them the strength to love each other so much and so strong during Deava's time in nursing school and Isaac being overseas all while trying to build on a new relationship. 

Deava and Issac did it, as some would say, the old fashioned Godly way. They relied on their Faith to keep them true to each other. They both have old souls and strong faith in Christ, that they wanted that part of them to show on their wedding day. So Issac requested to have their wedding in an all wood church. Pawleys Island Community Church Chapel was the perfect venue for them. With all the wood and rustic charm, PICC was idea for these two old souls. 

Deava even kept the vintage theme going with her dress with the Queen Anne neckline along with her late grandmother's diamond and gold necklace. She even made her birdcage veil for a little more touch of nostalgia. However, along with the vintage look she wanted to make sure her and Issac's faith was represented in the wedding as well. The groom and groomsmen's boutonnieres were crucifixes made from masonry nails and gold wire. The bridesmaids bouquets were made with flowers and family bibles.  

This ceremony was special because you simply could feel the love they had for each other but most importantly feel the love they had for GOD and their faith that sustained them during their relationship. So in closing I wish Deava and Issac the very best that life has to offer. They have certainly started this marriage on the right path.

Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes Wedding | Asia & Albert

Asia and Albert hail from the midwest, just outside Indianapolis a matter of fact. These two were college sweethearts that allowed their infatuation for each other to blossom into an amazing love.  Both families knew right from the start that they were meant to be with each other and both families loved Asia and Albert like they were already a part of the family. Their friends were going to make sure that Asia and Albert were gonna be together no matter what. They had a ton of support and love behind them.

So how do you treat the family and friends that loved you so much for so long before you even popped the question...you plan an amazing wedding and at an amazing venue in Myrtle Beach. With friends and family from the low country and the Midwest, Asia and Albert planned the perfect wedding at the amazing Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes to get married and start their new life together as husband and wife.

With love in the air and laughter and smiles all around, the ceremony was full of emotion, stories, reflection and unwavering love and support.  We thank Asia and Albert for allowing us to be there to capture their special moments and we wish you two a lifetime of love, happiness and laughter.

Thanks to E Designs for the amazing design and decor and Arnetta Scruggs of Chosen 1 Productions for the coordination of the wedding day. Thank you ladies for your amazing work!

 

What I do, and why I do it...

I really don't write blogs about me personally. However I felt I needed to share my thoughts with you today about me and photography. This is pretty long but please take the time to read. 

Over the last couple of months I have been asked a few times "what made you decide to get in to photography?" Also, Ive been asked many many times "why do you want to be a wedding photographer? Isn't that a hectic job?" Before I give you the answer, let me say this...it wasn't a decision to get into photography, it was a want, a desire, an absolute yearning. I feel when you decide or make a decision there is always another option. For me I felt there wasn't another option. Well let me put it this way...I wanted no other options, nothing else distracting me for what I felt was a true passion to photography. Some may describe it as a calling. I call it LOVE!! So if you or someone else asks me again "What made you decide to get in to photography?" My answer to you or them is simply LOVE.

I have always loved photography as a kid but was steered to another profession that my heart wasn't in to. I went to college for it, studied hard as I could and got a degree...and believe me that degree never panned out. However it is a nice feature piece in my office. :) Even throughout all the years in my life, photography was still always burning and yearning to be in the forefront. The love of this creative art finally just overwhelmed me one day and I made the leap.  Was it easy? NO! Was it tough? Absolutely! Is it still tough and hard to break into the business? YES! Do I regret my love for it? NEVER!!

I LOVE photography and it is as simple as that. Do I like getting paid for the images I create? Absolutely I do.  I still need to keep a roof over my family's head and provide the necessities for my family. However, that LOVE for being behind that camera is something special. My LOVE for photography and especially wedding photography is just like love for a person. My second paragraph sort of describes that LOVE, just substitute some things and switch around some words and you may get something like this....

...It's like that girl or guy back in the day that you felt that connection to or spark for but never did anything about it. You felt in down in your gut that that person was the one for you, but you allow others or other reasons steer you in another direction.  You go off to college and/or continue on with your life dating other people or simply living life...but that person is always in your thoughts. Then one day you are out there around town, in another city, at a party or whatever or somewhere and you see that person again. At that moment all those feelings you had for that person comes back tenfold and just floods your body, mind and soul and you make that leap.  You make that leap because you know this isn't a decision, you make that leap because you know there is no one else for you and you feel you need to do this and you two are meant to be. And you do it! Dry mouth, nervousness, sweaty palm and all, you take that leap to tell them how you really feel and felt all this time. They reciprocate the feeling and things move and it all works out. You are with the person of you knew was meant to be with and the person you LOVE. Will that relationship has it tough times? Probably. Will you two always see eye to eye on everything? No you will not. Will there be a time where you will have to fight hard for your relationship? Maybe. If all those things happened that I just described would you regret it or do it all over again? If you LOVE that person like I LOVE photography, you wouldn't regret it a bit and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I'm not saying this is how everyone falls in love with someone or something. I understand that. This is simply how I feel.  If I didn't take that leap how would I feel today? I would be always questioning this and that. Or asking myself what could have happened if I wouldn't have at least tried? The two words you don't ever want to say is "WHAT IF?".

