Family Photographer in Charleston, SC

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We've all heard the expression "a picture is worth a thousand words". And photos really are a special way to help tell the story of our lives - who we are and what's important to us.

And, of course, some images speak to us more strongly than others. More often than not we love a photo not so much because it shows us how we look but because it captures a very human element that is hard to express in words – an authentic connection with those we love or with ourselves and how we show up or want to be seen in the world.

Whether you're looking to capture someone's attention with a professional headshot or want to commemorate the beautiful connection with your partner or family, I can help.

My name is Adam Chandler, and as a professional photographer in Charleston, SC. I truly find joy and fulfillment in the work I do. I love the adventure of photography and I continually immerse myself in learning and exploring how to improve my craft which includes learning new ways to connect with and capture my subjects. I truly understand that, for many people (if not most), even the idea of having your picture taken can cause a good bit of discomfort and anxiety. That's why I place so much importance on putting my subjects at ease while also really listening to any concerns or wants they have for their session.

I draw upon my technical knowledge of photography, my ability to connect with people, and my creativity to produce beautifully memorable photos for my clients. I believe that my unique creative vision and many years of experience combined with the way I strive to give my clients the most enjoyable experience possible sets me apart from some of the other great photographers in Charleston.

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Family Photography Charleston, SC  Photographer Charleston, SC

Testimonials

Now that you know a little about my background, let's take a look at some of
my most popular photography services in Charleston: My Mission Is To Exceed Expectations

 Portrait Photographer Charleston, SC

My Mission Is To Exceed Expectations

The importance of family is hard to overstate. From children to grandparents to nieces and nephews, families and the family dynamic can grow and change before you know it, with many beautiful milestones taking place along the way.

I think that one of the best ways to remember some of these important moments of togetherness is with a fun family photo session.

I absolutely love photographing families and, while no two families are the same, I always strive to give each session my all in order to best connect with and capture the uniqueness of each family. Even though each session is somewhat different, I approach each one with the same goal: to capture the distinct personality, affection, and energy of each family in order to provide authentic, engaging pictures and a joyful experience.

Whether you have a toddler that you want to celebrate or have grandparents in town for a visit, Charleston is an amazing city for family photography. There are so many locations in the Lowcountry that make for great family photography backdrops:

  • Beaches - Folly Beach, Sullivan's Island, Kiawah, Seabrook, Isle of Palms, Hilton Head, Edisto Beach
  • Popular Places - Washington Square, Broad Street, Hampton Park, Waterfront Park, Shem Creek, The Cistern at College of Charleston
  • Historical Sites - Charleston Battery, Fort Sumter, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Rainbow Row

Historical Sites - The Battery/Whitepoint Gardens, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Boone Hall, Fort Sumter, Middleton Place, Morris Island Lighthouse Whatever location you choose for family photography in Charleston, the Holy City is a wonderful place to explore and enjoy with friends and family.

As a family photographer in Charleston, one of the reasons why I love working with families so much (in addition to getting to meet some really awesome people) is the opportunity to combine my creativity with my ever-evolving technical skill. I also gladly accommodate the style preferences my clients are looking for - be it more traditional, posed images, or candid, playful pictures.

I use a clear yet relaxed style of direction to get you and your family engaged in our photography session, to help get authentic expressions that really show the unique dynamic and relationships of each family.

Here are just a few reasons why families choose Adam Chandler Photography for their family portraits:

Document Family Growth

Change, of course, is part of life and with each passing year families, too, change and often grow. Each stage is beautiful in its own way and having annual family photographs is a fun way to document the different seasons of family life. Be it a new baby, a birthday or anniversary or simply wanting to capture your kids at each special age, I'd be honored to be chosen to help tell the story of your family over the years.

Remember Milestones

With each year that passes, new milestones are reached. From a child's first steps to a sibling getting married, there is no better way to remember these wonderful occasions than with quality photographs. Whether you're welcoming a new puppy into your life, are celebrating an anniversary or finally have gathered your extended family together in one place, capturing these special times in your life is a great way to ensure you'll be able to enjoy and relive these moments years from now.

