Browsing Tag

Event

Cheers for Children

I have a really awesome job. Really. I love it for a lot of reasons - capturing moments, documenting emotion – and one of them is the fact that I never know where it’s going to take me next. Literally. Last Saturday, I woke up and had a garage sale at my house in the morning… and later that afternoon, I traded my flip-flops for my glamorous black “shooting shoes” (ugly yet functional) and found myself walking through the ballroom at the W Hotel in Buckhead, prepping to shoot an event I’d long been looking forward to: the Cheers for Children Ball, put on by the Friends Junior Committee to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. See? I also get to meet incredible people and be involved in the best events and goings-on around Atlanta. Awesome job indeed.

There are a lot (and by a lot, I mean over thirty) organizations under the Friends umbrella who host events and fundraisers to benefit CHOA. And that’s amazing. But Friends Junior Committee is unique in that it’s specifically dedicated to and comprised of young professionals in their twenties and thirties, a fact apparent when I admired how wonderful a sight it was to see young people, people that check the same age demographic box at the DMV that I do, organized together to throw a party for such an important cause as a children’s hospital. And, naturally, a bunch of twenty- and thirty-somethings are going to know how to throw a party.

I walked up and down the silent auction tables, shooting and reading, and I decided something: when you’re getting donations for your charity’s auction from the best spots in Atlanta – and beyond: everything from VIP tickets to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart to no-holds-barred luxury vacations to, um, a painting by Salvador Dali(!) – you know it’s going to be a pretty amazing auction. The dancing, the food, the red Moscato… well. It was quite a party, and for one of the single best causes I know. Tremendous. Also, the food and desserts were sublime. I brought a gaggle of Interns with me (Andrew, Christine, and Christina) who can attest to that. (They also rocked my face off with their hard work. To my own little team of awesomeness: thank you, guys!) 

I’m a mom- to two young children, specifically. And we’re lucky. Incredibly lucky and so very grateful that our children are healthy, happy, and here… because we should all remind ourselves more often that there’s nothing more important than having our children be those three things. When they struggle, and it doesn’t just come easy, we fight for our children- to have a life free of pain or struggles of their own, to walk or run or speak or kick a soccer ball or to become more independent. We fight for them to have a better life. Or a chance at life. And the greatest part of all is that you don’t even have to be a parent to help give a child a chance. So why not go do something good for someone who can’t ever repay you? You can volunteer. Read books. Bring flowers. Write letters. Help with homework. Donate toys. Rock babies. Give money. Go check out both CHOA and the Friends Junior Committee to see exactly how you can help too.

Thank you to Julianna, Kathy, Audrey, and Cristina for the honor of being involved in something as important as what you’re doing for the children and families at CHOA. You. Are. Awesome.

“I brought children into this dark world because it needed the light that only a child can bring.”

Minette Magnifique!

I’ve been sucked into the vortex that is Foursquare. I know, I know. Life is so much more than becoming Mayor of your favorite sushi take-out place and earning your coveted ATL badge. BUT. When I checked into the Warren City Club- for a burlesque show, in fact- and got extra points for visiting my first speakeasy(!), I couldn’t help it. Call me silly. I just checked into a speakeasy. Um, AWESOME.

 

Minette Magnifique is a group of fabulously sexy gals in Atlanta that put on burlesque shows around the city. And I’m telling you right now, if you’ve a) never seen the Minette girls in person or b) never seen a burlesque show to boot, you should know: you’re missing out. Burlesque! Costumes! Champagne! Pin-ups! Stage kittens! Cigarette girls! The art of dance, sans the pants! Seriously. Get yourself to a burlesque show immediately and start living a little bit more. They’re sexy and empowering and SO MUCH FUN. I brought Intern Luiza along with me on this one- to share in the Girl [em]Power. Have you checked our her shots from the night yet? 

Yeah. I said empowering too. I think what intrigued me most about Minette Magnifique’s show that night, besides being in a room of people who clearly share my affinity for 1940s culture, was how empowering the atmosphere really was. The performers were all beautiful, of course, but completely different from the each other. There wasn’t a formula to how any of them looked. They just looked… beautiful. And proud. And confident. And really, what’s better than feeling good about yourself?

Remember how I frequently bemoan being born decades too late? The 1940s just pull me in. I’m fascinated. My husband and I met in high school and bonded thanks in part to our mutual love of big band music. The clothes and the movies and people wearing hats every day. The soldiers and war-time love affairs. I just get swept up in the romance of it all.

A couple of years ago, I had a moment of craziness/ intelligence and had a photographer friend take some pin-up pictures of me. I disguised my reasoning for doing something so out-of-my-element as it being a gift for my husband. But I’m going to let you in on a secret. I actually did it for- gasp!– me. I had a young toddler at home and wanted (and needed) to do something for myself. I needed to feel good about myself. So I had the pictures taken and was scared and nervous and feeling pretty much ridiculous… and then I ended up having so much fun. I was so proud of myself for doing it. It’s the whole basis behind boudoir photography and why, despite people not understanding it, why I feel it’s such an incredible gift to give YOURSELF and not anybody else. It’s your opportunity to liberate yourself from the body hang-ups that women are conditioned to suffer with from the time we’re little girls. Also? It’s seriously awesome for self-esteem. Aaaaaand… it’s really really fun.

