I'm Margaret, a commercial and lifestyle photographer based in Charleston, SC. Here you'll find my recent work and a peek into my days, spent digging into community and hunting for beauty in everything -- whether it's the sand between my toes or the best fries in town. I love my man, my city and partnering with my clients to create beautiful images together. If that sounds like you, stick around and say hello!
Earlier this winter, I was driving the long highway home to the place where I grew up. It’s a funny stretch of road, buried by the overhanging oaks, dotted with half-collapsing houses and intermittent wide openings of marshland and men casually casting their lines into the water. It’s a wild land, overgrown and untamed. It’s beautiful but dreary. Alive but somewhat sleepy. Many of the cinderblock houses burst out of the underbrush with shouts of color. A bright blue dwelling here, there a harlequin green. You get the feeling that the inhabitants have always been there. That those houses and trees have seen more than most. The air is thick with memory. It’s heavy with struggle and spirits, and the feeling of being forgotten.
At certain points, there are newer residents. They have tall houses and mowed lawns. They’ve left the city in exchange for acres. One, close to my turn, has decided to start raising alpacas. My mind starts to wander.
Three months later, I’ve put together a shoot inspired by wild things. I wanted to contrast colorful and exotic pieces with the drab landscape of a late winter afternoon, and then take them over the top with unexpected animals. I wanted to convey a bohemian feeling, with nothing really to do with the South. But it won’t be ignored. The Lowcountry is woven into these images, and why shouldn’t it be? If exotic is to be defined as bizarre, extraordinary, and romantic, is there anything that encompasses it more?
I can’t even tell you how many YouTube videos I’ve watched with some combination of the following words: messy, curls, wavy, lob, boho, and waves. And while I definitely don’t consider myself an expert, I feel like I’ve finally gotten into a groove with my hair. So I thought I’d share what I’ve learned and some of the products that have helped me figure it out.
USmooth is a haircare line I recently discovered that does an amazing job. I use the volumizing line, and every product smells like heaven. Not even kidding. I like the way the shampoo and conditioner makes my hair feel. As someone with pretty straight hair, it can be hard to find a product that doesn’t leave my hair looking greasy by the end of the day. But I’ve also taken it too far and purchased products so focused on “clean” that my hair ended up seriously dry. These strike a nice balance.
After washing and towel drying, I work the plumping serum into my hair and let it finish drying. I do think the combination gives me a boost of volume after it’s dry.
When I first started teaching myself to do messy curls I was doing it with a straightener. I liked the result, but it was pretty finicky, and I wanted to see what would happen when I used a curling iron. I got the 1.25″ barrel from USmooth and it does a great job with looser curls. It has a good range of heat, I don’t even have to use the hottest setting like I have with other products in the past.
Once I’ve got it all curled, I give it a good spray with the USmooth firm hold hairspray and toss it with my fingers to separate them out and give it that messy look.
And that’s it! I can do the whole process in about 15 minutes and it stays all day–sometimes into the next morning, too. Not that I would ever do that.
disclaimer: this post was sponsored but the opinions were my own.
What I wouldn’t do for a skinny peach stucco like this one. Also even when it’s appropriate this emoji makes me giggle 🍑