Create Memories

Many families tell me before their sessions that it's not often that they are all able to be together and they emphasize how special and important this session is. Or, perhaps, a mom or dad will talk about how fleetingly special a certain age of their child is and how they really want to capture their children's personalities. Even if you capture lots of great moments of your family throughout the year it's likely not very often that all of you are in the pictures at once (other than maybe having a stranger tell you to "say cheese" after you hand them your phone. Having a time that's dedicated to capturing the special bonds between family members - parents and their children, grandparents and their grandchildren, siblings and maybe extended family as well - is so important. We all know just how special these people and moments are and how we tend to treasure these memories more with each passing year.

Portraits And Headshots In Charleston, SC

A great headshot shows you at your best - whether you want to impress a prospective employer or need professional photography for your website. In today's digitally-intensive society, having a professional headshot or portrait of you or your team that stands out for all the right reasons is becoming a necessity. It's no surprise, then, that headshots and portraits are among the most popular genres of photography.

Headshots can be tricky, mostly because many (if not most) people don't like being in front of the camera (trust me, I totally get that). I know that for some clients, it can be hard to know what to do, what to wear or how to relax enough to let their authentic selves come through so that they can end up with a professional photo or headshot that inspires authenticity and confidence.

Fortunately, I have years of experience taking professional headshots of all types of people. No matter what your comfort level is with having your picture taken, I pride myself on being able to create the conditions necessary to help capture my clients as you want to be seen. Through lighting, posing and direct yet relaxed interaction I'll help guide you to great photos that you’ll be proud to showcase and share with others.

A professional headshot or portrait is an investment into your personal brand, and here is why:

 Portrait Photographer Charleston, SC
 Best Photographer Charleston, SC

Show Your Personality

Not all headshots should be approached the same way. Depending on your industry or how you'll be using the photos, there are certain things to consider. A great headshot reflects not just how you look but also how you show up in the world. It can help give people an idea of the kind of person you are before you sit down to meet them. Oftentimes, too, people may want a variety of "looks" to suit different needs and uses. My goal is to listen to your expectations and then deliver results that will serve you will in your professional and/or personal life.

 Beach Photography Charleston, SC

Show Your Professionalism

Clients, collaborators, investors, and employers are typically much more likely to interview you or to contact you or your business if you look professional. If you've taken the time to invest in your brand, in part by making the effort to arrange a professional headshot, people notice that. And who doesn't want to make a great first (or second or third) impression?

 Family Portrait Photographer Charleston, SC

Stand Out on Social Media

Many of my clients make appointments for headshots and portraits when they want to stand out from the crowd on social media. Whether you own a business and need to create new social media pages or you're looking to network with recruiters on LinkedIn or, perhaps, update your website, a professional headshot can definitely set you apart in the modern sea of selfies and snapshots that you often see out there.

 Wedding Photographer Charleston, SC

Show Off Your Current Look

None of us look the same as we did 10 or 15 years ago yet some of us keep the same photo up for decades. Having outdated headshots can send a message of inauthenticity. When you have up-to-date, professional headshots, you're showing clients and employers that you are confident, committed, and authentic.

 Headshots Charleston, SC

Qualities Of A Great Photographer In Charleston, SC

Being a great photographer means more than owning fancy equipment. While having expensive gear can be quite helpful, the real test of a professional, for me, has a lot more to do with being able to draw upon my deep understanding of the craft of photography so that I can focus more on connecting with and beautifully capturing my subjects without getting bogged down in figuring out the technical side of things. It's taken me many years to get where I am and I'm always striving to improve in order to continue to deliver the best pictures and most enjoyable experience possible for my clients.

Clients choose Adam Chandler Photography because my experience shows and they trust me to always give them the results and experience that they're looking for. Here are just a few qualities that my clients appreciate:

 Engagement Photography Charleston, SC

Imagination

I wholeheartedly consider photography to be an artform - one that requires lots of curiosity and imagination along with a good bit of technique. A great photographer knows how to get beautiful results no matter what the conditions or circumstances are and this only comes with experience and preparation.

