Browsing Tag


Party in the park! | by +Luiza

So my weekend was pretty freakin’ sweet.

I got to go see The Electric Sons, Yeasayer, Grouplove, Ellie Goulding, and Passion Pit. Up front. And call it “work”. I even got to go on stage with Ellie Goulding. What up! (ok I’m done bragging. I think.)


I just really love what I do, you guys.

This time last year, I also photographed Party in the Park as intern Luiza. And it was AMAZING. So I kind of knew what to expect, but even so, this year blew my mind.



A lot was the same and a lot was different and it all was just. freaking. awesome. The bands put on a great show, the crowd was bigger, the fans were louder, more excited, and carried dinosaurs with them. Pretty sure I even saw an unicorn with laser eyes somewhere.



And it’s crazy to me to look back at the photos and see just how much I’ve grown this past year. And how much more comfortable I am with a camera in a crowd. And in front of a crowd.



Awesome interns Michaella and Kristi also joined me this year. And we got to do superawesomecool things like go on top on the Omni Hotel to take superawesomecool photos of everyone having a groovy time while we were also having a groovy time. Because when you’re an intern (or a plus) it’s impossible not to have a groovy time. Especially when you’re shooting a party. In the park.



Don’t get me wrong, we work hard. Really really ridiculously hard. And it’s not always glamorous, but it’s always worth it. Because being on your feet for hours, carrying around heavy gear, and editing and writing until 3AM after working your 9-5 job isn’t always superawesomecool. But the things I like a little less about being a photographer don’t even bother me when the things I like a whole lot more about being a photographer are just so awesome. Like going to concerts. And showing you all these awesome photos that make you wish you were there too. And showing you all these awesome photos that make you wish you were a photographer too. And, you know, being on stage with Ellie Goulding.

Oh. And working with Mark. That’s my favorite thing about being a photographer. (he totally didn’t make me say that)


do SOMEthing | by +elaine

I’m just coming off an amazing weekend. life affirming. life altering. fun, exhausting, exhilarating. if any of you have been paying attention, I’ve had the privilege of photographing Girls Rock Camp Atlanta and Ladies Rock Camp Atlanta. it’s inspiring to watch and be a part of all that energy. but let me tell you, it’s nothing compared to being an actual camper.

it was hard for me to let go at first. I’d always been there as a photographer. I even packed my camera to bring with me, then deliberately took it out at the last minute. I didn’t want to observe. not as a professional, anyway. I wanted to be a part of it. IN it. without the detachment of composing images in my head and having my camera as a shield. I did that in-my-head thing anyway, but was able to just use my phone to snap some shots, just like normal people do, and let it go at that. eventually.




here we were, 24 women, mostly strangers. we met on friday afternoon, chose instruments to play (for some of us, for the very first time), formed bands, had lessons, named ourselves, wrote songs and lyrics, rehearsed, rehearsed, and rehearsed some more. somewhere in there they managed to feed us well and often, and set up time for some serious bonding and a few performances. there was a lot of laughing and crying and hugging and cheering. and rocking and badassness, of course. then finally (all too quickly, in fact), on sunday night we performed. such a simple word, performed. but it was everything. excitement and attitude and love, and this beautiful energy exchange that I swear you could actually see dancing around the room.

and now that it’s over (we rocked it, by the way), I’m able to analyze the hell out of it, hold it all up to the light and see where it fits in the puzzlebox that is my brain. people met, lessons learned, what I’m taking away from it all, and if or how it’s going to color all things that come after.

some top-line things? I learned about Preferred Gender Pronouns. that I’m perhaps too cynical and snarky than absolutely necessary, even if only in my head. that the world is filled with kind, supportive beautiful beings that will help you along if you ask it of them. that you can teach this old dog new tricks. that I still have to ability to surprise myself.

rock & roar



I was motivated to attend this camp, yes, because after all that watching, I wanted to DO. but maybe it’s also part of that mid-life panic. I don’t want to be “just” a wife and mother of three. don’t get me wrong, that’s probably THE best thing of my life. but it’s not all that I am. or not all that I want to be. I will not go gently into that good night. because frankly, time is running out. maybe not soon, but certainly there’s less of it than there was before. and I still have things I want to learn. to discover. to enjoy. I want to not be bored or boring. I want to challenge myself and be vulnerable and redefine myself. I want my sons to see all of it and learn from it as well.

so do something that scares you. something that thrills you. something you’ve never even considered. take up lessons, go to a drag show, schedule a boudoir shoot, jump out of an airplane (parachuted, please). it doesn’t have to be big. buy a vegetable you’ve never seen before, then hunt up a recipe on the internet. try something new. revisit something old. finally tell someone that thing you’ve always wanted to say.


as my father would say: “do something, even if it’s wrong.” I’m not saying that’s always the best advice, but you get the gist, right? get up off your ass. get going. do SOMEthing. I won’t promise that it won’t be mortifying or embarrassing or painful, whether physically or emotionally. you may fail. or cry. or throw up. or be rejected or laughed at. I’m not saying that any or all of those things won’t happen. I’m only saying it just might be worth every bit of it.

