Photojournalistic Story Ideas in Charleston, SC
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 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
Very friendly and receptive to photographers. - firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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:
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,
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
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.