A wedding photographer from Charleston, South Carolina, has become a national icon.
Joe Smith, who is also the owner of Joe Smith Photography, started shooting weddings at the end of 2013 when he was hired by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department to photograph a wedding for a man who was on parole.
He said he had already been photographing weddings in his native Texas for the past two years and that his work had been recognized around the world.
“The reception was on March 1, so we had a wedding that was in the back of the car and he said ‘Let’s go out to dinner and shoot this, too,'” Smith said.
“I told him ‘OK, this is what we do for you guys, I’ll do it.
I’m a photographer, but I’m not a wedding photographer, so I can’t do weddings.”
The wedding in question was a two-day event at the Black Rock in Charleston.
The couple, who were in their late 20s, were expecting their first child and were married at the event.
The bride wore a white wedding dress and wore a gold necklace.
The wedding photographer said he got the idea from the wedding ceremony in New Orleans, where he was photographing a similar event in a church.
“When I got there, there was this huge crowd,” Smith said, “and it was so crowded.
And I thought, OK, this will work.
So I just took pictures.”
After a photo shoot with a couple of friends, the couple invited Smith to the wedding and gave him the opportunity to photograph the event at a later date.
“He said, ‘Well, this could be fun for us, let’s do it.’
So I was like ‘Yeah, sure,'” Smith recalled.”
It was a really weird experience for us.
I was just like ‘Well let’s just go, it’s not a big deal, I’m going to get a picture of it, and we’re going to do it,'” he said.
Smith said he shot a few shots of the bride and groom together and had a few guests take photos, but that he did not have any plans to go out and photograph any of the guests.
“So that’s the only time I had, since then, is a few friends of mine were with me and we would go out,” he said, laughing.
“But then we didn’t have any guests for a couple weeks, so that was it.”
Smith said the couple went out on a road trip and he went to a couple weddings.
“I think I took three or four weddings,” he recalled.
“Then I took the next couple of weddings, and I did two more weddings, that’s all I did for about three weeks.”
In all, Smith had about 50 weddings in South Carolina and was also a photographer for the state’s parks and recreation department.
“For me, the biggest thing about it is that the people around me were like ‘I’m going for this, and if it doesn’t work, then this is my business,'” he recalled, adding that it was fun to photograph weddings.
Smith, who has been married for 10 years, said he has not had any negative reaction from the people who have photographed him.
“Some people have asked, ‘Oh, why are you doing it?’
But I’m so glad I did it,” he explained.
“It’s just a big part of my life.
And it’s made me a better person.”
Smith was not the only photographer in the wedding business to be recognized around South Carolina.
The Charleston County Courthouse in Charleston has also hosted a number of weddings for Smith.
Smith’s work has been published in various publications and has been featured on The Atlantic, The New York Times, CBS News, ABC News and The Huffington Post.
Smith said he is happy that his image has been used to help people with mental illness and that he was honored to be invited to do so.
“We just had a big reception for the wedding,” Smith explained.