Browsing Tag


Wish you were here! | by +Krisandra

Get ready! A post about how awesome my vacation was! Yep, I am going to post photos from my vacation. No models, no wedding, no babies… none of that! Just pure tourist type photos (ok, there are a couple people here and there). You know the photos that have “wish you were here” written across the top. Yea, those.


I am the girl who at 30 something years old took her first vacation, a real vacation. The type of vacation where my only worry was if my flip flop was going to get washed away by a wave that surprised attacked me.

My boyfriend and I traveled 10 hours to the Outer Banks of North Carolina (OBX) where we met up with a group of friends. And yes, I vacationed right as wedding season started. Why? Well, because at the beach it’s still considered “off season” and we got a great deal on a beach house! Although, this was not my first time in OBX. Last year I traveled to the same beach house to celebrate and photograph the wedding of one of my very best friends. You may have seen this image before.


But this time it was about collecting 10 lbs of seashells, flying a kite, reading a book, falling asleep poolside, watching sunrises, searching for sea glass, seeing a rainbow over the ocean, baking… actually relaxing! *see my instagram

I toured the Nags Head Fishing Pier.


I toured Jennette’s Pier.


And my big bucket list day trip to Rodanthe! Yep, from the Nicholas Sparks book turned into movie, Nights in Rodanthe. My girlfriends and I drove the hour to Rodanthe, North Carolina on the same path Richard Gere took in the movie to see the house, “Serendipity”! Although the house is not in its original location (it was moved a few blocks after the hurricane last year, yes they moved the whole house) it is still just as breathtaking as ever. Yea, yea, I like romance movies.


We stopped by the Rodanthe Pier on Hatteras Island. The pier was also in the movie. Even though it was still being re-built from the hurricane and quite wobbly we as far out on it as possible.

On the way back from Rodanthe we passed the Bodie Lighthouse. It’s pronounced like Body. Next year we plan to climb the 10 flights to the top. Told you these images are the stuff postcards are made from.

If you follow my *instagram or facebook then you have seen my week long journey, but if you don’t I highly suggest you should. Otherwise you might miss some pretty amazing stuff!

But, I am back refreshed inspired and ready to go! OBX, you haven’t seen the last of us! Countdown to OBX ’14 has begun.


Until then….

Reading List by +Raven

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Meg of the A Practical Wedding blog is coming to Atlanta, tonight, actually, {OMGBBQ!} as part of her book tour, and I personally, am psyched.  Not only is Meg super-crazy-awesome, but her advice is AMAZING, and I can’t wait to read her book.  :D  I’m totally buying one.  And getting it signed!

So, about books.  Wait for it, here comes the tie-in.

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

Whenever I get tired of Pandora playing in the background while I edit {and because I know I typically can’t trust myself to use a movie as “background noise”}, I switch to audiobooks. Specifically, lately, self-help or self-improvement books.

Which makes me sound like Bridget Jones, I know, but I’m kind of okay with that.

I still actually read books, too, but audiobooks are great for when I’m editing, because I move into this zen-like state where I’m completely aware of what’s going on in the book and what’s going on with the images, too.

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

Anyway. I’ve read and listened to a lot of really awesome books, lately, and since not all of you are my friends on {be my friend!}, I’d really love to share them with you on here.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

I know, I know, these books were SO IN for a while. But, after finding a copy at Goodwill and deciding that $1.50 was worth a little of my time? I loved it. It’s actually a fantastic book, and combined with a couple of other books I was reading at the time, really made a positive impact on my life. He does start to be a little repetitive after a while, but sometimes we need things said to us multiple times in slightly different ways in order to really have them sink in. It’s all about taking time for yourself, not worrying, changing your life in positive ways, etc. Great.

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais

Goodwill has a huge impact on the books I read {apparently} because this was another find. I picked this up at the same time as Run Your Butt Off, the guide from Runner’s World. They were actually right next to each other on the shelf, so I guess the previous owner either gave up, or is now a running PRO and no longer needs these guides. I hope the latter. ANYWAY, I DIGRESS. This book is a fantastic one for people who want to start running. It’s also a great book for people who DON’T want to start running. The author is really funny, she’s realistic, honest, and even though the book includes bits of her personal training experiences, she hates running all the way through, which is – believe it or not – really reassuring. It’s because of these two books that I now PROUDLY call myself a runner. {Even if my run is the speed of most peoples’ jogging. Not the point.}

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

I had heard about this book from my brother-in-law, and finally found the audiobook version. After hearing everything he had to say, I’m convinced. And I now feel like I can be a better partner, a better friend, a better sibling, and a better daughter. No, really. I know it sound corny, but seriously. This book is all about the ways that different people express their love, and the way that they, in turn, UNDERSTAND love. Once you understand the different “love languages” that people speak, you can figure out how to speak to them in those languages. For example, I’m fairly confident that my language is Words of Affirmation, meaning that I verbalize my love, and best appreciate and understand and feel love when other people do the same. Fascinating!

