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Wedding Workshop Series

You might be like me. You’ve been a wedding photographer for a few months, or years even – but you still don’t feel like you know what the f*ck you’re doing. Why doesn’t anyone respond to your emails? Why don’t they book you? Why are they booking someone else?! You’re a little frustrated and things would be a lot easier if someone would sit down with you, and make it… a little easier. If you just had the answers to a few questions – maybe, just maybe – being a ‘wedding photographer’ would stop being a hobby.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAtlanta Photographer School

I’m Mark – a full time wedding photographer and I book roughly 93.5% of my inquiries. I photographed 53 weddings last year but usually only shoot about 35 weddings annually.

I can help you learn more about wedding photography than you probably ever wanted to know (at least from my warped perspective.)

Portfolio. Instagram. Facebook.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

With a lot of help I also operated one of the largest photography internships in the country (but got too busy and stopped a few years ago.)

Now I’m offering a Wedding Photography Business Workshop Series.

I know – it’s not exactly a catchy name. WPBWS doesn’t really roll off the tongue either. Aw F*ck it.

Here’s the pitch.

I believe I’m the best photographer for my clients on their wedding day – and they believe it as well.

I am not the best wedding photographer of all time, ever – but I am the best wedding photographer for my clients, on that day. Period.

I couldn’t continue to do this if I didn’t believe that.

Also – these workshops are completely free to you.

Here are the workshops:

  • What Your F*cken Wedding Photography Website Should Say, Be, and Do
    • This is about your MARKETING. (How and why I get away with using f*ck all over my wedding website)
    • Your Website’s ONLY job is to get people to contact you. That’s all.
    • It doesn’t do any selling – that’s YOUR JOB.
    • I’ll go over every part – your bio, your pricing page, your blog posts, your portfolio
  • How to Book Wedding Clients.
    • How to respond to initial inquiries so people actually respond
    • How to lower your closing window down to 2 weeks or less.
    • How to talk to people like people and not like they’re $$$
    • Why no one emails you back
    • How to get them to email you back
    • How and Why I went from closing 25% of the time to 93.5% of the time.
  • How to Run The Wedding Day Like. A. Boss.
    • How to look like you know WTF you’re doing.
    • Simple but dangerous mistakes to avoid
    • What you should expect
    • How to handle EVERYTHING
    • All the things you don’t know.
    • How to get F*cken amazing shots NO MATTER WHAT.
    • How to get F*cken amazing shots NO MATTER WHAT. (repeated on purpose)

If you’re interested in any (or all!) of these workshops – please fill out the form below. I’d absolutely love to work with you.

And hey. Thank you very much. It’s a big compliment that you would even consider learning with me.

The dates are subject to my schedule (hey I’m still working) and will take place between now and the end of December.

Oh. And remember – any and all of these workshops are completely free – but limited to 5 people only for each workshop.


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Atlanta. Wedding. Photography. Internship. Workshop. Business. Marketing. School.




9 Ruthless Lessons from House of Cards for Your Photography Business

Oh television and movies – they teach us so much about the world and shape our thinking. That’s why educational documentaries like Breaking Bad, Dexter (only up through Season 4), and Hannibal are so important. With the second season of House of Cards premiering last Friday – I thought it was fitting that we look at what your photography business can learn from Francis Underwood’s masterful navigation of political awesome.

Note: I was going to make everything line up with some example or quote from the show but um, sh*t I’ve got a business to run, I don’t have time for that. Just know these are ideas you pick up from watching the show. Got it? Get to work.

House of Cards Lessons

Photo via Netflix

1. Dare to Dream So Big Your Head Explodes

It all starts here. Dreams. Aspiration. Ambition. You have to actually WANT SOMETHING.

More than that – you have to tell someone – YOU – that you want it. And it needs to be big. BIG.


Maybe Unrealistic. Why? Because only something so enormous and ridiculously massive can take over you. It needs to be something that you obsess over. That you dream about when you’re asleep AND awake. Only something so big that you’re afraid of it – is worth the effort it takes to overcome that fear and work through the challenges that will be headed your way when you go after something like that.

You want to make a living off your photography business? Have you told that to yourself? How about you tell yourself that you want more than just making a living. You want to make a damn good living. You want to pay all your bills and also have a f*cken amazing time. You’re probably timid in real life – and if you’re timid in your dreams well then you’ll never get out of that death pit.

You know – the one that keeps you chained to your desk in your windowless office, spending your weekly checks automatically deposited like an IV drip of sedation.

2. Throw Jabs and Hard and Soft Punches

Get it in your head that you’re not going to coast to success. Get it through your head that not everyone is your friend. You can’t only surround yourself with friends either. SO understand that you’re going to have to throw some punches. Not only that but a variety of punches. Sometimes you’ll need to throw the first punch. Sometimes you’ll need to counter-punch.

But don’t be afraid to knock someone down when they need it. Hell. if you’ve ever met a good wedding planner then you know she’d definitely shank and cut a b*tch.

Photo via Netflix

Photo via Netflix

3. Accept that it’s a Game

People’s lives aren’t a game. Their lives are serious… things. That’s absolutely true.

You need to accept that business is a game. You can decide how you play, what strategies and tactics to use – but know that it. is. a. game. Sometimes it’s a game of war, sometimes it’s a game of monopoly – but always a game. In games, if you just exist then you lose. You’re either actively trying to win or you’re losing. Whether slow or fast – if you’re not playing the game then you’re losing.

It’s a game – and it’s serious, and it’s not one you want to lose.

4. Play the Game. Play to WIN.

Some people whine that they don’t want to ‘play the game’. That’s their choice. See above.

Decide that you are going to the play the game. Which means you are playing to win. Not just exist. Not ‘for the fun of it’. To f*cken WIN. 

5. Learn the rules and then don’t follow them, USE THEM.

Of all the things I place in high regard, rules are not one of them.

– Francis Underwood

Rules can either be used to guide you or they can be used to contain you. For most photographers – the rules they follow are the ‘best practices’ and advice they learn from all of the good to sh*tty to useless workshops that they attend/watch. I smile when someone posts on Facebook that they learned a lot from so&so’s boring workshop – because I know that they’re about to do the same thing 100’s of other photographers are going to do after the same workshop. Probably nothing – but also probably nothing different or useful. Photographers only ever learn business tactics and rarely actual strategy – and they never figure out how to break‘ someone’s strategy.

When you do that – the other person’s strategy becomes a limitation at best, a noose at worse – especially when change comes along like it ALWAYS DOES.

Some photographers purposefully weed out clients, selecting only picturesque perfect weddings that would be published in Perfect Wedding magazine. Nonchalantly explaining such a thing to clients, and how they can identify those snobby photographers is how you educate them against your competition, using your competition’s own strategy.

This can work even if the client you’re talking to IS having one of those perfect weddings. Unless your clients are snobs. But this is where rule # 7 below is important.

6. Use meaningful threats and use them wisely

Threats are merely a different form of incentive. Stop wasting everyone’s time with incentives that suck. Stop posting on Facebook that people will save a whole whopping 10%, or 15%, or 20% off of your regular $150 rate. Your rates suck and anyone looking for a discount at that price actually just wants a cheap craigslist photographer anyway. 

