Family Photographer in James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island.

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Service Areas

Family Photography James Island, SC  Photographer James Island, 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 James Island: 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 James Island, 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, James Island 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 James Island
  • Historical Sites - James Island Battery, Fort Sumter, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Rainbow Row

Whatever location you choose for family photography in James Island, the Holy City is a wonderful place to explore and enjoy with friends and family.

As a family photographer in James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, SC
 Best Photographer James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, SC

Qualities Of A Great Photographer In James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, 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 James Island, SC
 Best Photographer James Island, 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 James Island or want great new headshots for you or your team, I'm here to help every step of the way!  

Latest News in James Island, SC

What’s it mean to be a coastal grandmother in SC? Whether you’re 22 or 73 you might be one

You don’t have to be a grandma, or anywhere close to it, to achieve this title. In fact, you can be any age and live practically anywhere to channel your inner coastal grandmother. Chances are if you live in South Carolina, you might be one.Exactly what is the coastal grandmother aesthetic?To be a coastal grandmother here in South Carolina means to live a lifestyle based primarily out of necessity — a natural way of living, but for many, it is an aspirational lifestyle inspired by Nancy Meyers films, or more specifi...

You don’t have to be a grandma, or anywhere close to it, to achieve this title. In fact, you can be any age and live practically anywhere to channel your inner coastal grandmother. Chances are if you live in South Carolina, you might be one.

Exactly what is the coastal grandmother aesthetic?

To be a coastal grandmother here in South Carolina means to live a lifestyle based primarily out of necessity — a natural way of living, but for many, it is an aspirational lifestyle inspired by Nancy Meyers films, or more specifically the romantic comedy, “Something’s Gotta Give.”

“Coastal grandmothers are those who are effortlessly stylish (but in a comfy way), have a put-together presence (without trying too hard), know how to be the best hostess (while never breaking a sweat,) and appreciate the finer things (yet still feel approachable,)” according to Southern Living Magazine.

The lifestyle embodies the love for clean, light, simplistic beachfront properties, white button-down shirts, Ina Garten, cozy interiors, fresh flowers, white wine, going to bed early and a laid-back, minimalistic, coastal feel. For those here in South Carolina, it’s an instinctual way of interior style and dressing relative to the climate.

Epitomized by Diane Keaton’s linen-clad 2003 movie character, who frequents farmer’s markets and drinks white wine in an all-white kitchen and oceanfront Hamptons estate, the coastal grandmother style is one that is chic, comfortable, light and airy.

The style has recently monopolized trends and lifestyle goals, ranging from fashion to interior design, to a whole perspective on life and way of living.

The typical coastal grandmother does not decorate her home as a maritime museum, but rather, he or she gravitates toward coastal neutrals, light-colored breezy linens, minimalistic style and light-colored, chunky knit sweaters.

When it comes to creating a home that fits this coastal aesthetic, luxury furniture and accessories maker Serena & Lily describes the coastal grandmother style as “white knits, ocean blues, classic designs mixed with relaxed rattan.”

Rattan is a good accent choice to pair with neutral decorations as sold by Serena & Lily and offered in many South Carolina furniture boutiques, and investing in some freshly cut flower arrangements, like hydrangeas or peonies, would offer a further coastal grandmother aesthetic similar to the home featured in “Something’s Gotta Give.”

As for fashion, the coastal grandmother is described as being chic yet simply arranged. The pieces in his or her closet are ones that could always be in style. White jeans are a must, as are knit sweaters, cashmere, linen, tortoiseshell hair clips and straw hats. Whites, blues, khakis, creams and pale neutrals are the go-to colors. Comfort and appearing effortless are the two most important things to remember when dressing like a coastal grandmother. Looking comfortable, clean and put together as though ready to relax on the back patio, dock or garden with your favorite glass of white wine is the goal.

“That 45 and up woman around here is, it’s all about three things. Staying cool because it’s so hot here. Being stylish, but they want to look effortless. Every woman wants to throw it on and they don’t want to be too fussy about their hair and their accessories. They want it to kind of look like they just woke up like this,” said Hilton Head Island’s Birdie James owner and creative director, Michelle Taylor, when asked about the coastal grandmother style in South Carolina.

