There are a brief few weeks in spring where the azaleas are in bloom and the humidity has yet to feel like a never-ending uncomfortable hug. This was the perfect time for Darina to have some Charleston bridal portraits taken. In the almost 3-hour session, we started at Charles Towne Landing where various hues of azaleas blanketed the landscape. Then we headed to the College of Charleston, both Darina’s and my alma mater, to finish the bridal session by the Cistern and Randolph Hall. This section of CofC is the heart of the college and features classic architecture that Downtown Charleston is known for. 


I love photographing bridal portraits because it gives the gift of time. Every image can be carefully crafted and poses tweaked for perfection. Whereas on a wedding day, I’m fortunate to get 20 minutes with the couple and maybe 5 minutes for bridal photos. Something to consider when finalizing those wedding timelines. I also have a couple of rules for bridal portraits before I agree to take a session. The main one being that no sheet is allowed. If brides-to-be want the to use the majestic Southern outdoors as the backdrop to their images, then it should be embraced. Gowns can be spot cleaned easily at bridal boutiques. I’m anti-sheet because once a bride stands on it, she is scared to move for fear of stepping outside of the fabric perimeter. This impedes creativity and effects the quality of the images. I will never ask a bride to trek through mud or run into the ocean (though some have requested it during after wedding sessions and I gladly said, “YES!”), but in order to get lovely photos it sometimes means getting that hem a little dirty for the sake of a timeless image.


Darina’s bridal portraits are a great example of what can be created when fear of the dress getting dirty is not dominating the session. I had too many favorites from these Charleston bridal portraits and am sharing a lot of photos because of that. This past weekend was Darina and PJ’s wedding at Hamlin Plantation and I can’t wait to share some of those images. Until then enjoy these stunning bridal photos and even look back to Darina and PJ’s engagement session that I photographed last fall in Downtown Charleston and Hampton Park.