full of connection Relaxed, fun family heirlooms

Arriana & Gilbert: Old Santee Canal Park

Earlier this year, I photographed a group of young adults who were students at a nearby military base. It was a fun change of pace from the “typical” families I photograph. Although they were extremely polite, they were constantly laughing and joking and up for some pretty impressive challenges to capture their friendship. If you are, perhaps, wondering what sort of activities qualify as “challenges,” I’ll share a couple of the photos below:


Obviously, not something I photograph on a usual basis. Also, you should be impressed with their pyramid skills. That was not easy and they look a lot happier than they are probably feeling.

Anyway!  Not long later, two members of the group – Arriana and Gilbert, contacted me to ask if I would photograph their wedding celebration. They were planning an intimate gathering with families and close friends, and were actually returning to Old Santee Canal Park to celebrate.

They remind me a lot of my husband, Tim and I. We were married when I was 22 — right out of college. He was enlisted in the Marine Corps, and our friends from the military and family from all over the country traveled to spend time with us. Arriana and Gilbert’s wedding was fun and relaxed, and focused on connecting with all the people who mean so much to them.

Arriana is also a stunning bride. I had her stand by some of the windows at the park’s learning center so I could produce a few portraits that  I KNOW will become precious family keepsakes. Gilbert looked sharp, too, in his blue suit, forgoing a uniform.


We also made time to walk around the canal and swamp area and get some photos of them together. This is always a favorite for me; I just love creating some stunning portraits of couples together!


And last but not least – a few photos of their reception and friends and family.  As you can see, it was the perfect kind of celebration – relaxed and happy!

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Family Photo session in historic downtown Charleston

Have you ever heard of MOPS?

MOPS is an organization for “Mothers of Preschoolers.” It is a support system for neighborhood moms, fostering community and meaningful conversation and a little bit of time alone during years where – let’s face it – you really need it. I was invited when I met a friend of a friend at the library. Her son and my son are days apart in age, and after my first meeting, I knew it was some place I wanted to stay. There is nothing like a community of moms coming together, talking each other through the hard stuff (sleepless nights, behavior issues in children, relationship matter…). You realize, while eating a plate of breakfast (with no tiny hands stealing your food), that you are HARDLY alone in your struggles, and even if you don’t get solutions, you have an empathetic ear. I think Moms groups are so important, particularly in early motherhood, where you can feel so isolated.

I met this Mama at MOPS. She is a military wife, and I have learned that many Military wives search for MOPS groups just so that they can find friends and community quickly, particularly because they move around quite a bit. Sadly, her family is nearing the end of their stay in Charleston. That doesn’t mean they won’t return someday, though!  Fun fact: Charleston is where she and her husband had their engagement photos done!  Naturally, we revisited some of the old locations now that their family has grown a bit.  Downtown nev

er disappoints, and her sweet, funny children were fun to photograph.

Here are just a handful from their session:


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Tia and Nathan

When Tia approached me about photographing her wedding, I was really excited.  She teaches at my son’s school, and is in general a very kind and warm person.  Their wedding, on December 29, 2018, guaranteed an excellent start to the new year for them!

Their ceremony took place at First Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant, and although there were clouds predicted for the day, they were blessed with sunshine and nice temperatures!  You never know what you will get in Charleston in the “winter!”

After a beautiful ceremony where they surprised guests with a slideshow of their lives (paralleled as kids, then together as a couple), they headed to the Charleston Yacht Club for their reception.

A few highlights from the night?  A hot chocolate bar on the bottom deck with views of the yachts at sunset.  Nathan’s family – his entire extended family – surprised the couple with a fun flash dance.  (Super impressed with everyone’s moves, I gotta say.)  The bouquet toss required a re-do because the initial toss may have landed in one of the light fixtures!  (Not to worry, a retrieval occurred without issue.) And the dancing, well, it was pretty spectacular; there were far more people on the dance floor then sitting at the tables.  That is always the mark of a successful reception, in my eyes!

I’m going to post a few photos from the wedding below, but really, you’ll probably get a better idea by watching this slideshow I put together of their big day.  It was lovely, and I know that their future together will be, too!




A Charleston area Christmas – We made it!!!

My office has felt a bit like Santa’s Workshop this season.  Since October, I’ve been photographing sessions, editing & delivering sessions, and processing print orders for my awesome clients.  On one hand, it’s super fulfilling.  Once I get into a groove, I really enjoy editing photos.  I LOVE hearing how much my clients like their galleries.  On the other hand … my Fitbit buzzes me on the regular to get up and get moving, and my response to most things has been, “I can’t, I have to edit.”

BUT — last night, I delivered my final Christmas session gallery.  Triumph!  And I celebrated by promptly going to bed and sleeping 6 hours.

It was a really good holiday season.  It was my first time photographing at Southerlyn Farms in Holly Hill.  If they host photographers for sunflower sessions next year, I will likely be back!  summer-1-850summer-1-852summer-1-851summer-1-849

And then, I went back to Lebanon Christmas Tree Farm for tree farm photos.  If you haven’t heard of the farm, definitely check them out – they are on Good Housekeeping’s List of Best Tree Farms in America.  (And check out their photo, while you are at it.  haha.)  I had a lot of new clients this year for tree farm minis, and they were just the sweetest.  As you can see.  🙂


And finally, I wrapped up Christmas season in downtown Charleston.  I had been a little worried because they were flooded out from the King’s Tide all weekend, but we were sunny and dry for our sessions.  And it was, per usual, beautiful downtown.  Just check out some of these photos.  Total eye candy!


I’m wishing you all the joys of the season, however and whenever you celebrate.  I’m going to spend my free time documenting our family’s celebrations (one birthday down – gulp – my 38th, two more to go) and Christmas festivities.

<3  Thank you to my clients this year, you are the best, and make this side business of mine very valuable to me for many reasons.

Charleston Holiday Mini Photography Sessions

Hey, everyone!  This blog post isn’t going to be a long one, but I wanted to update you on a few special offers I’m running for the holidays.  As nearly everyone knows, Fall is a busy time for photography.  The weather is (supposed to be) cooler, and with the holidays impending, it usually triggers a lot of people to start planning for cards, prints & holiday gifts.

I’m going to go ahead and make the same, old announcement I do every year, so please bear with me:  I do not book photography sessions during the month of December.   In my home, 3 out of 4 birthdays are in December.   When you add birthday planning to various school and extracurricular activities — and also events that I like to attend with my family — I just don’t have the time to edit photos and deliver them in the time frame you’ll need to order things for Christmas.  I lack that North Pole magic.

But – in consideration of fall & holiday needs, I do have three different mini session dates available.  These are short, sweet, sessions – designed to take those Christmas card photos, portraits of your children, and a few loving, connected moments to capture the end of your 2018 year.

You can find them at my BigCartel shop.  To book a session is $75.

I’ve gone for a variety of shoots this year, including cotton fields, Christmas tree farms, & downtown Charleston.  Each is unique and will add some southern charm to your cards & gifts this year.   Speaking of cards and gifts, please let me know if I can help you design and print holiday cards, or canvases, or even framed prints.  I have delivered a few really beautiful prints for people recently; nothing makes me happier.  And I have several new options for frames & glass prints that are GORGEOUS.

As always, comment or email me at larissa@larissalordphotography.com if you have any questions!!  <3