Photojournalistic Story Ideas in Charleston, SC

Shrimpers -

Charleston has a large seafood industry with the biggest being the shrimp industry. Many of the shrimp boat captains are welcoming to photographers and know the drill. The season is from May until December. 


Magwood & Sons - (843) 884-3352

Wando Shrimp - (843) 884-9933

Link to stories:

Oyster Men & Crabbers

Oystermen make one of the most amazing photo stories but it is very seasonable limited to the colder months between October & March. Crabbers go all year and are very willing to take photographers with them.


Tattoo Parlors

Tattoo parlors were against the law in Charleston County until 2010. Now they are everywhere. Most can be found along upper King Street and in West Ashley district along the Savannah Hwy. Some that are friendly to photographers include:

Blu Gorilla Tattoo

Broken Lantern Tattoo

Roller Derby Queens

Lowcountry High Rollers

Very friendly and receptive to photographers. -

Horse Carriages

Charleston is known for their horse carriage tours which have been going on for 50 years. All the barns are located int he same area of Charleston just a block from the Old City Market and they are all receptive to photographers and welcome our projects. It always helps to call first but they are just as helpful if you simply stop in and introduce yourself and start shooting. Here are the best:

Palmetto Carriage (most interesting & friendly)

Classic Carriage 

Old South Carriage (they wear confederate uniforms)

Charleston Tea Plantation 

This is the only working tea plantation in America. Owned by the Bigelow Family. They are happy to have photographers but it's on one of Charleston Sea islands and takes about 45 minutes to get there. They grow the tea, pick it with the only mechanical tea picking machine in the world, cure and package it all on location. 

Sweet Grass Basket Makers & Gullah Culture

The Gullah culture is what African slaves brought with them when they arrived. It thrived in this area as many escaped and freed slaves lived on the sea islands off the coast since White people didn't want the land as there was no source of water and the sand made it hard to grow food. They kept alive a language mixed with english and Angolan, basketmaking, storytelling, quilting & textiles, fishnet making, rice production and most of the foods now known as lowcountry cuisine. This is a hard story as many of the people who keep the traditions alive are not welcoming to photographers. We do have a few contacts with basket makers and story tellers which can give a start to the student.  


This area is filled with crafts people and artisans and most are welcoming to photographers. Here are some to view:

Artisan Cheese Makers

Craft Brewers - We have 6 local craft brewers all friendly to photographers (Coast, Palmetto, Westbrook, 

Charleston Bees & Honey - Local honey producer & beekeeper with 40 hives

Several Organic & Rustic Bread Bakers including Evo & Normandy Farm

Firefly Distillery - Home of the famous Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka - made locally and open to photographers but now owned by Seagrams. 

Striped Pig Distillery - Locally made craft vodka and other brews

Charleston Distillery - booze made local

High Wire Distillery - Rustic and visual

Furniture Makers - Moran Woodworked Furniture

Blacksmiths (Charleston iron gates) - Aherns Anvil, Old Charleston Forge

Hand made knives - Custom Coastal Knives, Middleton Made Knives

Hand made hats - Carolina Millinery Company Charleston



This is the South and SC has it's own BBQ traditions with a unique mustard style sauce. There are several legendary BBQ places where whole pigs are smoked. 

Rodney Scott (a legend) about an hour away 

Bub Sweatmans BBQ - About 40 minutes away 

American College of the Building Arts 

Nations only college dedicated to fine art building & restoration. Located in the Old City Jail they teach hand craft building for fine restoration. Good photos of skills like carving, hand tools etc in a really cool location.

Horse & Animals

We have a large fox hunting club & polo club both very receptive to photographers

Middleton Place Hounds

Hyde Park Polo

Birds of Prey - Center dedicated to research, preservation and injured birds of prey

International Primate Protection League - Primate Rescue & Rehab Facility

South Carolina Aquarium - Non-profit public aquarium & research facility

NOAA Hollings Marine Research Center - Wide variety of marine research including dolphins



We have a wide variety of interesting characters which might be a photo story including:

Eric Lavender - Leads Pirate tours dressed as a pirate with parrot. very friendly to photographers.

Carnivalesque Vaudeville Revival

Bizarro Burlesque - Circus Burlesque 

Holly City Beards - Mustache & Beard Club 


We have Charleston Air Force Base & Navy Weapons Station are both located in the city. Access can be fickle unless the photographer is associated with a publication. 

Parris Island Marine Recruit Center - One of two Marine Corps boot camps covering all recruits east of the Mississippi. Access if accredited. I have shot there a lot and they are very friendly.  

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center - Customs & Border Security Academy - located in Charleston. 

USCG Station Charleston - Large regional Coast Guard command center home to a cutter & air station

USCG Law Enforcement Academy - Only one in the country for Maritime Law enforcement


Port of Charleston - Charleston is home to the east coasts 4th largest port which offers potential stories. 

Boeing - Boeing builds the 787 in Charleston. 

USS Yorktown - Retired Aircraft Carrier & National Medal of Honor Museum 

Charlestowne Landing - Original site where the settlers landed. Now a open air museum with re-enactors and historic activities. 

Gritty City PJ Stuff

Charleston has area wide population of 425,000 and it's share of urban problems if someone is looking to photograph it. The police aren't big on ride alongs as this is the south and they don't like to show the bad side of anything. North Charleston city just west of Charleston is a high crime area and until recently was on the top 10 for murder capitals in America. It is poor, filled with trailer homes and a bad mix of poor rednecks, mexican immigrants and poor black folk. Just southwest in Walterboro there is a major problem with meth labs. We have several homeless shelters and food banks and the internationally known NGO Water Keepers International is located here.