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

I’m fairly convinced that this guy’s voice was Rob Lowe’s inspiration for his character on Parks & Recreation. And if that isn’t awesome enough, it’s got great content, too. I’m a fairly bad procrastinator. Have been for pretty much my entire life. Nothing I can’t get a handle on, but this book had a lot of really good ideas for getting and staying organized and focused. New ideas, too. I’ve already implemented several of his suggestions, and I’m working on adding more in, too. For example, I’m a little notorious for attempting multi-tasking whenever I can. Like, really. I’m a pro at driving while singing along to music while putting on make-up while performing brain surgery. Well, not the last part. But the rest, yes. And I always attempt to multi-task at the computer, as well, but it’s actually more poisonous than anything. It’s much more productive to go at tasks one at a time, get them finished, then move on to the next one. And these suggestions apply to any kind of goals that you want to do, whether it’s losing weight, saving money, keeping yourself on track with your work, cleaning the house, etc.  It was especially helpful for me, since I work from home and I’m my own boss.

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

Atlanta Photographer | | Reading List | APW | Book Tour

And the other things I’ve been loving: The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evonovich, the Song of Ice & Fire series by George R. R. Martin, the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

Read all of these. RIGHT NOW. GO. Booklist

Photography Books Marketing Business | Making Ideas Happen | Behance | LeahAndMark

So. We have a reading list. Or rather – a suggested reading list. Kind of.

If you’re new to these parts – we have Interns. Every three months we take on 6-8 new photography interns. We also hold a photography business/marketing workshop for them. See.

In that workshop we tell them everything we’ve learned and everything we know (that’s about 5 minutes of the whole thing, the rest of the time we just watch Empire Records.) So here are some books and some reasons why you should read them. Or at least take pictures with them to make it look like you’ve read them.

Making Ideas Happen

More important than anything else – we have ideas. About business, marketing, and even a few about photography. The biggest problem we face is focusing (just kidding, we shoot Nikon so we don’t have that problem) – and actually executing those ideas to finish. We had to stop jumping from project to project, leaving each one before they’d ever get completed. (Well – I’ll admit that this was mostly my problem and not Leah’s.) So… I still have this problem, but I’m sure that if I followed more of the stuff in this book… I’d have less of this problem 🙂


So… some of the criticism about this book is that it’s not exactly realistic. It kind of suggest that you operate in some alternate reality that’s different from the real world. That’s exactly why I like it. In case you haven’t noticed – we’re very much not interested in the real world at all. Considering that in the last two years (while everyone is/was looking for jobs) Leah and I started our own photography business, we now travel all over the United States photographing weddings, and we have an Intern Armyreality is a fun thing that we like to mess with.

One of our favorite points:

Ignore the real world. “That would never work in the real world.” You hear it all the time when you tell people about a fresh idea. This real world sounds like an awfully depressing place to live. It’s a place where new ideas, unfamiliar approaches, and foreign concepts ALWAYS lose. The only things that win are what people already know and do, even if those things are flawed and inefficient.

The real world isn’t a place, it’s an excuse. It’s a justification for not trying. It has nothing to do with you.

The photography market is ridiculously over-saturated, particularly here in Atlanta.  When we started our Intern program, and our 100% money back guarantee, and we held onto our general view that ‘your-gear-does-not-matter’, we got a few odd stares (or worse) from local photographers. It’s understandable. Who were we to have Interns and start ‘teaching’ people whatever it was that we knew about photography? We didn’t go to photography school.  We started our business with a single Nikon D40 and just the kit lens. We found out that we could do a lot if we learned how to really use our little entry level D40. Stuff like this.

Your reality can be different. It just takes an insane amount of hard work and requires help from a lot of good people.

Photography Books Marketing Business | Rework | LeahAndMark

Photography Books Marketing Business | Rework | LeahAndMark

The Hot Shoe Diaries

Opposite of how most photographers start learning – I learned how to shoot with off-camera flash long before I ever really focused on natural light. It was just more fun. I could control EVERYTHING about the scene. This book helped with that education.

