Browsing Tag

Maternity

2013 | by +Krista

Well hello there! It’s been about a hundred years since I’ve blogged- really. My husband’s grown a beard in the time I’ve taken off from regular blogging, and that’s saying something. Christmas shopping and family gatherings and messy living rooms and school breaks and a million things later, and now? It’s time to get back to work!

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This past year has unfolded in ways beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined. It’s been more challenging than I expected, more exhausting than I’d prepared for, and more fun than I’d hoped for. Iíve had some recent years where, honestly, I was glad to leave things behind. End chapters, move on. Swift, clean, tidy. Some things just belong in 2009 or wherever they came fromÖ and there they stay (I hope). Other things stay behind too, but really, theyíre just a preamble to something even greater. 2012 was the best preamble yet.

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One year ago, I applied for an internship with LeahAndMark.com. I’d been working as a photographer for a few years already but needed a push and decided the challenge sounded good to me. I poured my heart into that application- and then did it again when I made it past the first round of cuts. I still have my acceptance email saved in my inbox. Iíd devoured every review and blog posting I could get my hands on, but I still didnít really have a clue as to what I was about to experience.

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Atlanta Boudoir Photographer - Krista Turner - +Krista of LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Krista Turner | LeahAndMark.com

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Applying for the internship was the single best thing I have ever done for my photography… and one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. There’s no such thing as being “above” an internship. Sure, I was already a photographer- I had clients and weddings and fancy things like print releases under my belt. But I wasn’t done learning. I’m still not done learning. Life is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, because right over that line is where the good stuff actually happens. You could stay where it’s comfortable, and that’s totally okay (I guess). But adventure is out there! It’s just that adventure, like opportunity, is often dressed in overalls and looks like work. I was craving adventure and adventure I got: first in the form of flinging myself into a brand new environment with a bunch of insanely talented strangers (who turned into mentors, colleagues, friends) and then again, after the internship was over: in the form of a little + sign next to my name. And now a new gaggle of slightly crazy Interns are about to embark on their own adventure as another season begins. Slightly crazy in the bravest, most adventurous way. Itís a little like Groundhogís Day, but itís also really amazing to watch.

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Now, itís January. The beginning of every new year has always appealed to me immensely because I love the idea of a fresh start- a clean(ish) slate, and another year full of moments and challenges and adventures that you HAVE NO IDEA ARE GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU YET. Thatís AWESOME. And a little terrifying.

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Krista Turner - Atlanta Wedding Photographer - Traveling Worldwide

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But mostly, itís awesome. Sixteen days into the new year and Iíve already booked more weddings than any year before. Iím traveling more this year. Iím hustling more. Shooting more. (And editing more.) I feel like Iím finally settling into the best rhythm for myself and my family, too. More vacations. (Because more weddings allows that now, for which Iím forever thankful.) More books. More parks. More swimming. More walks. Less junk and more slowing down to watch my daughters as they grow into their own skins, with hopes and dreams and crushes. And most of all, setting more of an example to them that adventure waits for them too. They just have to go after it.

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Adventure Awaits | Alex & Brett

One of the greatest compliments a photographer can ever receive is a recommendation. Itís huge, really. To go out on a limb and vouch for someone, with enough faith in someoneís talent or ability and about something so personal as art, is just awesomeÖ and humbling. Iíve been lucky enough, in my journey as a photographer, to have met such incredible people that turn into clients- fun, funny, kind- and then those clientsí friends become my clients too. AWESOME. To anyone who has ever gone out on that limb for me, thank you. So much.

Alex and Brett are freaking adorable. And theyíre having a baby! Alex has the most†perfect basketball belly, the two of them are seriously cute as a button together, and when I suggested a sunrise session for their maternity photos (SUNRISE. As in leaving the house when itís still dark out and readying yourself for photos at six oíclock in the morning.), they were ALL OVER IT. It was actually the first time I ever even suggested a sunrise session to any client, ever, and Alex and Brett set the precedent by being game for anything. And because it was sunrise, the lighting was some of the most gorgeous I’ve worked with in the history of Ever.

