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Destination Film Wedding and Elopement Photographer | Brian D Smith

A Bespoke Wedding Photography Experience Serving Destination Clients in Charleston SC, Northern Michigan and Beyond

Where Am I Based as a Photographer and Where do I travel?

Charleston South Carolina, Traverse City Michigan, or destination. I'll go anywhere in the world to be your wedding photographer

I split my year as a wedding photographer in Charleston, SC and Traverse City Michigan. I spend the Winter/Spring in Charleston, then typically head north between June and September for weddings in Northern Michigan, before returning to Charleston for the Fall wedding season. I schedule my travels based on my schedule, so it is ever changing. Even when I am living in one particular area, I still make a few trips back and forth between the two destinations each season. Contact me for my up-to-date travel schedule! I'll travel at anytime, anywhere, and am always happy to make the trip for your wedding. Wether it be as your Charleston wedding photographer, Traverse City wedding photographer, Northern Michigan wedding photographer or destination wedding photographer I'll pack my bags and travel at any time for the priveledge of documenting your story.

I split my time between the two destinations for personal and professional reasons. Charleston has been my closest thing to a "permanent" home for the last 7 years. Northern Michigan has been my second home for my entire life. My family has a small cottage on a peaceful lake, that my grandfather helped construct some 60 years ago. As I write this, I am next to my grandfather, looking out over the lake that has defined so much of his beautiful existence. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to split time between the destinations. I get to experience the diversity of the two wedding markets, spend time in two very different locations that are so dear to my heart, all the while continuing my growth as a destination wedding and elopement photographer, never slowing down in the profession that I love.

I also photograph couples, engagements, bridal portraits, boudoir and bride and groom portraits in studio - Studio Sixty Reid. My photography studio is based in Charleston SC and Traverse City MI. I provide the space, or bring the portrait studio to you - timeless photographs, anywhere anytime. To learn more about myself and my journey, check out my about page or if you are ready to inquire, contact me using the link, below! Or, continue scrolling for recent Destination weddings, Charleston weddings and Michigan weddings on the blog.

How would I describe my wedding photography style?

Inspired by film, fashion, cinema, and your unique story

My style is influenced heavily by the aesthetic of film. My film wedding photographer journey and my career as a wedding photographer started simultaneously and they've both been integrally intertwined in me growing as an artist. I shoot film when I travel. I document my own life and family on film. Film is shockingly beautiful. Film has character. It has depth and grit and the unique qualities fit to capture a unique love story.

Photography is a deeply personal journey for me. I care just as much about being an artist as I do running a business. My style is ever evolving, but consistent in it's pursuit of wedding photography, primarily, as an art. I want to look back on my work and see growth. Social media has injected a certain demand for consistency into photography that I find uninspiring. The best photographers, in my opinion, push boundaries and create conceptual works. You are unique. Your story is unique. So, too, should be your wedding photographs. I value the candids and documentary just as much as I do the formal portraits. Each wedding is a bespoke experience and an opportunity to put my artistic spin on your memories.

I'm fairly laid back on a wedding day. It is just as important to me that my presence enriches your wedding the day of, just as it provides lasting memories to look back on for years to come. I'm professional, calm yet exciteable, and love to dance. You'll likely see me shuffling my feet as I make my way through your wedding reception dance floor. I prefer the unposed moments to the heavily posed. For formal bride and groom portraits, I direct you into the good light, provide general posing guidance, then I let wedding day chemistry take over. I love movement, and impromptu embrace. I consider it my primary job to draw out the most beautiful you, as you are, on one of the most beautiful days of your life. All that I ask of my wedding couples is that they don't hold back. Be who you are. People have depth, and everyone is so much more beautiful than they will ever realize. I'll happily prove it to you.

My style is inclusive. I believe strongly that everyone has a right to uninhibted happiness. There is nothing more beautiful than truly being able to express who you are. I photograph gay weddings, straight weddings, traditional weddings, intimate and micro weddings and elopements. Every wedding is beautiful. Everyone is beautiful. Diversity and our unique qualities are what make the world interesting and if there is one quality that I have posessed through photography, it's the ability to search for the beauty in everything. Sometimes it is harder to look for when it isn't what you are used to, but it's always there. You just have to look.

I'm equally moved by timelessly beautiful portraiture as I am a gritty, imperfect candid moment. I photograph everything at a wedding with care and an artful eye, but I will always care most about you. Telling your story is my unending focus. Check out my portfolio and favorite moments to see what I find inspiring! If you are inspired by my words, my story, my images, contact me and let me tell you why I'm the best destination film wedding photographer for you.

