Browsing Tag

Wedding Photography

Summer ICE 2013!

Check out the galleries!

Day One.

Day Two.


This past weekend our team covered Atlanta. All of it. Well – it felt that way. We had photographers at the Atlanta Fringe Festival, The Georgia Music Awards, and of course the Summer Indie Craft Experience (ICE)!

We’ve been at ICE for the last… 25 years so this time we wanted to do something a little different for our photobooth. After a good dose of coffee and coffee and coffee – we decided that we wanted a moving backdrop, something that changed for every photo and something that would kind of force people to interact/adjust to the moving backdrop.

Basically – we regularly come up with some of the most unique & creative photobooths around – so for Summer ICE we†came up with this:

And it kind of felt like this:


And you can see that the ‘backdrop’ changed for every photo:

0091 0092 0093 0094

Check out the galleries!

Day One.

Day Two.



All photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

Posted by:

Atlanta Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Mark RoX Tioxon

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Family Portraits | LeahAndMark & Co. | Videography | Videographer | Video | Unique & Creative Photobooth Rentals

When ideas come to life | by +Krisandra

As a creative, I am always trying to push the limits of my ideas. I have notebooks with sketches, words, print cut outs. I collect wedding magazines. I have notes on my phone, images saved. I have tons of Pinterest boards. I have IDEAS. But, it’s one thing to have ideas and quite another to have those ideas come to life. It isn’t easy (at least for me). It takes planning, timing, confidence, but mostly it takes me.

Planning my FIRST styled photo shoot was probably almost as stressful as planning a wedding! Months and months and some more months went into this shoot. I had to find a stylist. I had to find a hair and makeup artist. I had to find the location. And I had to coordinate all this on one day that worked for everyone involved, even Mother Nature, for my ideal shoot. I had to make sure my ideas of what I wanted showed and do this in front of fellow photographer and friend, Philitha, all the way down from CT.








From the very first wedding I second shot back in 2006 I have been stuck in awe of the bride on her wedding day. I have yet to photograph a wedding where the bride didn’t make me at least teary eyed at some point during the day.

Hair and Makeup: Hope Ferguson
Wardrobe Stylist: Sarah Hermann
Model: Brittany Berndt


Photography Interns Wanted | Season [Gold Lion]

We are LeahAndMark – and along with our Creative Director (Joy!) and our team of +Photographers – we operate the largest photography internship in the country. Leah and I picked up our cameras a little over three (3) years ago and started this business with no formal training, a little bit of luck and way too much hard work! We’ve gone from just two people who liked making pictures into wedding photographers that travel all over the United States photographing weddings. A lot of weddings.

We are looking for Photography Interns to be a part of our 11th session, Season [Gold Lion]

We operate our business following three principles:

1. Be Different

2. Do things that matter

3. Show Everyone

This is our†Portfolioand this is our†Wedding Portfolio.

We’re looking for interns to work with us for three months – and possibly longer.

Here is what our Alumni†Interns†have to say about how this Internship changed their lives:

-†Current Intern Joshua
-†Alumni Intern Meagan
-†Alumni Intern Jo
-†Alumni Intern Whitney
-†Alumni Intern Raven
-†Alumni Intern Gabriel

You can read reviews of this internship from past Interns here:†[SeasonThree] [Season Two] [Season One]

Our Interns work hard and most of them photographed more in the last three months than they did in the past year.

You should know whatís in it for you. Because if youíre considering working with us, then you should know exactly what youíre gaining Ė since itís definitely not money!

Although itís not really popular these days Ė weíre Ďgeneralistsí. We donít specialize in anything and that goes against the current trend of finding your Ďnicheí and specializing in one or two specific types of photography. We run the gamut and we photograph everything from weddings, to parties, to corporate headshots, to family and children portraits, to senior portraits, and even product photography. Without arguing if our photography is actually any good Ė we can only go on the fact that our clients REALLY like us, they keep coming back, and new ones seem to keep contacting us and asking us to work with them.

Weíre very busy and as our intern you will have lots of opportunities to photograph in a wide range of different styles and subject matter.

