Monthly Archives

August 2010

Shona + Michael | Preview

I feel like a broken record. Because after every wedding, we come back and think to ourselves – wow, we’re so very fortunate that our clients are always exactly the type of clients we want to work with. Whether they’re getting married in Savannah, Georgia or Valparaiso, Indiana, or Boston, Massachusetts – we always have a great time and working as hard as we do doesn’t feel like a chore because we want our clients to not only have great photos – but to have a great wedding experience.

Leah and I flew into Boston on Wednesday and finally met Shona & Michael in person for the first time over drinks in East Boston. We’re grateful that couples continue to take a chance on us and fly us out for their weddings – and we make it a point to at least fly in the day before if not earlier – so we can all meet in person before the actual day of the wedding. Of course it can be hectic for the bride & groom during that week leading up to the actual day. Fortunately, Leah and I have a knack for blending in and making people comfortable around us – and I write that not to say we’re great – but it’s definitely something we want to get across to our interns and their own dealings with clients.

Because if someone is going to fly you thousands of miles to spend 12 hours with them on one of their most important days – then you better be someone that they like and want to be around. Of course – it’s way easier if you’re not acting and you actually enjoy everything about photographing weddings. The meeting new people, the pressure to get beautiful photos, and some of the stress when things don’t go exactly according to plan (you shouldn’t plan too strictly anyways), or when the light isn’t ideal (whatever that is).

Every wedding is different for us – and while every wedding photographer will say the exact same thing – we say it because we aim for different photos every time. We aim to capture not only the usual events andemotion of the day – but the atmosphere. A wedding in Savannah, Georgia should look and feel different from a wedding in Valparaiso, Indiana – and that should look and feel different from a wedding in Boston, Mass.

A wedding today should look and feel different from tomorrow’s wedding, or next week’s wedding. Whether they’re a block a part or in the same venue.

I know. That’s probably a ridiculously high standard to aim for – but why would anyone aim for less than that?

Did I mention how cool Shona & Michael are?

Among his many interests – Michael is also a photographer – so the wedding was actually scheduled for sunset at around 7:15 pm. Obviously some of these photos were shot before the actual ceremony – but the sun is still pretty low, and with no trees or buildings to block the horizon – it was interesting to shoot with such a wide open sky, and with the sun blazing over the bay.

Thank you Shona & Michael.

LeahAndMark.com | Atlanta | Boston | Wedding Photographers | Hyatt Harborside Logan Airport

Happy Birthday and Boston and Then

Leah’s birthday was last week and we had a party 🙂 These are screen captures taken right after we played pinata baseball.

In case it’s not obvious – Leah and I are practicing our AsianPoses and that’s our Intern Ashley there beside us. Clearly, she hasn’t been studying her AsianPoses.com. That’s okay though, it’s not for everyone.

We’re flying up to Boston this week to photograph a wedding, see some of the city, and then also driving up to Mt. Holyoke – where Leah went to undergrad. I’ve never been anywhere near New England so it’ll be fun for me – of course, it’s always fun for us since we really like traveling. That’s probably a good thing considering how much flying around we’re going to be doing in the next year.

We’re booked up and down the east coast, and we’re opening things up to the Southwest in a few weeks so that should be fun.

Along with all of the domestic travel – we’re now making plans for a trip to India & Nepal – with the initial idea to land in Mumbai, go over land to Varanasi, and then make our way over to Nepal (ha – of course, this has changed a lot over the past year).

Also – we just made another batch of loans to third world business owners through Kiva.org, for a total of 153 loans funded through proceeds from our photography services.

If you’re not our friends on Facebook already – add me. We don’t have a fan page because we don’t want fans; we want friends. We have a lot of projects in the works including more photography how-to (with point-n-shoots!) and then a project called PhotoPop! involving roughly 15 nonprofits and us as photographers. Oh – we’re bringing in the Intern Army for that one.

Talk to you soon.

Surreal Soiree | Salvador Dali @ The High Museum

While Leah and I were in Indiana this past weekend – our Interns handled the Portrait Booth at the High Museum for the grand opening of the Salvador Dali exhibit. Aside from the fact that hey – it’s the High Museum of Art! – it was also really cool that we could count on our Interns to not only do an okay job – but to do a GREAT JOB. Alumni Intern Paralee was head photographer and brought along Alumni Intern Vania, and then also New Interns Christy and Robby.

We talk a lot about how we really want our interns to get a lot of experience shooting a variety of subject matter, and generally just being better photographers all around – so honestly, it was really nice to be able to count on Paralee to do a good job for us. Especially considering the fact that our Portrait booths aren’t exactly simple.

You can tell that we use a white backdrop, but we wash it out as much as we can so that it’s mostly just a clean white background – and you don’t see the ‘fabric’ as much, but then we also use four (4) speedlights strategically placed for shadows and some dynamic lighting to make things more interesting. We don’t want flat light. We want shadows. We want depth. We want cool photos that you won’t get from anyone with a portrait booth setup. And we know you won’t get photos like these from anyone else, because honestly no one else works as hard as we do at Light. You’ve seen other photobooth photos and they might have one, maybe two light sources at best – and they’re always just throwing flat light at the subjects.

And when you consider that Paralee and the team ran through roughly 160 ‘sessions’ in about 4 hours – that’s a lot of variation in compositions, and light, and well – it just takes a lot of energy to shoot at that pace over that length of time. Setting up your lights for the most flexibility is crucial. We make our interns learn how to shoot on full manual – so knowing how to adjust for various conditions is pretty important – on top of just directing that volume of people to keep the line flowing, while also getting great photos.

We can’t express how proud we are of Paralee for leading this job.

And although we want our internship to always be a free training course – we don’t expect anyone to take on a job like this just because they’re our intern, or as a free favor. Since we know what it takes to shoot something like this, at that pace, for that long – Paralee was compensated the full amount for the job, directly from the High Museum. Have you noticed how our photography internship isn’t like any other internship out there?

For us, being able to teach someone who didn’t go to photography school on how to handle a job a like this after a short 3 month internship – I think that’s something we can be proud of – especially since we’re teaching our interns to not be button pushers, but quality photographers who know what they’re doing, whether it’s natural light or off-camera flash.

Obviously these photos aren’t all technically ‘perfect’ – but hey, two minutes per group remember? Just think what the photos would look like if they had a whopping five minutes to spend per group! ha.

In case you’re new to us here at LeahAndMark.com – we recently took on a new batch of 15 interns. This week we’re holding our Lighting 101 class and then next month we’ll have our Photography Business/Marketing class. We teach the photography marketing class because we think that most photography schools don’t do a good job of teaching their students how to get business, and survive as working photographers. How many art school graduates do you know that aren’t using their art/photography degrees to do what they want? And instead they’re working at office day jobs, or whatever job they can get?

We want our photography interns to succeed at whatever level they feel comfortable, and teaching them how to market themselves as photographers is part of that.

Click Here For the Entire Gallery.

And check out Paralee’s Photography Website Here.

Thank you.

LeahAndMark.com | High Museum | Surreal Soiree | Salvador Dali | Photos