I was so excited to meet Beth Vanderwalker earlier this summer through a post on Instagram. I reached out to her to introduce myself and offer my services on a collaboration project and we immediately hit it off. Beth is the owner of Simply Jane Formals, a local formalwear shop in the heart of Fort Mill, SC. They’re motto is,”Dressing the Queen in You.”
Beth shared with me how Simply Jane Formals got started during our first meeting: “Simply Jane Formals began with an idea to share dresses with other girls looking for beautiful dresses at an affordable price. My daughters came up with our name (Jane is a family name that goes back several generations) , started an Instagram, and it took off.”
We quickly planned and executed a major fashion photo shoot to showcase some of her most popular gowns for pageants and formalwear. This very quickly turned into a major production that provided us with access to a historic southern house in Downtown Fort Mill, SC. This was truly a collaborative effort with amazing models, some of which were former and current SC pageant participants, a handful of AMAZING gowns, bloggers, a makeup artist and of course me the photographer.
Here’s a rundown of everyone who helped make this an amazing summer fashion shoot:
Gowns: Beth Vanderwalker of Simply Jane Formals
Photography: Derek Johnson Photography
Hair and Makeup:
Special thanks to:
- Carissa Rogers of Carissa Rogers Photography who captured behind the scenes images and blogged about the event
- Wendy Wilken, blogger at Fort Mill Now also provide coverage during the shoot
- The Mill Mag
Enjoy these images from our super fun and glamorous shoot!
I got together with one of my amazing young clients Bailey Tignor for a fun Americana photoshoot in downtown Rock Hill, SC. Bailey is a lovely young lady who I’ve had the pleasure of photographing on multiple occasions. She and her mother are family friends and loyal clients and I have a ball every time Bailey and I get together for a shoot.
The theme was Americana to celebrate the coming Independence Day holiday. We steered clear of the classic flag hugging poses and opted to just celebrate the American Flag colors. For this shoot young Bailey actually scoped out all of the locations while she was driving around downtown Rock Hill. She found some amazing locations around the downtown area while driving around and quickly shot me photos from her phone for me to review.
The shoot was amazing and fun even with overcast skies. We squeezed every bit of sunlight we could out of the late afternoon day and ended up with dozens of beautiful images.
Enjoy your Independence Day and enjoy these beautiful images.
This first location is an old train perched in an abandoned parking lot right as you enter downtown Rock Hill.
This next location was a beautiful mural wall along one of the main downtown roads. We attracted quite a bit of attention at this location as people stopped to compliment Bailey and ask for my business card!
With the sun fading fast we made it to our final location – A beautiful park with a fountain dancing in the background.
My birthday session with Erika was AMAZING!! Erika Hogan, owner of New Attitude Performing Arts Center is quickly becoming my favorite person to photograph! Now over the last two years we’ve had multiple opportunities to work together on different photographic projects. Now I had to opportunity to photograph Erika herself as part of her birthday present to herself – a Marilyn Monroe inspired portrait session.
We discussed the concept and tossed around ideas for attire. I had great vision for location, lighting and I thought we were all ready to go. Last minute location issues completely shut down my plans and I was scrambling for a Plan B. After taking a close look at her three outfits a grand idea hit me and Plan B was underway.
Check out the results below. Amazing makeup from one of my Beauty Team members, Kathy Robinson, amazing studio lighting and natural location and AMAZING subject rocking the look.
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I had the pleasure of doing another dance photoshoot with the beautiful and talented staff of New Attitude Performing Arts Center in Rock Hill, SC. My two daughters have attended the dance school for two years and I’ve developed a great working relationship with the owner Erika Hogan and we’ve collaborated on some great creative photo shoots.
Erika and her staff were in need of some updated headshots for the website and of course I was happy to put together a creative shoot to capture the ladies in motion. Check out the NAPAC staff below and see some of the creative shots we captured during the shoot.
Owner: Erika Hogan
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These ladies are beyond talented and work great as a team, not only teaching children to become great dancers, but also taking amazing photos!