Family Photography Charleston, SC

Passion

This quality might seem obvious but I can't tell you how many times I've seen photography that may be technically good but is missing something. My passion for photography largely comes from my passion for connecting with people in a way that helps them feel comfortable letting their guard down so they can enjoy the process. And this almost always leads to exceptional, authentic images.

 Photographer Charleston, SC

Patience

Patience can also be essential for great photos. As in life, there are many things that we just can't control. Sometimes the best photos come from patiently going with the flow and not trying to force something to happen. I find that when I'm patient yet prepared - ready to capture the right moment or expression when the time is right - that's often the best approach. As a professional with many years of experience, I understand the importance of having the patience to deal with whatever comes my way as well as the flexibility and preparedness to make the most out of any situation.

 Portrait Photographer Charleston, SC

People Skills

If ever there was a business where people skills were important I think portrait photography is definitely one of them. Knowing how uncomfortable many people can be when getting their pictures taken, I put every effort into helping ensure the best possible experience for my clients and communication is such a big part of that. I love interacting with my clients to build trust and rapport as well as a deep understanding of your expectations including any concerns you may have. As I've said, for me my job is not just about delivering beautiful images but also a wonderful client experience. That's why I focus so much on each and every interaction with my clients. Yes, people skills are a must in this business. Luckily for me, it's one of my favorite parts of the job!

Eye for Detail

As a professional photographer in Charleston, SC I am meticulous when it comes to details. Through my many years of photographing many different types of subjects under many different circumstances I've come to learn just how important details are. Whether it's finding or creating the best quality of light for my clients, eliciting a great expression or
adjusting the background or, perhaps, a piece of clothing, all of these things impact the overall look and feel of a photo. Whether I'm photographing a family, a business professional or a couple in love I always look for all the ways I can create the best image possible.

 Portrait Photographer Charleston, SC
 Best Photographer Charleston, SC

"As I hope you can tell by looking at my work, I really love my job. And most of all I love the people I get to meet and work with. I'd be honored and delighted to be chosen for your photography needs."

Adam Chandler

Ready to Get Started?

One of my favorite things to do is to talk to clients about what they're looking for and how I can serve them. If you are in need of professional photography, let's talk today about what you have in mind. Whether you're looking for family or couples' photography in Charleston or want great new headshots for you or your team, I'm here to help every step of the way!  

Latest News in Charleston, SC

Why moving from Europe to Charleston SC to work in medtech was a win-win for me and my family

Originally based in Slovenia and then Germany, Andreja Tajnic has worked for Belimed Infection Control, a global provider of medical sterilisation and disinfection technology, for more than a decade. In 2021, the Slovenian national left her position as one of two managing directors of Belimed’s German office with a focus on finance and IT to pursue an exciting overseas opportunity: chief financial officer (CFO) at Belimed USA. ...

Originally based in Slovenia and then Germany, Andreja Tajnic has worked for Belimed Infection Control, a global provider of medical sterilisation and disinfection technology, for more than a decade. In 2021, the Slovenian national left her position as one of two managing directors of Belimed’s German office with a focus on finance and IT to pursue an exciting overseas opportunity: chief financial officer (CFO) at Belimed USA.

by Charleston USA

Her move to the company’s US offices located in Charleston, South Carolina, was not just a new step in her career at Belimed. It was a chance to realise a long-term ambition.

Tajnic kicks off our 30-minute Zoom call by explaining that she has always been driven by life’s challenges, both big and small. “I am a person who likes challenges,” she says. “I always have target goals, and one of them was to prove that I could make it here in the US.

“I always had the wish that I would come here. It is a very corporate-oriented country and I wanted to be in a US corporation. I wanted to feel that beat and experience how they do business, and that is why I was accepting of this challenge.”

Settling in

As she arrived and got settled into the new role, it didn’t take long for some culture shock to set in. She recalls feeling taken aback by how friendly and polite the locals were – from strangers asking how you are to business colleagues including smiley faces in emails. Tajnic believes this was heightened by the fact she had moved to a state in the south of the country, where kindness and warmth are important societal customs.