Birdie James can be found in Shelter Cove Towne Center at 28 Shelter Cove Lane, Unit 111, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928.

“I’ve noticed around here, 70 and 80 years old on Hilton Head is like no other place I’ve ever seen. These women are busy, and they’re fit. They are golfing, they’re lunching, they’re volunteering and fundraising and so they want to be dressed for every occasion.”

“Our clients typically come to us for our monochromatic collection.” Taylor continued. “We have some color and we have picked up patterns and pops of color. Currently, we’re the most colorful we’ve ever been.”

“I really feel like Birdie James was really strong in that sort of grays, beige color scheme and so we have collections that offer those beiges, grays, light blues, light greens, anything that’s really sort of like minty but sort of cloudy.”

While you can be a coastal grandmother anywhere, the mantra fits in seamlessly with that of the Palmetto State and its warm, coastal climate and classic timelessness that the state represents. One cannot usually help but be caught up in the simplicity of life among the breezy salt marshes, beautiful landscapes and ocean views.

This story was originally published June 8, 2022 5:00 AM.

South Carolina high school baseball state tournament schedule, scores

Here are the scores and schedule for South Carolina Upper State and Lower State championships. Check back for updates.Send scores to 864Huddle@gannett.com.CLASS AAAAA UPPER STATEThursdayGame 1: Fort Mill 7, Boiling Springs 0Game 2: T.L. Hanna 2, Blythewood 1SaturdayGame 3: Fort Mill 4, T.L. Hanna 3Game 4 : Blythewood 2, Boiling Springs 0Monday, May 16Game 5: Blythewood 8, T.L. Hanna 7...

Here are the scores and schedule for South Carolina Upper State and Lower State championships. Check back for updates.

Send scores to 864Huddle@gannett.com.

CLASS AAAAA UPPER STATE

Thursday

Game 1: Fort Mill 7, Boiling Springs 0

Game 2: T.L. Hanna 2, Blythewood 1

Saturday

Game 3: Fort Mill 4, T.L. Hanna 3

Game 4 : Blythewood 2, Boiling Springs 0

Monday, May 16

Game 5: Blythewood 8, T.L. Hanna 7

Wednesday, May 18

Game 6: Fort Mill 2, Blythewood 1, Fort Mill advances

CHASING DREAMS:Eastside baseball focused on a goal of a state title, because it's years in the making

FULL SWING:With swag and fierce love, Jay Dillard is turning his Clemson baseball dreams into reality

CLASS AAAAA LOWER STATE

Thursday

Game 1: Lexington 8, Chapin 2

Game 2: Berkeley 8, Summerville 1

Saturday

Game 3: Berkeley 7, Lexington 2

Game 4: Chapin 5, Summerville 4

Monday, May 16

Game 5: Lexington 10, Chapin 8

Wednesday, May 18

Game 6: Berkeley 6, Lexington 0, Berkeley advances

CLASS AAAAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

Saturday, May 21

Fort Mill 6, Berkeley 2

Tuesday, May 24

Fort Mill at Berkeley

Saturday, May 28

Fort Mill vs. Berkeley, neutral site, if nec.

CLASS AAAA UPPER STATE

Thursday

Game 2: Eastside 10, Dreher 4

Friday

Game 1: A.C. Flora 5, Laurens 0

Saturday

Game 3: A.C. Flora 6, Eastside 5

Game 4: Laurens 4, Dreher 0

May 16

Game 5: Eastside 8, Laurens 3

Wednesday, May 18

Game 6: Eastside 7, A.C. Flora 1, 11 innings

Game 7: Eastside 9, A.C. Flora 6, Eastside advances

CLASS AAAA LOWER STATE

Thursday

Game 1: Hartsville 15, Beaufort 4

Saturday

Game 2: Airport 2, James Island 1

Monday, May 16

Game 3: James Island 4, Beaufort 0

Game 4: Hartsville 1, Airport 0

Tuesday, May 17

Game 5: Airport 10, James Island 8

Wednesday, May 18

Game 6: Hartsville 3, Airport 1, Hartsville advances

CLASS AAAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

Tuesday, May 24 -- New date due to weather

Eastside 13, Hartsville 0, 5 inn.

