Wes Anderson Inspired Styled Shoot at Hotel Trundle in Columbia, SC

Wes Anderson Inspired Styled Shoot at Hotel Trundle in Columbia, SC

For this styled shoot, I wanted to emulate one of my favorite directors and a source of inspiration. Wes Anderson is known for his use of color, symmetry, iconic locations, and quirky characters. This styled shoot was loosely inspired by his film, The Darjeeling Limited, and was done to showcase local vendors in a simplicity that felt unique and would help others in their inspiration for their weddings or elopements. 

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How to Find a Wedding Photographer You Trust — And Why That Matters

How to Find a Wedding Photographer You Trust — And Why That Matters

Jessica Hunt is based in Columbia, South Carolina and loves to travel to nearby cities like Asheville, Charlotte, Atlanta, and beyond for passionate couples who share her ideals and want to invest in their wedding photography.

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Samantha + English's Puptastic Same-Sex Newlywed Portraits in Columbia, SC

Samantha + English's Puptastic Same-Sex Newlywed Portraits in Columbia, SC

English and Sam decided to bring along their two dogs during their session for photos of all of them together as a family. If you know me, you know that I am always happy when my clients bring along their fur babies. English and Samantha's pups, Kerwin and Zoe, wore a matching bandanna and bowtie set, and rocked out their photos with the couple

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Real Bodies // Kaity's Boudoir Session and Her Journey to Self Love

Real Bodies // Kaity's Boudoir Session and Her Journey to Self Love

I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face — if you make one investment in yourself in your lifetime, make it boudoir. Don’t wait until you lose that last 20lbs, or until you get rid of the cellulite on your ass. Don’t do it for your partner. Don’t do it for valentines. Do it for you.

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Real Couples // A Special Clemson Engagement Session in Columbia: Brent + Cass

Real Couples // A Special Clemson Engagement Session in Columbia: Brent + Cass

I loved being able to document the little looks between these two and learn about their engagement story. When Cass first told me about the way Brent proposed I was ecstatic to hear something as romantic as the story she shared! She told me about how Brent invited her to travel to Paris with him, how they spent a few days in the city as girlfriend and boyfriend, and how he surprised her one morning with the question of a lifetime. Doesn’t that sound dreamy and oh-so-romantic?! Brent and Cass left the country as a couple dating and returned ready to promise each other their forever.

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What Happens to Boudoir When We Banish the Male Gaze

What Happens to Boudoir When We Banish the Male Gaze

We at Catalyst want to celebrate bodies of all types, and for folks that are queer, trans, and genderfluid or non-binary, these bride-centric ideas of femininity that have come with bridal boudoir simply don’t apply. That doesn’t mean we want to banish boudoir. Quite the contrary, in fact. We want to see it reclaimed.

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Latoya Dixon Photography Knows How to Treat Her Clients Like Family

Latoya Dixon Photography Knows How to Treat Her Clients Like Family

We have loved Latoya Dixon for a long, long time. She has been a huge supporter of Catalyst, our keynote speaker at the last {un}convention, and is the leader of The Queen Photographers, who sponsor our Photo of the Week series. But Latoya is more than just a major part of our community, she is also a vendor who knows how to connect with her clients on a very personal level, resulting in some truly amazing photos. That's why we are so thrilled to have her join our vendor directory!

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Real Couples // Casual Same-Sex Romance in Columbia, SC: Brittany + Michele

Real Couples // Casual Same-Sex Romance in Columbia, SC: Brittany + Michele

We met in college. We were actually both dating other people when we became friends. We talked all the time and could not wait to be around each other. The relationship eventually became something more and we broke it off with our other partners. We both knew from the very beginning that there was something special between us and despite some drama in the beginning (ending our other relationships and Michele's family not being supportive), we made it and have never been happier.

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Jessica Hunt Photography is Committed to Capturing Moments of Love for Everyone

Jessica Hunt Photography is Committed to Capturing Moments of Love for Everyone

The mission of Jessica Hunt Photography is to provide high-end wedding photography services to every JHP couple and to create imagery that represents each client's unique love story in a personal and artistic way. Beyond the mission of ensuring every JHP couple walks away from their wedding photography 100% satisfied, the mission of JHP is to create positive imagery of those less represented in the current wedding industry and cause societal change by normalizing the love stories of those underrepresented.

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Real Couples // After Nine Years and Three Kids, A Wedding: Dre + Shanai

Real Couples // After Nine Years and Three Kids, A Wedding: Dre + Shanai

I was sort of a loner, so for someone to really peak my interest AND make laugh was a win-win. We ended up dating and going to prom together, and the rest is history. Sort of your typical high school sweetheart love story, with a bad girl twist!

