Lumos Studio

South Carolina Wedding Photography Blog

Samantha: Bridal Portraits at First Presbyterian Church

You know how some people’s personalities just shine through in photos? I’m not one of those people. I have two photo faces: smirk, and mildly-cheesy grin. Samantha, on the other hand is one of those people. Even if I didn’t know her, looking at her photos I’d think, “That seems like somebody who is genuinely enjoying life. I’d like to hang out with her.” I would be right, too.

Samantha married one of my former students, Ryan. (You might remember Ryan’s sister, Rebekah’s, senior photos.) Ryan is a tough guy to describe. He’s artistic, analytical, and profoundly goofy. This is him with some of his art:

An imperial stormtrooper hand pained on a skateboard

While teaching Ryan rhetoric, the class was given the assignment to prepare a presentation in which they taught their fellow students something. Ryan opted to teach his classmates how to crank dat Soulja Boy. There are many moments as a teacher when you stand back and just feel pride at the positive effect you’re having on the future.

That was not one of those moments.

Still, it is one of my more memorable experiences as a teacher and definitely marked Ryan as one to watch. Enough about him, though, because, although he’s accomplished plenty, convincing the lady below to marry him is undoubtedly his greatest achievement.

Smiling bride in black and whiteYes, a guy who paints graffiti and “cranks dat” got her to marry him. I am truly a great rhetoric teacher.

Bride looking over her shoulder

 Samantha is this fantastic combination of sweet, smart, and enthusiastic that makes her the perfect addition to one of my favorite families.

Bridal Portrait at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC

Samantha smiling

Ryan and Samantha were married at First Presbyterian Church, which made a gorgeous backdrop for Samantha’s bridals.

Samantha in her bridal gown at First Pres

Bride on the steps of First Presbyterian Church

Samantha, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you. Please continue to keep Ryan out of trouble, and bring him around every once in a while to visit his old teacher, okay?

Family Portraits: The Nazarios

Wendy and I hope you and your loved ones are having a  great summer. Though summer is pretty busy, we’ve still made the time to watch two Harry Potter movies and The Hunger Games in the past two days. [Edit: Wendy made me remove potential spoilers, but if you still haven’t read all the Harry Potter books, the only acceptable excuse is that you can’t read yet, in which case, this sentence doesn’t apply to you anyway.]

Anyway, we are doing things other than watching movies with incredibly high death tolls given their young-adult target audience. One thing we’re doing is catching up on a little bit of blogging, and we have a great catch-up post for you today. This is the Nazario family. Carmen, the mamma, teaches Spanish in the World Languages Department with Wendy, and had us take some portraits of her family.

As you can see, Carmen has three beautiful daughters (and one handsome husband), which, as it happens, is the setup of Wendy’s family, and it seems to be working splendidly for both families. In any case, we had a lot of fun with the Nazarios, and we hope you’ll enjoy seeing a few favorites from their session.

Nazario family portrait

Portrait of mom and three daughters

Portrait of a father and his three daughters

Portrait of beautiful sisters in Columbia, SC









Senior Photos: Vivien

Let me introduce Vivien.

Vivien has been a friend of ours for many years. When she was little, Wendy taught her ballet, and she was the flower girl at our wedding. (She did a great job, by the way.) While Vivien isn’t technically a senior, when you’re as lovely as she is any time is a good one for a portrait session and besides, “not-quite-senior-photos” doesn’t really have a ring to it.

It’s tempting to tell you that Vivien is a dancer, and a fantastic one at that but, frankly, if you can’t figure that out from the photos, then no amount of text is going to help you.

Ballet senior portrait

It’s much harder to get across in a photo how sweet Vivien is, but I think Wendy did a pretty terrific job with this next one.


For these photos, Wendy and I hung out with Vivien at 701 Whaley and basically made her jump, and jump, and jump, and occasionally lounge in a window. (Even dancers deserve a break.)

Ballerina sitting in window

Ballerina sitting in window

We might have asked her to just twirl a little bit, too.