It took Tajnic some time to get used to the convivial charm of the southern state. Occasionally she felt she should adapt her own “straight to the point” style of communication to a gentler one, although colleagues encouraged her not to change. She now believes she has “loosened up” in many senses – and even uses the occasional smiley face herself.

In Belimed’s Charleston office, Tajnic has appreciated the executive team’s focus on developing and constantly strengthening company culture. As CFO, she quickly jumped on board. “It is not like you just have your own department and mind your own business. Here we are saying ‘this is a Belimed thing’, not a department thing. We are going for the common goal, and it means more and more interactions between departments.”

A global leader in infection control, Belimed’s products are used by the sterile processing departments of hospitals around the world to protect the lives of patients and staff. The company has its headquarters in Switzerland as well as offices in eight other countries around the globe. In 2008, it relocated its North American base from Miami to Charleston to take advantage of the region’s business climate, talent and quality of life.[1] In its Charleston location, Belimed has a corporate office for sales and service admin, marketing activities, product management and G&A functions. There is also a warehouse for spare parts and equipment.

Sunny Charleston

Tajnic has now been in Charleston long enough to feel well at home, although she also expresses a feeling that she is always on vacation. The image she paints of the area is certainly idyllic for those that enjoy a relaxed way of life accompanied with picturesque surroundings and regular sunshine. South Carolina is well known for its subtropical climate comprising hot summers and mild winters.

Thinking back to the previous New Year in Charleston, Tajnic remembers celebrating outside with family, and everybody wearing shorts. In spring and autumn, the weather is above 20°C almost every day. Even in the mornings and evenings there is little need for a winter coat – especially for a hardy Slovenian.

The correlation between sunshine and general well-being is a well-studied one. Asked whether she feels its affects, Tajnic says: “There is lots of sun. It brings you joy, definitely.”

Exploring the area

The Charleston area is well known for its beautiful large beaches, which draw US holidaymakers in search of some peace, relaxation and stunning sunsets all year round. Add to that the city’s reputation for superb food and top-rate restaurants, plus its deep and fascinating history, and it is easy to see why the area is a popular one among tourists.

Particularly on the weekends, the feeling of the downtown is magical, says Tajnic. “Just speaking about it brings a smile to my face. For me, the most joyful time is when I am with my husband in the city centre on a Saturday morning. We live very near to the main streets of Charleston; it takes us approximately 20–25 minutes to walk to the city centre. This is always the best time. There are lots of people outside having fun, walking and taking the history tours with a horse and carriage.”

According to Tajnic, Charleston offers work-life balance like nowhere else. “What Charleston offers is great,” she remarks. “Anyone moving here for work is definitely coming to the right place for an amazing lifestyle, not just work. I am very much known as a workaholic, but despite that, when it is the weekend, there are so many great places to go.”

She believes this combination of innovation, connectivity and quality of life is why so many companies are choosing to relocate or expand to the region. These include large tech companies, automotive manufacturers, and many smaller companies in the healthcare and life science industries too, of which Belimed is one.

In Charleston, life sciences teams are also finding the perfect environment in which to develop game-changing technologies that transform patient care. The region’s innovation ecosystem is expanding rapidly as more and more talented individuals and entrepreneurs are drawn to the region. As such, Charleston has repositioned itself not only as an important port and tourist city, but also as a diverse hub for innovation.

“More and more international companies are coming to Charleston,” Tajnic adds. “It is a very open city to global communities and diversity.”

For companies hoping to transfer a large proportion of professional talent to a new city, quality of life factors can make or break the relocation. Choosing a site that satisfies business requirements while also offering an attractive and appealing place for staff and their families is vital. Charleston succeeds by being a thriving life sciences hub that is also a wonderful place to live.

Discover why global life sciences businesses are choosing this thriving region. Download the white paper ‘Charleston, USA: A life sciences hub’ here.

Discover Charleston. A fast-growing population, a technically-skilled workforce, efficient access to the global marketplace, and a diverse portfolio of real estate options. Charleston is a globally competitive community for life sciences.

by Charleston USA

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Cinco de Mayo 2022 in Charleston, SC

Happy (almost) Cinco de Mayo, Charleston.The holiday honors Mexico’s victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The Second Franco-Mexican War didn’t end that day, but the battle became a symbol of resistance against foreign powers.If you’re celeb...

