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Editorial

Studying Other Photographers

It’s not that you shouldn’t study other photographers. You should definitely know what’s been made before you – and what’s currently being made. But if you’re working on your stuff – if you’re REALLY working on it, then you’re too busy to read and keep up with 20 other photographers blogs.

You’re too busy to talk on photographers forums and argue about the quality of a lens, or the latest version of Photoshop.

You’re too busy making.

LeahAndMark.com | Atlanta Fashion Photographer

 

Weddings | Portraits | Photobooths

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!

22:22

 

Well, flights have been booked and plans are being finalized.  I am looking to travel 22,000 miles in 22 days this holiday season.  I love to travel, and am very excited, and also very nervous about the journey ahead of me.

Travels plans include large chunks of the United States, and culminate in a journey to my childhood home of South Africa.  I haven’t been to South Africa since I moved to the States 18 years ago.  I have always been a fan of the phrase “home is where the rump rests”, now that I am am a mom, it is where my family is, where my partner and my son are, that is home for me.  However I will be traveling to see my far flung family, and also getting to experience my birth country, as an adult.

it’s exciting to think about.

It’s scary to think about.

I will be traveling to South Africa solo, arriving in Africa before New Years Eve.  I am eaving behind my wonderful partner and our precious son, but meeting up with my sister and brother.  My sister will be traveling from South Korea to meet up with us, and I am so ecstatic to see her, it has been a year. It will also be the first time I have been away from our son.   I know it will be a wonderful trip and our son will be safe and happy.  I will miss the goober alot though, and miss having my partner to ground me and appreciate my quirks.  It will be the first time I have been a single entity, and not a “we” in over a year.

I know I will take lots and lots of photos.

Travelling is always an amazing opportunity to reconnect with the universal core of humankind and discover some more of this amazing world we live in.  I believe firmly that traveling to far away places makes you a better person.   I am looking forward to seeing many new and wonderful things, and spending time with my extended family.  I will be spending the holidays with my American family members, both my mother and my soon to be in laws.  In South Africa I will be reconciling with my father, and his new family.  Just think, brothers and sisters I have never met.  Laughs I have never heard, quirks I have never seen.

It is all exciting, and nerve wracking at the same time.

I cannot wait to come back and have a show and tell.

This week, as I pondered the trips ahead, and the many different people I will be spending time with, I wanted to take a moment and enjoy the simple things around me.  Afternoons have been spent walking with my son, picking up leaves, enjoying the last of the warm weather, and realizing that there is an adventure to be had in our very own back yard.

These pictures are about realizing the simple pleasures around us.  The beauty of changing leaves, and changing seasons.  The last of the hibiscus blooms, the decorative gourds for the season.  The luxury of simple sunny afternoons with giggles.  It’s a gift to be able to appreciate the simplest things, without ever traveling more than a few feet from home.  I hope it helps me on my journey, to see the depth and beauty in far away places with greater appreciation.  

For right now, I am enjoying the now, the simple things that are familiar, so I can appreciate the new things to come.  :)