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On Friday, we shot a house on the northern end of Mount Pleasant, near Awendaw. Let me back up: I thought we were going there to shoot a house (and since I’m the one who set up the photography,you’d think I’d know what was on tap). But we ended up photographing so much more than just a house for another interiors story—instead, I got a glimpse of a day in the life of one lively, and rather fascinating family, got up close and personal with the land and fields and marshes and dirt roads that surround them, and gained a cool perspective on this little-known slice of Mount Pleasant.  

I remember trying to recall the exact elements of the house we were to shoot (it had been about three months since I scouted it) as I drove down 17 North that morning, and down a tiny dirt road off to the left. My mind ticked through what I could recall: good kitchen, no, great kitchen. Killer views. Repurposed wood in the support beams. Pool. The family has a lot of fun there. But I remembered more about the homeowner, Louisa, than I did the house itself. A woman with two sons who she adores—she beams when she talks about them—who designed and oversaw the building of the house and its outbuildings from the ground up. Very personable, very generous, and very interesting—the kind of woman with spontaneous anecdotes that keep you frozen in a hall, on a stair step, in a laundry room riveted until the end.

So I met the photographer, Tim Moxley out of Atlanta, and we got to work. Again, during the course of the day, the story went from an article about a house to a story of a day on Louisa’s farm. With every person I met, every little adventure, I learned that this wasn’t just a place that people lived because it’s pretty, or near the right schools, or a good investment. I have to stop there and just show you some pictures of the shoot because I know me—I'll end up writing the whole story right here on this blog, without ever coming up for air. I'll just say this: keep an eye out for this feature. You're going to love it.

 

Basin of prop flowers for kitchen, living, and hall shots

 

Our photo team: photographer Tim Moxley, with magazine intern Nate Wenrich in the foyer, shooting into the library.

 

This was what was happening while Tim, Nate, and I were inside working (hot day). That's Louisa in the middle, with sons Sam (left) and Will. I kept wondering how ill-received it would be if I switched my loyalties from Shoot Director to Swim Director. Check out the marsh view. 

 

 

This was so much fun. Around the middle of the day, we went out to the dock to get some shots of the boys casting out for shrimp. Will (left) throws it out once, immediately pulls it back in (keep in mind we're doing this just for the shoot, no serious fishing here), and inside are two spottail bass. Louisa immediately proclaimed they had dinner for the evening and we went on with our dock shots.

 

Ned, the farm manager, finished up his harrowing gator baiting tale by draping me in a souvenir from the kill—an eight-foot (or was it 10-foot? I think I was too distracted by the large reptile skin wrapped around me to commit it to memory) tanned alligator hide. And before I get the emails: the kill was legit. Nuisance permit with the tag to prove it.

 

Louisa walks our photographer through the kiwi groves. They're blooming now, with ripe fruit later in the year. 

 

Louisa with her canoe down by the creek. She's in it most every day—either that, or wading through at low tide gathering shrimp. 

 

The view from the deck near the end of the day. I assure you, there are much better photos, but we'll save those for the real deal story. I'm not sure which issue yet, but I'll keep you posted.

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