Browsing Tag

+Debra

Atlanta, Boston, and Beyond!

Whew, this week has been a doozy.  It’s been SO AWESOME with confirming a local Atlanta wedding, AND booking 2 weddings in Boston in the space of one week.  What are the chances? And HOW FREAKING COOL!  I am so super excited to travel for weddings, and so happy that my future brides and grooms took a chance and invited me to their party.  Awesome! Thank you! Ya’ll rock!

If you’re getting married this year, you should think about inviting me to your party, or invite LeahAndMark because they are awesome epitomized (Mark especially), and let’s not forget the other super awesome (OMGBBQ!) + Photographers +Raven and +Jo.  We’re a pretty cool group around here.  We liven up any party, and make kick butt pictures to remember the party, just in case it ends up being that kind of party ;)

Let’s not forget that we have an awesome Army of Interns (go check out their blogs right now!)

 

There’s alot of forced change happening in my life, and in some ways it’s exciting and in some it’s a bit terrifying  nail biting awesome.  I remember hitting my 25th birthday and heaving a massive sigh of relief, like, whew I survived.  I went back to college finished my degree and thought blamo, it’s all solved, figured, sorted…and the rest would uhm, just fall into my lap.  Pff, I never thought that, not even for a second, but I did have a restful phase…and now I have a 30th birthday around the corner.and goals and dreams, and insert whatever other real world situations like bills, etc. to support.  Yip.  That’s life…at least a part of it.

Right.  I know it’s not going to fall in my lap, and nobody is going to give it to me.  I just hope I can go get it for myself, and for my family.  It’s a new game this year, and I plan to win it.

Let’s Do This!

Oh, and thanks for checking out my blog.  Have an awesome weekend.

 

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!

Gabrielle + Quinton | Wedding Preview By + Debra

When I first met Gabrielle and Quinton we were sitting outdoors at a small cafe.  The entire conversation I kept seeing them steal shy glances and share secret smiles.  At one point, I thought the napkin holder on the table between them would fly ten feet into the air because of the electricity between them.  It was obvious immediately that they were, and are, deeply and madly in love with one another.  I was thankful at once for the happenstance connection that had brought them to me as a photographer for their wedding.

It turns out that they are both very creative and resourceful people, our banter easily moved around from details of the day, the amazing story of their friendship blossoming into a deep and abiding love, and who else knows.  We talked about everything, and I watched them share their story, and could feel the love they shared.  It was a rare and delightful thing to encounter, the intensity of them is energizing and exciting.  As the wedding day approached I chatted multiple times with Gabs, I knew the moment I saw her initial G chat message of ” taps microphone, is this thing on” pop up on my computer I had made a new friend.  A vivacious, funny, and witty friend at that.

As a photographer I always become invested in the people I shoot, after all I am sharing moments of their lives, being entrusted to record events to shape memories for years down the road.  It’s a calling, and not just a fact of picking up a fancy camera.  On their wedding day   we all hugged multiple times, and they trusted me to take them walking through downtown Atlanta to shoot some memorable and lasting photos.  we traipsed around Fox Theatre, popped into the Livingston and borrowed somebody else’s wedding guests, and stood on the corner laughing at the multiple people honking and cheering out the car window.  It was a day to remember.

My second shooter was the wonderful Alumni Intern Whitney from Season Four, and I was lucky to have her there.  Throughout the day we oohed and aahed over photos, laughed with the wedding party, and all in all had an amazing day.  Thanks again for everything Whitney, you are awesome.

The wedding party photos involved me hopping out into the street.  Literally, jumping into Piedmont Ave between red lights to get just the right amount of space for the shots.  Thankfully I had ten sets of eyes to call out when cars were coming.   We take our art seriously around here at LeahAndMark.com. 😉

Big special thanks to Gabs and Quinton for having me be a part of their special day.  Best of luck to you in the future, I look forward to watching and capturing the momentous occasions to come.  Ya’ll are awesome!  <3

You can make AWESOME Images | Photography Workshop | + Debra

People always ask me how to take better pictures. I used to, and still do, ask Mark and Leah how to take better pictures. In a shutterbug society, we all want to take better pictures. It’s a common mantra around here that ideas are more important than equipment. It’s a mantra, and a truth. By now we all know how Leah and Mark picked up their entry level DSLR’s, and with ideas and alot of work made a thriving business, an internship program, and continue to turn out beautiful pictures ALL the time. As an alumni intern, and a plus, I have been through the Make Better Pictures bootcamp, and am a better photographer for it.

Last Saturday, Alumni Intern Jo and I went out to teach a small workshop on how to take better pictures, or as I would think it, make better images, to the Red Hots. The Red Hots are a group of youth affiliated with Refugee Family Services who meet weekly to learn new cool things, and focus on education and enrichment. I was very excited to meet the students, and thrilled to be able to teach about my own passion in photography.

There’s so many things to be said for making better images, thousands of theories, and ideas, so it was a challenge to focus on simple concepts with broad impact.

We started with discussing why we ask people if we can take their pictures. How it is polite to ask “may I take your picture/” and then once we have permission, to take pictures and have fun. By connecting with the people we are photographing we are able to take more meaningful pictures. A photograph shows how well we can communicate with the people around us, whether through words, eyes or body language. A photograph that is good and meaningful will hold a conversation, and the viewer will be a part of that conversation.

The most important things to making better, more exciting images are: (drum roll)

1) ZOOM with your feet.  Move around.   Look at the scene from all angles, and distances.

2) Focus on PEOPLE or focus on DETAILS.

3) Use ACTION to make pictures more exciting.

I also took lots of pictures, and didn’t try to get the “perfect”shot, it was fun, and relaxed.

ZOOM with your feet

Focus on People 

 When I am taking a ‘power portrait” I am focused purely on the person, their energy, their story.  Before I take the picture I speak to them, I am open, I want them to be comfortable.  I ask them to look into the lens, straight into the lense.  They don’t have to smile, or frown, or anything.  They just have to be themselves.

Focus on Details

Focusing on details tells us about the environment where the people are.  We can tell the season, the time of day.  We can show pretty leaves and shadows. Objects can convey ideas.

Ideas are always more important than equipment.  Always.

ACTION!

Portraits with multiple people are fun, having action included in the portrait can be interesting to look at.  Its very common for me to have people jumping in pictures.  Jumping gets the blood moving, and keeps us having fun.  it makes us forget that we are having our picture taken, and keeps us relaxed so that we can look into the lense with ease.  

Jo and I will be returning to the Red Hots in early December to help them select images for their very own show at an Art gallery. More details to come!