 

Maternity sessions are so interesting to me- especially for first babies. Every couple has a certain dynamic all their own, and when you add a baby, everything shifts. Your whole life- your entire existence, really- is about to change, and in so many bigger ways than just who has diaper duty. For a lot of couples, itís your first big adventure together. And even if youíve been adventuring together already- first homes and new careers and travels abroad- parenthood is undoubtedly the biggest, craziest adventure you two will ever tackle. (Really. Even getting out of the house somewhere in the neighborhood of being on time is an adventure. But worth it. Because babies are cute.) I love watching the giddiness of couples who are about to have a baby. Itís this nervous energy, tripping over baby clothes and baby shoes and big decisions. Youíre savoring the last few weeks or months of it being just the two of youÖ and [im]patiently waiting for the biggest, most symbolic marker of your relationship: your baby. I remember those days. And watching the person you love become a mother or a father often brings back that flood of dizzying new love that you first felt way back Before Baby: in the very beginning. Itís kind of cool. You get to fall in love all over again, only multiplied by about a million. (And with extra pints of Hšagen-Dazs. Very important.)

Alex and Brett, thank you for trusting me with something so important as capturing the last few weeks while your sweet girl is still cozied up on the inside. Donít forget to pack a fan for your hospital stay, guys. ūüôā You. Are. Awesome.

The Easy Stuff

Remember Tara and Cory? Last month,†in Tara’s 9th month of pregnancy, she braved fences and†potential trespassing charges for her maternity†session, handling it like it was all old hat. And guess what? We didn’t get arrested for trespassing! Yay! Well, that, and… her baby is here! Celeste is†here at last†and now Tara is an official card-carrying (diaper bag-carrying?) member of the Motherhood sisterhood. And what does being around a newborn do to me, you ask? It might have given me the tiniest(!) bit of baby fever, sure, but it also sends me into major self-reflection-slash-blogging-wheels-are-turning mode. I’m a thinker. Always have been, always will be. So after a shoot like this, reflecting on how you jump into motherhood and life will suddenly never be the same, it flowed for this one. A lot. The fact that I’m also a mom defines my identity in ways that still overwhelm and astound me.

My journey to motherhood wasnít easy. For a long time, I dwelled on the journey that knocked me down and broke my spirit- what was wrong with me? But then, finally, my dream come trueÖ a little brown-eyed dream that weighed 8 pounds and awarded me the fastest labor of anyone Iíve ever known. And then, a few years and a few more struggles later, my other dream came trueÖ this time, that dream was a 10 pounder with curly black hair and the most squeezable cheeks in existence. Itís funny. The struggles and heart ache and tears that defined my life for what, back then, felt like it would be forever, actually had a purpose after all. They shaped me. Theyíre always sort of there, lingering in the back of my mind when Iíve had a hard day with my children. Theyíre there to remind me of how far Iíve come and how very lucky I am. And I am lucky. So very, very lucky.

If you think about it, itís actually really easy to take care of a baby. Need a diaper change? Done. Hungry? Got it. In need of a walk around the house, at 4 am and only in a very specific position in your arms? That’s the easy stuff. The harder parts of motherhood come creeping in as your babies get a little older. The easy, most primitive needs of a person give way to the more complicated stuff. How do you take a helpless newborn baby and turn it into a smart, kind, productive adult in only eighteen or twenty years? Thereís so much to teach them and so little time.

 

Itís so daunting, the idea that itís only going to get harder. I worry sometimes (okay, I worry pretty much†all the time) that Iím not going to be able to teach them everything I want them to be armed with. And seriously- how am I supposed to help them with their Calculus homework when the last formula flew out of my head years ago?

I wish I had the answer, but I donít. So here I sit, a few days before my youngest daughter, my Little One, celebrates her first birthday. And Iím a wreck. How can I teach either of them all the stuff in the world when first steps and preschool graduations make me cry? I donít know. I just donít know.

