When Todd Surber's parents incorrectly loaded film into their camera on the day of his high-school graduation, they left their son without any pictures to document his achievement. These days, at King Street Studios, Todd ensures that similar special moments are never lost for his clients. He snaps shots of families, weddings, clown troupes, and high-school seniors with a photojournalistic style honed from touring with top rock bands such as Papa Roach. After sessions on location or in Todd’s 1,500-square-foot boutique studio, patrons can choose their most beloved memories in an online proofing gallery of retouched color or black-and-white images. Todd also invites customers to view their canvas portraits in the studio’s projection room so they can see how the pictures will appear when enlarged to their appropriate size.
When Jeni Rone was a child, her father would take black-and-white photos of weddings, instilling an appreciation for beautiful photography in her mind that she nurtured through fine-arts classes in high school and college. Now, she spends her days amongst Charleston's natural and manmade beauty, creating beautifully framed photos of seaside sunsets and historic houses. Specializing in wedding photography, Rone's practiced eye captures the joy and possibility of nuptials with smile-filled candids, elegantly composed family shots, and cakes' growing dread as they realize their role in the festivities. Those interested in improving their own photography can tap into her skills by following along on classes that meander through Charleston's streets, learning how to frame up gorgeous shots and edit them on a computer.
Certified professional photographers Michael and Angela Koska impart fledgling photogs with digital-picture-taking knowledge during the four-hour workshop. The class is divided into three parts—Digital Basics, Taking Better Pictures, and What to Do After the Shoot—to cover all aspects of digital photography. Each camera crusader will learn the fundamentals and snapshooting, from how to use the flash correctly, to how to take pictures quickly enough to capture an image of The Flash. Students will also study backgrounds, foregrounds, and how to get up-close and personal without invading someone's personal space. Before the class ends, aspiring Annie Leibovitzes will know how to eliminate instances of red-eye and what camera angles best capture replicas of The Thinker made entirely of discarded pizza boxes.
Natural settings such as windswept beaches are the backdrop of shots captured by the photographers at InspireMe Photography. They train their camera lenses on families, kids, couples, high-school seniors, newborns, and weddings, and offer custom packages.
The six women who perform hair, makeup, and wardrobe styling for FashionShots are truly an elite team: among them, their work has been featured in Vogue, on E!, at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, and in Modern Salon magazine. Their impressive skill enables them to work on a variety of projects, from senior photos and boudoir shoots to headshots for aspiring models and commercial work.
Whatever the project, the complete hair-makeup-and-wardrobe experience is designed to make each client feel like a model for a day. Subjects will prep for their shoot by reviewing a Mood Board, an email from the photographer with suggestions for outfits, hair styles, and makeup. The day of, clients bring in 3-5 complete outfits, and will then be coached through the shoot by a photographer who is also a former model. Afterward, subjects will go through the images with the photographer, selecting their favorites for complete retouching and printing.
Although instructors Travis Clark and Jon Gillespie lead Southeast Photo Adventures's workshops and excursions, they share the teaching load with the shores of Tybee Island and the depths of Cloudland Canyon. Students shoot shoulder-to-shoulder with instructors amid these sprawls of striking Southeastern scenery, whether they're enrolled in 2.5-hour workshops, Foto Field Trips open to workshop grads, or weekend-long adventures. The field-trip-style outings are open to all skill levels, but beginners can also enhance their expertise in introductory courses on Photoshop, digital photography, and DSLR cameras' complex settings, which control everything from shutter speed to the tiny red light bulb behind each of our eyes.