About Me

My husband and I moved to Hilton Head 13 years ago from the Washington DC area to retire. He started a consulting business when we got here and I opened Smarty Pants Photography a few years later. As you can see, we are flunking retirement miserably.

Like so many others who are now island residents, we used to bring our children here in the summer for vacation. It didn’t take long for every one of us to fall in love with the place, and of course we dreamt about “some day” when the kids would be grown and we no longer had to select our location by jobs or school districts. When “some day” came, we knew we wanted to be in a place that we loved and one that they would love to come visit - so, where else but HILTON HEAD ISLAND! They are now all spread around the US as well as Australia and England – and yes – they do indeed love coming here to visit!

With our Portuguese Water Dog Howard by our sides we thoroughly enjoy life here with the beach, golf, tennis and everything else the island has to offer. (Howard would like a boat but dad said no.)

Who needs retirement?

Dayle Thomas

About Smarty Pants

After spending decades raising and photographing children, there are a few things I’ve learned – and they are the basis of Smarty Pants Photography.

First off – it’s gotta be fun! Life is not posed and heaven knows children aren’t either (well – you can try) so let’s go off script. In fact, let’s not use a script at all.

No two children react the same way in the same situation – which is why I take my time with your child(ren). Photo sessions are not timed – we talk, we laugh, we play, we get comfortable with each other … then we bring out the camera and the fun really begins! This undoubtedly means I get as sandy, wet and silly as your child does.

My job is to bring out the true essence of your child at this stage in their life – that is why when you book a photo session you will receive a short questionnaire from me asking all about your child – their interests, their likes and dislikes. This helps me know your child a little before I even meet them. There are also questions about your wishes for this photo session – I work hard to make sure we get images that are exactly what you want so any input you give me is helpful to both of us.

I truly love what I do – and am most comfortable with a camera in my hand capturing the minute details that make us all the individuals we are. That slow smile of a shy child that turns into a full blown grin when you least expect it, the hand gestures toddlers use to tell a tale, the furrowed brow of intense concentration – these are the things Smarty Pants Photography takes time to capture so you will have them to remember forever.

Come play with me!

Meet Jordan Ockovcin

The mother of three small children herself, Jordan came to work with me a few years ago after her own maternity session with her second child. A lot has happened since then and we continue to laugh, learn and grow together. Aside from her enthusiasm, creativity, ability to get down and dirty with kiddos and attention to detail Jordan has opened Smarty Pants Photography up to the world of autism through her son. We pride ourselves on the work we do with children with special needs and love every minute of it.