Women’s Equality Day 2011 | Charleston Event Photographer

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am crazy about popcorn.  I’m just crazy for it. If I’m out for dinner and a movie, I don’t care if I just had a seven course meal… course number eight will be popcorn.  I think that’s why I love movies so much… I do have a point and it has to do with photographing the Governor.

A few years ago the Center for Women sponsored a showing of a movie.  Thinking there might be popcorn, I attended.  There wasn’t.  The film was Iron Jawed Angels. Somewhere along the way I heard it was Women’s Equality Day. Interesting, I thought to myself, still disappointed in the absence of my favorite butter flavored snack.  But in minutes I was riveted to the screen, watching the story unfold of the women who fought for the right to vote.

I was raised to take pride in my right to vote.  It just so happened that my eighteenth year fell on an election year and I have voted every election since… even most local ones.  I have always felt the responsibility to participate as a citizen of the US of A.  Learning the story of the suffragettes’ struggle for my right to vote at age eighteen was astounding.  I couldn’t help but feel that they were proud of me for exercising that right.   It all came full circle for me when I was snapping away, a few Women’s Equality Days later and I heard Governor Haley reference and recommend the movie that inspired me so long ago.

As a photographer, I always find my job a teensy bit harder when I am photographing an even that I find really interesting.  I am so torn about photographing and paying attention.  Such was the case this Women’s Equality Day. Governor Nikki Haley stopped by for a chat with Jennett Alterman, director of the Center for Women and two hundred other interested women (and a few men) and was put together with the help of the League of Women Voters.   Politics aside, it was so inspiring to hear the story and philosophy of a woman who will not be stopped.   Just as the mixed fluorescent and yellow spot lights would not stop me from capturing the moment.  She had inspired me to persevere.

There were several questions during the Q & A from Ashley Hall students about what inspires her to keep going in the face of adversity and who in her circle helps her when the going gets tough.  I loved seeing the look of revelation on the girl’s faces when the Governor replied that she too needed a group of friends to support her with a listening ear and encouraging words. You could see that they were making the connection that the people you surround yourself with can indicate your trajectory in life.  She spoke of overcoming challenges in her early life and how that uniquely prepared her for facing challenges in her professional life and now in her political career. “[A life in] politics is different for a woman, not harder, just different.”, she insisted, to the room full of young ladies and women on the verge of running out and signing up to run for the nearest elected office.   The eager young girls in purple plaid swarmed the Governor when she left the stage to mingle.  They all snapped shots of her and with her using their cameras and iphones, giggling amongst themselves at their proximity to a woman of power.  That alone was fascinating to me, a photographer and a people watcher.  I would have enjoyed watching that for hours… with a bucket of popcorn, of course.

My good friends Erica and Jason of Docent Prodigy Videography captured the whole thing in action and I will post a link to the whole talk when I get that from them.  Until then, Enjoy these!

Click here to see a slideshow.


Storms | Charleston Pet Photographer

I don’t know how many times recently I have had to say “Trust me, the rain is going to clear and the light is going to be AMAZING!”.  The key, I have found, is to try to say it convincinly enough that  A) I don’t sqeak when I do things like – oh, I don’t know – predict the weather?!  and B) I believe the words that are coming out of my mouth.  Clients can smell fear. Ironically, Charleston is just out of the worst drought in years and most of my photos from this year look like I have Ursula from “The Little Mermaid” on speed dial. 

 Here are a couple photos from my session this evening with Lisa, John and little Charlie who stuck it out when I said “Just trust me!” as they watched the wipers sqeak across their windshield. 

We arrived and said hello, only to run for cover minutes later.  In our optimism we struck out without umbrellas and that was promptly met with a torrent of rain.  Of, course we were.  So, we ran for the protection of our umbrellas which, as it turned out were more like garlic warding off vampires than actual umbrellas shielding rain.  Because we toted umbrellas the whole way there was no more rain until we were saying our good byes at the end of a breathtakingly gorgeous session.  Pet, people and weather – all gorgeous!  *squeal* I am a lucky photographer!  

