Columbia, SC Wedding & Senior Photographer - Gary Altman Photography - Wedding, Senior, & Portrait Photographer

Fun ɸ Stylish ɸ Unique

High School Senior & Wedding Photographer services by Gary Altman in Columbia, South Carolina.  A fun, stylish and unique brand of photography services offered anywhere within the United States.

Wedding Photographer Columbia, South Carolina, High School Senior Photography , Portraits for Models & Actors / Actresses , Modeling Portfolio & Head Shots , Pageantry by Gary Altman Photography.



October Out-Takes Part 2

As promised, I've scoured images from April thru May of 2014 and decided to include some funny, some BTS (behind the scenes) and some images that have a back story.  
These images, without a story might be able to stand on their own, but sometimes the story enhances them.

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October Out-Takes Part 1

As promised, I've scoured images from January - March of 2014 and decided to include some funny, some BTS (behind the scenes) and some images that have a back story.  
These images, without a story might be able to stand on their own, but sometimes the story enhances them.

Read More

WINK Magazine Relaunch Party

I had the opportunity to shoot again for WINK Magazine this past Tuesday at their Relaunch: Runway Show, and as expected, another successful event for Alicia Zeigler and her staff.

Studio Cellar was packed to the gills, and an overall great experience was had by all.

Looking all Glam...  

Looking all Glam...  

You can find them on Facebook as well.  Here are some images from Tuesday's event:

And scroll down to the bottom to catch the link to the rest of the gallery!!  :-)

Strike a Pose!!!

Don't worry...nobody is watching  ;-)

Don't worry...nobody is watching  ;-)

And to view the rest of the images, click here!! 

Selfie Time

With the announcement this past week of that one company with a bite missing from a piece of fruit about the improvements they've made to their camera on their phone, I realized that it wouldn't help those who still take bad pictures.

So, consider this a PSA (Public Service Announcement) for cell phone / selfie pictures.

FIND THE LIGHT.  Yup, light here is your long as it's in moderation.  Getting some natural light into your eyes gives them life and makes them look alive, but too much natural light will leave you squinting and your eyes look beady.  

FIND THE LIGHT Part Two.  Often times, the sun is SO bright when we take a pic that we turn our backs to the sun so we don't squint.  Good move there.  Problem comes in that you're now silhouetted and we can't see that you're no longer squinting.  Reflect that light back into your face by utilizing a wall, or if on a beach, lay down or kneel on the sand.  The sand is a natural reflector and will bounce light right back into you and you'll be exposed properly.

FIND THE SHADE.  Over cast days are great.  Bright sunny days, not so much.  If a bright sunny day, find a place to stand in the shade to protect your eyes from squinting.  If on concrete, the sun will bounce off the concrete and illuminate your face and expose you properly.  

SUNGLASSES.  Does it bother anyone else when you can see the cell phone in the glasses, or is it just my own OCD?  Ah, you don't, when taking that selfie, especially in a car (please make sure you're not driving at that time!), you should be seeing your self in the display, spend a second and look into your eyes.  If you see your phone, slowly turn your face slightly away from phone and you will disappear from your sunglasses.  Piece of cake.

PHOTO-BOMBING.  I "never" do THAT!  No really....okay, maybe sometimes.  Take a look around your surroundings when doing them and check more than your face on the screen to see what else is going on in your pic.  Could save you from problems later on down the road!

So, I hope these help you and your cell phone selfies.  :-)

Coming in October.....



Believe it or not, this section title IS unusual.  For other photographers reading this, they're probably saying WOW, Really?  The general public just doesn't realize that just because you're a full time photographer doesn't mean you get to take pictures all the time.  
I know, I know...#SHOCKING!

Thursday was spent shooting a couple of AMAZING dental offices here in the Columbia/Irmo area.  More on that in the coming weeks.  Friday was a model shoot with Morgan (image on right) which has images getting rave reviews on my facebook page.  

Saturday was another amazing High School Senior Picture session (and those images will be Sneak Peeked on Facebook over the next couple of days) with Rachel (image on left) who managed to have her own busy week.  Shot with me Saturday, and then Monday went to see OneRepublic on her 18th Birthday!  Who's got it better than her??

And then there was Sunday.  Sunday's shoot was with my 2015 Senior Ambassador Kari and we were creating some images for her.  Full blown makeup and hair and was shot inside Studio 3P.  But it was a full day for her, and a late start for me.  She just came directly from winning a beauty pageant, and I spent the day working on the previous 3 days of images.  