But what I do know is that if I could go back in time, years back, and have a choice: the easy road or that road less traveled, full of bumps and setbacks and doctors appointments and ultrasounds and tears and pain and sadness, knowing that it would be a rough journey, guess what? Iíd still do it. In. A. Heartbeat. Because I look at my girls, so beautiful and smart and funny, and I know that it was worth it. SO WORTH IT.

 

So I push along. Like me, Motherhood is a lot of things. Life-changing, rewarding, challenging, fun, exhausting, exciting, boring, busy, lonely, joyfulÖ and more often than not, all of the above, all in the same day. Itís also a process. You become a mother and letís face it. Most of us have no idea what weíre doing for a good long while. Or ever, really. (And guess what? Those who act like they know EVERYTHING about motherhood, all the while giving you the stink eye because your kid is a genius and wants to eat mud at the playground? Theyíre lying. They have no clue what theyíre doing either.) Itís a learning process, and you figure things out as you go. And the best part of all is that you have the most perfect companion to figure all of this stuff out with over the next few decades: your baby. See what I said? SO WORTH IT.

Journey

Hi Iím +Mishaun
When I applied for the internship I was looking to shoot more, stretch the limits of my creativity, evolve as a photographer, and meet some new people.† From shooting in rivers and old cars to my first wedding, the three months proved to be so much more than what I had envisioned.† I know many people have talked about just how fast the internship goes by and itís so true. When the three months were over I†didn’t†want it to end and now Iím so thrilled that I am now an actual part of the LeahandMark team. I shoot everything from weddings and events to families and babies, models, proposals, pets, just becauses and everything in between.† Anything you can dream upÖIíll shoot it. I love that each shoot is so vastly different from the next. †I love to collaborate with my clients and create photos that capture their unique personalities. †Whether it is a wedding or another type of event, I strive to create photos that take you back and help you re-live your memories.

Iím looking forward to helping the current interns to accomplish their goals for the next three months and watching their internship journey unfold. Iím also looking forward to seeing where the new journey of plus-dom takes me.

Wednesday by Leah: Baby Stuff

– Posted by Leah

If you’ve ever been in one of those baby-stuff megastores, you know there is a TON of baby crap out there. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and to think that you need more than you actually need. I know lots of soon-to-be-mamas now, so I thought it might be helpful to do a post on the stuff you actually need… and the stuff I personally liked/used a lot in the first 3 months of BabyRoX’s life. This post is in no way sponsored by anyone or anything. Just one mama’s advice about what worked for us.

So – if you are pregnant and reading this, first go watch the movie Babies. Pay extra-close attention to the babies from Namibia and Mongolia. They are crawling in the dirt. Getting stepped on by animals. Getting poked by bigger kids. Not surrounded by a bunch of plastic or electric stuff. They don’t even have diapers! And THEY ARE FINE. They are healthy, happy, thriving babies. So when it’s time to start getting stuff for your new addition, just keep those babies in mind. You really don’t need much…especially in those first few months.

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Of course, there are some things that even if you don’t NEED them, they can make your life easier and/or your baby more comfortable. So here are the products I’ve found really useful in the first 3 months of parenthood! I’ve already done a post about breastfeeding essentials, so I won’t repeat that advice…and since the first 3 months mainly involved holding and feeding the baby, you’ll see that reflected in my product recommendations!

Moby Wrap – BabyRoX loves being snuggled up in this. He’s starting to get heavy now, but until just recently, I could carry him around in this for very lengthy periods of time. Yes, there’s a learning curve with the Moby – for a similar-but-easier wrap, check out the K’Tan. I also own a ring sling, which is easy to take on and off, but hurts my shoulder after a while. Friends I know love the Ergo – we have one, but no infant insert, so we’ll be using that when our lil guy is a bit older.

Boppy Newborn Lounger†- we actually had this BEFORE BabyRoX was born because it’s awesome for newborn photo shoots – just drape some fabric over it, position the baby, and start shooting! It’s a pillow with a little indent that is perfect for keeping little babies supported without being flat on their backs.