You need real incentives. Hire me right the F now because I’m going away. Because at the end of this quote period that rate on your contract will honestly and truly GO UP. Because right now, this close to your wedding – I’m all you’ve got.

Incentives (threats) can and should be used on ALL players of the game. Everyone working with, near, or around your business. Money is an incentive. Easy is an incentive. Avoidance of pain is an incentive. Or threat. Whatever. They’re the same. Know when to use them, who to use them on – and remember to use them.

You should act like you have a bag of threats (incentives) about to blow up and you’re trying to get rid of them before your head blows off (you’re so poor you have to sell your camera.)

7. Mastery of People

Humility is their form of pride. It is their strength. It is their weakness and if you can humble yourself before them they will do anything you ask.

– Francis Underwood

Not Master People. Mastery of People. Learn about people. Everyone you can. Because you have to deal with everyone - and that’s a good thing.

Unless your clients are robots then you deal with a lot of people in your photography business. Clients. Other Photographers. Vendors. They’re all people playing the game once they come into your world (see above about the game.)

You need to KNOW ABOUT ALL OF THEM. You need to understand their motivations, their fears, their triggers. How to direct them. How to guide them. How to lead them. Stop thinking that you can just keep perfecting your widget (or photos) and people will magically come around and just hire you.

There are too many other photographers you’re competing with – including ME.

Learn about people. Always be learning about people. Learn what threats (incentives) work on what people. Go out and FIND the incentives you need.

8. Be What Your Clients Need and Want

Are you unappealing? Do you not look right? Do you come off as weak, afraid, unsure?

Maybe you’re completely wrong about yourself – more importantly – maybe you’re completely wrong about how other people see you. You think you’re great. Your potential clients think you’re unprofessional, young, inexperienced. You need to know these things. You need to find them out. Somehow. How? Ask someone dammit.

Once you’ve learned how others truly perceive you – fix that. I’m not saying they’re all weaknesses or that you should always change perceived negatives. But you need to either make them work for you, or overcome them.

Pro Tip: It’s in the details and the accessories.

Glasses make everyone smarter. Sneakers are for teens. And being Asian means taking photos is in your blood. Seriously though – outward organization is key. Make sure they see you taking lots of notes – even if you throw them away afterwards (although you’ll discover that you actually end up using them. huh.) Have a nice camera bag that a normal person would want. Even a nice pen. Details = Serious about your business = You Are Better Than that damn Art Student & Soccer Mom.

(If you happen to be that suburban mom photographer reading this well, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about the other soccer moms that aren’t cool. If you’re that art student well, I’m definitely talking about you. Get out of my way. I’m here to make living.)

9. Find Your Calm Center – then keep fighting.

When you have rebellions on all fronts (clients angry, intern mutiny, etc.) – don’t let them break you. Go to the calm center of you and say to yourself I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. I will win. 

And then get to work. And keep working.

“Rebellion on all fronts. Claire, Zoe, and Russo. I must not loose my resolve. I will march forward even if I have to do so alone.” – Francis Underwood



Questions? Need more information? Ask in the comments section below. Thanks.


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9 Business Lessons You Should Learn from House of Cards.

What Your Business Can Learn from NBC’s Coverage of the Winter Olympics

What Your Business Can Learn from The Olympics

I was watching the Opening Ceremonies to the Winter Olympics last Friday night and even before the ceremonies actually started – I knew quite a bit about the competitors in many of the events. I realized that until about 2 weeks ago, or even a few days ago – I didn’t know anything about ANY of the competitors. How did I learn so much information so quickly? I certainly didn’t sit down and do any studying. I definitely didn’t seek out the information.

NBC got me interested enough to watch the stories they told about each competitor. That’s how.

1. It’s about the stories. 

Sure NBC can report what happened. They can tell you who won, they can tell you who lost – but they also tell you how it all went down. They give you background information. They’ll tell you about the competitors and show you what that person has gone through to be here. And what it means for that person not only to possibly win – but what it means that they’re even there competing. The road isn’t easy for anyone getting to the Olympics. You don’t get to be one of the top 10 athletes in your sport just by carrying a big bag of easy. It takes work. A lot of work – too much work for most people AND THEN it also takes some luck. And a bigger bag of stubbornness. All of that.

But that’s what we want. Sure on some level we want to know who won. But even more so we want to know about the people who won. 

Who are they? What have they gone through? Are they special? Are they good people or are they f*cken assholes?

NBC (and really any network covering the Olympics) aren’t just telling you who won. They’re telling you as many stories as possible about the people competing because they know that’s how they’ll hook you.That’s how they’ll get you to follow and watch a competitor from the preliminary rounds all the way to the finals – and hopefully see all of the advertising they show along the way.

What Your Business Can Learn from The Olympics

How much story telling do you do in your business? Do you ‘just take photos’? Or do you tell your clients a story about how their experience with you will be? Not just giving them a chart with the Pros & Cons of hiring you. Telling them a story that makes them feel good about hiring you. Telling stories is the quickest way to get past intellectually selling to someone and finally emotionally selling to someone. Below is directly from our own ‘Wedding‘ page. We don’t talk about why you should hire us. We don’t tell people that we’re the best, or cheapest, or anything. We tell them a story – about them. And we ALL like stories about ourselves.

In a few years after your wedding has long passed, you and your spouse will sit down on a Sunday afternoon and pull out the box of photos from that day and remember everything. You’ll remember how you were calm and didn’t feel nervous until you finished getting dressed and saw yourself in the mirror. Or how your mother started to tear up, trying her best not to cry and ruin her makeup – because it finally hit her that you’re really getting married. You’ll see the photos of your closest friends all dressed up – because they clean up well – and that feeling of being surrounded by the people most important in your life – all there for your wedding day.

What does your investment/prices/weddings page say? Do you just present options and packages? Did you only talk about yourself? Are you selling yourself? Maybe try telling your clients a story they actually want to hear.

What about during your client meetings? When you sit down at the table with a wedding couple – after gathering all of the information you need – do you only tell them about how awesome you are? Do you only tell them how good your gear is, or how cheap you are, or what you will do for them? OR do you help them imagine and visualize how great their wedding will be…

Questions? Need more information? Ask in the comments section below. Thanks.


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The Sales Secret of Successful Photographer Websites & Your Big Mistake

Photographer Website Sales & Marketing Ideas

I know what you did. I see it all the time. The same, big, major mistake. Over and over, repeated by photographers everywhere – even photographers like you that have been at this for a while. You got yourself a great website from one of those companies that sells websites built specifically for photographers. It must be a good website right? Good for what? Good at what?

It sounds like common sense that the best website attracts the most and best clients. If your website has great photos and you sound friendly/likable/professional then clients will hire you. Your website is your ‘storefront’ and it’s what sells your ‘photography’. People see your website, decide they like your photos, and they’re sold. That’s the job of your website right?

Wrong. Completely, completely, COMPLETELY wrong. Incorrect.

Your photography website’s job isn’t to sell. Your goal isn’t for people to visit your website and be sold to. That’s like trying to sell a house over the internet and expecting people to buy it immediately. Chances are that it’s just NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. So if your website isn’t supposed to make the sale, then what is your website supposed to be doing? It’s simple. Very simple. Too simple.

Your website’s one and only job is to get people to contact you.

That’s it. That’s all.

