Middleton Place Charleston SC award winning photography

SLR Lounge Apex award winning photojournalism wedding photograph by Reese Allen.

SLR Lounge Top 20 photographers in the world

Documentary wedding photography contest winner May 2017. Apex award for Top 20 photos on the world.



We are excited to have been chosen among the Top 1% of Wedding Photographers worldwide by industry peers at SLR Lounge.  It is always a humbling experience for other photographers, many many of whom I have admired for years, to pick an image from one of our recent weddings as one of the Top 20 images in the world.

Every couples first priority is to capture those elusive documentary moments from their wedding day.  This particular image is a perfect example of what us wedding photographers do at every event.  It doesn’t always happen, but when it does we are so happy to have captured an authentic moment of  beauty.  We also believe that it illustrates the truth that, “a great photograph can never happen again”.

Sloan and Brandon first contacted me from Australia where they were living and developing a new mission project for their church.  Their work had taken them away from family and they were excited to be coming home to see everyone, including Sloan’s little brother Kyle.  The ceremony was beautiful under the huge live Oak at Middleton Plantation and we were preparing for the formal family portraits.  Sloan and Kyle were talking and she kneeled down to be closer to his level.  I could not hear their conversation, but I did notice he seemed to be acting shy or doing his best to keep it together.  I later learned that he was sad because he thought that the ceremony meant he was not going to see his sister again for a very long time, maybe never.  I was lucky to have anticipated something happening and stepped in front of an Aunt who was certainly moving toward them to wipe the tear away and also to change the moment forever.  Interestingly, the brother was OK with his display of emotion and I do not think he even noticed me photographing him as his eyes welled up with tears and they fell slowly down his cheek.  For some reason, crying pictures are one of the most challenging to capture as raw emotion and tears are quickly wiped away or faces are hidden from everyone.

And while it is great to win awards, it is most gratifying being able to give these images back to the people who entrusted us to capture them.  I am still in awe of a photographs ability to split time down to 1/500th of a second and freeze an emotion that is lost in real time and beautifully preserved for generations.