Tom and Elaine Cook reached out to me one February morning inquiring about a summer family photoshoot they were planning for at Folly Beach, South Carolina. Check out the family photography in Folly Beach below.
Every year, the couple and their family plan a trip, and this year they chose the gorgeous South Carolina beach for a week of fun under the sun.
And every year, because it’s such a special trip for the family, they make sure to hire a professional photographer for some annual family photos. They were looking around the Charleston area and found my portfolio! I was honored at the thought of being a part of this family tradition.
It would be Tom and Elaine, their son James and his family, as well as their daughter Meg and her family vacationing in Folly Beach.
I was so excited to hear it was a big family gathering! Big reunions like these bring bright, beautiful energy to family photoshoots.
During our pre-photoshoot consultation, Tom and Elaine explained to me that this family vacation, in particular, was a very important one.
Elaine injured her knee and she couldn’t stand for long periods of time. At the moment, she was using a cane or walker to help her get around. Two weeks after their Folly Beach family getaway, she was going in for knee replacement surgery.
After her surgery, they weren’t sure if she would ever be stable enough to go into the ocean after this vacation.
I was grateful they told me this fact. This is part of the reason why pre-photoshoot-consultations are so important — being a professional photographer means that one has a duty to understand their client’s stories, abilities, and other details that make photoshoots more comfortable.
I told them not to worry and I’ll make sure to choose an appropriate location so that Elaine could actively participate and everyone would be at ease.
But I already knew: the main beach at Folly Beach was the location for this family photoshoot.
And even better, after some more research, I found out that the City of Folly Beach actually provides free ROLLEEZ-4 PVC beach wheelchairs (which later proved to be a great prop, too) for visitors! I immediately contacted the Cook family with this news.
They were ecstatic, naturally, that Elaine would be able to go into the water before her surgery!
After the necessary consultations with Tom and Elaine, Tom passed me along to their daughter, Meg.
She was such a sweet gal. I could tell she took the role of family coordinator because a few weeks before the Cook family’s Folly Beach vacay getaway, she prepared me with everything I had to know about the family.
I pride Allie and myself to be flexible in any situation. The unpredictability of it all is actually what makes it fun!
“Some clients even say the bloopers are some of their favorites, so relax! We got this!”
And indeed, we did “get this!”
The day came for the family to come together for their photoshoot, and it ended up being a super fun time! I mean, how could things really go wrong at a family reunion at a beautiful beach like Folly Beach?
We all even got Elaine into the water during our shoot! I ended up pretty deep in the water, but it was worth it to capture the smile on her face, as her family supported her.
The cousins — Meg and James’s kids — got along so well during the shoot. You could tell they were all close to each other, which made for some really sweet moments.
Tom and Elaine’s favorite photos were of their grandchildren all together playing in the ocean and having fun on the sand, of course!
This photoshoot goes to show that no matter what kind of difficulties your family is worried about, there’s always a solution. And there’s always a way to find fun and joy by adapting to the situation.
I hope you enjoy this gallery of some of the Cook family’s favorite photos below!