All of your photos, all of your blogging, all of your writing – everything you do on your photography website should  work towards getting people to contact you – that’s it. Get them to fill out that contact form, or send you an email, or even call you.  

You’re not trying to get them to buy your product with your website. You just want them to start talking with you. Think about that for a moment. Think about what you’re actually asking people to do while they’re at your website.

Email me vs Buy from me

Contact me vs Let me sell this to you

Email me vs Hire me

This isn’t for all types of products. It’s for your photography services. It’s for you as a photographer. The truth is that your sales process is probably f*cked up. You’re trying to make the sale on the first meeting – the first time a potential client sees your website. You don’t even know these people – and more importantly they don’t know you. And if you come at them with BUYBUYBUY they will never contact you. Worse – you will never get the chance to start communicating with them. You’re trying to sell to them before they’ve given you any permission.

But don’t be timid about it either. Now that you know what your website is supposed do – don’t hold back. Do everything you can to convince them to contact you. Not because they want to buy your services, but because they have more questions. They need more information – in essence – because they need YOU. If you’re not making them curious enough to ask you for more information then you’re website isn’t doing it’s job. Plain and simple.

But don’t worry – there are several easy things you can do that’ll get clients contacting you after their first visit to your website… and of course we’ll cover that on another day.


Questions about this? Need help with anything else? Google it.

No just kidding – Post your question in the comments section and I’ll answer. Promise.

Oh – and we’d love it if you shared this post with your friends. Thank you.


76 Best Ways to Super Charge Your Photography Business Immediately

It’s a new year and here are 76 Ways to Super Charge your photography business. BOOM. We’ve booked more weddings than ever for 2014 already, and we’re getting ready to fire up our Internship Program again in the Spring. So yeah – we’re a little excited to start working again and we’re sure you are too. Our team spent some time coming up with 76 of our best tips for super charging your photography business this year. Immediately. NOW.

If you know anyone who could use any of these tips – please feel free to share it with them! (!)

Side note: If you’re frustrated with your photography business – maybe we can help!

  1. Meet new people IRL (In Real Life)

    A Facebook like or Twitter follow will ALWAYS be trumped by a real life interaction. Meeting people in real life has a greater impact as we all connect more often online and only through an electronic screen. Make it a point to meet more new people in real life this year. Photography marketing advice focuses so much on marketing online and almost no one focuses on marketing in real life. You also have to meet 10x more people than you think you do – but don’t worry, it all adds up.

  2. Realize that you can be very different and still succeed

    There are 8 or 9 different ways to succeed in this business and there are 9 workshops presented by 1,000 photographers willing to show you how. Please realize that you don’t have to do what they say. You can do the exact opposite if you want to – as long as you figure out how to make that work for you. That’s the key. Make it work for you. You can and should learn how everyone else is doing it – how they’re succeeding – but then you must take it further and figure out how to apply that to you, and your situation. You may not be rockstar outgoing, or sorority-like, or Christian, or LGBT, or that sickening cutesy photographer-couple, or lineup with any other worn out photography-marketing angles. Don’t worry. You can be very different and still succeed. Don’t give up. Keep working. Keep being yourself. MORE.

  3. Get rid of gear you haven’t used in a year

    That lens you thought would be magical but just never used, that tripod with the broken latch you’re keeping just in case, those 4gb sd cards you outgrew 3 years ago – purge it all. If you haven’t used them in over a year then you probably won’t use them this year and they’re just taking up space and cluttering your desk. Watch an episode of hoarders, look around your studio and purge.

  4. Decide what your brand really wants to say

    Does your brand say you are everything to everyone ? Or does it say you make these types of photos for a specific type of client that wants YOUR PHOTOS? Decide what your brand says or else it probably doesn’t say anything – or worse – it just confuses people. Take a stand on something and make everything you do, say, and write work in that direction. Pick a message and stay on-message. If you want to say that you’re the best photographers in the area, then f*cken say that you’re the best photographers in this area. You don’t have to be rude, or offensive (like me) but you do have to make it known that you’re saying that. Not we think, or we’d like to be. We ARE. (Read this book – Different by Youngme Moon)

  5. Experiment with your website

    For most of us, our website is our storefront that must be absolutely perfect ALL OF THE TIME. Any changes must be thoughtfully considered, and we must also consult 10 different people and multiple photographer forums on what they think before we actually change the color of a link on a page buried 5 levels deep. Why? Because you might make a mistake? Have you seen how often Facebook makes changes? All the time. They’re always testing different changes trying to see what works and what doesn’t. So does Amazon, so do most of the biggest websites in the world. Don’t be afraid – experiment and try something new with your website. Test it out. If it doesn’t work you can always change it back.

  6. Stop being shy about your photography

    You might be an amazing photographer. Heck you might be better than many out there but no one will ever know if you don’t share your work – and share it with more than your own circle of friends and family. You want new people to see your photos because they’re the ones that will be new clients. So stop being shy, stop being timid – and put your work out there where the most people will see it.

  7. Increase your rates – it’s 2014!

    Charge what you should be charging and stop discounting yourself. Finally.

  8. Write about what you like to write about

    Nine-six percent (96%) of all photographers blog only their finished work. Other than only showing finished photos, their writing is akin to a game of MadLibs. “This wedding couple is the _________ (insert adjective) I’ve ever worked with.” or “This baby is the _________ (insert adjective) ever.” Repeat. Repeat. Vomit. Repeat. Your blog doesn’t have to only show your finished photos. You can write about whatever it is the f*ck you want. Just make it interesting. You want to build your audience and your photography on its own (no matter how great) won’t cut it in the year 2014. SAY SOMETHING INTERESTING.

  9. Cut ties with petty photographers

    Photographers are insecure artists. It’s true pretty much across the board. Some of us can’t handle your success – at all. So we’ll tear you down every chance we get, while still pretending to be your friend. Let those people go. You don’t need them or their negative energy ruining your awesomeness.

  10. Create a promotional partnership

    Find complimentary business partners. Do you know a childrens fashion designer that you could work with on a project? (If you don’t – maybe GO FIND and MEET ONE.) What about the owner of a clothing boutique? Think you can come up with a project that would be beneficial for the both of you? And that’s just clothes. There are gazillion other businesses that you can work with – you just have to be creative – and willing to go out there and meet them. Of course, it’s up to you to come up with the brilliant project idea that will convince them to work with you. (Read these books – Outrageous Marketing; Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got.)

  11. Change up what you offer

    Have you been wanting to add albums to your packages? Or canvas prints? Maybe take out a few items from your standard packages. DO IT.

  12. Make friends with a new vendor

    We’re all in this together so to speak – so any vendor that’s been in the business for a while understands that we can always use new friends to help us out. Be that friend.

  13. Read a business biography

    You’re bonkers for starting and running your own business. Read about other people who were just as bonkers and succeeded! You know your job isn’t always full of fame and glory and it’s comforting to learn that even the most successful people had to get down to serious work to get where they are. You’ll probably gain a few insights on your own challenges as well. More importantly though, you will also see how business persons are always having to be different in order to succeed and it’ll help you embrace how you are different. (Jerry Weintraub. Steve Jobs. Richard Branson. Business Biographies.)