Happy (almost) Cinco de Mayo, Charleston.

The holiday honors Mexico’s victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The Second Franco-Mexican War didn’t end that day, but the battle became a symbol of resistance against foreign powers.

If you’re celebrating this year, here’s where to eat, drink, and dance in the Holy City — on Cinco de Mayo and through the weekend.

Celebrate

Cinco de Mayo Block Party at Mex 1 West Ashley | Thurs., May 5 | $10 in advance, $15 at the door | 5 p.m. | Mex 1 West Ashley, 817 St. Andrews Blvd. | Head over to this local spot to enjoy food tents, local vendors, outdoor bars, and live music from Charleston-based Midnight City Band.

Cinco de Mayo Parking Lot Party | Thurs., May 5 | Free | 4-9 p.m. | Jalisco Taqueria & Tequila, 1271 Folly Rd. | Experience a full-service taco tent, music, yard games, and a margarita bar offering $10 Patrón margaritas and $7 shots of Patrón — family and pet friendly.

Cinco de Mayo Party | Thurs., May 5 | Free | 5 p.m. | Dashi, 1262 Remount Rd., North Charleston | Grab $3 tacos, $5 house margaritas, $8 frozen jalapeno & mango margaritas, $2 jarritos, and $3 Modelo & Dos Equis before a late-night comedy show with Cam Bertrand, Jeremy McLellan & Dedrick Flynn.

Cinco de Mayo at The Basement | Thurs., May 5 | Free | 12 p.m. | The Basement, 1055 SC-41, Mt. Pleasant | Dig in at the free taco bar from 2-5 p.m., all-day drink specials including $5 house margaritas and $5 Espolón shots, and wrap up the evening with live music from 6-9 p.m.

Margarita at the Beach | Thurs., May 5 | $39+ | 6-8 p.m. | Painting with a Twist, 2511 N. Main St., Ste. B, Summerville | Celebrate the holiday by painting a 16×20 canvas or 17.5×17 wood plank board at this local studio.

SOL Southwest Kitchen | Thurs., May 5 | Free | All day | SOL Mt. Pleasant, 1101 Stockade Ln., Mt. Pleasant | Partake in a complimentary tequila tasting from 6-8 p.m., enjoy live music from Patrick Norris between 6-9 p.m., and celebrate with all-day specials.

Charleston Margarita & Mimosa Fest | Sat., May 7 | $24.99+ | Registration 12-2 p.m. | Share House, 23 Ann St. | Bar hop between Share House, Silver Dollar, The Brick, and Uptown Social from 12-6 p.m. with your wristband good for various drink specials at each venue.

Eat + drink

Cinco de Mayo is about much more than delicious food and drinksbut the deals don’t hurt.

Cinco de Mesa | Snag a $5 Mesa Verde at your local Verde restaurant with the online promo code CINCO22.

$6 House Margaritas | Choose between coconut, pineapple, lime, mango, spicy, and signature margarita flavors at Pink Cactus for this hard-to-beat special.

Happy celebrating, Charleston. Let us know how you’ll be spending the day.

Wednesday headlines: COVID cases rising again in South Carolina

South Carolina’s number of COVID-19 cases is rising again according to the latest weekly data released by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Tuesday. The agency reported 5,566 total new cases of COVID-19 — an increase over last week’s 4,458 cases – and 10 total new deaths, compared to last week’s four. More: Charleston...