I fell in LOVE like this before 3 times in my life and I will tell you in exact order.  I use to think that I fell in LOVE with my wife that way first but she was actually second. First I fell in LOVE with GOD that way. He gave me the LOVE that I knew as a kid and manifested it into a LOVE that I now have and cherish as an adult which brings me to #2. Second I truly fell in LOVE with my wife after GOD taught me how to LOVE the right way. This all happened after we were married. I always knew I loved her but this was a different kind of LOVE that GOD gave and allowed me to understand that I can't really put a finger on, but when you feel it you know it. We have not had the storybook and fairytale marriages that are portrayed sometimes on TV, but I THANK GOD for allowing me a second chance to meet her again after she went away a while after college.  This woman has supported me through so much in my life. Through both GOD and my wife's LOVE I fell in LOVE a third time and that was with photography. I know this maybe cheesy to some of you but to me this is what happened to me.

So this is why I cherish wedding and engagement photography, as well as couples photography. The idea of a two individuals taking that leap to marry each other and to love each other is so amazing to me. Having a photographer photograph them and freeze that moment in time is breathtaking and being a wedding and engagement photographer is not a job or work for me...it is an absolute HONOR. As a wedding and engagement photographer you are allowed into a couple's intimate and private space. To me I love being a part of that. I love to capture those moments between two people where they basically forget about you (the photographer) being there and it is just them in that moment. Those are the images that made me fall in LOVE with wedding and engagement photography. When I capture an image and you hold the print in your hand or see that image in your album and it makes you instantly remember what he or she said to you in your ear to make you look at the them with endearment, or laughter or a glowing smile and make you realize why you fell in love with them the first place, I know I've done what I was suppose to do. That's my goal in the images that I capture. I LOVE what I do because I have a passion, a yearning, a calling so-to-speak to capture LOVE and freeze it in time. Why I do it is because, I want you to feel the same LOVE for your husband or wife when you look at the image of each other and know that just like my leap, your leap was well worth it.

Until we meet...Stay happy...Love life...and Keep smiling!!

OBX Wedding Photographer | Destination Wedding | Nags Head Beach | Jessica & Chuck

I have to say it was an absolute pleasure getting to know Jessica and Chuck. From photographing their engagement session at Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve in Chesterton, IN to their beautiful beach house wedding at the Soul Surfer in Nags Head, NC, the experience was amazing. Jess and Chuck were just a good down to earth couple, so it made this even more enjoyable. Jess was a little stressed out just like any bride would be if there was a call for rain on the day of your beach wedding and Chuck was just as cool and calm as ever. But lo and behold the rain let up that morning and made for a beautiful sun-filled day in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Jess and Chuck celebrated this wedding surrounded by loving friends and family, and partied the night away. What a beautiful day it made for a wedding celebration.

Jess and Chuck we THANK YOU for trusting and allowing us to document a new chapter in your lives.

Until next time...

...Stay Happy and Keep Smiling!!!

Thanks to amazing vendors that made this all possible Steamers for catering on hell of a seafood and barbecue meal and Atlantic Cake Company for amazing desserts

 

 

Devon & Austin Myrtle Beach Train Depot Wedding

Wedding photography is one of those professions that makes you realize how special life can be. Wedding photography allows a wedding photographer to capture images that a couple can love and look back on for years and years to come. It allows you to freeze in time two individuals love and dedication to each other... and a simple & unconditional love at that.  

This wedding provided that same feeling that was just described above.  Devon and Austin's love for each other manifested into something beautiful on their wedding day. Even though they kept their wedding simple and to the point, their love for each absolutely glowed throughout the day and the Myrtle Beach Train Depot provided the perfect background. We would like to say congratulations and also say thank you for letting us be a part of your special day!

The Bells Hidden Acres Wedding

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 The Bells are a couple that I was blessed to have the honor and opportunity to photograph from the beginning to end.  Sometimes as a wedding photographer you photograph a wedding without ever meeting the bride and groom until the wedding day.  But with Angelica and Brian I was able to photograph their engagement session, Angelica's bridal session and their wedding day.  This allowed me to really connect with them throughout one of the most important times in their lives.  I will have to say that Angelica and Brian made this so easy for me.  The love they had for each other is absolutely amazing and it is displayed in the images your are about to see. So enjoy the images from the engagement, bridal and as well as the wedding.

 

The engagement session was taken at the Conway Riverwalk in the quiet rivertown of Conway, SC.  The rustic backdrop for this engagement session was absolutely amazing for a sunrise e-session!

Angelica seems to be born to be in front of a camera.  Her amazing bridal session was photograph at Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC. We planned for a sunset bridal session and this made for an outstanding session.

