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The Number One Tip to Personalizing Your Wedding

Atlanta Wedding Photographer, Monday Night Brewing, LeahAndMark & Co.

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How DO you personalize wedding… things? I know. If you’re reading this then you probably know how I write and I probably know that some of you just wanna say F*ck all the wedding decorations! No one remembers the chairs/ the flowers/ the centerpieces! I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about everything else and that.

When you start thinking about what it means to personalize your wedding – most people think about how they’re going to decorate their reception. Or make their wedding cake special and specific to them. Or what colors they should use. Or the food. Going down the list of things and seeing how they can make it more “personal”. Whatever that means.

Personalize wedding tips and ideas

What does it mean to personalize your wedding? Does it mean going through a catalog of things, or collection of Pinterest boards and finding the items that could mean something about the two of you? Finding the items that somehow randomly relate to what you and your partner are?

You really want to personalize your wedding? Tell your story. Share your story with all of your guests. 

Personalize Wedding Tips

That’s where you begin. That’s the core of how you go about personalizing your wedding. You can pick things, colors, and decorations you like – but you should also find different ways to show your guests aspects of your relationship with each other. Your history together. Meaningful items that show where you come from, or tell how you came together – and that show your lives and adventures together up to this point. Your wedding isn’t just a celebration of this one ceremony, or day. It’s a celebration of the time you’ve spent together, the time you will spend together – and your love.

This might require some extra work that you hadn’t thought about (I’m sorry – but it’s true). You may have to sit down together and actually write out the story of YOU (you both) and go over your history together. Right from when you met, to when you broke up that first time (or 2nd, or 3rd time) to when you supported each other through the really difficult moments. And all of your successes along the way that led you to this point. Let’s be clear – beyond all the cheese and annoying wedding industry marketing – you’re making history. Your wedding is a historical moment in your lives.

No matter how cynical I might be at times – I realize how special weddings are – and I’m reminded of their importance during every. single. ceremony. Getting married is an amazing thing – the culmination of a relationship up to this point in life – and at the same time just a marker on the way to greater things. Another event to add to the story of you two.

How do you personalize your wedding? Find ways to share your story with your guests.

(and make sure your photographer takes photos of EVERYTHING.)

Need more ideas? Check out these from our friends at A Practical Wedding.


Personalize Wedding Ideas and Tips and this how you do it. 

Wedding Day Schedule Driving You Crazy?

Creating a Wedding Day Timeline isn’t nearly as difficult or challenging as people think it might be.

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Whether you’re having a large wedding or a small wedding – a lot of the same stuff will happen. You get dressed, you have a ceremony, you have a party – and the entire time you have a photographer following you around and even directing you sometimes for your amazing wedding photos.

If this is your first wedding (insert some kind of joke here) – then you might not know how a regular wedding day goes down. Well that’s why we’re here! To help you out with that! Below is a regular, traditional, awesome wedding day schedule and timeline. This example is partly from your photographer’s point of view and covers an 8 hour timespan. During your planning, START with this wedding day timeline and then MAKE IT YOUR OWN. Seriously – jack this thing up. Twist it around, turn it inside out – it doesn’t matter – it’s YOUR WEDDING RIGHT?

Just don’t touch the allotments for photography… just kidding… no really… don’t touch them.

SAMPLE WEDDING DAY TIMELINE (8 hours of coverage)


Your wedding photographers will photograph details such as the dress, shoes, jewelry, bouquet, and of course cover all of your preparation process such as getting your hair & makeup completed, and having a great and relaxing time with your bridesmaids as they get ready as well.

2:00                        BRIDE GETS DRESSED

Now is the time to finish getting ready. Don’t worry, your photographer doesn’t have to photograph EVERY part of putting on the dress. What we like to tell brides is “We’ll be right around the corner. Go ahead and put your dress on, but the moment you feel comfortable and covered enough – but not finished – let us know and we’ll come in and start photographing.” What is comfortable is different for everyone, some people are VERY comfortable and others want to be more covered. We leave it up to the bride to decide.

3:00                        GROOM MAKES FINAL PREPARATIONS

It’s at this point that we’ll move over to the groom’s side of things. Since we generally don’t need or want photos of the groom and his groomsmen literally putting their pants on, we’ll arrive when they’re nearly finished getting dressed and just start photographing everything – quickly. Same as the brides side, we’ll capture all of the details and then also group photos of all of the groomsmen.