I think going from off-camera flash photography first and then over to natural light – really helped in how I see light. There’s just a big shift from being able to control ALL of the light and then not controlling ANY of it. You notice what you would change. You notice what you can’t change. Compared to many ‘natural-light’ photographers who haven’t worked with off-camera flash. They really don’t know about all of the possibilities. I’m not saying that all ‘natural-light’ photographers just don’t know how to effectively light a scene – I’m saying that a good number of them probably don’t.

Photography Books Marketing Business | Hot Shoe Diaries, Joe McNally | LeahAndMark

Photography Books Marketing Business | Hot Shoe Diaries, Joe McNally | LeahAndMark

Your Marketing Sucks.

It’s not a perfect book. But it has the right attitude – which might even turn you off – and that’s okay. Because this marketing book is about making money. Not building your ‘brand’ or just ‘advertising for brand awareness’ – it’s about marketing that brings in clients and sales. Sure it has it’s faults, but like I said – it’s not a perfect book. What I do like about it is that it doesn’t sugar coat anything and it feels a little rough. Like direct marketing. I love direct marketing. I love midway carnies. You know – the people who work the midway and try as hard as they can to get you to throw oversized softballs and try to get them into the milk jugs with openings that are too small.

I’m not saying rip people off – but I am saying that in the end – no matter how you want to put it – our photography business is about finding clients and making sales. Any feelings of ‘making art’ go out the window when we need to pay some bills and buy food. I don’t want nice or pretty marketing that wins any artistic awards – I want stuff that brings in clients.

(We don’t have a picture – but an even better book is: Marketing Outrageously Redux: How to Increase Your Revenue by Staggering Amounts

Photography Books Marketing Business | Your Marketing Sucks | LeahAndMark

Photography Books Marketing Business | Your Marketing Sucks | LeahAndMark

Ogilvy on Advertising.

Going back to what I said earlier – I want marketing that brings in clients, not pretty advertising that just sits there. Ogilvy is a big advocate of giving readers as much information as possible in an ad for them to digest. His advertising was almost always very text heavy. Sure it had photos – but it also persuaded people to take action – specifically, spend their money.

Photographers like to say, “I want my photos to speak for themselves.” – Yeah. They do. And what they rarely say is HIRE ME. What most photographs say – even really awesome excellent ones – is ‘I’m a great photographer’. And that’s as far as it goes in a viewer’s head. Viewers/potential clients rarely take the next step and connect it to “I need photography and I should hire this person.” Unless you tell them to do that. What’s that called? It’s called asking for the sale. A call to action.

Any sales or marketing person will tell you that no matter what – you must actually ask for the sale. Photographers that want their ‘photos to speak for themselves’ are in NO WAY asking for the sale. So that’s what we do. Heck – do you see up top in the menu bar? We don’t have ‘services’ or ‘investment’ up there. We have HIRE US TODAY. Not only does it say HIRE US – but it says TODAY. That’s what we want you to do.

We don’t want you to ‘Services’ or to ‘Investment’ us – we want you to HIRE US TODAY.

Ogilvy on Advertising. Buy this book.

Photography Books Marketing Business | Ogilvy on Advertising | LeahAndMarkPhotography Books Marketing Business | Ogilvy on Advertising | LeahAndMark

Within the Frame.

One of the best books on actual, practical photography theory as it is today – by someone who knows how to get those thoughts out of his head and down onto paper in a way you can understand, and be inspired by. Buy It.

Photography Books Marketing Business | Within The Frame | LeahAndMark

Photography Books Marketing Business | Within The Frame | LeahAndMark

Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 most powerful film conventions every filmmaker should know

You know what movies are? They’re 24 frames per second. 24 still photos strung together in a row.

Movies are live action comic book panels. There are fundamentals to cinematic storytelling and if you’re a ‘photojournalistic’ photographer then you’d better know how to tell a story. Not just ‘capture’ emotion or the ‘feelings’ of a day, or any other ways you want to label that flowery BS marketing you have on your photography website.

You owe it to yourself and your clients to really study and learn how to tell a story with visual images – in a series. Buy this book. 

Photography Books Marketing Business | Cinematic Storytelling | LeahAndMark

Photography Books Marketing Business | Cinematic Storytelling | LeahAndMark

Thanks. See you soon.