MamaRoo Swing†- This is totally a luxury item and not at all a necessity – we call it the Jetsons Chair because it’s super space age looking! It has 5 different motions, 5 different sounds, and a mobile. Whew! The Car Ride motion is the current favorite, along with the womb sound. I put it in the bathroom and shower while keeping an eye on the RoXman.

Shatterproof Mirror†- BabyRoX LOVES watching himself in the mirror! He has a cute snail mirror toy that lights up and makes sounds, and he also has an acrylic mirror on the wall in his room. He can watch himself for quite some time and really enjoys it.

Cooshee Changer†- This is our changing pad, and it’s awesome. Instead of having a fabric cover that you have to wash all the time, it’s a soft, waterproof, antibacterial pad that I can just wipe down when it gets soiled. Which happens pretty much every day.

Leg Warmers†- These are a.) super cute and b.) super convenient for diaper changes! No pants to unsnap/pull on or off.

Snuggin Go Infant Insert†- This was super helpful for the first 2 months. It’s a soft, memory-foam insert that you can use in the car seat or stroller….or really any infant seat. We used it primarily in the car seat. Most inserts make the baby’s head fall forward, but this one kept BabyRoX comfortable and kept his head comfortably back.

Bubbles!Not just any bubbles, mind you, but the Gymboree ones! A friend of mine used to manage a Gymboree center in Boston and she sent us these nearly-indestructible bubbles. I’ll find them stuck on the carpet, still intact, over 24 hours after I’ve blown them! BabyRoX loves to watch the bubbles and try to touch them. And the wand makes blowing tons of bubbles super easy and not messy.

Shampoo Rinser†- My baby was born with a full head of hair! And since I like to touch it all the time, it gets oily and needs to be washed. This awesome, soft pitcher-thingy lets me easily rinse the shampoo out his hair without getting water all over his face or in his eyes.

Hmmm… I think that’s it for now. I’m sure there are items I’ve forgotten, but these are some of the things we used a lot during the first 3 months. Hope it’s helpful for the rest of you!

Wednesday by Leah: Awkward

– Posted by Leah

There was a wonderfully beautiful post on Offbeat Mama†the other day – one that resonated with me on several levels – as an adoptee, as a parent, and as a person who loves to ponder the intricacies of identity, of transitions, and of family.

One quote in particular has been bouncing around in my brain: “Sometimes holding yourself back, playing your cards close to the chest, is the only defense we have. Our silence makes us secure.”

I’m a very open person, for the most part. But there are things I’d rather keep quiet. I don’t necessarily want everyone to know all of my weaknesses. I don’t want people witnessing all of my mistakes, my awkward moments.

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Before I became a mom, I viewed the transition to parenthood as similar to other transitions in life: the transition to “adulthood” (which, for me, was defined by finishing college, moving across the country, and getting my first full-time job – and a bunch of bills!), the transition to domestic partnership, the transition to married life, and the transition to self-employment. These are all big steps and with them comes a shift in identity, a new role, a change in how others perceive and/or define me. And with any new role, there is a learning curve, a period of adjustment, while I figure out what this transition means to me, how I define this new role and the expectations that come with it, both from me and from others. Do I accept these expectations? Or do I need to adjust the definition of what being a “wife” or being “an adult” means to something more in line with who I am?

With any new role there is the opportunity for awkward moments. New experiences are rife with awkwardness. But in the past I could hide much of that awkwardness. Feigning confidence, self-assuredness… fumbling my way through my first apartment search, my first time filing taxes, my first year of paying bills… I could make mistakes quietly. No one had to know – or at †the very least, only a few people had to know.

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Becoming a parent is similar to any other major life transition… but unlike so many of those other transitions, I’m finding this one much more public.†As I figure out this new role of “Mom,” as I integrate it into the other aspects of my identity – my life story – there are many awkward moments. Trying to nurse in public – quickly before Jonah starts screaming for the milk. Trying to get Jonah in and out of the Moby wrap†the first few times. Trying to get the car seat adjusted properly. Trying to change a diaper without getting peed on. And because I refuse to stay shut up in my house, these things are all happening in public. With onlookers. Everyone out there is witnessing my transition to motherhood – my awkwardness and my fumbling. I can’t hide this part of me. I’m a new mom. And my baby is so darn cute, people can’t help but stare (haha, that’s what I tell myself!).