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Real Couples // A Childhood Love Story: Ashlee + Mike

Real Couples // A Childhood Love Story: Ashlee + Mike

We met at church; his mom was my Girl Scout troop leader. He was always trolling and dropping in on our Girl Scout meetings. We were like kindergarteners. I'm pretty sure he picked on me because he was so in love, lol. We became really close friends and remained that way through college.

He popped the question while we were on a surprise anniversary trip to Lake Tahoe. I had no clue! When we started dating Mike always loved to write poems for me. There was a poem that he wrote for me when we first started dating that he hadn't finished, and he named it "untitled." So after dinner we went back to the hotel, and he asked if I could record him reading a new poem. Come to find out it was the unfinished poem he had written, except this time it had an ending... he asked if I'd be his wife! He retitled it "Lucky Number 7" in honor of it being our 7th and final dating anniversary. Not only that, he proposed at the same time he'd asked me to be his girlfriend 7 years ago. I still have no clue how he pulled all that off.

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Real Couples // Intimate, Sparkling Wedding in South Carolina: Donte and Ti Auni

Real Couples // Intimate, Sparkling Wedding in South Carolina: Donte and Ti Auni

It was a brisk November day in Columbia, South Carolina, perfected by a little chill in the air and the burst of fall colors throughout the gardens. Donte and Ti Auni invited only their closest family and friends to their wedding, and I just LOVED how small and intimate it was. This wedding day was not about anything but the celebration of the couple’s love. Ti Auni’s son served as Donte’s best man, and after the ceremony the entire family came together for hugs, kisses, and portraits.

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Real Couples // Urban Riverside Engagement: Daniel + Cameron

Real Couples // Urban Riverside Engagement: Daniel + Cameron

"I proposed to Cameron at Magic Kingdom via caricature. Plans were for me to propose to him on our cruise we took via karaoke, but they only had karaoke the first night of the cruise, and we were at dinner during that time, so I missed my opportunity. When we arrived at Magic Kingdom after our cruise, I had his ring in my backpack and no clue how I was getting it on his finger!! After lunch we noticed a caricature artist, and Cameron was excited, as we had been wanting to do one! There were no appointments for a while so we walked away, but then I came back and booked the appointment and told them what I was planning: she was to draw me on one knee proposing. When the time arrived I was beyond nervous and fidgety; a crowd was gathering and Cameron asked the artist if crowds were common. She played along and said, 'Oh yes, it happens all the time!' When she was finished and turned the picture around, I was on one knee and asking the big question, while Cameron was confused as to his positioning in the picture...a few (what seemed like minutes) seconds later, he realized what was going on, and with tears in his eyes he said YES!!!"

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Meet Our {un}convention Keynote Speaker: Latoya Dixon Smith

Meet Our {un}convention Keynote Speaker: Latoya Dixon Smith

Latoya is someone who wears many different hats, but wears them all flawlessly. She is a mechanical engineer, photographer, mother, and leader of The Queen Photographers, a community for women of color photographers based in South Carolina. Latoya and co-founder Sierra Collins organized The Queen Photographers in Greenville back in 2015 and quickly expanded with local chapters in North Carolina and Georgia. 

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Stuck in Time

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Stuck in Time

This image reminds me of my childhood, growing up on Liberty Hill in Charleston, South Carolina. We lived walking distance from this classic train station, and it was our playground. Yes, we played on the tracks (we didn't know any better). We would put pennies on the tracks to watch the trains flattened them as they rolled by. We would also go inside the station just to make the security guard mad by playing with the payphone and running around—you know, just being a kid. The guard would say, "Stop it! I'm calling the police!", but he never did. I never noticed the Charleston sign until years later. It was a must that I capture that sign. So, I went to the station and asked if I could get some shots, and to my surprise, the inside still looked the same! I felt like I went back in time; if that old security guard was still there, I would have passed out! I presented a huge canvas of this image to my sister on her 54th birthday, and the tears started because she remembered.

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Real Couples // A Surprise Proposal on the Columbia Riverwalk: Taylor + Lexa

Real Couples // A Surprise Proposal on the Columbia Riverwalk: Taylor + Lexa

Taylor and I planned to surprise Lexa about half way through their session so we could have time to photograph them together after Taylor popped the question. Our plan was this: Taylor would put the ring in my camera bag when Lexa was not looking at the beginning of our session, and we would shoot their first outfit as if nothing was out of the ordinary — just a casual couples session, or so Lexa thought! I told Taylor I would get Lexa alone in front of my camera down by the river, give Taylor the signal, and let her walk up behind Lexa and pop the question! Thankfully, everything went off without a hitch!

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Real Couples // Rooftop Engagement: Brandon + Traci

Real Couples // Rooftop Engagement: Brandon + Traci

"Brandon proposed on March 15, 2016. It was a Tuesday at 5:30 pm to be exact! (laughs) He got my best friend to lure me to the Sheraton rooftop in downtown Columbia. Right before I walked to the bar, he popped out of the stairwell, got everyone's attention, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him!!!"

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