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 beautifully capture the joy and connection of each unique family while also creating a fun experience for my clients.

 Portrait Photographer Charleston, SC

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

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

Charleston Wine + Food releases 2023 festival schedule ahead of ticket launch

It’s hard to believe we are just five months out from the 17th installment of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, set to take place March 1-5.As we approach the Oct. 20 festival ticket release, The Post and Courier got the inside scoop on the slate of 100-plus events that will take over the Lowcountry in the spring.The festival entere...

It’s hard to believe we are just five months out from the 17th installment of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, set to take place March 1-5.

As we approach the Oct. 20 festival ticket release, The Post and Courier got the inside scoop on the slate of 100-plus events that will take over the Lowcountry in the spring.

The festival entered a new era in 2022, moving the flagship Culinary Village to Riverfront Park in North Charleston after hosting the three-day extravaganza featuring drinks and samples from chefs in Marion Square from 2005 to 2020. Riverfront Park will again host the Culinary Village in 2023.

More change is ahead, as the festival looks to replace former Executive Director Gillian Zettler, who announced two weeks after the 2022 festival’s conclusion that she would depart the nonprofit to accept a new role in Charleston with Beemok Hospitality.

The split was amicable, and it left longtime employee Alyssa Maute Smith in charge on an interim basis as the festival searches for a new full-time leader. Maute Smith has “enthusiastically applied” for the position that officially became available in September, when a third party was hired to carry out the job search.

In the immediate future, Maute Smith has “been charged by our board to lead the organization through the 2023 festival,” she said, adding that her goal is to ensure the festival is “centered in our mission and anchored here in Charleston.” New events speak specifically to this endeavor, Maute Smith said.

For one called Community Table, the festival is teaming up with local nonprofit Transformation Table to create an experience that aims to produce conversations through food. Half of the tickets for the event will be available for purchase, while the other half of attendees will be curated by Transformation Table Owner Tina Singleton, whose nonprofit aims to build community by hosting intimate dinners. Chefs representing multiple cultures will pair food with beverages from sommeliers at the multi-course meal.

“The point is to create real conversation and to do so around food,” Maute Smith said.

Another larger-scale gathering will celebrate influential women of Charleston’s culinary history at the soon-to-open International African American Museum. Attendees of the event, Matriarchs of The Lowcountry, will sample plates prepared by a team of Black female chefs led by Amethyst Ganaway, with each course featuring recipes from the evening’s honorees: Emily Meggett, Sara Green, Charlotte Jenkins, the family of Martha Lou Gadsden, Natalie Daise, Sallie Ann Robinson and the women of Bertha’s Kitchen.

Attendees of this year’s festival will recognize a lot of the upcoming programming scheduled for 2023.

Several popular signature events will return, including Shucked, Hip Hops Day Party — which will move to the newly renovated Music Farm — and Opening Night at College of Charleston’s Cistern Yard, historically the largest representation of local Charleston area chefs. Bar takeovers, new to the 2022 festival, will return with the addition of three wine bars: Graft, The Tippling House and Bar Rollins. Last Saint, Little Palm Bar and Paddock & Whisky will also participate in the event that pairs three drinks with two snacks for $55.

Other noteworthy events on the docket include a communal “Kamayan Night” Filipino feast served by Mansueta’s Nikko Cagalanan and the owners of Neng Jr., one of the South’s hottest new restaurants in Asheville, N.C.; a wine lunch at Vern’s; signature dinner at Pink Bellies; festival at Holy City Brewing celebrating Latinx food and culture; and Daps After Dark, a breakfast-for-dinner “house party” at Daps Breakfast & Imbibe in downtown Charleston.

Six excursions are also on the festival’s schedule, with FIG’s Mike Lata, Peculiar Pig Farm’s Marvin Ross and Tha CommUNITY’s April Dove set to lead outings highlighting oysters, sustainable farming practices and craft beer, respectively. Black Food Fridays founder KJ Kearney will for the third time host his Soul Stroll, which will stop at multiple Black-owned restaurants, including Nigel’s Good Food and Swank Desserts.