3:30                        FIRST LOOK (and then bride & groom portraits)

You won’t have to worry about planning this at all. We’ll find the location, set the groom up in position, and then bring the bride in to surprise him. We kick everyone out of the area so it’s a private moment between the two of you and your photographers

4:00                        WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS

After your first look and portrait session, we’ll bring in your wedding party to complete all of the wedding party photos with the two of you.

4:30                        HIDE THE BRIDE & GROOM

Of course – the groom doesn’t always stay hidden and often times will walk around greeting guests – but generally this is the time for the entire wedding party to relax, get a drink, or cool off/warm up if the weather’s being crazy. Your photographers will take this time to finish photographing the ceremony site and ceremony details. They may also sneak in and photograph the reception space if it’s ready as well.

5:00                        CEREMONY

This is where you get married!


We RUN the family formal session like we’re on a crazy mission to get them finished in record time. We do this EVERY TIME too. Literally. I don’t care if you have 100 people or 10 people for the family photos – we will GET. THEM.DONE. and then you can still get to the last part of your cocktail hour. We want you to be able to spend as much time with your guests – this is about you and not us stealing you away just for our amazing photos (well, it’s not ONLY about that)

6:00                        PHOTOGRAPHERS PHOTOGRAPH RECEPTION SPACE (before guests enter!)

6:30                        RECEPTION BEGINS!

6:45                        GRAND ENTRANCE ANNOUNCEMENTS & First Dance

7:00                        DINNER IS SERVED

7:30                        SPEECHES & TOASTS

7:45                        SPECIAL DANCES (Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, etc.)

8:00                       OPEN DANCING

8:15                        CAKE CUTTING

8:30                        BOUQUET TOSS


Wedding Day Timeline | Couple in the Mountains

Of course this is just a sample wedding day timeline – but it should give you a good idea of how your wedding day can be scheduled – and you can see how all of that time just literally disappears. Sure – when your photographer tells you that their base package starts at 8 hours of coverage you think to yourself 8 hours is plenty of time! But when you actually write it all down from start to finish – 8 hours of photography coverage can seem like just enoughor not enough to cover everything.

Sample Wedding Day Timeline 

Something to note – your reception can happen ANY WAY YOU WANT. Sure there needs to be some sort of ‘dinner’ portion for your guests – but other than that – the order is UP TO YOU. You can do all of the things DURING DINNER if you’d like (special dances, toasts, etc.) or you can space them out as the reception moves along. You can skip them. You can have a 30 minute hora dance spectacular if you’d like (totally had that happen – and it was AMAZING.)

Questions? Ask us. Need more help? Check out our good friends at A Practical Wedding.


So when you’re making and creating your wedding day timeline – just think about how awesome and beautiful and easily your day will flow!

How to Choose a Venue for Your Wedding Reception

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I know – you’ve seen photos of amazing wedding receptions with lots of flowers and/or paper goods all bought from green-vendors from Etsy with everything color coordinated and not just primary colors like you bought all of your decorations from Party City. And you’re just like whoa, I want my wedding reception to be exactly like that – you know – AWESOME.

First though – you have to find a venue to hold your wedding reception. Where do you start? You start by figuring out what style of reception you’d like to have (which might also determine the overall style of wedding you’ll have.)

Atlanta New Year's Eve Wedding | NYE 2017 | Wimbish House

SO. Again – where do you start? What types of venues exist? Church? Beach? Hotel with ugly carpet walls? Ugh.

Here you go – a list of different types of venues to consider:

  • Church (and their cafeteria reception hall)
  • Backyard (your house, relatives’ house, friends’ house)
  • Hotel Ballroom (you know – super high ceilings, carpet walls, but super convenient)
  • Country Club
  • Old House/Mansion/Plantation
  • Farm house/property
  • Aquarium
  • Zoo
  • Museum
  • Historical building
  • Concert hall/club
  • Beach
  • Beach clubhouse
  • Destination (um, beach again but a far away beach!)
  • Bar/restaurant
  • Vineyard
  • Brewery
  • Woods/Forest
  • Mountain

So basically… any space you can think of – you can have a wedding. Your only restriction is what you’re trying to stuff into that specific space (there’s a joke in there somewhere I know it!)