Thursday, May 26 -- New date due to game one reschedule

Hartsville at Eastside -- 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 28

Eastside vs. Hartsville, neutral site, if nec.

CLASS AAA UPPER STATE

Thursday

Game 1: Chapman 8, Seneca 2

Game 2: Clinton 18, Powdersville 11

Saturday

Game 3: Chapman 9, Clinton 7

Game 4: Powdersville 9, Seneca 3

Monday, May 16

Game 5: Powdersville 5, Clinton 1

Wednesday, May 18

Game 6: Chapman 9, Powdersville 2, Chapman advances

CLASS AAA LOWER STATE

Thursday

Game 1: Brookland-Cayce 6, Hanahan 1

Game 2: Oceanside Collegiate 17, Gilbert 4

Saturday

Game 3: Oceanside Collegiate 7, Brookland-Cayce 2

Game 4: Hanahan 10, Gilbert 3

Monday, May 16

Game 5: Brookland-Cayce 7, Hanahan 3

Wednesday, May 18

Game 6: Oceanside Collegiate 8, Brookland-Cayce 5, Oceanside Collegiate advances

CLASS AAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

Saturday, May 21

Oceanside Collegiate 7, Chapman 3

Tuesday, May 24

Oceanside Collegiate 8, Chapman 0, Oceanside Collegiate wins state title

CLASS AA UPPER STATE

Thursday

Game 1: Gray Collegiate 3, Abbeville 0

Game 2: Chesterfield 8, St. Joseph’s 3

Saturday

Game 3: Gray Collegiate 9, Chesterfield 7

Game 4: St. Joseph's 11, Abbeville 4

Monday, May 16

Game 5: St. Joseph's 12, Chesterfield 4

Wednesday, May 18

Game 6: Gray Collegiate Academy 3, St. Joseph's 2, Gray Collegiate Academy advances

CLASS AA LOWER STATE

Thursday

Game 1: Philip Simmons 8, Buford 7

Game 2: Andrew Jackson 2, Woodland 0

Saturday

Game 3: Andrew Jackson 6, Philip Simmons 3

Game 4: Woodland 1, Buford 0

Monday, May 16

Game 5: Philip Simmons 12, Woodland 3

Wednesday, May 18

Game 6: Andrew Jackson 8, Philip Simmons 7, Andrew Jackson advances

CLASS AA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

Saturday, May 21

Andrew Jackson 8, Gray Collegiate 4

Tuesday, May 24

Andrew Jackson at Gray Collegiate Academy

Saturday, May 28

Gray Collegiate Academy vs. Andrew Jackson, neutral site, if nec.

CLASS A UPPER STATE

Thursday

Game 1: Southside Christian 14, McBee 2

Game 2: Lewisville 11, Whitmire 1

Saturday

Game 3: Southside Christian 5, Lewisville 1

Game 4: Whitmire 10, McBee 0

Monday, May 16

Game 5: Lewisville 10, Whitmire 7

Wednesday, May 18

Game 6: Southside Christian 10, Lewisville 0, Southside Christian advances

CLASS A LOWER STATE

Thursday

Game 1: East Clarendon 9, Green Sea Floyds 3

Friday

Game 2: Johnsonville 6, Branchville 5

Monday, May 16

Game 3: Johnsonville 7, East Clarendon 2 -- Moved due to weather

Game 4: Branchville 9, Green Sea Floyds 5 -- Moved due to weather

Tuesday, May 17

Game 5: East Clarendon 9, Branchville 0

Wednesday, May 18

Game 6: East Clarendon 7, Johnsonville 0

Game 7: Johnsonville 6, East Clarendon 5, Johnsonville advances

CLASS A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

Saturday, May 21

Southside Christian 13, Johnsonville 3 -- Five innings

Tuesday, May 24

Southside Christian 7, Johnsonville 4, Southside Christian wins state title

Send scores to 864Huddle@gannett.com.