Overall, the Charleston Wine + Food Festival will host 111 events across the Charleston area.

Heading into its 17th year, the festival continues to address concerns about compensation for talent. This year, all chefs will receive a $500-$1,000 per-event stipend to purchase food and supplies, Maute Smith said. Restaurants hosting signature dinners will receive $95 per-attendee, and the festival will provide those hosting lunches and brunches with $55 for each guest that purchases a ticket.

This, organizers contend, will help place money back into the community by affording Charleston area chefs the flexibility to secure meat and produce from their network of local farmers and purveyors.

“This is something the festival has wanted to do for quite some time,” Maute Smith said. “We definitely worked with a lot of local talent in order to inform this program.”

Long lines and a shortage of food was the main complaint among attendees of the festival’s culinary village. Maute Smith believes the festival has found a solution by dedicating new areas to food sampling.

“We’ve taken some inspirations from the foodways of the Charleston area and also some of our past popular events,” Maute Smith said. “Those will be all new food-focused areas in addition to our snack shacks.”

These tasting areas will be included in the Culinary Village’s $135 general admission cost. VIP ticket holders ($295) gain early access to Riverfront Park, with a special lounge, restroom area and complimentary shuttle from downtown Charleston included in that cost. General admission ticketholders can also add the shuttle service for $28 — shuttle tickets must be purchased by Feb. 15.

Tickets to the 2023 Charleston Wine + Food Festival go on sale at 11 a.m. Oct. 20, with a full schedule announcement coming at 11 a.m. Oct. 6 via the festival’s app, which can be downloaded using Google and Apple’s app stores.

Maute Smith estimates that in the past, 50 percent of the festival’s events have sold out on the day they were released.

MOJA Arts Festival still going strong through Sunday

While a few events for Charleston’s MOJA Arts Festival were canceled when Hurricane Ian blew through, the celebration of African-American and Caribbean culture is going strong from now until Sunday when it ends.“Obviously, Hurricane Ian threw MOJA a curve, with the parade and reggae getting washed out,” said Scott Watson, director of the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “That said, our MOJA artists leapt right into action as soon as it was safe after Ian passed, and we’ve had rousing...

While a few events for Charleston’s MOJA Arts Festival were canceled when Hurricane Ian blew through, the celebration of African-American and Caribbean culture is going strong from now until Sunday when it ends.

“Obviously, Hurricane Ian threw MOJA a curve, with the parade and reggae getting washed out,” said Scott Watson, director of the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “That said, our MOJA artists leapt right into action as soon as it was safe after Ian passed, and we’ve had rousing performances that have audiences totally wowed.

Watson said the remaining acts of the festival offer world-class rhythm and blues, jazz, contemporary dance and great visual arts exhibitions.

“The MOJA Finale at Hampton Park features artisan and food vendors, wellness exhibitors and top-notch local music, starting with cool Latin grooves mid-day and powering through with hard driving classic soul by way of Black Diamond and LaFaye to end the festival on a high note.”

Two popular events still on tap are Thursday’s Jazz on King Block Party at the corner of King and Ann streets and the all-day MOJA Finale celebration Sunday at Hampton Park. At Thursday’s event, it’s free to enjoy Tonya Nicole and her band of musicians, who will pay tribute to jazz icons Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. On Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., music enthusiasts will be able to enjoy a tribute to Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin.

Two events – Black Biz on the Block and a reception for the festival’s juried art show, were rescheduled. The remaining schedule of MOJA events includes:

Oct. 6

4 p.m. One Love: A Celebration of African- American and Caribbean Culture, Enston Homes, 900 King St. Presented by The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston, the event features the sounds of Spiritually Yours, Mystic Vibrations, and Black Diamond Band. Free.

