From Scotland to a river in Atlanta…where I did my first photoshoot as an intern for LeahAndMark. And man was it a beautiful shoot!

Hey, my name is Ellie and I’m a photographer. And I’m an aries. And my favourite colour is red. And I love live music. And oh, I’m from Scotland!

After months of reading Leah and Mark’s blogs, intern blogs and following them on twitter I finally met Mark in person for the very first time last Friday and promptly learnt my first lesson: shoot more; show everyone. (That and Atlanta is crazy hot and humid, definitely not like this in Scotland!)

So today was the shoot at a secret-ish location in a pretty place. Last night I re-read all the river shoot blogs, looked through some photographs and charged my Canon batteries. I was fully prepared to step into cold water this morning. America baffles me, and makes me smile – this water was a warm bath compared to the cold rivers we have in Scotland where you wouldn’t want to get in without a wetsuit…

Anyway, although I felt prepared and open minded about the shoot I was definitely nervous as soon as we started photographing. Mark gave strong directions and Gabriel and Debra were confident in their shooting abilities. Whilst I was excited to be taking photos I stood back a bit and shot slightly in the side lines which is evident in some of my photographs. And although absorbing and observing is good – I did learn a lot – I also need to take centre stage and be more confident in myself with my directing skills and having my turn. It’s inspiring to watch but as Mark says – I just need to do it!

I was determined to get at least one good shot, and I did try to do what I thought would get me some good photos; changing eye level, position, hey I even sat in the water! And okay that was good, moving around is good – but I didn’t get close enough to the models and I didn’t give very strong directions and I was concerned I wasn’t going to get at least one good shot. But I don’t shoot enough to be confident enough yet. Mark explained today: “it’s all about the process, keep shooting all the time, constantly working at it. It won’t always be amazing or inspiring. But shoot more. Everyday. Shoot. Writers, painters, creatives do it all the time. Do it until you can crap art” – Some sage advice Mark, thanks!

So yeah, I need to shoot more. A LOT more. And get closer to the models. REAL CLOSE. But I’m very happy to say that I think I got a few good shots, especially towards the end. A heck of a learning curve. All worth losing one flip flop over really. Truly amazing.


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