Paralee & Aaron


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In case you don’t live here in Atlanta and you haven’t heard – it’s really cold right now. With the daily highs around 30 degrees, we’re freezing (hey, it’s the South, we like it a little warmer alright?) But of course that doesn’t stop me from shooting outside! (Although after this weekend, I definitely have to wear my parka next time.) Still. This past weekend was a great way to start off the new year. Three photo shoots and all of them different. A model portfolio shoot, a headshot session, and then this couples session with Paralee and Aaron.

We met up at Piedmont Park at around 4pm – the temperature dropped down to the low 20’s at that point and there was a slight wind to help make things even colder. Awesome.

The best part of this past weekend was definitely the clear sky, and the brilliant sun. Even though it was freezing cold, it wasn’t rainy and it wasn’t overcast – we had too much weather like that last year (even though it did get us out of our 4 year drought.) Still. With the setting sun and clear skies – we were losing light fast, and I wanted these photos to have a different look than your normal outdoor portrait session in Piedmont Park (it’s a popular location.)

Aside from all of the other considerations (composition, wardrobe, energy) – it’s all about light and how you control it. Sometimes you want the orange cast from a setting sun, and sometimes it’s just too orange. So you make adjustments if you know how. Add light, take away light, redirect light – and do it in a manner that the energy of the moment isn’t lost and your people can move around a bit. Because this isn’t a model shoot where you can take 6 minutes to set up a single shot. You’ve got one. So set up your lights, find a setting and make sure their faces are lit. Then Shoot.


Once you’ve got the cool shots with whatever additional lighting you want, everyone can really relax and start to move around more within the natural ambient light and then it’s just up to you the photographer as far as direction, composition and camera settings. Each photo shoot is different and making adjustments on the fly is the fun part. It’s a constant tweaking of settings and turning dials, along with paying attention to what’s going on, composing the shot and re-directing action. ‘wait, do that again, hold, put your hand there, look over my shoulder, now right into my lens, smile, don’t smile, jump, walk at 3/4th speed, laugh…‘ yeah, shooting with us is a bit run and gun because we always want to keep the energy up, and hopefully it translates into the photos – even when they’re in a still pose.

Here’s to a great 2010.

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  • Paralee 5 Jan 10 at 1:08 pm

    Mark and Leah, Aaron and I are absolutely blown away by the photos. I had no idea Aaron and I could look that good and awesome. The lighting is amazing and I love every single picture. You are a genius and the coolest guy I know. Thanks for inviting us to brave the cold with you.

    • Leah_108 5 Jan 10 at 8:32 pm

      We're so glad you like the photos! Y'all are such troopers because it was SO freezing cold!!!! Geez. I don't know how you still managed to smile and not look completely freezing. Good job!

  • James Adamthwaite 5 Jan 10 at 2:48 pm

    Amazing shots, Mark! Love them!

  • Hannah 7 Jan 10 at 4:53 am

    Hi! I just found your blog through offbeat bride, and I must say that I love your photos! I'm in Georgia too – way up in the north part of the state (where it's been even colder! haha). Keep it up, y'all have a good thing going! 🙂

    • Leah_108 7 Jan 10 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks so much, Hannah! We love North Georgia – we take road trips up north every few months. Hope you're staying warm!

  • Atlanta. Photographer. SteamPunk. Portraits. Syrens. of the. South. Ball. | 22 Jan 10 at 7:56 am

    […] I had help – Leah and our friend Paralee (of fame!) came along and worked the event with me. In fact, Paralee shot half the […]