So, as you can imagine giddiness and fatigue and being slap happy in between different "looks" kinda made it's way into our shoot, and was probably expected.  Which reminds me, I have to find a way to get a hold of a Spotify expert to find out how to play only "radio edits" - but that's a whole 'nother story.  But I digress.  Any-Who, I was shooting tethered and while mom was watching the iPad with the images coming up we took this: 



When Mom made a disapproving comment, we followed it up with this:

and LOVE!!!

and LOVE!!!

We both laughed, to the chagrin of Mom, but Kari and I were having a pretty good time with it, so all was good.  

So that got me thinking - and usually that's NEVER a good thing - just ask my wife, but I came up with the idea of renaming October to October Out-Takes!  

October Out-Takes will be a blog airing once each week in October and will be a pictorial blog of some out-takes from sessions I've shot in 2014.  Wording will be minimal, except where I think a story will put the image in proper perspective.

So, while everyone who has shot with me is now gonna be nervous, and rightfully so.  I won't show any of the images I've caught of people picking their noses, or checking their armpits, but October Out-Takes that really showcase the experience that I offer my clients.  But the two images I shared above will be very close to what is shared.

So, as an example, here are two images that just about fit what October Out-Takes will be like.  Maybe some of the other photographers who read my blog will follow suit and maybe make this a cult type following!

WINK Magazine Launch Show

Wink Mag - IMG_7724.jpg
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Sunday August 31st, Alicia Ziegler held a fundraiser for the relaunch of  WINK Magazine for Columbia's edition of this magazine.  Her event was a swimsuit runway show of sorts, and she pretty much sold the house out.  It was a great turn out and I had had the opportunity to capture some pretty good images to boot.

The event was held at Studio Cellar and they couldn't have been more gracious as hosts.

Zeigler is also the Director for Columbia Fashion Week  and is also the Talent Agent at FFS Model and Talent Agency, as well as some other ventures in the Columbia and Charlotte areas.

Here are several images, from the event.

Madness Continues...

All in a good way of course.  :-)

As any photographer will tell you, actually getting out to shoot is not the norm.  Oh, yeah, it's GREAT when I can get away from the business side of the business to actually go out and create images - in other words, SHOOTING.  But probably 80% of a photographers time is whittling down of images from a shoot to keep only the acceptable.  Then giving those images a basic edit, and then delivering to a client.  There's also the emails back to prospective clients inquiring about services, setting up meetings with vendors and clients and working on the business side of things. 

So when I alluded to a busy week coming, I'm going to enjoy this.  Well, this is what's on the coming agenda:
Tomorrow, a business meeting in the early afternoon, followed by Jordan's 2nd Rep Shoot.  (you can see her first images by clicking here).
Thursday, I have a couple of businesses that are near and dear to me to shoot.  One session at 12:30, the next at 4.
Friday, I have a model session to shoot, and those are always fun and super creative.
Saturday, I get to shoot Rachel's senior session and that'll be fun as well.
Sunday wraps up the week with Kari's 2nd Rep Shoot, and she'll be all set up as she's coming from a pageant, so there's no doubt those images will be amazing. (you can see Kari's first set by clicking here).

Over the weekend I did a runway shoot for a relaunch of WINK Magazine.  Those images are ALMOST ready to be posted.  Based on the above shooting schedule, fingers are crossed for getting them out this week.  I'll have the appropriate link when I post the images.  In the meantime you can check them out on Facebook.

 - As I'm progressing thru round 2 with my reps, I'm also working on some uber cool concepts that I think would be awesome and that they'd have a blast doing.  Just a little something to keep them guessing.   Should be some incredible images and should get them a ton of exposure as well  :-)

In the mean time, everyone enjoy your week, and see ya on Thursday with some images.

News and Notes!

It's been a month, give or take, since my last update.  Some think that I was on vacation since August is typically a slow month around these parts.  But that was far from the truth - as a matter of fact I was laying the ground work for the next 6 months and beyond and having this "ship" pointed in the right direction.

So, this is what has transpired in the last month...


After some diligent work on my website, I now find myself on Google's 1st Page, second listing for HS Senior Photography!  

This is quite the achievement when you consider I know very little about SEO and web page development.

But what REALLY makes this a BIG DEAL is that this happened in just 4 months time!!  From May 1st (give or take) not even being noticed in search results, to debuting on the 4th or 5th page of Google and then rising up to the top of the 1st page is quite an accomplishment; in any field or professional service!