Atlanta; Wedding; Photographer; Engagement Sessions; Red Top Mountain; State Park; Camping; Paddleboard; Standup; Fall;

Now – none of these venues are problem free – you just have to decide which problems you’d like to take on. Do you want to find all of your own vendors or do you want to have everything taken care of for you? You can buy the FULL WEDDING Package or you can build it yourself. Of course – I’m a photographer – so I have to ask – how do you want your wedding to look? Do you want beach photos? Do you want a private ceremony deep in the woods/mountains? Do you want a traditional church wedding ceremony? Do you want do you want do you want? What do you want?

Alright – here’s the real advice. See the list above? Pick your top three. Go FIND your top three locations and visit them. And then score them on these factors:

  • Are they available for the dates you want?
  • Can we fit everyone?
  • Do you like the staff/get a good vibe?
  • Will it look great in photos?
  • How easy is it for all of my vendors to work there?
  • How well does it fit our budget?

Those are the questions you need to answer when you’re choosing your venue. Oh – and finally – is this venue the place you want to get married and celebrate your wedding?

No really – ask yourself that question. It’s not about what’s available, or even what’s easy – it’s about where you want to get married and celebrate your love with all of your closest friends and family.


All photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. How to Choose Your Wedding Venue | Reception Venue

“When” Should You Have Your Wedding?

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When should you have your wedding? What season? What date? What TIME?!

When. When. What. When. What. When. Yeah.

First off – many wedding books/guides/magazines will tell you that there are in fact busy wedding seasons and peak times for getting married. That’s true. Duh. But don’t let that deter you or even force you to get married when you don’t want to get married. I say this because we photograph weddings basically all year long. Our ‘wedding season’ goes from January all the way into December. So we’re basically photographing weddings 12 months of the year. I’m not trying to brag (okay maybe a little) – but I’m also saying that people get married WHENEVER THE HELL THEY WANT.

So you can too.

What Season of the year is best to have your wedding?

Now that we’ve said that – Fall weddings are very popular and Summer weddings are just HOT (temperature-wise). You can have your wedding in the Spring and I’m sure it’ll be lovely. Winter can be cool and different. Pick one. There. See how easy that can be? Okay – really you pick the season depending on how you want your wedding to look. Sweaty? Summer or early Fall. Freezing cold with jackets? Winter or early Spring. You have a lot of options when it comes to what season – now you just have to make the time for your wedding. As in – a school break or saving up enough vacation from work (or unpaid days) so that you can actually enjoy the whole thing and not just get right back to your desk the next day.

Yes, venues and vendors all get booked and during peak times it might seem likeeveryone is booked – but honestly? Don’t worry – you’ll find all of the vendors you need for your wedding. There will always be an available photographer, you’ll always find some food, and you can always find somewhere to get married. Trust me – weddings happen EVERYWHERE.

What day of the week should you get married on?

Saturday. Or Sunday. Or Friday. In that order. Yeah Yeah Yeah – weekday weddings happen too – and we’ve photographed many of them. But they’re a different event. A wedding on a Tuesday is NOTHING like a wedding on a Saturday. Saturdays are more expensive when you’re considering venues – but many other vendors don’t give any discounts because of what day you’re getting married. Things with fixed costs like caterers, floral design, and cake makers charge the same rates. Photographers work just as hard on your Sunday and Friday wedding as they do on your Saturday wedding.

What time of day should your wedding take place?

Here are your choices: Brunch or Dinner… oh okay and you can have a Luncheon too.

No really – don’t have a luncheon. That’s what old ladies have when they get together after church. You are celebrating your wedding – you’re not having a luncheon. Have a brunch wedding if you must – but if you’d like to have a party – have a wedding reception that goes into the evening. Of course – that’s if you want the full on party reception affair. If you’re having a small gathering then again – do whatever the f*ck you want and have a luncheon with 20 people in a private garden. Heck – with only 20 people attending your wedding you can spend that extra money on a petting zoo! (Or Elvis.)

Ah what am I saying – your guests will have a great time at your wedding no matter what time of day.

Wait – except for a sunrise ceremony. Don’t do that to your guests. Even I’ll be mad at you. F*ck sunrise ceremonies. Those are just cruel.


All photos byLeahAndMark & Co.

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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. When Should You Have Your Wedding / Get Married?