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Luckily for me, I’m not too easily embarrassed. Like any other transition, the newness will wear off. I will find my groove – in many ways, I already have. I’m so much more comfortable taking Jonah out and about. There will always be awkward moments – children aren’t the most predictable creatures on the planet, after all. But I’m not going to let a fear of looking/feeling uncomfortable stop me from exploring the world with my son. I’m embracing this awkwardness. It feels uncomfortable now, but it already feels less so. My 22-year-old baby adult self would have been horrified to be seen making a mistake or not knowing exactly what to do…my 30-year-old mom self is just going to shrug it off and kiss Jonah’s big squishy cheeks. I have WAY more important things to concern myself with these days. So bring on the awkwardness!

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Wednesday by Leah: My New Heart

– Posted by Leah

I love a lot of people. I love deeply, fiercely, easily. But I also love safely. I’ve never truly had a broken heart before. I love people I know will love me back. I surround myself with happy thoughts, happy dreams, happy places, happy faces, and then I let the love flow. It is a controlled love, as controlled as love can be. Which is perhaps why I resisted when I first met Mark – this was a love that threatened my sense of control. So I fought it, and then rationalized it, and finally surrendered to it. He loved me back. And my world continued to be a safe, happy place. And I continued to love.

Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer | Newborns | Maternity | LeahAndMark.com

I never questioned whether I would love my child. I loved him before he was even growing inside of me – when he was still just an idea, a tentative thought… a possibility. I loved him more when he was 4 cells. And even more when he was thousands of cells…a fledgling brain and spinal cord. And more still when he had a little tail and arm buds.

I loved him to the point of tears when I saw his heart beating, when I saw the tiny bones in his fingers and toes. I loved him to the point of breathlessness when I felt his first kicks. My love for him exceeded any previous-felt sensations when he was wet and squirming in my hands. Speechless, senseless, intense. My baby. It was almost too much.

Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer | Newborns | Maternity | LeahAndMark.com

And as I stared at him day after day, hour after hour… as I heard his sounds and learned his gestures and stroked every square inch of his head, his torso, his legs… I realized that I could not bear the love I felt. At least not in my current state. For this was a dangerous love, a completely consuming, impossible-to-control love. I was changing. I had to change. I had to grow a new heart because my former one broke when Jonah was born. It cracked wide open, raw and bleeding from the intensity of this new love. And in the weeks since, my new heart has been growing over the jagged edges, mending the torn tissues, allowing me to accept the infinite abyss that is my love for my son.

Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer | Newborns | Maternity | LeahAndMark.com

I didn’t expect this. I thought that since I am so used to giving and receiving love, this whole motherhood thing would just mean I was adding people to my circle of loved ones. My child would be on the inner ring, orbiting a bit closer to my heart than others, easily incorporated into my existing circles of love. When people would tell my pregnant self about how there is no love like a parent’s love, I would smile and nod and think, “Well, of course I’m going to love my child an insane amount.”

I didn’t realize just how insane, just how fierce, just how mightily I would love this child. I didn’t know it was a type of love that would rip through me like a tornado, leaving me shaking and sobbing in its wake, unable to put the pieces of my shattered, sheltered heart back together.

Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer | Newborns | Maternity | LeahAndMark.com

Every day I melt. Every day I surrender. Every day I fall a bit deeper into this abyss of love. Goodbye control. Goodbye safety. My new heart is one without boundaries, without defenses, without rules or rationality. It just beats and bleeds and loves.

And now I know what all those people were trying to tell me… but there really is no preparation for parenthood. You just have to get bowled over, to let yourself drown. I’m here to tell you that you’ll resurface. Not in the same shape or form, but in a more raw and vulnerable state than ever before. Stripped down. Beating and bleeding and loving.

Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer | Newborns | Maternity | LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer | Newborns | Maternity | LeahAndMark.com

Weekend Shooting Spree

That’s my friend Amy. Please note that she is holding coffee, wearing one of my gear bags, and wearing the Intern orange badge. I cannot thank her enough for helping me out all weekend.

I landed in Phoenix, Az. last Friday and basically started shooting the moment the plane touched down. I went to high school in Phoenix (Tolleson!) and my parents still live here so it’s always nice to visit them – of course, if I can knock out a few portrait sessions on the same trip – that’s even better.

Now – Everything I do is probably part of some kind of experiment I’m running – some new idea I’m testing out – and that’s a good thing for the Interns since they eventually benefit from whatever I learn or find out that works (or what I learn doesn’t work).

For this trip in particular, I was really interested in figuring out how to book as many portrait sessions as I could while I was in Phoenix. Of course doing that from Atlanta seemed like an interesting challenge – but hey, I organized and put together a workshop in Montreal, Canada from Atlanta so booking a few portrait sessions shouldn’t be too difficult right? (Other than the ones for our Interns, that Montreal workshop was the first one ever, and now we’re confirmed to teach one in Kathmandu, Nepal next month.)

One thing that I knew for certain was that I would need an assistant. So I asked one of my best friends from high school (Amy!) to help out over the weekend. I had a few other options as far as assistants, but things got really crazy and after partying too hard on the first night with Amy and another friend from high school (Michelle!) – I was pretty delirious and shooting with half of my brain from Saturday through the end of Monday. Luckily, no matter what, I’ll always wake up to start shooting (just ask Leah).

Still. I think I figured a few things out about getting more photography ‘work’, managing a schedule, and… drinking lots of coffee. Of course, it’s not like I’m completely clueless on the ways of getting paid work – but coming up with new ideas and methods is always a positive. Not only that – but these are ideas I can share with the Interns so that they can use them to get new paying work.

Because the fact is – I think it’s a unique thing that I convinced a family to drive from El Paso, Tx., to Phoenix, Az., for their maternity session, another family to drive the 3+ hours from Northern Arizona, and three friends who I haven’t seen since high school to drag their families out into the windy, cold, and sometimes rainy conditions for a portrait session. Yes – it was raining during one of the sessions and we just waited it out underneath some trees.

Remember, Leah and I like to say that nothing we do is secret, but not everyone knows everything we do.

Leah arrives in Phoenix on Thanksgiving and then we’re here until Tuesday. With all of the photoshoots we’ve been doing lately – there’s quite the backlog of editing. It’s an all out war on editing right now since I’m flying out to Kathmandu, Nepal on December 6th and staying there until the 23rd.

I always tell our Interns not to rely on ‘interesting’ subjects to ‘make’ your photo. Far too many photographers do that – with their TFP model shoots, using makeup artists and hair stylists (TFP = trade for print). Early on, it’s too much of a crutch. It’s a distraction from what you should really be doing as a people photographer – connecting with your subjects.

Except for the family that drove from El Paso, I basically didn’t know any of my clients this weekend. Sure I knew some of them a little bit from high school – but that was over 10 years ago (what?!).

Everything was like herding cats at times – but in the best kind of way. You might notice that we make it a point to get people to look right into our lens. It takes time. Kids aren’t always in the mood. Heck – adults aren’t always in the mood. I do a lot of talking. Imagine how much talking I might do – and then triple that – I talk a lot and I get the clients to talk a lot. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s… less easy.

But you have to be confident in your ‘people’ skills if you’re willing to fly across the country and spend 5-6 hours with a couple you’ve never met before, follow them around like papparazzi and basically have a camera in their face the entire time. Last Monday I did just that – with Emily & Ben. They hired us to photograph their wedding in Ojai, Ca., and this was their engagement session. I flew into Ontario, Ca. Monday morning, hung out with them for 6 hours and then flew back to Phoenix that same night.

There is a big difference between a 2 hour session and a 6 hour session of constant photographing.

No matter what though – your job as a photographer is to get the clients to a point where they’re no longer uncomfortable in front of your lens. Not the lens. Your lens.