6 p.m. Jazz on King Block Party, Ann at King Streets. Enjoy outdoor dining at participating restaurants, shopping at your favorite retailers, and musical performances by Tonya Nicole and Latoya Renea. Tonya Nicole and her expert band of musicians will be paying tribute to two icons of Jazz Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Live painting performance by painter kolpeace. Free.

8 p.m. Harambee Dance Company presents Origin, Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St. Harambee Dance Company pulls together the essence of African and African-American dance and music. Tickets are $25.

Oct. 7

1 p.m. Gullah storyteller and local historian Theresa Hilliard, James Island Arts and Cultural Center, 1248 Camp Road. Gullah storyteller and local historian Theresa Hilliard speaks about her childhood on Edisto Island. Hear how Gullah sounds. Free.

8 p.m. WonderVerse: The Music of Stevie Wonder, Festival Hall, 56 Beaufain St. From the “Classic Albums Period” of the ‘70s into the ‘80s to songs written for other artists Charlton Singleton and Friends will draw from his massive catalog for a night of high energy and sing-a-longs! Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Oct. 8

7:30 p.m. Joey Morant – All That Jazz concert, Festival Hall, 56 Beaufain St. The inaugural concert features internationally renowned piano virtuoso Danny Mixon with special guest Antoinette Montague, celebrating the life and legacy of Charleston icon Joey Morant. Tickets are $25.

Oct. 9

11 a.m. to 8 p.m. MOJA Finale, Hampton Park, 30 Mary Murray Blvd. Close out the Festival in style at this day-long celebration of Lowcountry culture and Charleston history, culminating in a knock-out mainstage performance! Black Diamond & LaFaye will join forces as The ZD Experience Presents “Simply the Best” a tribute to Tina Turner & “Queen of Soul” a tribute to Aretha Franklin. Free.

1:30 p.m. Metropolitan Opera Singer Edward Washington II, Unitarian Church, 4 Archdale St.

Washington will be presenting a program of Spirituals and Art Songs. Free.

3 p.m. Oh Happy Day, Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St. Celebrate Charleston’s rich gospel music heritage with the creators of The Sound of Charleston. Tickets are $28 adult; $26 senior; $16 student with ID.

Rescheduled: 5 p.m. Juried Art Exhibition, City Gallery, 34 Prioleau St. Instead of an opening September reception, this event is now a closing reception that pays tribute to more than 40 artists with wide-ranging media who are part of this year’s juried exhibition selected by juror Dana Coleman.

Oct. 22

Rescheduled: 1 p.m. Black Biz on the Block, Philip Simmons Park, 64 Columbus St.

The event offers a space for black-owned small businesses to sell their products and services as well as for community members to get various resources. Entertainment and food trucks will be on site.

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‘It’s an epidemic’: Gun violence forum brings leaders together to find solutions

A panel of Lowcountry officials, politicians, and organization leaders gathered on Sunday evening at Burke High School.CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A panel of Lowcountry officials, politicians, and organization leaders gathered on Sunday evening at Burke High School to discuss problems and solutions surrounding gun deaths.Hosted by the Tri-County Gun Violence Coordinating Council, Pastor Thomas Dixon started the event by stating that the panel members who are in attendance can actually impact our community over the upcoming years....

A panel of Lowcountry officials, politicians, and organization leaders gathered on Sunday evening at Burke High School.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A panel of Lowcountry officials, politicians, and organization leaders gathered on Sunday evening at Burke High School to discuss problems and solutions surrounding gun deaths.

Hosted by the Tri-County Gun Violence Coordinating Council, Pastor Thomas Dixon started the event by stating that the panel members who are in attendance can actually impact our community over the upcoming years.

“We’re not here to point fingers unless we are pointing fingers at ourselves; because if each one of us has not done everything that we can do to prevent gun violence, we’re just as much a part of a problem as we are a part of the solution,” Dixon said.

Panel members include the following:

Before the questioning portion of the forum, panel members first spoke about why the issue of gun violence is important to them personally.