You Just Got Engaged! Why Are You Having a Wedding?

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You just got engaged! Awesome. Finally! Woohoo! YEAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Okay. Great. Now what? Planning. Planning? PLANNING! If you haven’t already thought about running away screaming – don’t worry, there’s plenty of time for that. Oh – you’ll have more than enough opportunity to feel overwhelmed, pressured and generally want to give up and go elope. I mean – it’d be so much more simple right? Just the two of you and maybe your parents or some friends. Go to the courthouse, sign some papers, eat some food at a nice restaurant, maybe get some photos. DONE. Simple. Easy. But again – DONE. Right? Oh man – that would be so awesome AND stress free!

Well – it’s definitely one way to go – and one that you shouldn’t rule out. But wait.

Don’t give up on your wedding yet.

There’s a reason so many people still haveweddings -and it’s not because of expectations (family, friends, or your own.) Weddings are a celebration of the union of two people. Your wedding is a celebration of your love and commitment to each other. It’s that simple – and everything -everythingin regards to your planning should keep that in mind. If there’s something that doesn’t feel motivated by thecelebration of your lovethen it should be discarded, excluded, and not given any consideration. No one should live vicariously through your wedding, they shouldn’t take advantage of the occasion and nothing you don’t 100% agree with, should occur.

I’m sure I sound like some crazy hard-liner. Of courseyou should listen to opinions from your closest friends and family – they definitely play a role – and you’ll do what you can to meet their needs and wants up to the point where it doesn’t agree with what you truly want, authentically believe, and basically feel good about doing. Be strong. You can honor your family and meaningful persons without betraying yourself, your beliefs and decisions.

The reason you have a wedding is to celebrate your love. It’s not a must-have, or an absolute – you’re having a wedding becauseyouwant to have a wedding.So have the wedding you want.

…Well, of course you have to consider budgets, and who’s paying for your wedding, and tricky family situations – but there are ways to deal with these problems – because they’re notreal problems.

So. You just got engaged. Now what? Well – now that we knowwhy you’re having a wedding, we can start planning for it. Finding a venue, photographer, planner, your outfit, your food – yeah – all of that. We’ll be talking about all of this, all week long. See you tomorrow.

(This post will be updated with specific links to the future posts regarding finding vendors, and other planning processes.)

When should you have your wedding?

All photos byLeahAndMark & Co.

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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Just Got Engaged. Why You Should Have a Wedding.

Four (4) Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer

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There are many lists of questions out there on what you should ask potential wedding photographers. Many of those questions on many of those list – suck. bad. They’re either outdated, useless – or outdated AND useless. That question about what gear does your photographer use? Doesn’t matter. (If you’ve actually seen their work and their photos – you know they make amazing stuff. You don’t ask your caterer if they only cook with cast-iron pans or whatever so why ask your photographer if they’re shooting with a medium format blah blah blah.)

SO. Here are four questions you should ask your wedding photographer (during your sit down meeting with them.)

1. Do you have insurance.

I know – insurance talk is never excited and it’s probably not at the top of your list when you’re trying to find your wedding photographer. But whether or not they have insurance is a clear indicator of whether or not they’re a Professional Photographer. Again – this is really boring and not sexy at all, but it’s TRUE. They’re asking you to give them $4,000 to photograph your wedding. Would you give that much money to ANY other business that didn’t have their paperwork in order? Then WHY would you give $4,000 to someone who isn’t professional enough to have something as simple and basic as business insurance?

Your venue has insurance. Your caterer has insurance. Your wedding planner has insurance. So your wedding photographer should definitely have insurance. Your wedding is not the day for amateurs and beginners.

2. Do you have back up gear.

I’m not talking about an extra memory card, or extra batteries. I’m talking about a full back up KIT. That’s the whole thing. Camera, lenses, batteries, flashes – a full backup set. Of course this is a just-in-case scenario where your photographer would need to pull out the backup gear, but it’s YOUR WEDDING. You hired a professional photographer because they can handle anything and EVERYTHING – but most importantly – they have invested in their business, and they have professional gear and backups for their backups. The only answer you ever should accept to this question is “YES. I have a lot of backup gear.”


