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Google – GYBO.com Event with Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin

I attended one of Google’s “Let’s put our cities on the map” event and had a chance to hear some new programs they offer, as well as hear from Mayor Steve Benjamin and local business leaders.

Columbia SC Mayor Steve Benjamin speaking with Tommy Preston from Nexsen Pruet at Google's GYBO.com event.
Columbia SC Mayor Steve Benjamin speaking with Tommy Preston from Nexsen Pruet at Google’s GYBO.com event.
Stasia Kudrez, a public speaker for Google, opens the discussion of Googles new business tools.
Stasia Kudrez, a public speaker for Google, opens the discussion of Google’s new business tools.

GYBO Event-5 GYBO Event-7Mayor Benjamin mingled with the attendees to observe the progress everyone was making.

Marvin Augustin helps an attendee build her new website.        Marvin Augustin helps an attendee build her new website.
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Miss River Bluff 2015

The River Bluff High School pageant was January 31 and it was wonderful. As I am working through almost 1300 shots from from the event and the rehearsals, I thought I would post some of the shots we did earlier of the contestants for the program.

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Wreaths Across America

On Saturday, December 13, 2014, my son’s Boy Scout troop participated in the Wreaths Across America program. They acted as aides and sentries as families laid wreathes and presentations were made. I am extremely proud of him, his fellow scouts, and the adult leaders that all spent their Saturday setting such a wonderful example.

I originally was going to attend to support my sons troop and get a few pictures. As the day proceeded, I ended up with a photo essay. Please feel free to comment, share, and repost.

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Pren Valentine

Here are some shots from my recent session with Pren Valentine. He came down from the upstate for a session on one of the weekends when the weather report said it would be warm, but there was a cold wind a blowin’. Pren was incredible! You would never know that it was almost 35 degrees. A true pro.

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Classic headshot

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End of the Year Review: Lost Project

Every photographer has a list as long as their arm of personal projects that they are working on. Some are shot and waiting to be finished, others are sketched out on a sheet of paper stuck in a day planner. But whatever state they are in, the personal project is the first thing to be put aside when other things arise.

I started such a project with Lydia Catherine and Amy Schaming as model and stylist, looking for a classic beauty portrait, a throw back to an Old Hollywood glamor photo.

Amy and Lydia did an outstanding job with everything, hair, makeup, wardrobe, the works.

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Lydia-101Alas, when all was said and done, this project got pushed back as weddings and portraits came up, but I kept coming back to it because of the exceptional look that Amy and Lydia put together. It really captured the look and feel I was going for. See what they can do for you at The Color Amber Salon at the corner of Senate and Marion in downtown Columbia, a block from USC and the State House.

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Family Portrait: Dawn Carver

Family photos are a funny part of a photographers list of subjects. You might have 2 people or 30, new born to 90 years old. You never know what you are going to get. But of all the sessions you have, this can be the most important.

In some cases it is the only time the entire family is together, the first time a grandmother meets her first great grandchild, and is the family photo of record as the years go on.

Dawn wanted this for her family. The formal portrait of her with her four boys. Brett, who is on his way to being an adult, Van, as sweet and precocious as any little boy, and Eli, the baby who knows he is the center of the world.

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I loved her images and all the fun the kids where having, but I also loved the “outtakes”, those shots that wouldn’t make the Christmas card but show more of who the boys are, the look that only a parent recognizes but is the essence of who they are.

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Fresh Face: Karen Tenise James

I am running back through my work over the last few months, and it dawns on me that I have these incredible shots of Karen Tenise James I shot for FFS that I had loaded and ready to go and kept forgetting to post. Karen was wonderful to shoot with and her shoots just jumped out at me. The hardest part of the whole shoot was deciding which I liked best.

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Fresh Face: Madalyn Hair

Introducing Madalyn Hair, the newest model to sit for me. She is great and I can’t say enough about her enthusiasm and professionalism.  Ultimately the images speak for themselves.

Started out in the studio working up a classic headshot.
Started out in the studio working up a classic headshot.

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Madalyn pulled Audrey out of the ether and made it look natural.
Madalyn pulled Audrey out of the ether and made it look natural.

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Madalyn finished with what was my favorite look, her London shopper look.

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Impromptu Fashion Shoot

I have been combing back through my images from Columbia Style Week, Recently renamed Columbia Fashion Week, and grouping images by designers, models, hair and make up artist so I can find things quickly should someone call. Better then putting someone on hold as I try to look through 3000 images. I ran across these, which had fallen through the cracks the last day.

As we were winding down to the finale of Style Week, we had our designers coming in for one last sit down with the press, each bringing a model to showcase a look they would have in the show that evening. I was there as I was most days to get images for PR and to check that we were running smoothly. Being a Saturday afternoon, there was a lot of running around, especially at a place as busy as the Sheraton. People checking in, checking out, wedding parties waiting in the lobby for the last person to get ready. You get the picture.

Add to that, a bevy of models dressed for the runway, hair and makeup people doing touch ups, and it was a little chaos. But the good kind.

The kind that creativity germinates from.

So we grabbed a few models and made our own event, an impromptu fashion shoot right there in the Vault at the Sheraton.

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I was in a lucky spot because the designer and model that are in these images are both women I had worked with before, Jennifer Ghelardini from the Ghelardini Collection, who just recently had come back to Columbia after studying and working in New York, and Emily Hammond, an amazing model and true professional. They were both up for doing something fun while we killed a little time.

Emily especially is a joy to work with. She knows her stuff and moves fluidly, knows when to stop and when to transition. And she brings a lot of energy. Most of these poses are her playing with the space and trying different things.

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We wrapped up by taking it outside onto Main St where we did a few

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