South Carolina’s number of COVID-19 cases is rising again according to the latest weekly data released by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Tuesday. The agency reported 5,566 total new cases of COVID-19 — an increase over last week’s 4,458 cases – and 10 total new deaths, compared to last week’s four. More: Charleston City Paper, The Post and Courier, The New York Times

Meanwhile, gas prices continue to rise with the per-gallon cost going above $4 per gallon in each state for the first time, according to reports. More: The Washington Post, WCBD TV

In other headlines:

New York pastor looks to Emanuel 9 tragedy for inspiration in wake of Buffalo shooting. Rev. Kevin Coakley, the pastor of Durham Memorial AME Zion Church in Buffalo, New York, grew up in Mount Pleasant. He said the response to the Emanuel AME shooting in 2015 has been his guiding light on bringing the Buffalo community together in the wake of tragedy. More: WCSC TV, The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Washington Post

S.C. latest conservative state with transgender sports ban after McMaster signature. S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster quietly signed into law a bill that would ban transgender students from playing girls’ or women’s sports in public schools and colleges. More: Associated Press, The State

Lowcountry communities battle developers to protect historic family land. People in historic African-American communities in Mount Pleasant say their properties are under constant threat from outside developers who want land that has been in their families for hundreds of years. More: WCBD TV

Charleston City Council hears objections to King Street business improvement district. Some King Street business owners aren’t ready to get behind a plan to add an extra tax to commercial properties on one of the city’s most iconic thoroughfares. More: The Post and Courier, WCSC TV

To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

What changes to SC’s voting law will mean for June primary, future elections

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - In just over two weeks, South Carolina voters will be able to head to the polls early to cast their ballots for the June 14 primary elections.A new change in state law means voters will have an early, in-person voting option for every future election as well, an offering that did not previously exist on a permanent basis in South Carolina.But at one point in the last few weeks, the bill that provi...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - In just over two weeks, South Carolina voters will be able to head to the polls early to cast their ballots for the June 14 primary elections.

A new change in state law means voters will have an early, in-person voting option for every future election as well, an offering that did not previously exist on a permanent basis in South Carolina.

But at one point in the last few weeks, the bill that provided for this early-voting expansion appeared to be in jeopardy. Despite agreeing on most of the legislation’s language, a major disagreement between the state Senate and House of Representatives concerning oversight of the State Election Commission threatened to kill the entire bill.

But on the second-to-last day of the legislative session last week, lawmakers announced a compromise, which passed both chambers and which Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law Friday, in time to be implemented for the June primary.

(EMBEDDED TWEET: https://twitter.com/MaryGreenNews/status/1525201461675794432)

“I kind of thought if the House and the Senate can both pass a bill of this magnitude unanimously, there was no way we were going to let this die,” Rep. Brandon Newton, R – Lancaster, said. Newton played a key role in guiding the bill through passage in the House this year.

Starting with the upcoming June primary, this new law guarantees two weeks of early voting before elections, or three days for run-off elections.

For the June 14 primary, early, in-person voting begins May 31 in every county and runs through June 10, not including Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5. Polling places will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Early voting for any run-off elections will take place June 22-24 at the same hours and locations as the primaries.

All registered voters will have this early, in-person option, and they do not need to provide an excuse or reason for why they are voting early, as they previously had.

Each county will need to open at least one early voting site, but they can offer up to seven of them. Isaac Cramer, executive director of the Charleston County Board of Elections and legislative chair for the South Carolina Association of Registration and Election Officials (SCARE), said because of the tight window between now and the primary, most counties will likely offer one early location for the primary, their voter registration office, but would probably expand to more places for the November general election.

The governor signing this bill into law at the end of last week leaves county elections offices with just over two weeks left to implement changes.

But Cramer said officials had been preparing for this since the start of the year.

“I can tell you that every single county director in this state welcomes early voting because it’s such a much better process for our voters and for election officials in processing them,” Cramer said.

Among other changes, this law also tightens up the qualifications determining which voters can receive a mail-in ballot, but that change will not go into effect until after the June primary, as will a requirement for the name, address, and signature from a witness who is at least 18 years old be included with mail-in absentee ballots.

“We can’t change those in the middle of an election on people, so all those changes to the paper absentee process will start July 1,” Newton said.

Under the new law, voters qualified to receive mail-in ballots include:

For the primary, mail-in ballot applications are now due two Fridays before the election, June 3, at 5 p.m. Before they had been due the Friday before.

The law gives workers more time to open mail-in ballots. While they previously could not do so until 9 a.m. on Election Day, they can now open outer envelopes on Sunday and inner envelopes Tuesday at 7 a.m.