Guys, thank you for trusting me! It was worth it, no?  🙂

MISIU Beauty| Charleston Commercial Photographer

MISIU (mee-shoo) / n. / fr. POLISH: a teddy bear; a term of endearment; something held close to the heart.

One of my first memories of him is moving for her lips with purpose with saying, “Darling, you look naked”.  A quick swipe of lipgloss and all was well with the world.  Classic Andrew.  Lips shall not be naked near him!   So when he shared with me that he was going to pursue his dream of creating a gloss line of his own all I could say was, “Naturally!”.  He had a glimmer in his eye when he showed me a tattoo on his wrist with the letters M I S I U.  It means: a dear teddy bear, a loved one that you hold close.  The Polish term of endearment was about to open a wonderful new world for him.

As with any dream, it feels equally like it began yesterday and like it’s been dragging on f o r e v e r !  And I am proud to say that the end is in sight!  The launch is in late September, stay tuned for details. I have had the privilege of working with him on the photography and I can’t wait to share the campaign!  I snagged the image above from the cutting room floor, more to come!


Follow along with @MisiuBeauty on Twitter and Mishiu Beauty on Facebook  for the latest on the launch!

Ayoka <3 Jett | Charleston Pet Photographer

Often when I come ‘back to the ranch’ after a photo shoot and I am having a first look at my images from the session, there will be one in the bunch that makes me stop and stare for a minute. It may have been a quick snap on the way to another pose or it could be the one that I worked so hard to achieve. Either way, I just stop. I take a minute to let the moment sink in. It’s seeing the CONNECTION of two beings that makes me catch my breath. That is what I am always trying to do, but connection is so elusive, so fleeting. We connect and disconnect a million times a day from the ones that we love. Including our animals.

That’s why I love pet sessions. It makes us stop all the running around that we do on a daily basis, and just focus on the connection that we have with these wonderful creatures that are always here, just waiting for us… to connect.

Duke the Dane | Charleston Pet Photography

Had a small intimate wedding to photograph on the gorgeous Isle of Palms Saturday. With it being a holiday weekend I prepared for the worst. traffic. ever. And as is typically the case when preparing for the worst, it doesn’t happen. So I managed to fit in an entire photoshoot before the wedding!  So, allow me to introduce you to Duke.

Duke played a prominent part in the wedding, so keep your eyes peeled in the wedding pictures to come (as if you need to look hard to find this 175 pound hunk of love).

Zen at the Beach

Easter on the beach.  It was so beautiful you couldn’t help but feel a bit spiritual while wandering the beach under the enormous blue sky.  I am so glad the Zentenos were such good sports about the long trek to the peaceful side of Folly Beach that glorious Sunday afternoon.

The walk is forever, but it’s sooo worth it to get to “the most beautiful little spot you’ve ever seen”, I promised.  And it is, just a little slice of heaven… but as the song says, “Every rose has it’s thorne…”  (Yes, I just quoted Brett Michaels).  Thorns in the form of  cactus needles.  These things were MEAN!  No wonder this beautiful little haven isn’t over run by tourists…. hrrmmm.  Eddie, sorry about your foot.  Hope yours is healing as nicely as mine.

But anything that’s worth having is worth fighting for… (I’m sure that’s another song lyric too, but I digress) This family knows that better than most, having been through it’s share of trials.  So we pressed on, as people with cactus needles in their feet – miles away from civilization do. We changed gears, played on the rocks… where cacti are not wont to grow. I think it turned out heavenly.  To see a slideshow of more of this wonderful day, click here.

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

So… we moved. I don’t think I even took a minute to mention here on the blog.  Still living out of boxes a bit as I scheduled myself a normal schedule, drastically underestimating the toll a move would take.  (They are just movers, Laura, not magicians.)  So I have a million things to post and tell you all about!  Tomorrow I’ll catch you up on all the goings on at Laura Olsen Imagery.  But today, I breathe. This non stop roller coaster is going uphill slowly today.  Peanut, Calliope & I are taking a minute to enjoy the new digs.

Is it just the full wall of windows or are they more beautiful here?

This is Peanut giving Calliope the equivalent of bunny ears in this photo. Such a camera hog! 🙂

B says I favor Calliope over Peanut. Exhibit A: Peanut's idea of personal space.