I want to give a HUGE SHOUTOUT to Justen Hong of Visual Lure, Curtiss Bryant of Curtiss Bryant Photography  for their experience, tips & tricks, and suggestions that helped my ascent in Google's rankings.

SIDE NOTE:  Sometime in July I was on the 1st page on both Yahoo and Bing's search engines for both HS Senior Photography and Weddings, but as the old saying goes, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a  sound.  It's nice being on anyone's first page, but Google is the King right now and for the foreseeable future.

Now the focus is raising my exposure with Weddings to Google's 1st Page.  There will be announcements coming out over the next month or two regarding this you won't want to miss.



Over the last month or so I've begun to branch out into a couple other genre's (model and pageantry photography, head shots and maternity portraiture to name a few) and you'll start seeing images from those area's as that gains some traction.

My Senior Reps are now in the process of going through their 2nd sessions and composite pictures.  This is a ton of fun for them and allows them to really relax and be themselves.  This isn't to say that they didn't have fun the first time around when having mini makeover going on (hair and makeup application) but this session is geared to them/for them!




Normally doing concept shoots are projects that I shoot that are for me, not necessarily to add to my body of work, but for personal satisfaction and growth as a photographer.  These concepts aren't meant to be a way to attract new clients, per se, but to have some fun on a shoot.  So, what I plan on doing is a little something extra for my reps.  I have a softball styled shoot that's probably within two weeks of details being finalized and shot.  
Also have a plan for my dancer and gymnast reps that I think will be an absolute BLAST which I haven't even told them about yet!!!  This should be epic and give them something to really wow their friends!


This is something that I believe every photographer should be doing to get better at their craft and something that is most certainly on my radar in the up coming months.  There are a couple of photographic organizations that have designations and such for this and we're going to make that happen within the next 6 months.  

As Donald Sutherland said in the 1994 movie Disclosure, "We're living in some very interesting times", and I feel that is exactly where I am right now!!!

Until next week, Go Gamecocks!

Stay Off The Train Tracks....

There seems to be an issue lately surrounding shooting on train tracks.  From a professional photographer's point of view, it's come up in several forums. The conversations seemed to have started when a photographer was struck and killed by a train very recently.

Photo Credit to Arne Hückelheim.  Feel free to check out some of his other amazing images!

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2014 Columbia Fashion Week

Normally, I shoot weddings, high school senior portraits, engagement sessions and the like, but when I first came to the Columbia, SC area I "stumbled" on the Columbia Fashion Week site and applied to volunteer my services.  About a little over a week before the 5 day event that ran from the 17th to the 21st of June was I notified of my acceptance.

 All Rights Reserved.  Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
 All Rights Reserved.  Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.

For me, I met got a chance to network with some other photographers, videographers, hair and makeup artists as well as designers and models.  Also I was pleasantly surprised to run into a few people I've met prior to this event, which helped make the "new kid on the block" a little more at ease.

A few pictures are included here.  The rest of the images will be posted on my gallery site, as well as with the Columbia Fashion Week site for their limited use.

Enjoy everyone!!


 All Rights Reserved.  Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
Model Meredith Fishborn

Model Meredith Fishborn

Now, I want to keep this light and not get too over the top with this, but a lot of work went into this event.  Alicia Ziegler put a whole lot of time and effort into this event, from coordinating corporate sponsorship's, attracting young up-and-coming designers as well as corporate retail box stores to display their clothes.  Alicia also had a ton of help from other volunteers who helped the models get primped and prepped with hair, makeup, and fitted.


 All Rights Reserved.  Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
 All Rights Reserved.  Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.

Summer's Here!

Graduations are almost finished, tests are over, and now it's time for some sun and fun.

I've already given my Senior Reps a little something to think about for our next waves of shoots.
In addition to their studio session, and their build their own session they have been tasked to come up with a fantasy type of idea for composite work.  

What's composite work you ask?  Well, it's the compilation of two or more images merged into one that could be a bit on the surreal side or something fantasy based.  Think juxtapose if you will.  

This could be urban based. In all it will be fun and very low key.  We're going to mix in each of their unique personalities and some of their hobbies and create something that is just a little Fun, Stylish and Unique - Just for them!!  

Here's one of Lydia and a pose she did during our session that I ended up taking and putting in a cobblestone alley somewhere.

As those shots are taken and completed they'll become part of their portfolio and their Senior Experience!

Lydia Alleyway 3.jpg