  14. Try a new technique

    You already know how to do many things. Go learn how to do more. Try the Brenizer Method, or Off-Camera flash, or Painting with light. You probably intellectually ‘know’ these things, now is the time to go actually try and DO them.

  15. Redirect 10% of your work time

    You’re a busy person, I get that. But how much time do you waste ‘working’. Sitting there and hanging out on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest. What wasted time/effort can you cut out permanently so you can redirect that time to something else? Meditate. Deep dive into a subject so you can come up with brand new ideas. Revolutionary (to you) ideas. Or spend that time with your loved ones. Your dog. Whoever. Whatever. If you’re always working then you’re probably wasting time that you don’t need to be wasting. | Atlanta Wedding Photographers

  16. ReWrite all of your website ad-copy/text

    You wrote your about me, your ‘investment’ page, and everything else on your website with what you thought was good information. Basically you looked at another photographers website and rewrote what they wrote, for you. Which means that you probably rewrote ad-copy from someone that didn’t know what the heck they were doing. Try Psychology for Photographers. BOOM. Your mind will be blown. You’ve been doing it ALL WRONG.

  17. Rent some gear and PLAY

    Can’t afford to drop $3,000 on that new piece of gear? Go rent it! And don’t just rent it for a specific job. Rent it so you can PLAY with it and try out new ideas, new shots, new everything. New Toys! Time to PLAY. (We use – use the code LeahAndMark10 and get 10% off your order (it’s the code that all of our Interns use when renting gear.)

  18. Update your portfolio

    You’ve been busy all year photographing clients, and marketing. Too busy to take a moment and update your portfolio? Do it now. Look through your best photos from the past year and compare them to your current portfolio. Has your style changed? Do you feel like showing a slightly different presentation? Do some photos in your portfolio not meet your current standards? Maybe they just don’t tell the same story you want to tell with your work. Now is the time to make those changes.

  19. Update your business card

    I know you still have 4,754 cards from the last batch you ordered. But maybe they don’t make the impression you wanted, or even the impression you NOW want to make. Don’t keep using them just because they still exist and you spent money on them. If they’re not effective then there’s no point to continue using them. Update your business card and instead of ordering 5,000 up front, order a smaller batch run of a couple 100. Then you will be forced to update them more often and even test out different designs.

  20. Send a letter/email to all of your booked clients

    It’s the start of the new year! If you photograph weddings like we do then you might not need to see your clients until their wedding in August. Why not drop them a line to say hello or wish them a happy new year to keep in contact. There’s a lot of time between now and their wedding and except for their planner, they probably won’t hear from any other vendors until closer to their wedding. Be a nice surprise and consider even sending them a snail mail letter.

  21. Drink more coffee

    Don’t be a quitter. Now is not the time to quit drinking coffee. DRINK MORE COFFEE. It’s like magic. It’s like cocaine. (Okay not really.) Technically speaking, coffee doesn’t give you anymore energy, it just blocks those receptors/sensors in your brain that tells you you’re tired. And if you’re not getting enough sleep (see above) THEN YOU’RE TIRED. Oh – and learn to drink the stuff black. It’ll save you some calories. Oh AND don’t drink those frozen ice-blended coffees, those will KILL YOU.

  22. Learn to CLOSE

    We literally booked half of 2014 in the last 3 months. How? Because I finally focused on my in-person meetings and CLOSING THE DEAL. Boom. Not only meekly showing my work, going over the wedding day and somehow suggesting they hire me. Or ‘leaving it up to them’ or asking them to ‘let me know’. Those are WEAK. Without freaking them out – I started knocking their F*cking socks off during the meeting, leading them through my sales process and basically WINNING THE DAY. So much so that on the off chance that they did meet with another photographer – that person had a hell of a time connecting better than me, being more of an expert than me, and basically if they got the contract then they really deserved it on a that-client-is-truly-meant-to-be-with-them level. Our booking ratio was something like 4/5 once we started focusing on the in-person meeting, our sales process, and CLOSING.

  23. Send a letter /email to all of your past clients

    You want to be the photographer people think of whenever they have a need for photography. You also want to be the photographer they think of whenever their friends need photography. Sometimes we need to remind people that we exist. It’s not that they mean to forget us! But it’s our job to be remembered. So do your job and drop them a simple note. Email works but regular mail makes an impression.

  24. Get new headshots

    We’re photographers for a reason- we like to be BEHIND the camera, not in front of it. So we’ll use the same headshot forever, since it’s the only one we like. Even if it’s four years old. Time to update your profile photo and show people how beautiful you are NOW.

  25. Write down what you want your business to be like in 2014

    If you haven’t taken a few moments to plan ahead for 2014, now is the time. You know all the reasons why you should do this and now you just need to DO IT. Make it fun though and see how far you can take it. Being realistic is a drag. Don’t only write down what you think your business can be like this year, write down what you REALLY WANT it to be like. Dream. Big. BIGGER.

  26. Put Vacation days on the calendar RIGHT NOW

    If you’re American then I can correctly assume that you don’t take enough time off. If you’re an entrepreneur then I KNOW you don’t take enough time off. The only way to make sure you take breaks away from work this year is to schedule them just like everything else. You schedule meetings and jobs – and you never miss those – so schedule vacation time. NOW. Don’t wait for a break in your schedule, MAKE the break in your schedule. Your family will appreciate it.

  27. Plan a middle of the year or quarterly planning session

    It’s too easy to get caught up in running or working in the business to actually do any work ON the business. Especially deep dive planning and mapping. But without making the time to step back and plan you’re always in a reactive mode, being directed by the latest email or problem that comes up. It doesn’t need to be a whole weekend, heck you can even make it a single focused day – just make it a real scheduled event that can’t be rescheduled, moved, put off. Include your team or most important partners. Oh – and do it somewhere you would consider ‘offsite’ for a change of space.

  28. Sign up for a workshop

    You’ve been doing this long enough to know a few things that you don’t know. Go find a workshop and learn a few new things. You’re running a photography business and no one’s making you get your continuing education credits. The industry is moving forward and you need to keep up.

  29. Identify what publications you want to be in and find out HOW to get published

    If your work hasn’t been published then this is the year that you decide to GET PUBLISHED. If your work has already been published then it’s time to find new publications. Don’t think there are any? Then you’re not looking hard enough. Or wide enough. Think in terms of over-lapping audiences. You think people interested in photography only look at photography blogs? Or people getting married only look at wedding blogs? Parenting blogs can always use posts with tips for parents on how to take better photos of their children. Heck, finance blogs can probably use a post about budgeting for wedding photography. You just have to think wider about where you want to be published. Sure you can use Two Bright Lights but these days it’s like the old ‘Writer’s Market‘ book for writer submissions. Half the ‘publications’ don’t ever respond and the other half aren’t worth submitting to. Go find publishers you can build a relationship with.

  30. STOP looking at your regular list of photographers for a month

    You follow your favorite photographer on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and you get updates to their blog the minute they’re posted. Turn it all off. Take a break from being a super-fan for at least a month. Don’t worry, they’ll go on without you and you’ll get a chance to create anew without their subconscious influence on you (or your own envy to stop you.)