It also makes voter fraud a felony in South Carolina, increasing penalties for convictions, and permanently bans third-party spending by elections offices.

A ban in the law on fusion voting, in which candidates run for the same office for more than one party, will go into effect next year, as some candidates for lower offices had already filed to run in this manner in this year’s elections, when it was still legal in South Carolina.

Newton called the changes long overdue.

“We were one of less than 10 states that didn’t have early voting,” he said. “We were one of the very few states that didn’t let them process the absentee ballots. We were just so far behind the curve on every aspect of our election law. This was drastically needed.”

Cramer believes the new early voting option will be popular in future elections, given how many voters took advantage of no-excuse, absentee voting in 2020, when it was available on a temporary basis because of the pandemic.

“In Charleston County, we had 75% of our voters vote early. I think we’re going to see that trend continue in South Carolina with early voting now, that any voter can show up, and they will because they already have,” he said.

As on Election Day, voters will need to bring their photo ID or voter registration card with them to vote early in person.

Cramer also recommends they visit the South Carolina Election Commission website to find out which early voting locations will be open in their county.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Pharmacy's youngest grad is ready to make a difference

While most of Kira Adkins’ new classmates in the MUSC College of Pharmacy in the fall of 2018 were learning each other’s names and backgrounds, they all seemed to know something about her already. After all, she had been featured in local media as the girl who was accepted to pharmacy school at the age of 16.But even ...

While most of Kira Adkins’ new classmates in the MUSC College of Pharmacy in the fall of 2018 were learning each other’s names and backgrounds, they all seemed to know something about her already. After all, she had been featured in local media as the girl who was accepted to pharmacy school at the age of 16.

But even if they knew her story, they didn’t know her. Adkins remembers socializing with other new students around a table during orientation week when one brought up “that girl who got in, and she’s only 16.” Curious to hear the gossip, Adkins quietly listened. Luckily, the other students’ reactions were overwhelmingly positive – mostly amazement at her accomplishment. She then revealed herself as “that girl.”

“They were like, ‘What?! No way! We expected you – I don’t know – to look different,’” Adkins said. “And I was like, ‘Look different how? Who did you expect?’ And they were like, ‘I don’t know. Somebody nerdy.’”

“So I guess they were surprised,” Adkins said, laughing at the memory.

From the youngest accepted applicant at the College of Pharmacy, Adkins now becomes the youngest graduate at the age of 21. It’s an age when most college students – including her former classmates from Academic Magnet High School – are either getting ready to begin their careers or to apply to graduate schools to study medicine, law, business, or – of course – pharmacy.

Adkins bypassed the undergraduate years by earning college credits through Advanced Placement classes in high school and courses at Trident Technical College and Greenville Technical College. She had decided early on that she wanted to be a pharmacist, and so she began by choosing courses with an eye toward fulfilling her prerequisites.

“Then I started to get on a roll, and I thought, ‘This is manageable.’ So I just started adding more classes, started trying to do the sciences,” she said.

Her parents, Randy and Sherlonda Adkins, are immensely proud of her. But those years of doubling up on high school and college coursework weren’t easy, and they tried to make space for her to ease off the pressure.

“There were definitely difficult times, of course, because it was a lot – being in college and high school,” Randy Adkins said. “Anytime she had those times, we always made it clear she could step away if she wanted to. Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you have to put everything into it and move forward.”

But Adkins was always able to regroup, refresh and keep going, her father said.

“We actually had a conversation about that a few weeks ago, about remembering those moments, because those moments will help you in your future. Life doesn’t always pan out perfectly. This ended up panning out very well, but it was difficult along the way,” he added.

Kira Adkins’ interest in a health care career began when, at the age of 13, her parents invited her to accompany them on a mission trip to Honduras. In addition to working as a software consultant, her father is also an ordained minister, and her mother is a physician assistant. Back home in South Carolina, Adkins joined the SCRUBS program at Roper St. Francis Health Care for middle and high school students interested in health care careers.

It quickly became obvious, she said, that she didn’t want anything to do with a career that involved blood and gore. And as she began to learn about pharmacy, she also began to notice how accessible pharmacists are. Around practically every corner there’s a CVS, a Walgreens, a Walmart or a grocery store – and they all have pharmacists.