Vivien twirling

Girl's senior photo

Modern dancer in red

Dancer in red

Vivien is well on her way to achieving her goal of dancing professionally for the New York City Ballet. While Wendy chose not to pursue dance professionally, I think the grace and discipline that her studies engendered radiate in everything she does. Don’t think, though, that just the ladies can have grace, poise, and athleticism. When testing light, I’m willing to show off my moves, too…

J.P. soaring gracefully through the air

 My form would be better, but my tights were at the cleaners.

The summer is flying by, and if you’re ready to have your senior photos made, drop us a line by clicking here or call us at 803.386.9197 to arrange a free consultation.

Southern Children

Summertime for the Lumos crew means hanging with family, and there is one perk of being in our household that we really love: you’re either an aunt or an uncle to an awesome couple of kids.

Enter Ethan.



Enter Brooke.


As Aunt Wendy, I find I have far more time to look into fun kid stuff than people who are actually trying to raise well-behaved, well-educated children.  For that reason, I’m going to save some of my rockin’ parenting friends some time by letting you in on another one of Columbia’s best businesses to check out: Southern Children.

One afternoon in May, feeling the urge I sometimes get to shop for my favorite spicy kids (thank you to Molly Ledford of Lunch Money for that perfect description), I opened the door to this boutique, started looking, and could not stop.  Lemony-colored sun dresses with matching yellow hats, beach blue play shorts, perfect for a day in the sun, cuddly pastel doudous that could heal a bump on the head with one squeeze – the cuteness was too much!

A little embarrassed to be so drawn in, not having any kids of my own, I explained my mission to the store manager, Amy Broom; I was looking for some versatile outfits for my niece and nephew… and I wanted them to kinda match but not obviously (just for an added challenge).


 Amy is the kind of person who sparkles – she loves the product she provides and has knowledge of all the many clothing lines in the store to boot.  She spun right over to the 4Ts, the hair bows, the little-girl purses, and helped me piece together something perfectly whimsical for Brooke.


I also explained to her that dressing boys was a bit foreign to me since I didn’t have any brothers growing up.  In no time, she had helped me combine cute plaid shorts, a handsome polo shirt, and a mint green vest for Ethan.


According to my sister, these are apparently Ethan’s favorite shorts.  When he picks out his clothes in the morning, he always pulls them out of the drawer, so it stands to reason that they are pretty comfortable in addition to being super snazzy.

Susan Broom, Amy’s mother, has been the owner and operator of Southern Children since 1989.  It was obvious when I spoke with her that she has a passion for providing beautiful and well-made children’s clothing to her customers.  The array of lines in her store is impressive.  I am amazed that in these pictures of Ethan and Brooke alone five different brands are represented: Cotton Kids (Brooke’s white dress), LeTop (her fairy purse), Lou Lou’s and Louie’s (her barrettes), Imp Originals (Ethan’s blue shirt), and E-land (his green vest and plaid shorts).

Southern Children-dual-horizontal

These kiddos are barefoot, but that’s not for lack of shoe options.  I brought my mother in later to look for a baby shower gift, and she said that Southern Children had the most diverse selection of children’s shoes and sandals she had ever seen (this is from a woman who raised three girls)!

So there you have it.  Go take a field trip to Southern Children!  Not only do their kids’ clothes and accessories take the cake, but Amy and Susan Broom are helpful, warm, knowledgeable, and excited about what they have to offer.  And if someone gets snacky during your outing, you can even purchase a pack of Jelly Belly jelly beans at the register for, you know, the well-behaved little folks who accompany you to the store. ;-)

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s SuperMac!

Sometimes I get inspired by movie posters and my friends generously lend me their children.

Big thanks to SuperMac for embodying the superhero spirit so well, and for being willing to wear his underwear on the outside. Thanks, too, to SuperMac’s SuperParents for letting him help us out and his SuperSiblings for constructing such a great city for SuperMac to guard.

It's a bird, it's a plane