Cameron Reynolds, a travel photographer based in Greenville, S.C. loves creative collaborations with her clients. Sharing her fondness for Christmas, Cameron was excited to accept Southern Living’s offer to shoot their Christmas edition in her small town – showcasing the spirit of Greenville during the holiday season.
Cameron has previously worked with Southern Living, initially catching their attention after shooting social media content for a local artist in Greenville. The magazine then presented Cameron with a travel story about Asheville, North Carolina and since then they have kept in touch.
I was thrilled when they decided to have me shoot Greenville for their Christmas issue.
The shoot happened during the month of December in an effort to capture the entire Christmas season. Most of the focus was on downtown Greenville, where many of the holiday festivities take place. Cameron’s shot list included several shots of local restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores, in addition to giant Christmas tree displays and outdoor events.
The goal of this project was to showcase Greenville at Christmas for the 2021 December issue – highlighting the charm and splendor the city has to offer during the holiday season. In addition to lots of locations, Cameron also covered a variety of signature events, from outdoor ice skating to holiday shopping, holiday light displays, and more.
I added a few of my own locations to the shot list that I thought added to the story of Greenville.
Having previously worked for Southern Living, Cameron understood the publication’s expectations. She communicated with them several times regarding editing making sure the images were exactly what the client had envisioned.
I always appreciate the client’s feedback during the process.
The subjects used for this assignment were usually bystanders. Several people were willing to jump in for a few “candid” shots as necessary. Cameron scheduled some of her friends for the opening carriage shot which was fun for everyone involved. The city’s PR company scheduled an ice skating shoot at The United Community Bank Ice On Main – a miniature version of New York’s Rockefeller Center – and hired models to add more life to the pictures.
Everyone who participated was super-nice and helped me get the images I needed.
With several years of shooting food and travel editorial under her belt, this project felt more “documentary-ish” because it didn’t require a lot of styling. When Cameron is shooting lifestyle assignments things feel more casual. She uses her images to tell stories in a natural and cohesive way.
Many of the shots were taken outdoors, so weather was the immediate challenge. When weather conditions prohibited Cameron from shooting outside, she’d shoot indoors and reschedule shots for brighter days with nice winter light.
Once the shot list was completed, there was a lot of uploading and post-production for each part of the shoot.
It felt like producing and editing several small shoots within one big project.
Some of the things Cameron learned from this assignment were about time management and how to schedule multiple shoots for a long-term project. She also discovered how hard it is to explain to some of the participants why they wouldn’t be featured in the final published story.
I’m always learning!
Shooting Southern Living’s December issue was a treat for lifestyle photographer Cameron Reynolds, enabling her to share the charm her hometown offers during the holiday season.
I loved getting to spend so much time downtown during Christmas in my own city.
See more of Cameron’s images on Instagram.