  31. Create an editorial calendar for your blogging

    If you want to blog on a schedule – then create a schedule. Not just “I’m going to blog every Friday”. Turn pro and approach it like a publisher. Install an editorial calendar plugin and map out what blog entries you’ll post and on what dates. If your blog is a major piece of your marketing then you need to treat it like your job. Because it is.Atlanta-Wedding-Photographer-LeahAndMark-0024

  32. Stay off Pinterest for a while

    You already know what’s out there. Give it time to sink in. And cut off the flow of new ideas from outside sources all together so that you can process everything on your own. You don’t need a constant flow of inspiration. There’s TOO MUCH input these days and you can’t possibly process it all. Take a break. Give your subconscious a chance to make magic on its own that’ll float up to your conscious frontal lobe.

  33. Photography field trip

    You’ve been so busy WORKING that you haven’t had time to play. Don’t just turn an already planned trip into an excuse to practice your photography, take a trip specifically to practice your photography. Pick a location to take new photos. Interested in street photography? Go find the busiest corner in your city and spend a day taking photos. Interested in landscapes? Pick someplace half a day’s drive away and go. Make it an overnight trip if you want.

  34. Watch a movie

    Don’t just watch a movie. Watch it with photographer eyes. Watch it and pay attention to the composition, to the coloring, to every aspect of the image. Pick a movie to watch and study. A few suggestions? Blade Runner, Citizen Kane, Pina, Old Boy, Sukiyaki Western Django, Exiled.

  35. Get some sleep

    I’m not arguing that you can get a lot a done when you don’t sleep. I’m just saying that if you don’t really need to work, or if you’re not as productive as you should be at 1am, then just go to bed. The one hour of extra sleep will do you much more good than getting barely any work down at 1am because you’re dead tired. You maximize your efficiency when you’re not dead tired, not when you’re struggling to work while you’re dead tired. Get more sleep this year. Go to bed.

  36. Introduce yourself as a photographer

    When you meet a new person do you introduce yourself as a photographer or whatever it is you do for your day job? Introduce yourself as a photographer. Don’t say I’m a photographer but I still work at the bank, or as a programmer, or whatever. You’re a photographer, period. Of course if they ask further, don’t lie – but put your photographer job FIRST and up front.

  37. Clean Your Gear

    It’s hard to keep gear clean. What with all that lying down in the grass, and chasing children/dogs/brides that we do. And unless you ONLY change lenses in a clean room at the CDC, you probably have some spots on your camera sensor. Go get your camera bodies and lenses professionally cleaned. It’s like brushing your teeth. Sort of.

  38. Do your taxes early

    Power through it (or hand it all off to your accountant) and get your taxes done. And then you can leave 2013 fully behind you.

  39. Buy a new lens

    You’ve been eyeing that new lens for a new long time. Maybe a short time. Pull the trigger and get it. Promise yourself that it’s worth it. Because it is. It’ll be your new secret weapon to making new amazing photos. Do it. Feel good about it.

  40. Get a brand new bag

    I’m not talking about another one of those black gear bags that look like PHOTOGRAPHY bags. Get something modern, adult, fancy, and coooool. You don’t need to carry your entire studio to every job, and you don’t want to look like you’re going camping while you’re photographing a black tie gala. (Kelly Moore Bag; ONA Bags; Copper River Bags.)

  41. Find new meeting spaces

    Are you still meeting at the same four Starbucks locations around the city? If you don’t have your own studio then find some new places to meet clients. Not that Starbucks is bad, but for your own sanity find some new spaces for a change of scenery. You can always fall back on your four Starbucks anyways.

  42. Redefine your perfect client

    Did you get some clients that just weren’t exactly what you were looking for? Did you discover that you take on everybody and ANYBODY? It’s time to narrow down your clientele and start being a little more selective. You want the clients that want you for YOU and at your rates. Not just everyone and anyone. So you need to decide and write down who exactly IS your perfect client. At least so that you can identify the people that aren’t the type of client that you want (thus avoiding many problems down the line.)

  43. Clean your desk

    A messy desk can mean you’re creative, sure. Cluttered is fine, dirty is just gross. Clean up your desk.

  44. Update your contracts

    Maybe you ran into some instances where a tighter contract would have helped you in the past year. A longer delivery deadline, or a change-fee for rescheduling sessions. Maybe you just have no idea what is in your contracts anymore. Review your contracts, see what you have in there, and update as needed.

  45. Find new client sources

    Did all of your clients come from only a few sources last year? Maybe half of them were referred to you through one wedding planner. That’s a lot of your business dependent upon a single person other than you. That wedding planner basically turned into your biggest client by-proxy. What if that relationship turns sour, or that wedding planner’s business turns sour? There goes half of your income. Identify where all of your business came from this past year and find new additional sources. New wedding blogs, new publications, new referral sources.

  46. Order test prints from new printers

    Printers are vendors too and you should regularly be trying out different vendors. Don’t be so quick to jump ship from your current printer, but learn what new vendors have to offer and try them out. Maybe they’ll supplement your current printer or you’ll have a new backup printer on deck.

  47. Find NEW PHOTOGRAPHERS to follow

    You usual list of photographers are still making their usual photos. Go find new photographers. Find strange ones. Even photographers that make photos you would never want to make. Seek out new influences and new influencers.

  48. Consider outsourcing editing

    You may think that your editing is special. That it’s uniquely you and no one could ever possibly edit anywhere nearly as good. You’re wrong. There’s a whole industry that does just that. You think wedding photographers that shoot 30+ weddings a year edit all of their own photos and still have time for marketing, operations, sleep, and having any kind of a life? Chances are that they’re outsourcing their editing. Don’t worry – we were all scared at first, but after not spending 10+ hours editing every wedding, we decided that we LOVE outsourcing our editing.

  49. Help another photographer

    You’ve learned a lot over the past year(s). You probably received some help from other photographers, and they probably offered it without asking for anything in return. Do the same for someone else. You’ll always gain something when you help someone else. It’s a universal truth. Just like drinking coffee makes you super human.

  50. Support a cause

    It’s easy to think that all of your energy and focus needs to be on your business. You’re wrong. You can always carve out a little time and effort to give to a needy cause. You don’t need to devote money, or commit for a year – but sign up to help out/volunteer/participate. There are an endless number of organizations you can work with so pick one you’re interested in.0018_LeahAndMark_Ojai_Wedding_1

  51. Identify your core business

    You don’t need to photography EVERYTHING. Do you like to photograph weddings but not newborns? STOP photographing newborns. Or family portraits. Or Weddings. If you’ve been doing this long enough to know what you don’t like, then stop doing what you don’t like. Announce it, make it official – free yourself.

  52. Cut out the things you don’t like to do

    Outsource everything you can (editing, print fulfillment, etc.) or cut it out altogether. Do you not like to make albums? Stop selling albums. Do you not like meeting clients at all hours whenever it’s convenient for only them? Set specific hours when you can meet clients – and schedule meetings during only those hours. Maybe you don’t like mailing DVDs of digital files – switch to a download-only delivery business.

  53. Join a gym

    You know exercise is good for you. Think you’re too busy? If the President can find time to workout regularly then YOU can find time to workout regularly. Ten hour wedding days should not be your only ‘workout’.

  54. Turn off the internets

    You don’t need to watch Facebook. Or Twitter. It’ll be there whenever you want it to be there. And it’s taking away all of your focus. Turn off the internet for a little while and get to work. Or read a book. Or watch a movie. Or do ANYTHING without the interruption of the internet.

