Browsing Tag


Follow the leader | by +Krisandra

For the past two Sundays I led a Children’s Portraiture workshop at Piedmont Park for the current interns, my first workshop ever. When trying to come up with a workshop to lead the interns in I came to realize just how many children I have photographed in the last couple years. Who would have thought back when I was in photography school that I would end up with a specialization in children’s portraiture and actually love it?! Not me or my instructors.


I kind of “fell into” the field. It all started with photographing children’s headshots for an Atlanta talent agency and took flight from there. When I first started I didn’t think that I would actually enjoy photographing children. I was use to photographing adults and being able to get what I wanted out of each session. With children it is SO not like that, which I learned the hard way. Children have a super short attention span and tire easily. Emotions run deep and most of the time they are going to do what they want to do. So, how do I get a successful session out of a 5 year old?


This is what I wanted to show the current interns. I wanted to show how I interact with the kids, tips and tricks. What I do when it’s freezing cold out or the sun isn’t shinning or the kid doesn’t want to smile. How to take one area and get 5 different backdrops out of it. How to make the kid my new best friend. I wanted to show how I can go through 4-6 different outfits in an hour and a half and have each one look completely different. So, I introduce the models.

Meet Claire. 12 years old.


Meet Kane. 2 1/2 years old.


Meet Jewlee. 5 years old.


I wasn’t sure what to expect from the interns or myself as a leader. I know in a past blog I went on and on about how I enjoyed leading the interns at introduction night and this is still true. But, with the workshop it was just me and the interns. No one else. My models, my rules, my name. If the models didn’t show, it was on me. If the interns didn’t learn a thing, it was on me. If this didn’t go well, it was on me. From the looks of the current intern blogs I would say it the Children’s Portraiture workshop was a  SUCCESS!



I am glad I had the opportunity to lead this workshop and want to thank all the interns who participated. A major thanks to the models and parents of our models. You all did amazing.

Check out some of the work from the intern blogs below.
Intern Chad
Intern Joshua
Intern Heather
Intern Karley

Glorious Light


Click to see the play time Gallery.

When I grow up, I want a studio with big north facing windows.

Molly up above and her sister Sydney were the flower girls in our wedding back in May. Leah babysits them whenever she can and sometimes I come along because they’re wild and crazy and fun and it’s always nice to see me. (ha!)

Anyways – I haven’t really seen them since the wedding and so much has happened – like the part where I starting really photographing people. They also had two friends over and in total Leah was watching four children (with the help of her college roommate Arianna who is Sydney and Molly’s aunt – got all that?)

Still. Back to the light. Last Sunday was a generally dreary and cloudy day – and then the sun broke free for a few hours late in the afternoon. Just in time for me to take a few shots while the kids were playing.


… kids are easier to photograph than adults.

Click to see the play time Gallery.

Family Portrait


Click here for the very small mini gallery.

We shot our first ‘family portrait’ yesterday morning – in Piedmont Park – and it was really, really cold. Fortunately, it was bright and sunny and clear. This of course poses another problem – the sun – especially for us since we’re not ‘natural light’ photographers. Add to that challenge the part where you’re trying to photograph a toddler full of energy – and then adjusting for constantly changing light conditions… ha, it was a really wild and crazy photo session. I mean – photographers have a hard enough time getting the lighting right during a posed photo shoot where people are sitting still – try doing it with all manual flashes, full manual on your camera (except autofocus) – and a really fun toddler who’s ready to play.

It’s almost enough to make you want to become a natural light photographer. No just kidding.

This shoot was the most tiring out of all three shoots we had yesterday – but it was also the most fun. Once I found the right settings to balance out the light – it was just a matter of chasing the toddler around, trying to catch his face and then just shooting away.

I really could not have done this shoot without Leah. We had a three light set-up. The sun up above and behind them (mostly), Leah on the right side with a bare flash aimed at their faces, and then I held an umbrella’d flash in my left hand. Yeah. So I’m crouching down, with a camera in my right hand and up to my eye, while holding a big while umbrella with the other hand, and we’re chasing him around trying to get a good shot. Leah and I must’ve looked pretty funny to anyone else in the park watching.

Still, this was not the time for light stands and inflexible setups – we had to move and move and move. Aim left light, aim the right light, aim the camera. ShootRunRepeat.

First Shot: Since it seems like almost every photo shoot I do these days is a type of shoot that I’ve never done – I’m always a bit nervous until I get that first shot that shows me that everything’s going to be alright. This shot of the father was the one that calmed me down. I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to not only balance out the light against the sun, but to make it have the quality I wanted and not just end up with a lot of ‘snapshot’ type photos. Once we made this shot I got the feeling that we’d be alright.