“It’s an epidemic, that I know all of you are well aware of, that seeps into every single possible facet of our lives and we have to be able to recognize what we can do,” Clinton said. “I’m hoping that at the end of this, we’re able to feel a little bit better that we’re not alone in this fight because it can be very tiring, and it can be hard and overwhelming.”

‘Is this who we are or who we are becoming,’ was the first question posed to panel members on the topic of gun violence. The response from the speakers was mixed with a variety of different responses.

“I would say this is who we are becoming,” Reynolds said. “I believe that we are on a path on a continuum, and we’re not going in the right direction, we’re going in the wrong direction. I believe that if you look at the number of homicides, those numbers are very misleading and each one of them has a story and a name behind it and we need to put that story and that face on each one of those losses.”

Wilson responded by opposing Reynolds, saying the problem is not just one solution, it is many tiny victories along the way.

“It’s who we are. It’s not who we’re becoming, and we don’t have time to waste. We have to address these things now,” she said. “We have to address these things in a way that we can listen to each other across party lines, across law enforcement, prosecutors, and members of the community.”

The Tri-County Gun Violence Coordinating Council put together a list of 12 possible solutions to curb gun violence in the Lowcountry:

“We have to learn as people how to resolve conflict, not just minors, but as adults, because you have to think about the way we react to things and how we’ve handled conflict,” Whack said. “We can’t handle conflict in a reasonable manner and how would we expect our children, our youth to follow our paths?”

The gun violence forum was just a start to discussing solutions, according to Marlvis Butch Kennedy, Tri-County Gun Violence Coordinating Council Chair. In the upcoming year, the council has already begun taking steps to address gun violence in a collaborative approach among Lowcountry organizations.

Sunday’s gun violence forum was the first of several that the Tri-County Gun Violence Coordinating Council is hosting.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital hosts annual Veteran’s Day Parade

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The 22nd annual Charleston Veterans Day parade was put on by the Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital in downtown Charleston on Sunday to honor veterans ahead of Veterans Day this week. The parade included historic military vehicles, veterans service organizations, and of course veterans.“The last couple of years we haven’t been able to have it, and I said if we don’t do anything else, we can identify to the community that veterans help veterans,” says Joe Lysaght, a member of the Americ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The 22nd annual Charleston Veterans Day parade was put on by the Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital in downtown Charleston on Sunday to honor veterans ahead of Veterans Day this week. The parade included historic military vehicles, veterans service organizations, and of course veterans.

“The last couple of years we haven’t been able to have it, and I said if we don’t do anything else, we can identify to the community that veterans help veterans,” says Joe Lysaght, a member of the American Legion National Executive Committee.

The parade is held yearly to honor those who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms.

“Events like this, they are magnanimous,” says Lysaght. “They just do a lot for the community.”

Charleston’s annual parade is hosted by the Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital every year. Sunday’s event brought out people of all ages, some to say thank you while others were there to remember lost loved ones who paid the ultimate price.

“She was wiping the tears from her eyes, and you know I’m a combat veteran; I served in Vietnam,” says Lysaght. “That still puts a softball in your throat; you know what I’m saying?”

Dr. Perry Jenkins, a member of the Montford Marines Charleston chapter, says Veterans Day events are about teaching the history of all veterans who have served the United States.

“You ask them about the Montford Marines; they don’t know those guys,” says Dr. Jenkins. “We want to make sure that we give those veterans that had to fight for the right to fight; what they really deserve.”

The Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airman, and Montford Marines among millions of others who answered the call, Dr. Jenkins says these events are about them.

“So we want to honor those pioneers, we sit on the back of those guys, and our accomplishments are all because of those guys,” says Dr. Jenkins.

For Lysaght, events like the parade serve as a chance to connect with veterans and support those struggling after returning home.

“It’s a challenge, but it’s one I cherish,” says Lysaght. “I truly think we can’t do enough for our veterans.”