Brian D Smith Destination Wedding Photographer

Brian committed to making travel a significant part of his life at the start of his wedding photography career. He is inspired by seeing new places and meeting new people, and his greatest joy as a destination wedding photographer is to travel for the joy of experiencing and documenting your love story.

portrait of charleston wedding photographer brian d smith photography on film at The William Aiken House charleston wedding venue

Why Destination Wedding and Elopement Photography

When I left my engineering career to become a wedding photographer, my urge to travel was weighing heavily on my mind. Since I switched careers and began pursing my passion as a photographer, I've visited over 20 countries and met countless amazing people. My sense of home has never been defined by the place I was, per se, but moreso by the people I meet and the experiences we share. I find stories of life long romance inspiring and the idea of documenting your romance in another country is about the most romantic story I could ever help tell. I'll travel anywhere to photograph your destination wedding or elopement. The beauty of a non-traditional wedding is that it can be whatever you want it to be. It could be a 500 person affair in an Italian Chateau or a week long getaway with only the one you love, exploring the streets of Paris after a courthouse ceremony. Whatever your destination wedding plans are, I'll be there to document it on film with the passion of someone who lives to travel and photograph people.

Who Are My Wedding Photography Clients

Choosing a wedding photographer for your destination wedding, elopement or intimate wedding should be the beginning of a deeper bond. It's a partnership. Great photographs come from a great connection between photographer and bride and groom. I value the personal connections I have with wedding clients, immensely. I want to connect with you on something deeper than just an appreciation for pretty photographs. My clients value unique qualities in wedding photography, just as they celebrate the unique qualities of their love that make it unlike any other. My wedding couples aren't looking for the mainstream. They aren't looking for a wedding photographer who's portfolio resembles everyone elses. They value timeless beauty as much as artistic experimentation. They have a sense of style and a great appreciation for nice things and well styled weddings, but aren't bothered by the little imperfections or deviations from the planned. They value adventure and travel. Most importantly, they value the deep bond of marriage and the ieda of committing to and growing with someone - not in the traditional sense, but because they are romantics and they speak poetically of the bond that is love. I say all of this not to put labels or restrictions on my clients, but to encourage those that might view life in a similar way to give me a chance as their weding photographer - no matter what your wedding looks like. I bond quickly with people and personal relationships mean so much to me. If you are unsure of what makes someone the right wedding photographer for you, let's set up a call! Let's talk about the things we love, the things that inspire us, and what you love about the one you're going to marry.

wedding couple with dog on black and white film at south carolina wedding venue wavering place by brian d smith photography

Recent Work, Accolades and Publications as a Destination Wedding Photographer

Brian D Smith Photography is an award winning film wedding photographer who's work has been featured in numerous print and online publications that are among the most well respected in the wedding industry. His film photography blog is where he showcases his favorite wedding work, engagements, travel, portraits, and personal creative projects. He never slows down, and is continually progressing both as an artist and in the way he connects with the people he photographs.

Recent Weddings on the Brian D Smith Photography Blog

Destination, Michigan and Charleston Weddings and Engagements - Stories of Love from a Wedding Photographer

Story driven wedding documentaries from a Film Photographer

See More Stories


african american couple engagement session in charleston sc at battery downtown on kodak 35mm film

My Promise as Your Wedding Photographer

I believe so passionately in quality storytelling in wedding photography. I have a unique story that influences the way I document your wedding, your own unique love story, and I want your wedding gallery to stand out as a unique work of art. If you find my storytelling inspiring, I'd be thrilled to chat with you over on the phone or over email about what sets my approach apart from the rest of the Charleston, Northern Michigan and Destination wedding photographers in the world. You won't find another photographer that cares more about your story and pushing forward his own art with you and for you than I. To put it simply, I care. I truly care about this and I care about you, and I'd be thrilled to tell all about that. Click on the contact button below to send me an email and I'll tell you all about my approach as a wedding photographer, why I love film photography, and how I use my own life story to help document yours.

Photography Awards and Wedding Publications

Film Photographer of the Year 2019 - Belle Lumiere Magazine

"I'm so thrilled to announce that I was named Film Photographer of the Year by Belle Lumiere Magazine, one of my favorite and most respected wedding publications. It was an honor to even be nominated by my peers, but to win was truly rewarding. It's amazing to be in the company of the previous winners, many of which are some of the industry's most revered names. Thank you Belle Lumiere Magazine, and to all of my peers for supporting and voting for me!"