3. When will the photos be delivered.

This is an easy question to forget to ask. For everyone’s sanity (yours and the photographer’s) – you should find out when to expect delivery of your photos. That way whenever your mom/grandparents/aunts nag you about the photos, you can simple say “It’ll be another 3 weeks. So stop asking please.” And at the same time it holds your photographer to making that delivery deadline. It’s a simple question and your photographer will probably include it in their contract anyway. You just want to make sure you know what to expect so that you’re not thinking it’ll be 2 weeks when your photographer’s normal delivery time is 6-8 weeks (especially if they’re a busy rockstar photographer.)

4. How many weddings do you photograph a year?

You want to ask this question partly to find out how experienced your photographer is, and what kind of workload they have. Just like the rest of us – being busy with work is great – to a point. A general rule of thumb is 30 weddings per year is about right for a very busy wedding photographer handling everything on their own (sales, shooting, editing, delivery). If they’re photographing more than 30+ weddings a year then they should definitely have a good workflow and process setup to keep things organized and running smoothly.

Also – there is a big difference in experience between a photographer that’s been doing this for 5 years but only does 5-10 weddings a year vs. a photographer that’s been shooting 30+ weddings a year for the same 5 year time period. A BIG DIFFERENCE. The photographer that does 30 weddings a year will have run across many more problems to solve, and will honestly just know how to handle many more surprise situations, deal with different people – and make the most AMAZING photos out of EVERY situation and location. You can’t beat experience most of the time.


All photos byLeahAndMark & Co.

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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer.

How to Find or Choose a Wedding Photographer

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Right after everyone gets engaged they’re only thinking about one thing – how am I going to find a great wedding photographer? Okay maybe not RIGHT AFTER – but eventually, at some point – everyone has to find a great wedding photographer. Well – we all set out to findgreat wedding photographers but then for some reason, some people end up withjust okay wedding photographers… Anyway – here are a few tips on selecting a great wedding photographer.

1. Identify what style or type of wedding photos you like.

There are many articles out there that describe the different styles of wedding photography. From photojournalistic to modern to traditional to fine art to… modern-traditional-fine-art-photo-journalism. (Seriously – I’ve seen that mashup on a few photographers’ websites.) The easiest and most simple way to determine what style of wedding photos you like – is to look at several wedding photographers, and take note of the ones that blow you away. And WHY.

Some things to look for are how comfortable the couples look in their wedding portraits. How creative (or simple/basic) are the poses and compositions? Some photographers get REALLY Artsy. Others are basically making yearbook photos. That’s not bad – you just have to decide which one is for you. Some photographers focus largely on the ‘STUFF’ and products of the weddings they attend (you can see this in their blog posts and how 50 of 100 images are shots of flowers, table decor, and shoes.) Other photographers focus on people, your friends, your family – the heartfelt genuine moments of love. Some photographers are amazing and can capture both equally well. | Atlanta Wedding Photographers | Miami | Gay Wedding

2. Ask friends if they recommend anyone.

If you don’t already know a few wedding photographers off the top of your head – you want to start by asking around. Ask your friends if they know anyone you should check out. And if they give a glowing review then DEFINITELY check out that wedding photographer. You can’t beat good word of mouth referrals.

Now if none of your friends have any good suggestions – then you can do a basic google search for Atlanta Wedding Photographers and check out all of the photographers listed on the 1st page (Especially LeahAndMark & Co.) ha!

3. Look at the blog of the wedding photographer and read what they write.

Do they write boringly? Are they able to express themselves? Are they offensive to you? Do they make jokes? Really bad jokes? Do you think they’re funny? Or interesting? An easy way to find out more about the personality of a wedding photographer is to read what they write. Read what they say online. You want someone that you think you’ll work well with – and even ‘click’ with. Because if you do hire them, you’ll be hanging out with them for 8 hours on your wedding day. There are too many boring people disguised as wedding photographers and you DO NOT WANT THEM.


All photos byLeahAndMark & Co.

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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. How to Find and Choose and Select a Wedding Photographer.


How To | Selecting Finding Choosing Your Wedding Hair Stylist

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Finding a hair stylist to do your hair on your wedding day can be as easy as hiring your regular hair stylist… depending on your stylist.

In other terms – someone that’s a great family portrait photographer isn’t necessarily a great wedding photographer. In the same way – a wedding day stylist needs a somewhat different or additional skills, and many stylist might not have the experience needed for your wedding day. Remember – your hair stylist is one of your wedding vendors. In the same way you wouldn’t just hire a cafeteria staff to cater your very important wedding reception, you wouldn’t hire a hair stylist with no experience doing bridal hair. There isa difference.