‘The whole world changed:’ James Island woman hosts 2 Ukrainian refugees

Anna thought the name “Kitty” for her cat was pretty creative. It wasn’t a word you heard often where she lived. In Kramatorsk, everyone spoke Ukrainian or Russian.Now, the only memory she has of Kitty is a Polaroid photo.When Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February the Polaroid was one of the few things Anna put in her one, hastily packed suitcase. Since then, the Polaroid has traveled with her to Poland, Latvia, Mexico, Texas, New York and finally South Carolina.In the months since the invasion, An...

Anna thought the name “Kitty” for her cat was pretty creative. It wasn’t a word you heard often where she lived. In Kramatorsk, everyone spoke Ukrainian or Russian.

Now, the only memory she has of Kitty is a Polaroid photo.

When Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February the Polaroid was one of the few things Anna put in her one, hastily packed suitcase. Since then, the Polaroid has traveled with her to Poland, Latvia, Mexico, Texas, New York and finally South Carolina.

In the months since the invasion, Anna and her husband Eric, have traveled some 9,500 miles seeking a new home. They have asked not to share their last names to preserve their safety.

“We decided to move very far,” Anna said. “I want to have a family, grow children and just be safe.”

She packed some winter clothes for the bitter Ukrainian and Polish temperatures they first encountered, her laptop and a couple of the children’s books she had illustrated back when she had a seemingly normal life. She had a job as a graphic designer and an apartment with Eric.

“We moved to Kramatorsk because it had better conditions for us and we decided to stay there. But the whole world changed. All our plans we built, our apartment,” Eric said. “We miss our home.”

At one point the couple was separated at the U.S.-Mexico border while seeking asylum. They read from bloggers that it was the best route to take to receive a special visa specifically for Ukrainians. Eric was sent back to Reynosa, Mexico, while Anna was allowed to stay across the border in McAllen, Texas. The couple, married for two years, weren’t sure when, or if, they would see each other again.

“We were very upset and I had no way back,” Eric said. “I had no connections, no service, nothing. I don’t speak Spanish. I had stress because I didn’t know what happened with Anna and I didn’t know what I needed to do now.”

Anna went to stay with a family friend in New York and met with an immigration attorney who told her she could add Eric, who is originally from Latvia, to her asylum application. When they got back in touch with each other, Eric came to meet her on a tourist visa.

Eric and Anna are two of an estimated 6.6 million people who have fled Ukraine since February, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. As of April, there were an estimated 15,000 Ukrainian refugees in the United States, the Associated Press reports.

But entry through Mexico is no longer accepted except in “extreme circumstances,” the AP reports. Instead, the U.S. began a new program that requires people or organizations in the U.S. to sponsor Ukrainian refugees before they may enter. The goal is to accept 100,000 refugees into the U.S.

“A lot of Ukrainian people still stay in Mexico and don’t have any opportunity to come here because now it is different rules to come to America,” Eric said. “We’re lucky.”

Choosing Charleston

Some 800 miles away from Brooklyn, Julie Uhler was reading headlines about the war in Ukraine from her home on James Island when she came across a website called www.UkraineTakeShelter.com. Divorced, with her two adult daughters living on their own, Uhler felt compelled to offer up a room.

“I had a couple of friends that were like, ‘what are you doing,’” Uhler said. ”’And I’m like, ‘you know, I don’t know. But how can I not? I’m a mom.’”

Two FaceTime calls with Eric and Anna later and the pair were boarding a plane to Charleston. They knew nothing about the Lowcountry but Anna said she found common ground with Uhler who is also an artist.

The first day was awkward, Uhler admitted with a laugh. She had two strangers in her home, worlds away from the life they knew, still practicing their English.

But it didn’t take long for the trio to settle in. Eric and Anna call Uhler their “American mom.”

With no specific plan in place, Uhler started chipping away slowly at tasks that might be helpful while also trying not to overwhelm the couple. She posted on the neighborhood social media app NextDoor asking for clothing donations that were better suited for a South Carolina summer than a Ukraine winter. One neighbor donated a pair of bikes.

“Day by day. That’s how we’re living,” Uhler said.