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I’ve developed my own fantasy capture with dancers called, “What If Everyone Had the Force?” I’m a Star Wars fan for life and I love seeing the Force being used on the big screen. During our last shoot we tried some creative captures of “Force Lifts” and they turned out great! Here are a couple from this shoot and I love these as well.
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Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas are full of beautiful locations to have a portrait session. From rural farming land to the urban Uptown region, there are so many places in this town to really have a great portrait session. I love on location shoots for various reasons but mostly because my clients and I can determine which location really works well with their personality, chosen attire and the overall look they want to achieve in their portrait session.
So here are 10 of my favorite locations in and around the Charlotte, NC area for on location portrait sessions.
1. The Boardwalk at the University Hilton Hotel–
I’ve done a ton of portrait sessions here and the look is amazing. It can be quite busy on the weekends, but some careful placement and patience yields amazing images at this location. From family sessions to senior prom and creative sessions, this location always delivers.
Collin Shirley (Class of 2016) Senior Portrait Session
2. The Fort Mill Dairy Barn –
Also known as the Anne Springs Close Greenway, this is the spot if you’re looking for a beautiful rural setting. This sprawling area has so many different backdrops for that country look and feel. You may even be able to get a beautiful horse in your background.
3. Tyvola Business Park –
This is off the beaten path and not in an obviously picturesque place, but this gem is tucked away on the back side of an office complex and has beautiful water features and lush greenery throughout. Best of all is that it’s secluded and not well-known so you’re not waiting for “moving scenery” to pass by.
4. Baxter Village in Fort Mill, SC –
Right in the heart of Fort Mill, SC this collection of shops and eateries is nestled right in front of a beautiful, quaint community of homes. Cute shops line both sides of the streets and there are plenty of amazing spots to create beautiful images.
5. In or Around Your Own Home! –
I have so much fun surprising people with wonderful portrait locations in and around their own homes. You’d be surprised how the right composition and lighting can create an unlikely location that yields amazing images.
6. Your School Court or Field –
As long as we can safely and LEGALLY access the court or field of your sport we can capture you in your element and create some amazingly edgy and dramatic sports images.
7. Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC –
Winthrop’s campus is BEAUTIFUL and I have not even scratched the surface of amazing places to shoot. If you’re a native of the Rock Hill area I’m sure you could show me some amazing places that I hadn’t even thought of.
8. The RiverWalk in Rock Hill, SC –
The proximity of Rock Hill, SC to Charlotte, NC and the fact that I live right in between the two means that I have the both to two cities with beautiful locations all around. This gem is also full of character and drama for late evening portrait sessions.
9. First Ward Park in Uptown Charlotte –
With the tall beautiful buildings of Uptown Charlotte in view this is a perfect place to capture the beauty of the park environment and still incorporate an urban feel.
10. A Cool Edgy Indoor Location –
I typically like outdoor locations for my sessions but ocassionally I’ll find an edgy indoor location like this dance studio where my daughters dance. The black wall is funky and makes a creative backdrop for this fun session.
These are just a very few of the hundreds of locations in and around Charlotte for having a portrait session. Maybe you have a favorite park or location where you would love to have a portrait session.
I’m so excited about the first annual DFP White Portrait Event!
I had a great time doing a creative portrait session with one of my young mentees Antoine Vail. I’ve seen him grow up from a teenager to a mature young man and I’m thankful to have been in his life to encourage him, fuss him out at times and just love him as a fellow man of God. read more
My two beautiful daughters have been taking jazz and hip hop dance classes at the New Attitude Performing Arts Center in Rock Hill, SC for almost a year. It was our first time putting them in formal dance training program and we asked around to our friends for recommendations. Our friend Robin Tignor recommended NAPAC as her daughter Bailey was a past student of the dance studio. read more
I had the opportunity to volunteer my services to help a fellow small business owner in a Cutest Couple Contest on Instagram. I partnered with Abby Boachie of Ladies Allure, LLC, an online fashion clothing boutique, to reward the winners of the contest. read more
My “Conquer Everything” campaign is off to a great start with my second basketball photo shoot. The “Conquer Everything” campaign features young athletes in dynamic, edgy images of their respective sports. read more