She noted that pharmacists are considered among the most trustworthy professions, and she began to see how other health care providers relied on them. Even so, she said, it wasn’t until she got to pharmacy school and began rotations that she truly began to understand the breadth of the field.

Rotations are meant to give students experience in a variety of settings, and Adkins has gotten that. She’s worked in a long-term care facility, ambulatory clinics, community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies. In each setting, she’s learned something about herself and about pharmacy.

Working at a pharmacy embedded within a Fetter Health clinic, which primarily serves minority and underserved communities, drove home the significance of being a Black woman in the profession. Study after study has shown the importance of health care providers looking like the communities they serve, yet, nationally, only about 5% of pharmacists are Black.

Adkins recalls one instance when her preceptor, or trainer, pointed out that the whole time the patient had been answering his questions, she had been looking at Adkins.

“She was looking at you because she trusted you,” her preceptor told her.

“That’s really when I started to realize how I, as a young Black female provider, can play into health care,” Adkins said. “I needed that rotation to really see that.”

Although she enjoyed forming relationships with patients in the ambulatory and community settings, her rotations showed her that she prefers to work in an acute care setting.

“In the acute care setting, you have no idea what you’re going to come across. Every single day I walked in, and I was like, ‘OK, what did we get overnight?’” she said.

She also liked that pharmacists were fully embedded members of the care team, not just an afterthought. A pharmacist was part of rounds each day, and for almost every patient, the doctors would consult the pharmacist about the best medication, the proper dosage and any possible interactions.

“They need a pharmacist on rounds, and I didn’t really realize that until I was there,” Adkins said.

She had a similar experience at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, where the pharmacists would be on rounds and had to carefully interpret labs to make recommendations, since many of the patients were intubated or sedated and couldn’t speak for themselves.

At the VA, she said, her preceptor was especially challenging – in a good way. He told her he was going to treat her the same as a resident – someone who’s already graduated from pharmacy school – and assigned her projects as well as patients.

“During the time, I was like, ‘This guy is crazy. He’s expecting me to do all this stuff, and I don’t know if I can do it.’ But at the end of it, I was like ‘OK, I needed that.’ Because I was able to do it all,” she said. “So that showed me I can juggle having patients but also doing longitudinal projects, also educating the team. It showed me that I can educate other health care providers and communicate with them.”

All of Adkins’ fourth-year rotations were in the Charleston area, which is somewhat unusual. Originally she planned to do some “away” rotations – after all, this is the student who organized three classmates to find rotations in Hawaii after their first year so they could live in Hawaii for a month – but COVID had already canceled her second-year rotation in New York City, forcing her to scramble for a replacement, and she didn’t want to go through that again.

Happily, by the time she got to her fourth-year rotations, all save one were in person.

Adkins, who describes herself as a social butterfly, is already getting to know the people she’ll be spending the next year with. She’ll be a resident at Prisma Health, where she’ll do acute care rotations and narrow down her interests. Right now, she’s interested in pediatrics, critical care and psychiatry, and she hopes the residency will show her which is the career path for her – or even show her a career path that she hasn’t yet considered.

“I love the idea of keeping your mind open because you don’t know what you don’t know. Like psychiatry – I never would have known I was interested in that, and I just did that rotation in March. It was not on my radar until I did the rotation,” she said.

As she prepares to graduate, Adkins acknowledges the village that has helped her to get to where she is – starting with her family and growing to include her professors, the pharmacists at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, with whom she’s worked since her first year, and many more.

“I couldn’t have done it by myself. I give a lot of credit to my parents. They’re always here for me, always supporting me. Also my siblings – yes, they are younger, but they’re a big part of my support system as well,” she said.

Randy Adkins said their church family, where Adkins has learned to accept support when she’s needed it and to support others in turn, has been instrumental. And he and his wife are eager to see what their daughter does next.

“We know she’s going to do phenomenal things.”

A motorcycle crash when she was 21 left Julia Rodes with a spinal cord injury – and determination to realize her dream of becoming a doctor.

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