Belle Lumiere Summer Image Winner 2019 - Double Exposure

"This double exposure image from a Charleston, SC bridal boudoir editorial was selected as the winning image for Belle Lumiere Magazine's summer film image contest under the category of Double Exposure. Photographing boudoir, particularly bridal boudoir, is all about showing beauty and sexuality in the quiet and mysterious moments of time alone to yourself. It's a beautiful thing to document, and to have such an honor, so early in my career was a thrill. Thank you Belle Lumiere for the honor and for the acknowledgement of an image that will forever be one of my favorites."

Weddings and Portraits In Print

Recent Online Wedding and Travel Publications

How to Choose The Right Destination Wedding Photographer for You

Brian D Smith Photography is an award winning film wedding photographer who's work has been featured in numerous print and online publications that are among the most well respected in the wedding industry. His film photography blog is where he showcases his favorite wedding work, engagements, travel, portraits, and personal creative projects. He never slows down, and is continually progressing both as an artist and in the way he connects with the people he photographs.

What to look for in a wedding photographer

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer is an Important Decision - I'm Here to Help

Find a photographer for your wedding or engagement who's imagery inspires you. Look for the work that draws you in without you being able to explain why. Find the photographer who is passionate about his craft and cares just as much about the moments in between as he does the usual must haves on a wedding day. Does your photographer do anything unique? Do they photograph with direction and intention while pushing boudaries creatively. Are they a romantic? Will their work look just as beautiful today as it does when your grandchildren relive these memories?

If nothing else, all I ask of you is to sit down with me over a cup of coffee. Allow me the opporunity to commincate to you just how much I love what I do as a destination wedding and elopement photographer. See the expression on my face as I describe my line of work. I'm an honest and complex soul with a genuine desire to turn your love into a work of art.

Hire the artist. Hire the inspired. Most importantly, go with your gut, have faith, and hire the wedding photographer who is going to enrich your wedding day experience just as much as they'll help relive it. Think about what is important to you, personally, in a wedding photograph and don't worry about what everyone else had for theirs. Are you looking, specifically, for a film wedding photographer? Never be afraid to ask questions and have an open dialogue about what's important to you as a bride and groom. Does your destination wedding photographer like to travel on their own personal time? Does the work of your Charleston wedding photographer stand out from all the others? Does your Northern Michigan wedding photographer appreciate the idyllic beauty of it's landscape just as much as you do? These are all questions that will help you connect with your photographer's work and to the person behind the camera.

For myself, a great photograph elicits a feeling. I'll take a photograph that makes me feel something over pretty, polished perfection every single time.

What does your photographer offer to preserve your memories?

I'm a sucker for anything handmade, anything unique and crafted to last or make a statement. I offer beautiful, handmade creations to preserve your wedding day memories, and make cherishing those memories an experience for years to come. My art prints are made in my home studio, with the attention and care of someone that not only took the photo, but sees the print as a valuable extension of the artistic process. I print on archival papers with a beautiful texture that truly needs to be seen to understand how beautiful they can be. These aren't your average prints from a photo lab. These are statement pieces. My wedding, engagement and boudoir albums are designed by me, and reviewed by you, with every page layout custom desige to showcase the artistry of your love and your wedding or elopement. Preserve your memories with albums, art prints and display boxes. Message me, below, to request a detailed guide of all the heirloom prints, albums, and keepsakes I offer.

brian d smith photography fine art destination wedding print on archival paper in charleston south carolina
brian d smith about image studio

Why Invest In Tangible Products When You Have Digitals?

I am a big believer in prints. Think about how you want to revist your wedding memories in the future. Where will you be? Who will you be with? Do you see yourself with loved ones in front of a computer, or do you see your kids flipping the pages of an album, reliving your story with each passing page? Can you see yourself passing thick, matted prints around to your parents at holidays? Can you see a gorgeous linen clad album or handmade wooden print box, adorning your coffee table and drawing the attention of friends and guests to the story of your love?

A Quality Print or Album is an Art Piece

Producing beautiful prints that will last 100 years is an artform. My entire workflow is color calibrated to match the printers that produce the beautiful work you will receive. Prints make colors come alive. The texture and scent of the paper provides dimension to the image. A print engages all of your senses. A print is timeless.

Practice What You Preach

Let's grab coffee. I'd love to show you some sample professional print products as well as my collection of personal prints. I have boxes full of prints and polaroids from my life and travels.



Couples typically spend $5500 - $7500 for an 8 hour wedding package.

I offer full weddings, elopements, bridal portraits, bridal boudoir, studio portraits, engagement sessions, multiple photographers, and beautiful print and album options. Each wedding package is tailored to your exact needs, hours, desires, etc.

Contact me, below, and request my Pricing and Information Guide to see what I have to offer.

For more information on my wedding and editorial work, visit the home page of my site by clicking the logo, above!

Client Testimonials

Couples love us! See our reviews on The Knot.