What we need is for you to have some idea of what youíd like to focus on and learn from us. Some of what we can offer is:

  • How to pose subjects, especially strangers Ė and become confident at it
  • How to better handle light Ė off camera flash and natural
  • How to stop taking photos like everyone else (itís easier than you think)
  • Get away from Ďtechnicallyí perfect photos
  • Photographers learn by photographing Ė youíll photograph a lot with us.
  • Stop feeling restricted by the gear you DONíT have

AND MARKETING subjects Ė because you want to be an actual paid and working photographer right?

AND Even More

  • Build the client base that you want
  • Find out if you do make photographs like everyone else Ė so you can stop
  • Make friends
  • Have fun
  • Try crazy ideas because no oneís going to stop you
  • Push the boundaries of what your clients think they want Ė and keep delivering something just a little different
  • Be hired as an artist Ė and not just a button pusher

We also setup group photoshoots where the ratio is roughly 2-3 photographers per model Ė and sometimes itís 1 photographer per model. We believe in getting the best position for the best shot Ė and you canít do that if there are 20 photographers shooting 3 models in a group session.

Here is a list of the workshops we have scheduled on our calendar:

  1. Photo 101/Physicality of shooting and Composition
  2. Off-Camera Flash & Lighting
  3. Photoshop/Lightroom editing and digital workflow
  4. Photography Business & Marketing
A few of the scheduled group photoshoots include:
  1. Models in the river at our top secret location
  2. Southeastern Railway Museum
  3. Old-Car City Junkyard


Thatís what we think we offer and what we think an Intern can learn from us.

Hereís what weíre asking from our Interns:

  • You own a DSLR camera
  • You have at least a rudimentary understanding of shutter speed and aperture
  • You have your own artistic ideas Ė even if youíre still working on them
  • You arenít afraid to try everything
  • You donít say Ďwe canít do thatí
  • You are willing to photograph everything during your time with us Ė even if itís not your style
  • You will read any materials we actually give you to read
  • You will be available for at least two (2) five hour photo shoots a month (and possibly more permitting your schedule)
  • You have a portfolio to show us Ė and youíre proud of your current work Ė no matter what
  • You are nice
  • You are stubborn
  • You want to learn
  • You can commit to working with us for three (3) months (roughly)
  • Possibly accompany us on photo shoots/weddings out of town (on our tab)

Weíd like to make it clear that your progress during this internship is primarily moved forward by†you.We work hard to facilitate learning Ė but we don’t hold your hand, and even though we might cover the basics, itís on your shoulders as an intern to do your homework and practice on your own Ė so that we can get to the really good stuff. Also Ė this internship requires a lot of trial & error learning Ė so stop aiming for perfection right away.

Please understand, this is an Internship with workshops. Itís not a full blown training program, itís not a photography bootcamp, itís not anything resembling a teacher/student/classroom arrangement like you might be accustomed to. This is an Internship. You work along side us, you follow our instructions, and we answer your questions Ė sometimes (alright most of the time).

If youíve read the†reviews†- nothing here is spoon fed. Youíre applying to learn things you canít learn in a book, or for some reason Ė things that you didnít learn in class. If you donít†ask†good†questions, then weíre not giving up answers too easily. Itís†your job†to ask†better†questions Ė and itís our job to answer the†good†questions. Remember that.

The internship last during May, June, & July | Three months.



Deadline for the application is Friday April 12th at 12pm NOON.

(Tip: Write as much as you can.)

(Pro Tip: Write As Much As You Possibly Can.)

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You. Are. Beautiful. | by +Krista

I have a confession to make. I haveÖ a tattoo. A whole whopping ONE tattoo. I know. Iím a rebel. (My grandma doesn’t even know about it. She also doesn’t know how to check her email, so I think my confession is safe.) I got it three or four years ago, during one of the most trying, confusing, bittersweet times of my entire life. Itís simple and small and hidden under my clothes, which I actually kind of love. I did it for myself and the meaning of what it represents to me is private and JUST FOR ME.

