– Text & Photos by Intern Jo
Mark lives on gchat when he is not behind the camera. I live on my computer too because of my freelance graphic designs and a comic book I’m commissioned to work on.
At one point Mark pops up and asks if I want to second shoot a wedding. I jumped at the opportunity. Though I didn’t know the details, I really wanted the chance to work a wedding and see how he managed such a hectic day.
Off to North Carolina with Leah and Mark. I hadn’t really had the opportunity to talk with Leah, she’s been so busy making the lil’ Rox I didn’t worry about it. You learn a lot about people when you are in a car together on a four hour trek. Leah and Mark learned I hibernate if I am a passenger. I learned that they are perfect together.
We arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina Friday afternoon, ate some great food and went to shoot the rehearsal dinner. The big thing about why I was asked to join Leah and Mark on this shoot is because Leah is so far along in her pregnancy that’s she shouldn’t be doing everything that is necessary to get the best shots. However, Leah was determined to be there because the bride, Katie, was a dear college friend of hers. It was wonderful seeing their little reunion because it seemed like they hadn’t been apart long though in reality they hadn’t see each other in years.
Now, I have to gush about the venue. Please bear with me because my southern roots are going to be laid bare for a minute. We shot this wedding at the most gorgeous ranch/farm I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m not positive how many acres -I think someone said 40- with 13 beautiful horses. A huge house, a huge barn and a huge corral. The barn… The barn was the cleanest I’ve ever seen. Ever. Even in movies. I don’t know how they do it. It blew my mind. Don’t misunderstand, the barn was used constantly but the family had some very good farm hands. When I grew up I loved to spend my spring breaks and a week or two with my Aunt out at here place. It was like a mini-farm. She always had horses and lots of dogs. Other animals came and went and I learned the basics on how to care for all of them. When ever I stayed at my Aunt’s place I helped out. I understand what it takes to muck a stall, wash a stubborn horse, pitch hay and all that jazz. That barn in North Carolina was beautiful and immaculate. I miss riding horses.
Back to the weekend adventures!
Mark has a high-caliber kind of personality. He’s never really in an idle position. I don’t think he knows neutral exists. It was intense keeping up with him the entire weekend. Lucky for me Leah is the perfect counter to all that energy. I think she could tell when I was getting frazzled and would simple talk to me. She’s that lovely comma in a long descriptive sentence giving the much needed pause before you continue forward. She made sure I took care of myself because, honestly, I wouldn’t have. I felt bad because I was really run down most of the weekend and battling detox symptoms because of some medical stuff. Both Leah and Mark were so understanding and supportive. They really went out of there way for me and I’m endlessly appreciative of it.
The wedding day had perfect weather. Bright blue skies, hugh fluffy clouds, a little warm with the right cool, gentle breeze. The thing is – Katie and Jamie matched the day perfectly. Both were so laid back and kind to everyone. They were full of laughter and love every second. I never saw either of them stress the entire weekend. It all seemed like a big fancy party. Something you don’t really have to worry about but something meant to make lasting memories. I don’t know if there was a specific timeline. I don’t know if everything was set up properly.
I don’t know if any last minute fiascos happened. You couldn’t tell by how the bride and groom acted. Hell, at one point durning the photo session after the ceremony the bride and groom laid down in a field, Katie ripped her dress walking through said field to the Magic Tree, then proceeded to fall off the roots of the tree. You know what she did? She stood up smiling and laughing every time. She tore off the part of the dress that ripped, she posed to show off the grasshopper residing of her dress. She was so happy nothing could bring her down. And what about her groom? Jamie was right there with her laughing and smiling the entire time. Only he would sneak a kiss in just for effect.
It seemed everyone had a fantastic time. I know I did.
Leah and Mark are fabulous. I’m not saying this just because I’m an intern. I’m saying it because it’s fact. Plain and simple. If I get married, they are the top choice for me. Hands down. In the interview process for the internship we were asked what we like about their photography. I can’t remember everything I said except for one key note. Their unflinching drive for quality. Sure there’s quantity when working with Mark. (He’s a beast when it come to taking lots of photos) But when the end results are high quality + high quantity, you can’t go wrong.
Things that I learned from this opportunity: (in no particular order)
Happy clients make the best photos.
Mark is a Machine. However hard you think he works – he actually works harder.
I want prime lenses.
Always have snacks in your bag.
Stay hydrated. (and keep those around you hydrated)
Take every shot imaginable (and if you can’t do it, send an intern to get them)
I need a prime lens.
I don’t want to stop taking photos.
I’ve never shot so much in two days. Over 2000 photos. I honestly believe that’s more than I’ve taken in the last five years. No joke. This trip with Leah and Mark was amazing. There was so much laughter and hard work – the perfect combination in my book. I could not have pushed myself to do anything like this if it hadn’t been for the two of them. Thank you.
Congratulations to Katie and Jamie – you two are perfect.