Commentary: Saving Waties Island is South Carolina conservation at its best

At the northeastern tip of the Grand Strand lies a hidden sanctuary — an undeveloped maritime forest and beach in an area where nearly every acre of oceanfront land has been converted to condominiums, hotels and residential subdivisions. The soon-to-be designated state heritage preserve is called Waties Island, a green...

At the northeastern tip of the Grand Strand lies a hidden sanctuary — an undeveloped maritime forest and beach in an area where nearly every acre of oceanfront land has been converted to condominiums, hotels and residential subdivisions. The soon-to-be designated state heritage preserve is called Waties Island, a green oasis in a virtually unbroken, 50-mile-long wall of development.

This island is a last refuge for coastal wildlife in the region. In the 1950s, Rachel Carson visited the Grand Strand and recounted her impressions in her bestselling book, “The Edge of the Sea.”

She describes in eloquent language the myriad species of birds, fish, mollusks, crustaceans and other marine life she found there. Today, much of that habitat has been lost — the flora and fauna disrupted and displaced.

But not on Waties Island. The story of its preservation is an inspiring illustration of our state’s unmatched capacity to accomplish land protection of enduring importance.

More than almost anywhere else in the nation, South Carolina conservationists are collaborative and nonpartisan.

Further, South Carolina land trusts work closely with environmental law and advocacy groups. Natural resource agencies often partner with private sector organizations. And more often than not, conservation is supported by business and political leaders across the spectrum.

The preservation of this special place is a testament to South Carolina’s brand of collaborative conservation. Permanent protection of the island began in 1995 when The Nature Conservancy, one of the organizations that launched the conservation movement in the state, secured an easement on 1,000 acres on its western side.

Leading the effort to protect this easternmost parcel was the Open Space Institute, a newcomer to the conservation community here.

Founded in 1974, the institute honed its expertise creating public parks and nature preserves in the Northeast, partnering in the protection of more than 2.3 million acres.

In 2015, the organization opened an office in Charleston. Since that time, it has participated in permanently securing more than 35,000 acres in South Carolina, including some of our most ecologically significant lands.

For the past two decades, the driving force behind Waties’ conservation has been landowner Olivia Boyce-Able, a granddaughter of Horace Tilghman, the timberman who bought the island in the 1920s.

Boyce-Able grew up visiting Waties in the summer, and those experiences inspired a lifelong commitment to conservation and land protection. She explained to MyHorryNews: “Being in nature assists people in being closer to God.”

The protection of Waties Island almost unraveled when an adjacent landowner claimed possession of a portion of the property. Fortunately, that challenge was overcome with help from the Georgetown-based S.C. Environmental Law Project, which defended Boyce-Abel’s claim to the property.

The S.C. Conservation Bank provided $4 million for the purchase, to be repaid from other funding sources. The lead donor for the island’s protection is Google, and that company’s $500,000 contribution was facilitated by Columbia-based Sustain SC, a nonprofit organization that works with businesses to promote environmental sustainability.

The island’s conservation and transfer to the state by the Open Space Institute offers unique benefits not only for the environment, but also for the expanding population of residents and visitors in one of South Carolina’s largest metropolitan areas.

The 260-acre property includes almost a mile of beachfront, from which the threat of intense and damaging development has now been removed. This supplements 1,000 acres on the western side of the island that were protected by The Nature Conservancy in 1995.

Among the myriad benefits, the preservation of Waties represents one of the most effective, and least expensive, steps the state can take to prepare for and attenuate the impacts of sea level rise and increasing flood risk.

The protection of Waties Island is just one of the latest in a long string of victories on the South Carolina coast.

During the past 35 years, protected land in the region has increased almost five-fold, from just over 300,000 acres to more than 1.25 million.

Given the current rate of development, we must strengthen our commitment to land protection if we hope to achieve a secure future for nature and people in our state.

The broad endorsement of conservation in South Carolina, combined with a culture of strategic collaborative, is cause for optimism.

Dana Beach is the founder and former director of the Coastal Conservation League.

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