Mell Bell’s Belly days (hours?) before delivery!

We are on standby to take Mell Bell to the hospital any day now!  We did a bunch of family shoots out on the beach today and took a few moments to do some last minute maternity portraits.

I love those ladies 🙂

Melly Belly!

My lovely Mell Bell, will be my baby momma in May, they say!  And we’re having a girl, which calls for a tutu maternity portrait 🙂

I love those ladies.

Landscape Photography

Uncle Jim, Dairy Farmer

I grew up in upstate New York, where my mom’s family have been dairy farmers for over a century, raising Jersey’s and a few Holsteins. My brother an I used to spend our summers at the farm helping mow hay and other chores, but mostly we swam in the pond and rode the ATV.

Uncle Jim runs the farm, and is one of the most industrious people I know. He gets up ever morning, every day before dawn to milk 100 cows, and does it again 12 hours later. Every day.

We spent a few days up there in August and took some pictures along the way. Here’s some of our favorites.

Grandma made pancakes before we went out to unload the hay.

The hay drops into the mow where it’s stacked. It’s not for the faint of sinus.

The hay is sent up the conveyor to to propper mow. This was a purchased load of hay because the rain has prevented Jim from producing enough hay on his own land. You need a lot to get through the winter.

My brother Ryan after a few hours mowing hay.

A ride in the Model T with the family.

Grandpa collects antiques. This is his model T.

We spent many hours at this pond.

My memories are even more idyllic.

There are some ancient rooms in the various buildings. And LOTS of cob webs.

Uncle Jim on the milking floor.

My Grandpa Willie. You think I told him to wear that for the picture, but no. He really wears those.

The Cast and Crew of the Clemente Players!

I had the pleasure of photographing  the cast and crew of the Werewolf’s Curse, Hair today Gone Tomorrow.  They are currently in rehearsal for their performances the first weekend in April.  They are the Clemente Players, directed by Dr. Sharon Willis (pictured in the front).  All proceeds of the play go to benefit the Clemente Class, which is a pioneering educational experiment for the most needy of our society designed to fight the cycle of poverty by providing higher humanities education to those who would never otherwise have that opportunity.  Click here to see the larger picture!

The Clemente Players!

The Clemente Players!

Vegas or Bust!

It is time for me (Valerie), Nathan, and Mell to say GOODBYE to Charleston for a week and say HELLO to Las Vegas for the annual WPPI conference!


WPPI  is the largest professional photographers’ event in the country, and it is held in Vegas every year.

After yeeeeeeears of attending WPPI being only a *sigh* “maybe one day” kind of dream….this year it will be REALITY! Words cannot express how excited I am (we all are!!!!)

So tonight, while we wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day….we are packing our bags and counting down the minutes.

Here are a three pics I took while touring Vegas about this time last year:

Southern Bridal Expo….



If you are going to be attending the wedding show tomorrow at the Charleston Convention Center….come by our booth and say hi!  We will all be there with bells on!

Nathan, Mell and I will be leaving directly from the show to the airport for Vegas. 🙂

And if you call or visit our studio this week, be sure to send all your extra kudos to Steve for holding down the fort for us!!!!

Everyone sing Happy Birthday to Damien…

 Ladies, meet Damien. He’s 5′ 11” and enjoys long walks on the beach and good Italian food………just kidding. (But only sort of!)

Aaaaaaanyway, Sunday was my good friend Damien’s birthday,  and of all things, I was able to talk  him into letting me take his goodlookin self out for a photo shoot!

We had lots of fun and took pictures all over the downtown area! We had WAY too many good ones to choose from by the end of the evening, but I guess that’s nothing to complain about! Damien was so much fun to photograph…he’s easygoing and relaxed…and c’mon girls you gotta admit he’s also easy on the eyes! 😉

So now I need your help picking the overall favorite!  (There is a poll at the end of this post so go vote!)








I can’t decide if I like it better in color or black & white!
What do you think?

img_7681    img_7682

 [polldaddy poll=1323215]

If you are viewing this post on Facebook, you can click on the poll here:

Jay Clifford concert at the Music Farm!

Last Saturday night, I (Valerie) attended the last show of Jay Clifford’s recent tour, here in Charleston at the good ol’ Music Farm!

The only thing was…the concert didn’t allow ANYONE in with cameras (and my giant Canon 5D isn’t exactly easily hidden in a pocket!) But no worries, Jay knows me and made a special request that I be made an exception to do photography for the band!

Jay’s voice is still as awesome as ever!


Owen Beverly opened the show…and was fabulous, as always. I’ve been following Owen’s career since, eeh, about 2001 I think? He’s just got an amazing voice! (Owen Beverly’s myspace here: – you can check out his music on his myspace. I own his recent CD “Shooting the Bull” and I highly recommend it!)


The 2nd opening band was Crowfield. Crowfield is seriously one of this area’s newest up and coming bands. They rock it out up there and are really talented!  This was my 2nd time seeing them perform. (I saw them back in June when they opened for Will Hoge at the Windjammer.) They were great then too, so I was super excited to get to hear them rock again! Crowfield’s myspace:


The Music Farm is definitely Charleston’s best venue.
It’s like none other! Here are my 2 fav’s that show off the venue:


And from up above, here’s the back part of the venue, including the bar and the merch area. (Also, Kip’s booth in the back! —Karson Photography— It’s always fun running into other Charleston photographers, and Kip is way cool so I had a good time hanging out with him in the back for a bit before the show started!)


Ok, so without further adieu, here are more of my favorite shots from JAY CLIFFORD!


From “upstairs”…


At the very  end, Jay did something really amazing…he came into the audience and sang Cathedrals! There were a lot of tears in the audience. It really was special.

Jay rocks, even without a microphone! 🙂 I felt really honored to be the one to get to capture this moment!


Late-Night Album Design Moral Support? Meow!

My cat, Penny Lane, is the sweetest little thing…always loving, always kind, always well-behaved…

Tonight, I am up late working on an album design for Lourdes & William’s wedding. About 20 minutes ago, Penny climbed up on my shoulders and just settled on in to stay. She’s been purring away ever since, happy as can be!

It’s semi-uncomfortable for me, but I’m so touched by her sweetness that I don’t have the heart to shoo her off.

I just took a pic because I HAD to share!