Most days over the last two weeks at Uhler’s house, Anna and Eric have worked on Anna’s asylum application and caught up on news of the war with friends and family now scattered throughout Europe. Anna can only communicate with her father and stepfather through text message because they are in the Ukrainian military.

But the couple is forging ahead in Charleston getting more comfortable. Uhler has cooked meals, taken the couple to downtown Charleston, helped find Eric a barber shop and learned to use Google Translate. They also made their first trip to Folly Beach.

“Now we are thinking about being surfers,” Eric said.

The couple can’t find work until their visas are approved, so in the meantime Uhler set up a fundraiser and plans to host them for as long as they need. If given the opportunity, she said she’d do it again.

“The whole world changed:” James Island woman hosts two Ukrainian refugees

Anna thought the name “Kitty” for her cat was pretty creative. It wasn’t a word you heard often where she lived. In Kramatorsk, everyone spoke Ukrainian or Russian.Now, the only memory she has of Kitty is a Polaroid photo.When Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February the Polaroid was one of the few things Anna put in her one, hastily packed suitcase. Since then, the Polaroid has traveled with her to Poland, Latvia, Mexico, Texas, New York and finally South Carolina.In the months since the invasion, An...

Anna thought the name “Kitty” for her cat was pretty creative. It wasn’t a word you heard often where she lived. In Kramatorsk, everyone spoke Ukrainian or Russian.

Now, the only memory she has of Kitty is a Polaroid photo.

When Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February the Polaroid was one of the few things Anna put in her one, hastily packed suitcase. Since then, the Polaroid has traveled with her to Poland, Latvia, Mexico, Texas, New York and finally South Carolina.

In the months since the invasion, Anna and her husband Eric, have traveled some 9,500 miles seeking a new home. They have asked not to share their last names to preserve their safety.

“We decided to move very far,” Anna said. “I want to have a family, grow children and just be safe.”

She packed some winter clothes for the bitter Ukrainian and Polish temperatures they first encountered, her laptop and a couple of the children’s books she had illustrated back when she had a seemingly normal life. She had a job as a graphic designer and an apartment with Eric.

“We moved to Kramatorsk because it had better conditions for us and we decided to stay there. But the whole world changed. All our plans we built, our apartment,” Eric said. “We miss our home.”

At one point the couple was separated at the U.S.-Mexico border while seeking asylum. They read from bloggers that it was the best route to take to receive a special visa specifically for Ukrainians. Eric was sent back to Reynosa, Mexico, while Anna was allowed to stay across the border in McAllen, Texas. The couple, married for two years, weren’t sure when, or if, they would see each other again.

“We were very upset and I had no way back,” Eric said. “I had no connections, no service, nothing. I don’t speak Spanish. I had stress because I didn’t know what happened with Anna and I didn’t know what I needed to do now.”

Anna went to stay with a family friend in New York and met with an immigration attorney who told her she could add Eric, who is originally from Latvia, to her asylum application. When they got back in touch with each other, Eric came to meet her on a tourist visa.

Eric and Anna are two of an estimated 6.6 million people who have fled Ukraine since February, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. As of April, there were an estimated 15,000 Ukrainian refugees in the United States, the Associated Press reports.

But entry through Mexico is no longer accepted except in “extreme circumstances,” the AP reports. Instead, the U.S. began a new program that requires people or organizations in the U.S. to sponsor Ukrainian refugees before they may enter. The goal is to accept 100,000 refugees into the U.S.

“A lot of Ukrainian people still stay in Mexico and don’t have any opportunity to come here because now it is different rules to come to America,” Eric said. “We’re lucky.”

Choosing Charleston

Some 800 miles away from Brooklyn, Julie Uhler was reading headlines about the war in Ukraine from her home on James Island when she came across a website called www.UkraineTakeShelter.com. Divorced, with her two adult daughters living on their own, Uhler felt compelled to offer up a room.

“I had a couple of friends that were like, ‘what are you doing,’” Uhler said. ”’And I’m like, ‘you know, I don’t know. But how can I not? I’m a mom.’”

Two FaceTime calls with Eric and Anna later and the pair were boarding a plane to Charleston. They knew nothing about the Lowcountry but Anna said she found common ground with Uhler who is also an artist.