  55. Only watch TV on your schedule

    If you can’t stop watching TV altogether then don’t watch tv whenever tv wants you to watch it. Don’t spend 30 minutes looking for something to watch. Make your own tv watching schedule – and do anything you can to skip commercials (or miss them altogether.)

  56. Find a team of photographers

    Like many art forms, photography can be a lonely job. You don’t need to be so alone. You can find other photographers to work with. You can find other photographers that think like you do. You can find other photographers that will support you and your crazy ideas. Go find them.

  57. Be curious

    Remember that you don’t know everything. And you definitely don’t know everything about everything. Be curious. Be interested in something and let yourself follow it down the rabbit hole. And I’m not just talking about being lost watching an endless series of youtube videos. Remember when you were interested in dinosaurs? Or WWII battles, or sharks, or volcanoes? I’m talking about that type of curiosity. Let yourself go. And learn the hell out of a subject. Like seahorses.

  58. Make some bad photos. Really bad

    The problem with always trying to make good photos is that you already know how to do that. You know what mistakes not to make, and in fact you’re doing everything you can to not make ANY mistakes. Which also means you’re not doing things you’re not sure about. In short, you’re playing way too far on the safe side of the tracks. Remember that scene in Fight Club where they show how hard it is to get people to FIGHT YOU? Because we’ve been told all our lives to not get into fights. Same thing with bad photos. I’m just trying to break you out of some the same old photography routines you’ve been using for the past 3 years. Of course – some of you don’t need any help making bad photos 😉

  59. Scout a strange and new location

    The busier you get the more you go into auto pilot mode. Meetings held at the same four Starbucks locations, same poses for every wedding, every family, every baby – and you’re always photographing in the same 2 parks. Find some new locations! They don’t even have to be super-secret brand new locations, they just have to be new locations TO YOU.

  60. Find a networking meet up group

    The thing about networking events is that too many people still attend them with the mindset of ‘power-networking-meet-as-many-people-as-possible’. They hand their cards out like candy and often times don’t even ask for yours. Don’t worry – there are many people just like you that aren’t interested in these power-networking events either. Take some time to dig a little deeper and you’ll find some. One thing to remember – networking with other photographers will only take you so far. You need to meet other business owners who are more like going to need photography services at some point.

  61. Sponsor an event

    You’d be surprised how little money or effort it takes to be listed as a sponsor for charitable events. Pick a cause you like – and get your name on the signage/t-shirts/marketing materials. Sure the promotional worth takes a dive once the event is over but you get the benefit of being a big time sponsor – something many small business photographers don’t ever think about doing. AND you don’t only have to donate/provide photography of the event. Get creative. Maybe trade for company headshots on another day so you can be listed as an overall sponsor. Don’t limit yourself.

  62. Enter a competition

    There’s something exciting about the possibility of winning – ANYTHING. I know you’re constantly telling yourself that your photography is for YOU, but we all know that’s bull honky donky. Your photography is for your clients, or at the very least for the viewer (whoever that maybe). Enter a contest and see how you do. For more excitement, pick one that actually exhibits your work in a gallery setting. If it’s local you can bring your family and friends and feel like you did back in the day during your 5th grade art show. Let your friends and family gush over your work and bad mouth everyone else’s sloppy, 45 degree tilted ‘artsy’ photos.

  63. Teach someone

    You’ve learned a lot over the past few years. Teaching someone will help you breakdown exactly why you do certain things that you don’t think about anymore. AND you just might realize that what you’re doing is completely wrong or at the very least, can be done better. Chances are that you learn 99% from someone else and not just ‘on your own’. A book, an online video, a few tips from another friend. Share what others have shared with you. You’ll get much more in return.

  64. Write down a list of things you DON’T know

    One of the biggest problems with some of my past Interns was that they never knew what they DIDN’T know. So they didn’t know what gaps in their knowledge they had to fill. Find the gaps in your knowledge, and training – and write them down. Find out what the best out there knows that you don’t.

  65. Create a Google+ page, or a Pinterest, or a Twitter account

    Basically – finally get on that social media platform that you haven’t tried yet. And see if you like it. See if it sticks. If it doesn’t – you’ve at least reserved your name address for later (and before someone else takes it!)

  66. Review your successes

    Hey! You’re not so bad. You’re probably pretty great. And if you’re still doing this photography business thing then you’ve definitely experienced some WINS. Great job! How about you not forget that okay? Remember those families that loved their photos. Or that wedding client that realized how much you made their wedding day a fun and stress free event. So take a moment and write them down. Read them aloud. Take a picture, it’ll last longer 😉

  67. Join PPA or another professional organization

    You’re a PRO now. Join a PRO organization. There are professional benefits – like insurance and training, and a huge knowledge bank to pull from.

  68. Make room on your computer

    You’ve been so busy shooting and editing all last year and now your hard drive is 95% full. MOVE those files. Get rid of the non-selects, make sure you have at least .jpg copies of everything and then MOVE THOSE FILES. Buy a new hard drive, upload to the cloud, whatever – just make room on your computer for all of the work you’re going to be getting this year.

  69. Work harder

    I know that several items on this list seem like they’re saying WORK LESS. But really it’s all about working as efficient as possible. So when you’re working – GET TO F*CKEN WORK. And WORK HARD. You think you know what hard work is when it comes to your photography business? YOU DON’T. You have it in you to work HARDER. You know what’s hard? Doing more work in the same amount of time. Doing more work, smarter. Doing more work, that is MORE effective. THAT’S WORKING HARD.

  70. Identify core problems – and solve them

    Stop putting out small fires. Stop being reactive all the time. If you have a problem that keeps coming up – fix the real cause. Clients keep complaining about your late deliveries? It’s not that you can’t get the photos edited, it’s that you’re at the point where you HATE EDITING for 10 hours. Stop trying to make your workflow ‘better’ or more ‘efficient’ – just outsource the bulk of your editing. Take the hit on the expense and take the benefit of HAPPY CLIENTS. Your photos suck not because of your gear, but because you HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MAKES A GREAT PHOTO. Go fix the actual, core problem.

  71. Study film composition

    Essentially the same subject as ‘photography’ composition – except taught through the medium of movies. And we ALWAYS learn better with movies right? Ha. RIGHT. You’ve been watching movies your entire life and you subconciously know the difference between a ‘beautifully filmed’ movie and one that’s just there. You also know that the way a movie is shot can affect your whole experience. Sound familiar? YES. Just like single-shot-photography. The way an image is captured makes all the difference which is why you and a guest at a wedding can take a photo of the same thing and yours ROCKS! Studying film composition will help you learn and look at composition in general with new eyes. (Read – The Filmmaker’s Eye.)

  72. Get geeky about something

    – Be a fan of something (again) or get into a new fandom – and don’t be embarrassed about it. You’re allowed to be nerdy and proud of it. It’s your thing. SO get back into it. Stop thinking you have to find the ‘middle’ of your personality and be bland so you can attract EVERYONE into being your client. There are enough bland people out there disguised as photographers.