One of the things I’m most happy about this shoot is that I think we achieved that underlying goal of always producing shots that many other photographers won’t or can’t get…


Of course – that may not always be a good thing – because some people just want photos that look like everyone else’s family portraits…

Inman Park 4th of July Picnic

Last Thursday we discovered that our neighborhood has it’s own newsletter/neighborhood organization. There is a good core group and they actually hangout and have ‘porch parties’ (I think that’s cool since we never had anything like that in AZ – but no one ever hung out on their porches – not that anyone had a porch worth mentioning (except maybe if they had a pool in the backyard – but nothing like the porches they have out here in this part of the country.)

It is interesting how they actually act as a cohesive neighborhood community – where people know each other, they’ve lived here for over 20 years, and they gather in the square (or Springvale Park since it’s more hidden and private than the actual Inman Park) – all of it looking like some sort of town picnic you would see on Gilmore Girls or some other television show.

Oh and the Inman Park Neighborhood Association provided the core foods + Beer + Soda + Wine. Lots of drinks – and that’s always appreciated.

The food was really good.

Rather than baking a cake, Leah bought one that was undecorated and then… decorated it! So it was halfway homemade. 🙂

It’s also nice that our landlords’ husband is Leahs’ current boss & they’re quite active in the whole Inman Park scene. So they know most of the people and even introduced us to many more people than we can remember today. An added plus was having one of her co-workers/friends come along with her husband and son.

Now. To exaggerate the whole ‘neighborhood community’ of the whole thing – the kid games are what you ideally want at such an event: sack race, three-legged race, balloon toss, egg race… yeah.

Leah here! I wanted to type, too, but I’m letting Mark do all the photo editing/posting work.  Haha.  So, Inman Park…wow.  A real TV-type neighborhood, but cooler…cuz they have grilled tofu at their picnics!  Yum.  And a neat mix of people, too… renters, homeowners, 20-somethings and 60-somethings and kids and families and artists and business people, and everyone seems to hang out together and there is a great sense of community.  Which will be awesome for my Community Partnerships focus that makes up the core of my Social Work program.

… after the picnic, we made our way to the other side of the tracks to Cabbagetown (literally just on the other side of the tracks.) Our friends Anna & Chris live there and that’s where we spent the evening looking to the sky and watching fireworks (while being eaten alive by bugs.)

Still. Those shots and everythings are for another post.

For the rest of the photos from the: Inman Park Neighborhood Association’s July 4th’s Picnic. Click Here.

Have an awesome Saturday.

Wednesday Night StandUp for Kids

This post was initially going to simply be about our lunch today. Leah left work early and drove the distance up to where I work in Alpharetta, where we had lunch at a Chinese restaurant down the road. But then I actually took some photos tonight @ the regular Wednesday night StandUp for Kids Outreach Center. Leah volunteers there every Wednesday night, while I only volunteer about every other Wednesday. It’s five hours where the kids come in, and we give them food, supplies, help with documentation, education – whatever is missing… I’ve posted it before, but for the new people who don’t know about the organization – Click here for a description/summary.

Tonights’ dinner was provided by a church group, one of which is also a regular StandUp for Kids volunteer. Although StandUp is not a faith based organization, every month there are several church groups that provide the dinners, along with the occasional restaurant donation.

These photos of the kids and the volunteers are blurred because we’re not allowed to show their identifiable faces. The center is a ‘safe’ place and unfortunately, there may be people out there looking for these kids – people who may or may not mean to do them harm.

Whereas just a few months ago things were generally quite chaotic – the leadership has implemented a good structured schedule for the night with activities and other things that keep the kids focused, and more or less out of trouble while they’re in the center. Tonight they were making collages of things that ‘represent them, or how they feel, or some other meaning of themselves’.

For reasons too long to write, every Wednesday volunteers haul the donated clothes and supplies from out of the trunks of their cars where they are stored and bring them into the conference room where they are divided up into clothing, hygiene and food packs to hand out to the kids when the night is over and they have to go back to wherever they came from.

Tonight was Becca’s birthday. She’s the Director of the Atlanta Chapter (I think that’s her title, but either way, she’s the one who’s in charge and arguably the most dedicated and has been for years and years when many other volunteers long ago left.)

At the end of the night after all the kids have left, we meet and talk to update each other on the goings on of each kid, things to work on, and areas we need to follow up on next week. Working with these kids is not that same feel good feeling you may get from a one time volunteer “project”. Once-a-week-volunteer-social-work is closer to the truth and the payoff is honestly, rarely there. I’m not sure if you could really pry an answer from any of the hardcore volunteers that would possibly convince anyone on the outside to logically commit to this on the level that they have. And while it’s easy to simply say that they are, ‘better people’ – it’s not a real answer to why we/ourselves are not as committed or feel only half as empathetic as these volunteers. Obviously I have no answers and even fewer good questions. I count Leah in that group of committed volunteers who operate for reasons beyond simple logic. However, it must clearly and easily be noted that there are very few males in this group – as you can see from the photo above.