The first day was awkward, Uhler admitted with a laugh. She had two strangers in her home, worlds away from the life they knew, still practicing their English.

But it didn’t take long for the trio to settle in. Eric and Anna call Uhler their “American mom.”

With no specific plan in place, Uhler started chipping away slowly at tasks that might be helpful while also trying not to overwhelm the couple. She posted on the neighborhood social media app NextDoor asking for clothing donations that were better suited for a South Carolina summer than a Ukraine winter. One neighbor donated a pair of bikes.

“Day by day. That’s how we’re living,” Uhler said.

Most days over the last two weeks at Uhler’s house, Anna and Eric have worked on Anna’s asylum application and caught up on news of the war with friends and family now scattered throughout Europe. Anna can only communicate with her father and stepfather through text message because they are in the Ukrainian military.

But the couple is forging ahead in Charleston getting more comfortable. Uhler has cooked meals, taken the couple to downtown Charleston, helped find Eric a barber shop and learned to use Google Translate. They also made their first trip to Folly Beach.

“Now we are thinking about being surfers,” Eric said.

The couple can’t find work until their visas are approved, so in the meantime Uhler set up a fundraiser and plans to host them for as long as they need. If given the opportunity, she said she’d do it again.

James Island woman founds housing nonprofit to help single moms going back to school

JAMES ISLAND — Rebekah Lambooy knows the financial burdens single mothers face living in the Charleston region where housing costs have risen dramatically in recent years.Lambooy, a single mom of three — two boys and a girl — struggled after her divorce in 2012 to make ends meet. At the time, she had been paying just under $1,000 in rent. She didn’t qualify for government assistance because her income was just below the federal threshold.Lambooy decided in 2012 to return to college and complete her bache...

JAMES ISLAND — Rebekah Lambooy knows the financial burdens single mothers face living in the Charleston region where housing costs have risen dramatically in recent years.

Lambooy, a single mom of three — two boys and a girl — struggled after her divorce in 2012 to make ends meet. At the time, she had been paying just under $1,000 in rent. She didn’t qualify for government assistance because her income was just below the federal threshold.

Lambooy decided in 2012 to return to college and complete her bachelor’s degree to advance her career. In 2016, she obtained her business degree from the College of Charleston, earning her a raise at her job as a paralegal.

But Lambooy also used her business knowledge to establish a nonprofit that seeks to help other single mothers in similar situations. The James Island resident formed HerIndependence, which provides affordable housing for single mothers obtaining post-secondary education.

Lambooy said she’s grateful to be able to help provide some financial relief for mothers making an effort to advance their education in order to provide for their families.

“I’ve been there, done that,” she said. “I want to help somebody with just a portion of assistance that I can do.”

Lambooy got interested in housing while in college, and the interest inspired her to get a real estate license after graduating. She had also been noticing the rising costs of rent that had taking shape over the years, and she saw affordable housing as a path that could help families in need.

HerIndependence now owns three houses. Two had been abandoned buildings before the nonprofit refurbished them. They house two families where single mothers are heading back to school.

A third home is currently being redone for a new family.

The organization said it has relied mostly on federal housing funds funneled through the city of North Charleston. But as construction costs rise, Lambooy fears it could impact her organization’s ability to provide housing. She eventually wants the group to expand and host multiple projects across the region.

Donations can be made online at herindependence.com.

“This isn’t a handout,” said board member Jennifer Abrusia. “This is a way to help people who want to help themselves.”

Abrusia and Lambooy are friends who initially bonded over shared experiences. Like Lambooy, Abrusia was a single mother who struggled at times financially. The two also share the fact that they each received strong support from relatives.

“We both have kind of walked this path a little bit,” Abrusia said.

Lambooy recalled the difficult journey of balancing classes, children and a full-time job.

She scheduled her college courses at 8 a.m. so she’d be home in time to take her children to school. She’d then go to work, and then pick them up from school in the afternoon. Her day wasn’t complete until she’d finished taking them to their sports and other extracurricular activities.

Lambooy, too, said she’s thankful for those who stepped in and gave her a helping hand.

“I have a lot of supportive friends and family,” she said.

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