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Atlanta Model Shoots

Revolution | Atlanta Art Institute Fashion Show | + Debra

AIA Fashion Show | Debra Edgar | Art Institute Atlanta | Revolution | Defoors Center | LeahAndMark.com

– Posted by + Debra

Is it just me, or does everybody have a camera?

It’s astonishing to me when I shoot events just how many people have cameras.  There are cameras in our phones, in our iPads, touchpads, laptops, and point and shoots. There are cameras in our jacket pockets, our purses.  There are cameras every where.  I shot the AIA Revolution Fashion Show on Wednesday with +Jo and Alumni Intern Gabe, and it was FABULOUS. I love our photographic family, each and every single member is so unique and wonderful, and it is always a pleasure to catch up with friends and comrades.  There were a lot of other photographers there as well.  Everybody was taking pictures, it was full on glitz, glamour, and paparazzi.
AIA Fashion Show | Debra Edgar | Art Institute Atlanta | Revolution | Defoors Center | LeahAndMark.com
When people say to me “I want to be a photographer” I have to smile and say with a small hint of humour that they should quit while they are ahead.  Everybody is a photographer.  It’s a great thing.  It also makes being a professional photographer that much harder.  When you shoot a fashion show, you are shooting side by side with seasoned professionals, talented amatuers, and the proud mom in the crowd with lasts years christmas gift, it might be the camera she waited ten years to own, and she is hungry to use it.  When you shoot a wedding, you have bridesmaids with a bouquet and a sleek point and shoot, uncle Bob in the aisles, and the father if the Bride vying for the shot.
It’s a jungle out there.  You should just quit while you are ahead.  You should give up.
 I feel guilty when I am simply moved by a moment and record it with my eyes instead of my camera, because deep down I know Raphael in row 6 has his zoom lense and maybe got the shot I didn’t, or maybe it’s Judy with her camera phone front and center who got it.  But I also know, I didn’t miss the point, and getting the point helps me get the shots all around.
AIA Fashion Show | Debra Edgar | Art Institute Atlanta | Revolution | Defoors Center | LeahAndMark.com
Being a photographer is about making pictures, understanding the moment, showing and immersing the viewer in the feel of the moment.  A picture shouldn’t say to you “hey I am a great photograph”, you should feel it.  It’s not always about the sharpest shot, the best exposure, the fanciest equipment.  You should feel a photograph.  You should breath the moment, or it should take your breath away.  However it makes you react, it should make you react.
We are so thoroughly bombarded by images in our society, we forget how to be moved by a moment, as a photographer, I want to capture that moment.  I want you to be moved.
AIA Fashion Show | Debra Edgar | Art Institute Atlanta | Revolution | Defoors Center | LeahAndMark.com
It’s wonderful that people are so avid about photography.  It’s more popular than ever, I hope that as much time as we spend capturing the moment we remember as a society that it is also good to relish it.  We are able to learn so much about our world, and humanity as a whole through the millions of pictures that flood the internet everyday.  We are finding the lyrics to us as humans, and how much we have in common through these photos, and I am grateful to be a part of that song.
AIA Fashion Show | Debra Edgar | Art Institute Atlanta | Revolution | Defoors Center | LeahAndMark.com
So while I was laying on the floor, trying to avoid being in about 20 different photographers shots, I contemplated my love of photography.  I marveled at what would make me lie on a perfectly cold concrete floor instead of being at home playing with my son, or eating dinner with my family.  My wonder and amazement grew deeper as I stumbled in the dark dressing area snapping pictures that would by some standards be considered unusable, but to me they are beautiful.  I was certainly a bit daunted to see so many other photographers, and all their fancy equipment.  I could have huddled and cowered out of their way, lamenting that my short lenses didn’t allow me to capture finer details.  Or I could use those lenses to drink in the scene, I could use my arms and legs to scoot closer to the action.  I could shoot from where nobody else wanted to (ie the cold floor) and I could make the limitations shape my shapes, and use it to my advantage.
AIA Fashion Show | Debra Edgar | Art Institute Atlanta | Revolution | Defoors Center | LeahAndMark.com
It’s all about how you choose to look at it.
Around here we shoot to learn.  We shoot to win.  We don’t believe in giving up, and welcome the competition to teach us how to be better.  Of course, we have just as many reasons not to give up. 
AIA Fashion Show | Debra Edgar | Art Institute Atlanta | Revolution | Defoors Center | LeahAndMark.com
AIA Fashion Show | Debra Edgar | Art Institute Atlanta | Revolution | Defoors Center | LeahAndMark.com
Special thanks to Javaun and his team for allowing the LeahAndMark.com team to capture their event.  We had a blast!