I’ll be editing for the next two weeks… and we’ll be posting again soon. Until then, have a great Thanksgiving.

Atlanta. Phoenix. California. Photographers. Weddings. Family. Portraits.

The Weekend, Phoenix, and More

It’s been busy around here lately. This past week was pretty awesome – a good number of new people signed up for our photography newsletter through our mention on Scoutmob!, and we’ve been working with the interns a good bit.

We’ve also received a good number of emails asking for photography/light classes – and it’s always a big compliment when someone wants to learn from you – and believe me, we’re really flattered by the idea. So yeah. One day, when we’re ready, we’ll offer actual photography classes. Until then, we’re just going to focus on working with our interns and polishing up our delivery – because teaching is a totally different skill and just because you do something well, doesn’t mean you can effectively convey that knowledge to others. We respect good teachers and we don’t want to be bad ones. So we’re practicing.

In two week’s we’re actually going to be holding a Photography Business Marketing class for all of our interns. We don’t really know what’s taught at other ‘photography marketing’ classes but what we do is outline what we’ve done over the past year since we started last August, and then some of the principles we follow. I’ve said this before so none of it’s new, but our three main principles are:

1. Be different

2. Do things that matter

3. Show everyone

To give you an idea of how we go about things – this book is actually one of our recommendations for all of our interns. Fundamentals don’t change. Creative advertising that doesn’t sell product is still failed advertising.

I’ve been working with the interns lately and going on some of their photoshoots with them. I’ll usually help out with lighting and some shot ideas – but they’re leading the shoot. They have to find subjects, the location and basically make it happen. I just show up, help out, answer questions, make up ideas, and we’ll work on different shot setups.

Sometimes people just need a little push to do more. Sometimes we need a big shove. In order to attend our marketing class, interns are required to schedule a photoshoot on their own so that I can come along and work with them. Sure they work with me on my shoots, but it’s something different when it’s your own clients. There is also a quota of deliverables and effort. Just because our internship is free, doesn’t mean that everyone finishes. Sometimes life gets in the way of plans, sometimes it’s just not a good fit – but no matter what, the set deliverables are required (kind of like when you have clients!) and basically everyone has to work hard or they won’t be an intern anymore – and I do mean that in the nicest way possible ūüôā

This weekend is the halfway point for our 3 month internship. That means six weeks have gone by, photos have been made and blog posts have been written. Check them out here.

I’ll be in Phoenix for a bit of time in November and I’m booking portrait sessions, but I’m also looking for a few assistants to work with me out there. If you know anyone interested in a portrait session, or helping out – let me know. That would be awesome. Just email us at email@LeahAndMark.com or hey, you can drop a line at my facebook page.

Oh yeah, and I suppose I could also mention that we do portrait sessions here in Atlanta too. All the time. Just ask for one ūüôā

This weekend, me and the Intern Army are going to be at Anime Weekend Atlanta (anime convention!). We’ve acquired some staff badges so we have better access and hopefully we’ll make photos that are completely different from your average ‘con’ photo.

These are the test shots we did at Dragon*Con – oh and these too.

Now we’re going to really start shooting. Along with our staff badges we’ll have these super bright orange LeahAndMark Intern Badges. Because you know – we don’t want to be confused with any Counterfeit Interns.

Oh – we’re also going to be competing with each other. We’ll be in teams of two and we’ll be covering the convention however we see fit. The main requirement is that we do not make standard convention photos. Basically – we’re going to be working in a way you couldn’t work if you were shooting alone. Off-camera flash and human light stands.

And then we’ll all get together and photograph the Lolita Fashion show.

I photographed it last year and made these photos. It was really exciting because all of the other photographers never showed up – so I had free reign (and lots of time) to do whatever I wanted. Sure I was naive and I didn’t really know what the heck I was doing (remember, at that point I had only been shooting for about a month). Still – this year I’m going to try some brand new things because why would we try the same old stuff?

Check back on Monday. All of the interns are required to have some new posts up – or they’re cut. Yeah, we’re going all out now.

Atlanta. Photographer. Interns. Internship. Phoenix. Portraits.