  73. Learn a DIY skill (get crafty)

    Learn to sew, or weld, or solder, or knit, or just how to duct tape anything and everything together or into existence. Don’t just be that person that doesn’t know how to Macguyver anything together. Learning a basic repair skill will only serve you well and probably come in handy sooner than later. Strap on your leather camera bag tears? Sew it together instead of dropping another $200. Need a piece of gear/structure for a shoot? MAKE IT instead of buying something someone else just rigged together.

  74. Create a mailing list

    It’s the new thing (well, old now but still probably new to you.) RSS feeds are dead and people don’t read all of your blog posts the second you get them up. Plus you want to build an audience so create a mailing list, promising only to use it for good and only to send out YOUR BEST blog posts. You’ve probably seen it everywhere else already – now you just need to get off your ass and make one for your own blog.

  75. Make your clients laugh

    This is a real PRO TIP. You think your clients will remember all of your credentials? All of your amazing photos? Sure they will on some intellectual level that they’ll easily forget about. What will they remember on a deep down subconscious won’t forget level? If you make them laugh. If when they meet with you, they leave feeling good. Not only will they remember you, but they’ll connect with you and laughing together is one of the easiest ways to make that awesome connection with someone you just met.

  76. Stop beating yourself up over last year’s mistakes

    It’s a new year. Learn from your mistakes, work towards not making them again and move on. You’re free. Let’s GO.


Thank you for reading. Join our mailing list (see the sign up form over in the sidebar) and we promise to only send you OUR BEST posts about photography, photography business, and photography marketing.

The Best Year. Ever. | Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Halloween | Blood

[Spring Family Portrait Special Offer!]

It’s a tricky thing to say – but this year, 2013 is our best year ever. Not because we have the most clients we’ve ever had – but because we’re the best we’ve ever been. As good as we were over the past three years, this year, we’re simply far and above, better. All around. Obviously that’s not to belittle our efforts up to this point (because we’re quite proud of everything we’ve done so far) – but we are very excited about all of the awesome we’re going to be making this year.

And it is A LOT of Awesome and Amazing. Below is our first Wedding Home Movie of the year. It’s from Alumni Intern Brittany‘s wedding!  All of the photos in this post are from the three months of this year so far. We’ve learned so much over the past few years and more and more, all of that knowledge and experience is really taking hold now. Not only that – but we’ve also just decided to make a real effort to simply work harder than we’ve ever worked before. A conscious effort. A focused effort to work harder and make our amazing even more amazing. Yes.

It started last fall when we hired our Creative Director Joy to specifically fix and improve things that needed fixing and improving with our Internship. We brought on +Krisandra & +Luiza to help things run smoothly around here as well and to help with instructing the Interns. We looked at our editing process, our delivery times, and basically everything about our business to find what we needed to make better.

And then we all went deep into our own worlds to figure out exactly how we were going to be as creative as we claim to be. It’s not about being inspired. F*ck inspiration. We’re professionals and we show up on a daily basis to make Awesome. All the time.

Because there are a lot of very talented yet not very creative photographers out there – and we don’t want to be them.







Atlanta Wedding Photographer | | Zombie Engagement Session







Atlanta Family Portraits | | Photographer



Atlanta Wedding Photographer | | Zombie Engagement Session




Atlanta. Wedding. Photographers. | Weddings. Family. Portraits. Photobooth. Rentals.

Photography Interns Wanted | Season [Gold Lion]

We are LeahAndMark – and along with our Creative Director (Joy!) and our team of +Photographers – we operate the largest photography internship in the country. Leah and I picked up our cameras a little over three (3) years ago and started this business with no formal training, a little bit of luck and way too much hard work! We’ve gone from just two people who liked making pictures into wedding photographers that travel all over the United States photographing weddings. A lot of weddings.

We are looking for Photography Interns to be a part of our 11th session, Season [Gold Lion]

We operate our business following three principles:

1. Be Different

2. Do things that matter

3. Show Everyone

This is our Portfolio and this is our Wedding Portfolio.

We’re looking for interns to work with us for three months – and possibly longer.

Here is what our Alumni Interns have to say about how this Internship changed their lives:

Current Intern Joshua 
Alumni Intern Meagan 
Alumni Intern Jo 
Alumni Intern Whitney 
Alumni Intern Raven 
Alumni Intern Gabriel 

You can read reviews of this internship from past Interns here: [Season Three] [Season Two] [Season One]

Our Interns work hard and most of them photographed more in the last three months than they did in the past year.

You should know what’s in it for you. Because if you’re considering working with us, then you should know exactly what you’re gaining – since it’s definitely not money!

Although it’s not really popular these days – we’re ‘generalists’. We don’t specialize in anything and that goes against the current trend of finding your ‘niche’ and specializing in one or two specific types of photography. We run the gamut and we photograph everything from weddings, to parties, to corporate headshots, to family and children portraits, to senior portraits, and even product photography. Without arguing if our photography is actually any good – we can only go on the fact that our clients REALLY like us, they keep coming back, and new ones seem to keep contacting us and asking us to work with them.

We’re very busy and as our intern you will have lots of opportunities to photograph in a wide range of different styles and subject matter.

What we need is for you to have some idea of what you’d like to focus on and learn from us. Some of what we can offer is:

  • How to pose subjects, especially strangers – and become confident at it
  • How to better handle light – off camera flash and natural
  • How to stop taking photos like everyone else (it’s easier than you think)
  • Get away from ‘technically’ perfect photos
  • Photographers learn by photographing – you’ll photograph a lot with us.
  • Stop feeling restricted by the gear you DON’T have

AND MARKETING subjects – because you want to be an actual paid and working photographer right?

AND Even More

  • Build the client base that you want
  • Find out if you do make photographs like everyone else – so you can stop
  • Make friends
  • Have fun
  • Try crazy ideas because no one’s going to stop you
  • Push the boundaries of what your clients think they want – and keep delivering something just a little different
  • Be hired as an artist – and not just a button pusher

We also setup group photoshoots where the ratio is roughly 2-3 photographers per model – and sometimes it’s 1 photographer per model. We believe in getting the best position for the best shot – and you can’t do that if there are 20 photographers shooting 3 models in a group session.

Here is a list of the workshops we have scheduled on our calendar:

  1. Photo 101/Physicality of shooting and Composition
  2. Off-Camera Flash & Lighting
  3. Photoshop/Lightroom editing and digital workflow
  4. Photography Business & Marketing
A few of the scheduled group photoshoots include:
  1. Models in the river at our top secret location
  2. Southeastern Railway Museum
  3. Old-Car City Junkyard


That’s what we think we offer and what we think an Intern can learn from us.

Here’s what we’re asking from our Interns:

  • You own a DSLR camera
  • You have at least a rudimentary understanding of shutter speed and aperture
  • You have your own artistic ideas – even if you’re still working on them
  • You aren’t afraid to try everything
  • You don’t say ‘we can’t do that’
  • You are willing to photograph everything during your time with us – even if it’s not your style
  • You will read any materials we actually give you to read
  • You will be available for at least two (2) five hour photo shoots a month (and possibly more permitting your schedule)
  • You have a portfolio to show us – and you’re proud of your current work – no matter what
  • You are nice
  • You are stubborn
  • You want to learn
  • You can commit to working with us for three (3) months (roughly)
  • Possibly accompany us on photo shoots/weddings out of town (on our tab)

We’d like to make it clear that your progress during this internship is primarily moved forward by you. We work hard to facilitate learning – but we don’t hold your hand, and even though we might cover the basics, it’s on your shoulders as an intern to do your homework and practice on your own – so that we can get to the really good stuff. Also – this internship requires a lot of trial & error learning – so stop aiming for perfection right away.