And then, a Mean Girl- and we all know our fair share of them- made a comment. And to be honest, I don’t even remember what exactly she said… but I do remember exactly how I felt. I was embarrassed- why did I think I could ever do something like that? why didn’t I lose more baby weight before taking those pictures? who did I think I was? I felt ridiculous. I wanted to die in shame or go move to Australia or join a convent. And so I let in that monster that terrorizes us all- the one that makes us doubt our beauty, our self-worth, our inner model that was effing OWNING that photo shoot just a few weeks before.

Until a girlfriend of mine- a straight-talking, tell-it-like-it-is, bursting with self-confidence friend, and if we’re lucky, we happen to have one or two of them in our lives- set me straight again. “You’re beautiful and um, hello, OWNED that photo shoot, remember?” And just like that, I remembered why I did it in the first place. For me. Because doing something crazy, just for you, whether it be your own boudoir photos or doing a burlesque striptease to the theme from “A Clockwork Orange”, isn’t for anyone else. If you’re doing it for someone else’s approval, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons and you’re going to fail miserably. You have to do it for you. And you have to own it.

And the girls of Minette Magnifique totally OWNED IT. So thank you, ladies- for the amazing opportunity, for graciously letting me follow you around with my camera all night, and for reminding me that we all deserve to feel beautiful. You. Are. Awesome.

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 leahandmark.com 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.

You Are Powerful by +Raven

You are incredibly powerful. Do you know that?

No, like, really. I know for a fact that you don’t tell yourself that enough. Start.

I finally broke down and started reading this book on the subject of love and positive thinking recently {which I won’t name, in the hopes that I come off less like a walking ad for the book and more like a real person, haha}. And before you get your skeptical face out, hold up.

I was skeptical. And honestly, was kind of reading it as a joke. Something to make fun of {well, it’s true}. But . . . it said some cool stuff.

Most of the book is stuff I already believe anyway, but it’s neat to see it laid out in such an orderly fashion, especially by someone else. Kind of gives you some support or validation.

There are a lot of quotes – from world religions, leaders, thinkers, all kinds of people – used in the book to support and fill in certain points. And I wanted to share some of those quotes, simply because I thought they were neat, or were “WOW” moments for me. And, I kinda like you, and I like sharing stuff with you. 🙂

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.” – Gautama Buddha

“In the beginning there were only probabilities. The universe could only come into existence if someone observed it. It does not matter that the observers turned up several billion years later. The universe exists because we are aware of it.” – Martin Rees

And my personal favorite:

“Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth: ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a Love like that! It lights the whole sky.” – Hafez

You. Are. Awesome. Now start living like it.

Author Meg Keene in Atlanta

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

– Posted by Leah

Atlanta Wedding Photographers | Special Wedding Package Promotion | APW | National | Discount | Rate | LeahAndMark.com

A few weeks ago Meg, author of A Practical Wedding (the most awesome and absolutely essential wedding planning book EVER!) contacted Mark and asked if we could arrange the Atlanta leg of her national book tour. Mark, being… well, Mark… said “Sure!” and reached out to the super fabulous geniuses behind the Indie Craft Experience and upcoming Wedding Day Hooray – Shannon and Christy – and they got Young Blood Gallery in on the action and together we all nailed down the necessary details like when/where/what to eat/drink. We told Meg we had everything covered and she agreed to grace our Southern city with her special San Fran charm.

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

The day before the book talk, BabyRoX and I met Meg and Maddie at the Amtrak station. I totally want to take Amtrak somewhere now. Meg and Maddie have some hilarious and exciting stories from their travels. Plus train travel is just my kinda travel. We need more of a rail-riding culture here in the States! Seriously. Anyhow, we managed to get everyone and the luggage in the car and we headed off to breakfast, with Meg soothing a somewhat disgruntled BabyRoX in the backseat. This is when I learned that Meg is a Baby Whisperer. Woohoo! After breakfast there was working and napping and baby-holding (Meg) and kitty-cuddling (Maddie) back at our place. OneTwo, ThreeFour, and BabyRoX are all big fans of these two ladies now.

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

Fast-forward to Thursday evening, and it’s book talk time at Young Blood Gallery. Mark, Debra, Raven and three interns were all there taking photos. If you think that’s too many photographers… well, you might be right.. but that is beside the point! This was BabyRoX’s public speaking debut, so you can never have too many photographers for such a momentous occasion. Oh, and Meg talked, too… I mean, she DID kinda write the book and all.

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

Actually, Meg was hilarious and delightful and all-around awesome. She talked about the genesis of the book (and the ensuing book tour) and then we had a great discussion on female entrepreneurship – something that Meg and I… and many of the guests in attendance… have in common. Passing BabyRoX back and forth as we talked, it really hit home for me that THIS is one of the main reasons I am so glad to be self-employed. I get to spend as much time with my child as I want. I get to structure my life and my career in a way that actually works for my family. And I’m infinitely thankful for the opportunity to do so. In addition, I get to do work that inspires me, that excites me, that fulfills me. Which makes me a healthier, happier person, and, therefore, a better mom.

