Browsing Tag

Connecticut

Connecting | by +Krista

A few years ago, I came across this really awesome (and very poignant) quote- I found it (or it found me) at a time when my life was essentially flipped upside down. I was questioning things a lot: where I was, where I was going, and who Iíd chosen to surround myself with. And then, I found it. Iíd like to say it was scrawled someplace significant but it was probably doodled on the inside of a college textbook or somethingÖ but it basically slapped me in the face: ďPeople come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.Ē And wow. It was exactly the lightbulb moment I needed. And while Iíve stumbled and backslid a few times since, that saying is now always in the back of my mind, like the good advice I donít always follow but do always remember- eventually. Because life is about connections. Like photography.

Itís easy to snap a picture of something pretty. Thereís pretty stuff all around us- a sunset, a bunch of flowers, whatever. But the challenge of creating lies in making something a little bit (okay, a LOT) better than something thatíd hang on the wall in a hotel room- and the best challenge of all is connecting. With a face: eyes locked, betraying the mind. With a moment: head thrown back in mid-laugh, shoes kicking up in the air. Or with a place: connecting so well that youíd swear you could pull a Mary Poppins and be inside that place in an instant. The connection is what I love most about photography- connecting with the camera, with another person, anything.

I find myself, especially at weddings, dropping my camera down from my face for just a moment during the first dance- because I love watching that connection between people in love. I sometimes hide around the corner of my living room hallway, watching my daughters and their own little connection: sisterly, fiery, loyal and loving- I stifle my laughter when my Little One fights back against her big sisterís bossiness with a bite. The connections in life- no matter how meaningful or superficial- are what make us.

And Iíve had lots of connections. I still wonder about some- as in, what the HELL was I thinking?- and I miss some. Regret some. Hold onto some. Let go of others. (Sometimes multiple times.) Every single connection really can be divided neatly into a category: season, reason, lifetime. I literally have a photographic memory- a blessing and a curse- and forever have those connections, no matter who they were or why they were, ingrained into my mind. And into my photography too. And that. is. awesome.

Shipping Up to Boston | by +Krista

Weddings are awesome. I know, I know. As a photographer, Iím sort of supposed to say that. But itís true- and not [only] for the obvious reasons. Sure, weddings are fun: full of dancing and champagne and family. Big, happy celebrations of finding love and throwing a party. But as a photographer, theyíre also a continuous challenge to shoot better, create better, be better. And I do love me a challenge. It’s why weddings feel like such a good fit for me.

Iíve actually been lucky enough to second-shoot weddings with Mark pretty often since my LeahAndMark adventure began eight months ago- awesome locations all over Atlanta and even my first out-of-state wedding in Indiana earlier this summer. But a few weeks ago, my adventures got stepped up a notch when Mark and I flew to Boston to shoot a wedding at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Um. AWESOME.

See, I have this thing for traveling, no matter how far- (or close-) flung those travels may be. I love packing. I even love airports. Seriously, even in hours-long lines at TSA checkpoints, Iíve got a ridiculous smile on my face. Take my shoes off? YES! LOVE TO! Search my bag full of underwear in front of a hundred people? GO RIGHT AHEAD, I’M†FLYING SOMEWHERE! And traveling with Mark can be quite glamorous: Delta Gold status and pre-boarding perks. (Though no champagne and hot towels this trip- next time, I say.) When we landed in Boston, Mark humored my giddiness from being†someplace new†and we drove into†the heart of†the city†and had lunch, real Bahstan style, at Quincy Market. Like a true tourist, I bought souvenirs and bombarded my husband back home with a constant stream of cell phone pictures. Then we drove down into Connecticut. I saw exit signs for New York City (which made me ridiculously happy), and I discovered that Mark is a serial radio channel surfer. Oh. And we drove right through a tornado warning, in Northern Connecticut. Because apparently, we bring so much Awesome with us to these weddings, even the skies spontanteously combust into Awesomeness. Or scariness. Something.

Whenever I shoot a wedding, whether Iím second-shooting with Mark or running the show myself, the whole day becomes a constant quest to do better than Iíve ever done before. I owe that to my clients, to my boss, to myself. I sprawl across the floor. I sprint from one end of the venue to the other. (Repeatedly. And again. And again.) I climb on things. I canít just sit back timidly and wait for the shots to happen in front of me. I have to anticipate them. Be two steps ahead, to catch them before theyíre gone again. And, as Iíve learned from the moment I set foot in our old Goat Farm studio back in January, I have to make them. Being a photographer isnít just about catching moments as they unfold before your eyes. Itís about†MAKING photos that tell you- immerse you- in those moments. And while most weddings follow the same loose formula: flowers, vows, the kiss, and cake (cake!), everything else is different. Different moments, different dynamics. And itís my job to make something different every single time I shoot a wedding. Or anything. Itís the best part about my job, which is saying a lot- I mean, I seriously have a job that lets me travel AND lets me get to know people on such an amazingly personal level. And I get wine. If that’s not winning, I don’t know what is.

Thank you to Mark, for thinking enough of me to take me along. It’s a big deal each and every time I’m asked to work alongside someone at a wedding- you have to have faith that that person, as Mark puts it, doesn’t suck. So thank you. You’re awesome.

Atlanta. Boston. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark. You. Are. Awesome.