Please understand, this is an Internship with workshops. It’s not a full blown training program, it’s not a photography bootcamp, it’s not anything resembling a teacher/student/classroom arrangement like you might be accustomed to. This is an Internship. You work along side us, you follow our instructions, and we answer your questions – sometimes (alright most of the time).

If you’ve read the reviews - nothing here is spoon fed. You’re applying to learn things you can’t learn in a book, or for some reason – things that you didn’t learn in class. If you don’t ask good questions, then we’re not giving up answers too easily. It’s your job to ask better questions – and it’s our job to answer the good questions. Remember that.

The internship last during May, June, & July | Three months.



Deadline for the application is Friday April 12th at 12pm NOON.

(Tip: Write as much as you can.)

(Pro Tip: Write As Much As You Possibly Can.)

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Business Investment Decisions

We are often asked the question – why is your Internship so successful? Of course – the real question that’s usually being asked is ‘how do you continue to attract so many interns that work for free, and that seemingly work so hard for you? | Photography Internship Atlanta Wedding Photographer

Although we can easily come up with a complicated answer involving how we manage personalities, projects that we assign, and our extensive interview process – the real answer is simply the amount of energy and resources that we spend on the Internship. Between workshops that we provide (photo 101, lighting, marketing, photobooths, styled shoots,  a two day wedding workshop) and critique nights, and group shoots, and of course the introduction/graduation nights – this current season requires a substantial amount of effort to keep things running smoothly. There’s the time it takes to schedule everything, and get ready for workshops – and then of course the actual duration of the workshops… and online communications, and other last minute projects that come up with each season.

It’s so much work now that we hired our Creative Director (Joy) specifically to make sure everything operates awesomely.

So how much time does it take to operate our Internship? As much as possible. We spend as much time as we possibly can on the Internship because we decided that it was worth it to our business. Not only that – but the effectiveness and success of each Season directly relates to my level of involvement and focus – and past seasons have proved that to be very true.

Deciding to share our knowledge and teach it to others for free was one of the best business decisions we ever made. At least in the top 3.


We don’t spend too much time thinking about our branding, or what gear to buy – more than anything else we spend our time figuring out how we can share what we know. We don’t earn any profit for our workshops and our Internship is free and unpaid. We work very hard at trying to give away what we’ve learned.

It’s odd but yes – giving away as much of our ‘knowledge’ or secrets as we can is part of our business strategy – and it’s worked very well for us.


Weddings | Portraits | Photobooths


Photography Competition

Think the photography market is over saturated? Try being a musician. Or a writer. Or a Chef.

The generic advice is to just be different.

It’s not about being completely different. It’s about being different enough AND finding your audience.

Different work, different personality, different people. You have to make, be, and find those things. We have a nearly infinite number of options – so much music to listen to, so much good stuff to read, so many amazing chefs making great food, but somehow there are people finding success admidst so much competition. Then there are photographers like you and me. The ones that never picked up a DSLR until about 3 years ago. We’re the ones who would have never learned photography if it hadn’t become so accessible to everyone. And now many of us complain there are too many photographers out there. The market is saturated. Everyone just wants a cheap $50 photographer off of Craigslist. Or a $500 shooter for their wedding.

Make different work. Find your audience. Make more work.



Weddings | Portraits | Photobooths

Studying Other Photographers

It’s not that you shouldn’t study other photographers. You should definitely know what’s been made before you – and what’s currently being made. But if you’re working on your stuff – if you’re REALLY working on it, then you’re too busy to read and keep up with 20 other photographers blogs.

You’re too busy to talk on photographers forums and argue about the quality of a lens, or the latest version of Photoshop.

You’re too busy making. | Atlanta Fashion Photographer


Weddings | Portraits | Photobooths

The Truth About Marketing to Wedding Clients

It feels like we’re marketing all the time, everywhere, to everyone. The truth is that our marketing is only geared toward 30 specific couples.

That’s 60 people total. All year.

Sixty people we probably haven’t met yet. But we know who they are. Long ago we identified who we want hiring us.

Thirty couples that get us. Thirty couples that want us to be their photographer more than anyone else.

Yes. The truth is that every year, all of our marketing is only for 30 couples.

There is a clear difference between a message that’s meant for 30 specifically amazing couples, and one that’s meant for hundreds of anyone out there.

There’s a difference between a photographer who will work for anyone, and one who is selective about who they choose to work with.

Every Year. Thirty (30) specifically amazing couples. That’s who we work with.



Weddings | Portraits | Photobooths

How to Be Different | Part VIII

If you’ve been following us for a while then you know about our three principles:

  • Be Different
  • Do Things That Matter
  • Show Everyone

That first one – Be Different – is always tricky. It’s so simple and obvious and… dumb. Yet it’s probably the most difficult of the three items to accomplish. Be Different.

Okay. Great. How?…

For a long time my main answer was “look at what everyone else isn’t doing – and if you can make that work for you, then you’ll be the only one doing it.” And that’s worked for us for these past three years. It was… honestly very easy. Sure  - there were many times when other photographers would let us know that we were… crazy (to put it nicely)… and that’s okay. That’s actually great. It’s one of those things we look for to tell us we’re on the right track.


A few months ago I came across this post by Seth Godin where he list several Reasons.

  • The reason they teach biology before they teach chemistry in high school is that biology was invented first. Even though you need chemistry to do biology, but not vice versa.
  • The reason that you have a water bubbler in your office is that it used to be difficult to filter water effectively.
  • The reason the typewriter keyboard is in a weird order is that original typewriters jammed, and they needed to rearrange the letters to keep common letters far apart.
  • The reason we don’t have school in the summer is so our kids can help with farmwork. Or because it’s too hot and there’s no air conditioning…

There are many things that we as photographers only do because we see other photographers doing it; without much question.

Off the top of my head…

  • Post blog entries showing 30-100 photos showcasing the last wedding we photographed
  • Post blog entries showing photos from the last family/newborn/children/headshot session we shot
  • (repeat those two until we all fall asleep)
  • Setup ‘Styled’ shoots so that hopefully some blog/magazine accepts it and post our photos
  • ‘Giveaway’ a free portrait session to the winners of some pointless contest


So now… along with looking at what others aren’t doing and figuring out how we can do those things – we’re looking at why we do  what we do, in the way that we do it – and can we stop? (and by ‘we’ I mean Me and everyone here at

  • Can we stop posting ‘…photos from Joe &  Jane’s Amazing Mountain/Beach/Farm Wedding!”?
  • Can we stop posting “…photos  from my latest portrait session of the cutest kids in the world!”?
  • Can we stop posting “…my latest styled shoot inspired by the latest movie/trend/pinterest board I saw!”?


Just like with photography – it’s not what we do but how we do it – and too many of us photographers only do the same things in the same way that we see everyone else doing it. It’s a difficult habit to break – but we’re just going to have to be as creative as we always claimed we were.


We Photograph Weddings and We’d Love to Be Your Photographer.