My first boudoir client of the New Year was Sara, who is intensely private and yet, pushed aside any nervousness she mightíve had to have boudoir photos taken for herself first and her husband second (Her words. Obviously, Saraís awesome.). She also rocks some pretty amazing tattoos, hidden out of sight because sheís a teacher. Now. My number one rule for my boudoir clients is that I never, ever post a single image on my blog unless you say itís okay. (Remember me and my little hidden tattoo? So yes. I know how you feel.) Saraís photos are all totally private, except for this one that she chose to share. Itís a really good reminder that no matter what you have hidden underneath- inside or out, you are beautiful. Really. Iím talking to you.


Atlanta. Boudoir. Photography. Krista Turner.

Trash The Dress | by +Krista

Last Saturday, on perhaps the most perfectly beautiful Saturday of 2013 thus far, my lovely client Arley and I trashed her wedding dress. Abandoned houses. Countryside. Muddy (freezing) rivers. And a century-old cotton mill! Because rivers and muddy wedding dresses are awesome and everything, but theyíre not quite enough to satisfy me (and my badass clients) on shoots like this. We need MORE. So we go get it.

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Trash-the-dress shoots (or rock-the-frock or fearless bridal or whatever sassy/ Suessical name you want to call it) are controversial still. The very idea elicits impassioned responses from both sides, so much so that it can start to feel like election-month Facebook. Really. It gets people going. Maybe you loved your dress and want to preserve it forever and ever. Thatís awesome. But maybe you only sorta loved it and love the idea of doing something crazy and artistic and ridiculous with it MORE. Or maybe you really loved your dress- that beautiful dress that fell serendipitously into your life at the perfect moment and it was just youÖ AND†maybe you want to symbolize moving on to the next great adventure. Arley said the best thing to me during our shoot: ďItís a dress. Itís not my hopes and dreams. My marriage is a whole lot more than this dress.Ē BOOM. YES. What she said.

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I†didn’t†love my wedding dress. It just†wasn’t†meÖ AT ALL. It was given to me for free, and my parents were already paying for our entire [amazing] wedding and when youíre offered a free dress under circumstances like that, what you do is, you take it. And itís okay. Weíre in our ninth year now of post-wedding life and Iíd rather have the marriage. I do still have the dress too- itís lived in the back of our closet ever since our wedding- but not for long. I practice what I preach, and Iím trashing my own dress this year too. My grandma will probably think Iím crazy, my husband will tell me to go have fun, and Iíll come home with amazing pictures + more memories + more room in my closet. The definition of winning.

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†Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. Trash. The. Dress. +Krista.

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 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

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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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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.

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. Krista. Turner.

Boudoir is an Adventure | by +Krista

Boudoir can be a lot of things. Glamorous. Romantic. Sexy. Empowering. (And also slightly terrifying. I know.) But most of all? Boudoir is an adventure.†Seriously. The idea of it is still taboo to a lot of people, which I wholeheartedly understand but fiercely disagree withÖ because it shouldnít be. Itís okay to dress up and be glamorous and sexy. (And really, itís more than okay. I think itís required. On [at least] an almost daily basis.) But to step outside of your comfort zone in such an in-your-face, no-holds-barred kind of way is the truest definition of an adventure. So it’s really awesome that I’m also continuously surprised at the number of women who, after it comes up in conversation, have actually been dying to do a boudoir shoot too… and just never gave themselves the permission to do it. Oh, I just really want to do that too because it looks like so much fun. And the thing is, it IS fun. And beautiful and empowering and all that jazz I talk about all the time.

My latest boudoir shoot was back at the W Hotel again, which is fast becoming my favorite spot for boudoir in the city. (The stairs in the lobby make me feel like Cinderella and the best papaya martini in existence lives here. Boom. Instant love.) This time, we got started early in the morning and the sunlight streaming in through those beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows was perfection. And my lovely client, who made my day when she said she was doing this for herself more than anyone else, got to jump in and have fun, feel empowered, be sexy. IN YOUR FACE.

She did awesome. Of course. Afterwards, I asked her if she was glad sheíd done the boudoir thing. Because the idea of boudoir can be scary and just a little intimidating, I always ask this question. I really want to know. Even†more so†than making beautiful photos that make my clients feel good damn good about themselves, it’s my goal to make sure theyíre glad they did this, even (or especially) if it was a little daunting. Because if you’re going to toe the edge of an adventure, then jump in with eyes open, it better be worth it. She was SO glad she’d done it, she said. And guess what? Youíd be glad too.