So. What do you look for in a great wedding hair stylist? Well…

Atlanta Wedding Hair & Makeup Artists | Tips Finding Choosing

You want a stylist that wants to hear as much information as you can give them about the hairstyle you want, or think you want. Bring photos so they can see examples of what the heck you’re talking about. Don’t just say up-do, or side pony-tail… (in fact you probably should neversay side pony-tail, but what do I know…)

You want a stylist that doeswedding day bridal hair. In fact you want ALL of your vendors to be regular wedding industry veterans. This isn’t the time for beginners or weekend hobbyist to practice! A Professional hair stylist that works weddings will know current hair style trends, AND what will work with your hair.

Atlanta Wedding Hair & Makeup Artists | Tips Finding Choosing

You want a stylist that also ask about your wedding. Details. Your dress, colors, jewelry – YOU want to match your wedding. In the same way you want your wedding photos to capture the atmosphere of your wedding – you want your look to match. If you’re having a vintage styled wedding – you may not want a clean and sleek look reminiscent of Blade Runner circa 2056. Maybe. Your wedding hair stylist will ask about how you want your hair to move (if at all) or if you have a hair piece that you’re thinking about wearing.

Finally – your wedding hair stylist will use 154 bobby pins and 23 cans of hair spray to cement your hair in place and make sure it doesn’t move when it’s not supposed to – NO MATTER WHAT.


All photos byLeahAndMark & Co.

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Why You Need (Or Don’t) a Professional Makeup Artist for your Wedding

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Tips on Choosing a Wedding Makeup Artist | How to | Pick | Select | Choose

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As a male wedding photographer – I’m an expert when it comes to professional makeup on the wedding day. You know – when the ladies are getting their hair and makeup done, drinking mimosas – I’m right there with them relating my stories of how I used to use bare minerals but then I found a new line of…

hahahahahaha. NO.

Here’s the question you have to ask yourself:How do I want to look on my wedding day?

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Tips on Choosing a Wedding Makeup Artist | How to | Pick | Select | Choose

Do you want to look like you did the best job of doing your own makeup? Do you want to look like someone who hired a really great professional makeup artist? Neither is bad – you just have to decide which one is the better choice for you. Of course you can have your friend do your makeup – and then you can add ‘Do you want to look like your friend did their best job of doing your makeup?’ (if your friend is a professional makeup artist then the 2nd option still applies.)

SO. Howdo you want to look? Once you’ve decided that, there are only a few more things to consider. Things like – do you want your bridesmaids to get their makeup done professionally? Your mother? (& possibly your soon-to-be mother in-law?). If they’re getting their makeup done by a professional makeup artist it might be a good choice to just join in.

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Tips on Choosing a Wedding Makeup Artist | How to | Pick | Select | Choose

Of course – depending onwhere you’re getting married, you may not have many options. We’ve photographed many weddings in the middle of nowhere and the nearest salon/makeup artist was 100 miles. Literally. So having everyone’s makeup done by a team of makeup artist was out of question from the start. Obviously if you’re having your wedding out in the middle of nowhere, your makeup might not be at the top of the list of challenges.

SO. Which choice is right for you? Budget-wise, and depending on your skill level with makeup – it’s generally not out of reach to hire a makeup artist to show up at your home, or hotel room on the morning of your wedding day (wherever you’re getting ready).

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Tips on Choosing a Wedding Makeup Artist | How to | Pick | Select | Choose

Here’s a Pro Tip from a Professional Photographer though – youdo not needMORE makeup so that it’ll show up in the photos. Many makeup artists still tell this to their brides – but they’re not photographers. I’m a Professional Wedding Photographer and I’m telling you that regular amounts of makeup is plenty – more than enough to show up in photos. Unless you’ve hired some part-time wannabe wedding photographer that doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Professional digital cameras are powerful and amazing – especially in the hands of an actual professional wedding photographer. How your makeup looks with youreyes is how it’ll look in photos. If you SEE that you have too much makeup on, even if it’s just a little too much – THEN IT’S PROBABLY TOO MUCH. It’s not that you can’t wear a lot of makeup and look amazing and great and flawless – it’s when you LOOK like you’re wearing too much. (Sometimes it takes a lot of makeup to look like you’re not wearing any at all – get it?)