Now the big day was here and the weather wasn't cooperating with the wedding. Luckily God decided to blessed the Bells wedding by stopping the rain just before the ceremony began and bring out the sunshine.  The Bells selected a great venue to start their new lives together. The wedding ceremony and reception was located at Hidden Acres in Marion, SC. It's beautiful rustic venue "hidden" inside of Marion County.

Bells, it was an absolute pleasure to document all of this for you. Congrats to you both on your marriage. May you be blessed with years of happiness.

Until next time...Stay Happy and Keep Smiling!!

Research, Learn and then be a Second Shooter 1st

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So you wanna be a Wedding Photographer. You want to photograph those extravagant country and city weddings. You want to be able to charge un-Godly amounts for your photography services. So you went out and purchased a DSLR and you are ready to book your first wedding. WHHOOOAAAA!!! Slow down and take a few steps back. Believe me it's not as easy as that.  I had sort of the same mindset but I realized I missed a few steps.

Before I get into this, let me tell you about my experience as a wedding photographer. I have no experience as a wedding photographer. But keep reading.  I just started out in this business and had all these grand ideas and goals and then realized that you have to do some leg work in a very saturated professional market like wedding photography. So I took a breath and started working on how to become one by taking certain steps.  Now I am not saying that my way is right or is the only way to do it, but it's what I have doing to get my foot into the market.

First I researched what gear would I need to assist me in creating great images. That took me about 6-8 months to do. Because I am simply weird when it comes to buying things like this. So I read every stinking article that is available and view every video I can get my hand on and read every customer review to help me narrow down my decision. And sometimes you can't afford the gear you really want so you have to do research on backup ideas and so on and so on. But forums, videos and gear companies like B&H and Adorama are great starting points.

Next I dedicated myself to learning, learning, learning and yes...more learning.  I took classes,  I watch tutorials (Fstoppers and SLR Lounge are absolutely awesome to learn from), I read articles and watched videos of photographer interviews of the photographers I admired (Cliff Mautner, Joe Buissink, Patrick Hall, Lee Morris, Hunter McRae). I also studied the work of outstanding local photographers in the Myrtle Beach. So I was and still am always reading and watching and asking fellow photographers questions. I want to learn, I want to grow, but most importantly I want this information that I soak in to resonate in my work in the future. In the business of photography I think you are never "there" I think there is something to always to learn to grow your skill set. So why not continued to learn a long the way.

Next I started reaching out to other photographers to find work and gain experience. Whether it was being a second shooter or an assistant on a wedding, a commercial shoot, an event...I simply didn't care. I wanted to gain experience. I used my teacher for his resources to see if he had contacts.  With his connections my first real gig was a gymnastics shoot.  A weekend long state gymnastics competition. You may say, what does that have to do with wedding photography? Well let me tell you.  It allowed me to learn and experience two things. One...what it meant to be on your feet for about 8-14 hours holding a camera. Second, by the end of the weekend it taught me how to anticipate a moment.  Two things that wedding photography demands. So that situation taught me those two valuable things. But I didn't stop there. I started emailing the photographers that I admired their work from the Myrtle Beach, Charleston and North Carolina areas to find opportunities to work and learn from some of them.  Then by doing that I found other great photographers that I didn't know of.  I joined Facebook photography groups in my area and in other areas. I simply didn't just sit a home and wait for someone to call or reach out to me.  I took jobs for free because I felt the experience was valuable.  Don't get me wrong I like money but sometimes I felt I had to sacrifice to learn.  This process of mine gave me the opportunity to work with great photographers like Keith Jacobs, Scott Smallin, Jarrett Hucks, Feuza Reis and Patrick Hall. I learned a lot from each one of those opportunities and then I learn more when I see my images and they critique them. I still have a list of photographers just from my state that I would love to work with and learn from (Hunter McRae and Gillian Claire Reinhardt...I am not giving up)

So find your own way to break into the market. I am still working hard to get in there and I will continue to work hard. not saying my way is the gospel but it has been working for me.

 

Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club Wedding

In September I had the opportunity to photograph a few weddings as a second shooter (I blogged on the perks of being a second shooter previously) which prepared me to shoot my first wedding as a lead photographer. This particular wedding here at Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club had me nervous a little because I was a second shooter for a friend, mentor and former teacher Keith Jacobs. So believe me, I was sweatin' bullets a little. So as you can tell from a few of the photos posted here, I was in charge of staying with the groom and groomsmen. Which was fine for me and also a learning experience, because I always felt I connected with the females better anyway(because I am a ladies man...yeah right...I'm a nerd). But any-who, this gave me an opportunity to photograph a group of guys that I have never ever had a chance to meet or even speak to. This opportunity gave me a chance to learn different ways to communicate with my species. Let me tell you this...these guys were awesome and it made my day go so much better than I thought. They were laid back and relaxed and ready to go. The jokes, stories and impersonations that went on were hilarious. The entire day was AWESOME, but that had to be the fastest ceremony I have ever seen in my life. Literally 5-7 mins long. It was over in a blur.  But again...awesome day + awesome guys + awesome couple = a great day of photography!

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