Atlanta. Boudoir. Photographer. Krista Turner.

{Hair and Makeup by Ansley Gwinn}

Boudoir Package Information


Sunday In The Park | by +Krista

So it’s October. Fall. Autumn. Pumpkin spice lattes (finally!) and pretending it’s colder than the Georgia weather allows. Halloween. Costumes. Things that go bump in the night. It’s my favorite time of year.

And guess what? It’s pretty much EVERYONE’S favorite time of year- yours too. (Didn’t you know that?) So partially to celebrate- and mostly just because I’m always looking/ working/ networking/ hustling to shoot things that are different, I’ve partnered up with Historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta to photograph some things this month… things that are different.

Once a year, Oakland Cemetery puts on a huge event called Sunday In The Park. They call it a Victorian street festival, but really, it was one of the coolest events I’ve been to in the city in a very, very long time- and “street festival” doesn’t even begin to convey how awesome this was. To hold a huge festival in a cemetery is [apparently] creepy to some people. Those people, clearly, have never been to Oakland. It’s beautiful. Peaceful. And one of the loveliest places in all of Atlanta. Street performers. Tours. History. Storytelling. Music. Dancing. Food trucks. (And frozen chocolate-covered bananas. Amen.) An artist’s market. Carriage rides. Victorian costumes (to put it lightly). It was just… a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Cemeteries actually hold a lot of beauty in them- and photographers are known to be big fans of shooting in them. But what I (+ my awesome team: Intern Joy and Intern Kathryn) tried to focus on was something more than just pretty scenery. The tombstones are beautifully intricate. The leaves are all beginning to turn. It’s undoubtedly a photograph waiting to happen… but to see people- costumed or not, young and old, families and hipsters, from all walks of life- taking in Oakland and it was meant to be absorbed. That is what makes Oakland and especially an event like Sunday In The Park, so different. It’s why I’m so honored to have been a part of it. And it’s why you should spend more time in cemeteries- really- because they’re awesome. And so is Oakland.

Atlanta. Photographer. Historic. Oakland. Cemetery.

Swanky | by +Krista

Remember my latest boudoir post, full of gorgeous models and brooding thoughts about beauty and bravery and why everyone (including you) should have a boudoir shoot of your own at least once in your life? Well. I present to you the most recent proof that Iím, indeed, totally right about this one: Ashleyís boudoir session.

Ashleyís getting married- next week! And she decided to jump in and do this shoot partly for her fiancť but mostly for herÖ which is, as Iíve preached a million times, something I think everyone woman deserves to do and SHOULD do- at least once in her lifetime.

I believe that boudoir is not just getting some amazing photos of yourself. Yes, weíll get amazing photos- ones that will make you feel proud and confident and sexy and beautiful- but I also think that much of boudoir is about the experience of gaining that confidence. That smoldering sexpot confidence. That beautiful-in-your-own-skin confidence. That hey-I-look-pretty-AND-HAPPY confidence. The experience is what makes it fun.

So when I shoot a boudoir session, I want to make the experience fun for you. So we shoot someplace awesome- where youíre comfortable and most in your zone as you embrace your confidence and the lacey/ stretchy/ silky pretty things. This time, it was in a swanky suite at the W Hotel in Midtown- which was incredible. But maybe your place is a little more subdued- quiet bed-and-breakfast? Wide open field? Itís wherever you want, as long as itís awesome. Thatís my rule. And hair and makeup. Because weíre chicks and yes, sometimes we go against the grains of our inner screaming feminists and want to wear pretty lipstick. That, and thereís just something about getting to play dress-up. You feel good. Special. Like itís an occasion. Because it is.

Maybe your occasion is in a place like the W- and thatís perfect because I can stand at the floor-to-ceiling windows all day long, happy as a [city] clam. Or maybe your occasion is, oh, in a river- like a mermaid. The thing isÖ your boudoir session can be whatever you want it to be. As long as you feel good about yourself, weíre good. Hotel. Field. At home in your kitchen. Or the mermaid thing. Itís anything. Whatever makes you feel beautiful. Because thatís exactly what you are.