You don’t need to get anywhere near looking like a hooker-clown from Mars – no matter what your makeup artist tells you. (If you hire a great makeup artist you won’t have to worry about this anyway.)


All photos byLeahAndMark & Co.

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How to Not Kill Your Wedding Photographer

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Around here we’re BIG on making time for your wedding photos – but that doesn’t mean that we think you should ever feel uncomfortable when it comes to making those photos.

Having your photo taken is all about the experience. If you’ve ever had a portrait session and felt miserable – then you know what I’m talking about. Because as miserable as you felt during that portrait – our clients tend to have the exact opposite experience. It’s both big things and little things – but it all comes down to your photographer. Often times it doesn’t even depend onyou. You can be all for the session, apathetic, or even just not reallyinto it.

If you have a great wedding photographer – honestly, none of that matters.


A great wedding photographer energizes you. They know what they’re doing – theyread you. They can tell how long they’ve got – how long you’ll last. But at the same time they know how much to push you. Whether creatively, time wise or just long enough to get the shot that you’ll love…later. A great wedding photographer is your friend – but one that you hired to GET THE JOB DONE. So you give them enough leeway to make what they make because you know it’s for your own benefit… even if you don’t feel like it.

So how do you NOT kill your wedding photographer?

You hire a f*cken amazing wedding photographer that has the personality to back up their photos.

Because really – who wants to hangout with a BORING PERSON disguised as a photographer for 8 hours on their wedding day? It’s a tricky thing – hiring a badass photographer that can make beautiful, atmospheric photos while battling guests and not make them feel bad – while also making sure you getout of your head so you’re not constantly asking WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?!

Hire a wedding photographer that you trust, that you know will make you look amazing – and one that will do it NO MATTER WHAT. With style. With class. With JOKES. If your photographer isn’t at all funny (or make you laugh) then it’s going to be a looooooooooooooooooong wedding day.



All Photos byLeahAndMark & Co.

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How Much Time For Wedding Photos?

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SO. You paid $5,000+ for your wedding photographer and now you’re wondering exactly how much time should you set aside for the ‘wedding portraits’? Honestly – if you just paid $5,000+ then the answer is HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES. Because damn – that’s a lot of money and you definitely want to get the most for your money.

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But your wedding day shouldn’t be one long photo shoot. So how much dedicated time should you schedule for your photographer? We use the template below as a guide. This one assumes that you are having a first look before your ceremony.


27 Minutes first look & couples portrait session:

I start with the first look – and then we move into the specific couples portrait session. After that we go into the wedding party photos.


13 minutes wedding party photos:

All of the bridesmaids/bridesmen and groomsmen/groomsladies along with the couple. Every Combination Conceivable. Combinatorics people!


17 minutes family formals:

These usually take place after the ceremony – it’s when ALL of the people involved are RIGHT THERE since they were already gathered for the ceremony. Even if we have to fight to keep them from running to the bar! I RUN THESE FAST. Some photographers take for f*cken ever to get through family formals. You’ve probably been a part of those sessions. The photographer speaks quietly, doesn’t direct anyone, waits for people to get in formation – well F*ck that. This is where I DIRECT PEOPLE.

Of course there are ways to direct 50 people without making them feel bad – you just have to do it LOUDLY. Well – and you have to know WHAT THE F*CK you’re doing. Hopefully this isn’t your photographer’s first rodeo.

Wedding Portrait Session

11 minutes after ceremony couples portrait (short, again):

If we can, I’ll steal the couple for a quick 11 minutes after the family formals and before they enter the end of their cocktail hour. Often times we’re in a completely different location than the earlier session but more importantly – the light will be completely different. It’s usually around sunset by this time and WOW THE LIGHT IS AMAZING. So we take 11 minutes and knock out the BEST PHOTOS YOU’VE EVER SEEN.

Total Specific Portrait Session Time: 68 minutes. Sixty-Eight Minutes.

(That’s not including travel time to any locations…)

Yeah. Amazing and Great photos don’t always JUST HAPPEN. You have to make time for them. And even if that 68 minutes sounds like a lot – it’s 68 minutes that you will basically have forever. Unlike the food. Or the chair covers. So yes, make time for your amazing photos.


All Photos byLeahAndMark & Co.

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