River Session & an Update on All Things Us

You may have noticed, we’ve been working pretty hard on things around here. New sections of the website keep popping up, and new people keep joining the team. Everyone’s an Alumni Intern or regular Intern or +Photographer or Contributor or… etc. The fact is that I like family – and that’s what we’ve created to a large degree. Even Dani – the model in these photos – applied for our internship – and she got a chance to photograph a little at the end, after we were done shooting her. Like an initiation I suppose.

Even though we weren’t able to take her on for Season 5 – we hope she reapplies. In the meantime – we asked her to model for us this past weekend. So with her dad as driver and escort, watching on (Dani’s 16!) we asked her to lie down in the Chattahoochee river while we took a thousand photos.

Atlanta, River, Model, Photoshoot, Chattahoochee, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Last Thursday, +Raven led our Editing Workshop for the Interns. Now of course there is so much more to editing than you can really learn in just 2 hours – and as much as we sometimes would like to really teach editing to the Interns, the fact is that we’re really focused on the ‘photography’ part of the whole thing.

Let’s face it – editing is a lot easier when your photos are a lot better.

It should be obvious that one of the strengths of being a part of our ‘photographic family’ – is that we all have different skills, and we definitely have various areas of expertise. This was the 2nd time that I’ve had +Raven teach the editing workshop, and let’s just say that she’s a badass. I definitely learned a few things and I still didn’t catch everything she covered (luckily I get to attend ALL of the editing workshops we do.)

Of course – anyone who’s good at editing will tell you that at some point, you just have to sit down and screw up your photos for a few hours until you really figure out what to do, when, and how. It’s like all of those photoshop tutorial books and magazines that we all buy – and that we never crack open. Or if we do crack them open, we don’t actually DO the tutorials.

How do you get past that? My method was to just keep shooting and blogging. The more photos you make that you like, and the more blogging you do – then it stands to reason that you’ll just edit more. It’s why we require the interns to blog all of their shoots. Far too many hobbyists and amateurs don’t really examine the photos they’ve taken – if they ever really look at them at all.

For this river session, I was joined by Current Interns Jina and Kelley, and then Alumni Intern Niki came along as well. Jina and Kelley were with me on another shoot at this same location last week and we noticed a spot of sun shining through the threes at exactly 8am. That’s when we decided to come back a few days later.

If you’ve never done a group photoshoot like this, it can be a little tricky. You don’t have the luxury of spending 30 minutes or an hour with just one model. Sometimes you barely have 15 minutes to do your best and make brilliant photos. Yes – this is also just a time for the interns to practice and try things out – but you know, most of us want to hit a homerun EVERYTIME.

So even though there really isn’t any pressure – these sorts of shoots can kind of train you to look at your space, look at your model – and then deciding how you’re going to shoot them BEFORE you ever put your camera to your face. And the shortened timeline? – try shooting a wedding where all of a sudden your 45 minutes for wedding party and bride & groom portraits, disappears completely. Now you have to steal time AND make brilliant shots.

Like we say – it’s all practice – and it’s all a game of stump the photographer.

Atlanta, River, Model, Photoshoot, Chattahoochee, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta, River, Model, Photoshoot, Chattahoochee, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta, River, Model, Photoshoot, Chattahoochee, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta, River, Model, Photoshoot, Chattahoochee, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta, River, Model, Photoshoot, Chattahoochee, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta, River, Model, Photoshoot, Chattahoochee, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta, River, Model, Photoshoot, Chattahoochee, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta, River, Model, Photoshoot, Chattahoochee, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta, River, Model, Photoshoot, Chattahoochee, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta, River, Chattahoochee, Photoshoot, Model, Photos, LeahAndMark.com

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Atlanta. Portrait. Photographers. Chattahoochee. River. Models. Session. Photoshoot. LeahAndMark.com