Atlanta. Boudoir. Photographer. W Hotel. Beauty. Bravery. Awesome.

My Kind of Town | by +Krista

In case you havenít noticed, Iíve been sort of busy: and the best kind of busy at that: busy traveling! When I started the LeahAndMark internship a million years ago- and even more so when I officially joined the LeahAndMark family a few months later- I knew Iíd probably stay busy. (Which is awesome and kind of my thing- I just prefer to stay busy. Also. I prefer having an excuse as to why Iím always behind on laundry.) Busy, yes. Traveling, I only hoped. (Because guess what? Traveling is kind of my other thing.) And this summer, I checked off two cities Iíd always hoped Iíd get to see: Boston and Chicago. And Iíve even been able to see places I hadnít necessarily thought to include on my list- places like Iowa. Because guess what again? Iowa is surprisingly beautiful. Says the city girl who prefers crowds to clouds.

Iíd always pictured Iowa as huge farmland, stretching as far as you could see in all directions. Yellow fields. Blue skies. Barns and farmhouses and horses. And corn. Lots and lots of corn.

So after Mark and I landed in Chicago, zipped into downtown, and Instagrammed atop the Sears/ Willis Tower (because weíre photographers and we Instagram- true artists of our craft), we drove across Illinois and into Iowa.

Driving,†I realized that what Iíd imagined Iowa to look like was, in fact, completely true. Really. Farmland for miles and miles, in every direction around you. Blue skies. Yellow fields. (Soybeans!) And yes- thereís a lot of corn. But itís beautiful and actually took my breath away. Easily in the top five of the most beautiful places my eyes have ever seen.




Itís funny. As a photographer, you know youíre going to learn something new every single day. Sometimes itís a new lighting technique. A shortcut in your editing maybe. Sometimes you learn about the perks of flying first class. (Twice! Thanks, Mark!) Or sometimes, you learn that, as much as you may love one thing (a place, a city, a favorite bench in the park), beauty is unexpectedly hiding in places and things youíd never really thought about before. And adventure is hiding too. You just have to be open to discovering/ seeing/ experiencing new things. New places. New moments. New adventures.

If I kept myself closed off, Iíd miss so much. SO MUCH. Life. Family. Marriage and babies an houses and vacations. Traveling. Adventure. Lessons and mistakes. Places. Cities. Fields of yellow soybeans pressed against perfect blue skies. Mimosas in first class. And shooting these amazing, beautiful weddings that continue to take my breath away.

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. Chicago. Iowa. Travel.

Shipping Up to Boston | by +Krista

Weddings are awesome. I know, I know. As a photographer, Iím sort of supposed to say that. But itís true- and not [only] for the obvious reasons. Sure, weddings are fun: full of dancing and champagne and family. Big, happy celebrations of finding love and throwing a party. But as a photographer, theyíre also a continuous challenge to shoot better, create better, be better. And I do love me a challenge. It’s why weddings feel like such a good fit for me.

Iíve actually been lucky enough to second-shoot weddings with Mark pretty often since my LeahAndMark adventure began eight months ago- awesome locations all over Atlanta and even my first out-of-state wedding in Indiana earlier this summer. But a few weeks ago, my adventures got stepped up a notch when Mark and I flew to Boston to shoot a wedding at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Um. AWESOME.

See, I have this thing for traveling, no matter how far- (or close-) flung those travels may be. I love packing. I even love airports. Seriously, even in hours-long lines at TSA checkpoints, Iíve got a ridiculous smile on my face. Take my shoes off? YES! LOVE TO! Search my bag full of underwear in front of a hundred people? GO RIGHT AHEAD, I’M†FLYING SOMEWHERE! And traveling with Mark can be quite glamorous: Delta Gold status and pre-boarding perks. (Though no champagne and hot towels this trip- next time, I say.) When we landed in Boston, Mark humored my giddiness from being†someplace new†and we drove into†the heart of†the city†and had lunch, real Bahstan style, at Quincy Market. Like a true tourist, I bought souvenirs and bombarded my husband back home with a constant stream of cell phone pictures. Then we drove down into Connecticut. I saw exit signs for New York City (which made me ridiculously happy), and I discovered that Mark is a serial radio channel surfer. Oh. And we drove right through a tornado warning, in Northern Connecticut. Because apparently, we bring so much Awesome with us to these weddings, even the skies spontanteously combust into Awesomeness. Or scariness. Something.