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

All in all, it was a fantastic evening. The talk was standing room only. We saw several of our amazing clients – wedding grads and future grads alike (hey y’all!). We ate delicious cupcakes and drank fancy Italian soda. Meg’s books sold out (I didn’t even get a chance to purchase one!). BabyRoX and his rainbow leg warmers received much admiration. Several lucky guests won portrait sessions with +Raven and tickets to the Wedding Day Hooray. Meg and Maddie found cute jewelry at the Young Blood boutique. AND they didn’t miss their train to New Orleans the next morning. Success!

A Practical Wedding | Atlanta | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com

Click here for the Entire Photo Gallery.

Meg and Maddie – thank you so much for visiting us! We had a super awesome terrific time and we think you are both the bee’s knees. Y’all come back now, y’hear? BabyRoX and the kitties miss you!

 

Atlanta Wedding Photographers | Special Wedding Package Promotion | APW | National | Discount | Rate | LeahAndMark.com

Black Tie | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet

BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com

– Posted by Mark

Just a quick post today. We photographed Black Tie catering’s recent secret supper – and this time it was held at the Atlanta Ballet. How awesome is that?! Too. Awesome.

Hey. It’s Thursday. Let’s Go.

BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com
BlackTie Barbecue | Secret Supper | Atlanta Ballet | LeahAndMark.com

A Practical Wedding in Atlanta | Book Tour!

A Practical Wedding | Book Tour | LeahAndMark.com | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

A Practical Wedding | Book Tour | Atlanta | LeahAndMark.com | You. Are. Awesome.

Our friend Meg – is the genius behind APracticalWedding.com – and she wrote a book. And now she’s doing a book tour. And she wanted to make a stop in Atlanta so We (LeahAndMark.com!) and our friends at the Wedding Day Hooray (The ONLY Wedding Bridal Show worth attending) and Young Blood Gallery (no Barnes & Noble for this book club!)… teamed up to make it Awesome. AWESOME.

You should attend. We’re all attending. Q&A will be moderated by Leah and Meg will talk about some of THESE TOPICS.

When: Thursday February 2nd, 2012 7pm-9pm
Where: Young Blood Gallery 636 N Highland Ave. Atlanta, GA 30306

You should come and hangout! That would be Awesome. 

RSVP For the Event by GOING HERE.

  

  

 

 

 

 

EARTH University

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We were hired to shoot a charity event for EARTH University. Straight from their website:

EARTH University is an international institution created out of a deep conviction that the environmental and social challenges confronting the planet can be resolved through education that promotes science, technology and entrepreneurship while focusing on essential human values, leadership and a commitment to social and environmental service. EARTH offers an undergraduate program in agricultural sciences and the rational use of natural resources leading to the licenciatura degree. The campus is located in Guacimo, Limon Province, Costa Rica.

It was held at the Sweetwater Brewery and we felt pretty confident that it we wouldn’t have any problems since I had already shot a Yelp event there before. And it really wouldn’t have been any problem at all – except for the part where on every shoot I have to try something new, or at the very least, try something different.

This was also the first real event where Leah came along to shoot (since we finally got her a camera of her own.) So the first light set up really, really sucked. It just wasn’t doing anything. Then the 2nd light setup really sucked. That one was even worse than the first. But I still didn’t want to just go completely back to what I did the last time I shot at this brewery, so I had to find something else.

Now, the shots we took with the first two setups weren’t bad, they just weren’t anything different. They were safe… and that’s not why we shoot…

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Since we aren’t shooting magazine coverage for the event, we don’t have to stick with clear, bright shots. Now, that may sound like a big obvious of course that’s what you want – but if you’ve ever seen the ‘people’ photos of any charity event in a magazine, they just want clear, posed shots of the attendees – so that people can be easily identified. We however, don’t always want that. In fact… I think we rarely want that. No just kidding. We want to see people’s faces – but we don’t want them lit in a boring way.

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Since Leah shot at this event – we’ll have her write some of this entry – see below.

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Hi it’s Leah!  Right after I took this photo, the lady on the left said to me, “Oh, so you’re the photographer?”  And I stammered, “Uh…well, not really… I mean, my husband is…but he needed an assistant, so now I’m taking photos, too.  He just started taking photos professionally, as well.  It’s a new thing. So yeah, actually, I guess I’m a photographer now.”  (I word-vomit when I’m caught off guard.) Clearly I’m not quite comfortable marketing myself as a photographer.  This is still so new to me. So it’s weird to be at an event as the official photographer.  But I guess I just need to own it.  Yes.  I am here to take photos.  Thus, I am a photographer. Even though I’m also in grad school for social work.  I can wear multiple hats, right?  So there you have it. One more shot from me below (because Mark’s not the only one who likes interesting light in the photos). Leah, signing off.

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We took a break over Halloween weekend – but November is packed + we’ve scheduled some shoots just for portfolio building/practice/to try out some new ideas that we can’t do on a paid assignment.

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