for those about to ROCK, we salute you | by +elaine

if you know me or have followed anything I’ve written in the past, you likely know I have three boys. and I’m always being asked if I’m done. if I’m going to try for that girl.


and while the older I get, the less often those questions are asked, we can save the topic of aging and no more procreation and older children and all things bittersweet for another time. I believe that I was built to be the mother of boys. and sure, this could be just be me trying to find meaning and order to a universe that three times running just happened to randomly provide me with that Y chromosome instead of the second X. looking for reason, as we all do, when things happen that we don’t plan or expect or understand, or that are tragic or overwhelming. but today my pendulum is swinging toward the “things happen for a reason” side of things, as it generally does.


for a very long time I had absolutely no interest in having a girl. I was a girl. and I was awful. well, maybe not awful (we might have to consult my mother on this), but surely trouble enough. and you know I would’ve ended up with one just like me. or maybe one who was nothing like me whom I wouldn’t understand at all. or all manner of complicated variation in between. but facing the reality of that “having kids” door close, it’s a much different thing. I don’t ache for little girls I never knew I wanted. not anymore. but I still wonder what kind of girl (and ultimately, what kind of woman) she would be. would I be able to help her avert some of the mistakes I made. would I want to? what would she look like, and would she be smart, funny, serious? the great fun of biological children (beyond creating them) is seeing what kind of being the genetic swirl comes up with each and every time.

so anyway, my life is not filled with pinks or glitter or flowers. or leggings and lace. or bows and bracelets. or barbies (boys call them “action figures”). and that’s okay. I have legos and lightsabers. compasses and pocketknives. crates full of tried-and-discarded sports equipment. various ways to hit things with other things. blues and greens and reds and grays and blacks.

and. I. will. not. have. teenage. daughters. amen.


but this Girls Rock Camp showed me, reminded me, there are all manner of girls than the stereotypical non-existent ones I create in my head. girls who eschew all things pink. badass strutting little women who screech into microphones. or pluck at bass guitars, lips slightly pursed as required. who can rock out on a drum set or keyboard or guitar. or shake that tambourine like nobody’s business. these ladies have the courage to show up to a week-long camp–many having never picked up a musical instrument before–and select instruments, form bands, learn basic chords and drum beats, and design promotional materials for the concert. they get lessons on female empowerment, self-defense, and how women are represented in the media. all of the campers and instructors are women. girl power, indeed.

during all of that, they collaborate to create the music and lyrics to a song. AND. THEN. THEY. PERFORM.


I was lucky enough to be a part of Ladies Rock Camp, which is a fundraiser for Girls Rock Camp (thanks, Stacey Singer, I heart you). and both times I’ve been struck by how comparitively different my life is, not being surrounded by estrogen. the energy is just so diffferent. the love, the support, the laughter. it’s just a different brand of connection. and it’s amazing.

not that I’ve thought about this much, but…my make-believe girl? she’s strong and sassy and smart. she’s much kinder than I am. and hilarious. she’s got attititude and is full of wiseassery. she’s unaware that she is beautiful. she respects herself and other people. she makes the world a better place. she is absolutely a Girls Rock Camp kind of girl.

and now there is the wonderful realization that gender aside, my boys are exactly the kind of children I that I just described. rock on.

retro | intro -spective | by +Elaine

I’ve have lots of names. lainie, e, shorty, laine brain, nain. and now I’m +elaine. and I like it.

getting an updated portfolio together had me sifting through all my intern shoots. and reviewing what I had in my portfolio before. hard to believe there was even a time in my photography life before my leahandmark internship. it’s amazing to see where I was with my skills and knowledge and experience then. and where I am now.

before, I was hired for the occasional gig, but mostly I just showed up everywhere with my camera. parties, the pool, backyard concerts, school events, playdates, parks. but now my work is filled with babies and children and couples and drag queens. product shoots of granola and books and headbands and dresses and shoes and bread and houses. people new to the country, or on stage speaking or rocking out, or getting married, or breaking boards. models crouched in trunks and strutting on runways and posing in rotted out buses and old trains. so much cooler.

I look back on my “before the internship” work and my “during” work, and now that I’m in the “after” phase, I can’t wait to see what what my portfolio will be filled with next.

with a new role as a + at comes a new blog location. no longer in the intern section, mark told +krista, +mishaun and me to (re)introduce ourselves. coming up with 200 pictures to whittle down to 20 for our portfolios, posting a blog and showcasing our work… all of this reminds me of the incredulity I felt the first night as an intern when mark told us we had to have 20 images and a blog up by that monday morning. 20 IMAGES! it seemed a ridiculous amount and there was no way I had that many images that were good enough. and just like then, once I got a grip and settled down to work, I find I have more than enough pictures I’m happy to use to fill my portfolio and to post on the blog as I introduce myself. again.

so hi, I’m + elaine, and I’m happy you’re here. now let’s get shooting.