Whenever I shoot a wedding, whether Iím second-shooting with Mark or running the show myself, the whole day becomes a constant quest to do better than Iíve ever done before. I owe that to my clients, to my boss, to myself. I sprawl across the floor. I sprint from one end of the venue to the other. (Repeatedly. And again. And again.) I climb on things. I canít just sit back timidly and wait for the shots to happen in front of me. I have to anticipate them. Be two steps ahead, to catch them before theyíre gone again. And, as Iíve learned from the moment I set foot in our old Goat Farm studio back in January, I have to make them. Being a photographer isnít just about catching moments as they unfold before your eyes. Itís about†MAKING photos that tell you- immerse you- in those moments. And while most weddings follow the same loose formula: flowers, vows, the kiss, and cake (cake!), everything else is different. Different moments, different dynamics. And itís my job to make something different every single time I shoot a wedding. Or anything. Itís the best part about my job, which is saying a lot- I mean, I seriously have a job that lets me travel AND lets me get to know people on such an amazingly personal level. And I get wine. If that’s not winning, I don’t know what is.

Thank you to Mark, for thinking enough of me to take me along. It’s a big deal each and every time I’m asked to work alongside someone at a wedding- you have to have faith that that person, as Mark puts it, doesn’t suck. So thank you. You’re awesome.

Atlanta. Boston. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark. You. Are. Awesome.

City Mouse | by +Krista

A few days ago, I had a shoot in the country. As in, “Keep going Ďtil you pass the third cow pasture on your left- and then park in the dirt” country. Now I technically define the town that I live in, on the outskirts of the outskirts of Atlanta suburbia, as the countryÖ but this. This was different. It was quiet and peaceful and beautiful.

Alexis and Eddie made an epic trek- (seriously, anyone willing to come down from Chattanooga for a photo shoot with me is all kinds of awesome in my book)- to our location. A sunflower field. And it really was beautiful.

The farm itself is incredible. Fifteen acres of sunflowers to wander through, and at sundown, when we were there, the light casting out over the flowers literally took my breath away. It was lovely. (It was also full of about 700 billion bumble bees. And being a photographer who is frequently outside, ya know, photographing things, Iím deathly afraid of bees. Krista sees bee. Krista runs free. Well. Not really. But Iíll hustle you and my camera away from the bees in about 1.2 seconds.)

But Alexis and Eddie. They were brave. They were also adorably silly and just NICE. We laughed- sometimes at me and those damn bees, sometimes at Alexis and her constant Thor references about Eddie, who actually does look A LOT like Thor. (Especially Thor from “Adventures in Babysitting”.)

All this country talk is interesting to me. For about as long as we’ve been married, my husband and I have talked about moving. Finding our spot, putting down our roots, finding the best school systems and the best sushi take-out. That talk has resurfaced in the last year, almost like our feet are itching for a new adventure. And for us, our next adventure will hopefully take us someplace bustling and noisy and humming with lights. City mice, we are.

But the last six years that we’ve spent here, in our very first home in my version of the country, living our lives and feathering our nest and adding a few babies, has changed me. Yes. I complain when our town shuts down at eight o’clock on a Saturday night. And yes. I miss having Whole Foods and a movie theater close by. But somewhere in between all the living we’ve been doing these past few years, I realized that the “country” isn’t all that bad. On summer nights, we sit in our front yard, sprawled out in the grass with our girls, and catch fireflies. On cold winter nights, snow dusting our house if we’re lucky, our neighborhood sits so still and silent, it almost feels like a painting. And sunsets over the farmland nearby? Amazing. Really, there’s nothing like it.

So. Alexis and Eddie, thank you. For making the trip out, for being beautiful and so much fun, and for reminding me that, Whole Foods or not, whenever the time comes and we make our reverse migration back into city life, that I’m going to miss it out here a little bit too. Especially the fireflies. (Just not the bees.)