Borrowed and Blue has become one of our favorite wedding websites over the last few years. They produce a wealth of valuable content for brides and grooms all around the country. Fortunately, one area they focus on heavily is New Orleans! We were flattered to receive an email from Helen, their New Orleans Market Specialist, asking if they could interview us. We gladly obliged! Even though the business is under the name of Mark Eric, everyone knows that we are really a husband and wife team. While I (Mark) do most of the photography work, my wife is really the sugar that makes this cupcake so tasty. If H&M wasn’t already a recognized brand, we’d probably own it- but for now, we’ll just stick with Mark Eric, even though Heather’s name should definitely be part of the brand. With that in mind, we answered the questions together. Hope you enjoy!
Borrowed and Blue: “Wedding planning is tough work even if you’re an expert—which why it’s important to have amazing, knowledgeable vendors in your corner when working out the details of your event. This is where amazing New Orleans wedding vendors, like Mark Eric Photography, come in. Mark and Heather are the dynamic husband and wife duo behind the business, and they know NOLA like the back of their hands, especially as it comes to wedding photography. Pair their local knowledge with their knack for capturing the energy and emotion of a wedding day and you’ve got one kick-butt vendor on your team, friends! I’m so glad they were able to answer my questions so that our readers can get to know them, and their work, a bit better.!” – Helen, Borrowed & Blue’s New Orleans Market Specialist
What inspired you to become a photographer?
“A new TV, or a camera!” These were the two choices I gave my dad when he asked what I wanted for my birthday one year. Honestly, I was really hoping for the TV, but he bought the camera. Looking back I have always been that person who only buys a magazine to look at the images . I was mesmerized by those who were able to capture those perfect moments on the pages , create stunning portraits, and telling a visual story with their lens. Little did I know that my hobby and curiosity would become my life’s passion.
Describe your photographic aesthetic in three words.
Playful. Colorful. Editorial.
What’s the first thing you like to ask couples when you meet with them?
We love hearing about the proposal! Was she surprised, or did she suspect it was coming? Did he go all out, or was it intimate? Did anyone cry, and if so.. who cried first? There is something so telling within a couple’s proposal story of who they are and how they interact with each other and that’s what we want to see and know . It automatically gives us a sense of what they are looking for in a photographer . Are they whimsical and looking for playful images? Or are they intimate and looking for images that are romantic and snuggly?. We need to understand what is important to them and who they are as a couple in order to create images that speak to them and tell their unique love story . Because in the end, it’s not just about taking pretty pictures but it is about creating images that speak to them .
What is one piece of advice you would give to couples on their wedding day to help create great photographs?
Well actually we have several but I will just share two . Relax and enjoy it . This is so important not just for us as photographers but for the couples as well . You’ve dreamed of this day your entire lives ( in most cases ) , so sit back and enjoy the ride. If you are stressed it is going to show on your face and in your images . So grab a glass of wine and know that the day is going to be amazing regardless of any hiccups . Allow for, and schedule time for creative couple photos . Yes we are fast and can do our magic quick but often times brides try to squeeze too much into a tiny window of time and the creative shots are forced out the window because of timelines .
Do you have a favorite moment in a wedding day to photograph?
As a dad, I always look forward to the moment the father of the bride sees her in her dress for the first time. I cannot begin to image the emotions flooding the dad seeing his little girl and realizing this is it . We often try to schedule a time where the bride gets to show off her beautiful dress to her father. The day goes by so quickly that this moment can easily get lost in the rush if not planned for. What can I say I am a sucker for tears and these moments almost always guarantee a few happy ones.
How about a favorite aspect of your job in general?
Hands down it has to be seeing our clients with tangible images. There is something so rewarding seeing moments you captured in a frame , on a wall or on a coffee table in the form of a book . We want our clients to enjoy their images over and over, not just once a year when they pop in a usb and look at them on a screen. We recently took bridal portraits at our bride’s family home. We also photographed this bride’s’ brother’s wedding a few years prior. We smiled from ear to ear when we walked into their home and saw wall portraits and a wedding album on display that we created. Knowing that the work we produce brings smiles to families on a daily basis is extremely rewarding.
What are some of your favorite areas to photograph in NOLA?
New Orleans is big canvas just waiting to be explored. The architecture is unlike anywhere else in the world. The majestic oak trees around Audubon Park and City Park create stunning backdrops. I love venturing to the residential areas just beyond the French Quarter where the crowds are smaller, but the New Orleans vibe is strong!
Give our readers one suggestion for something they should do after they should get engaged.
Celebrate ! You are engaged and that calls for celebration , savor the moment . Share with your family and friends first , then take it to social media . Shout it from the rooftops , “he finally asked” or “she said yes “. Then get busy selecting your most important vendors . Nothing worse than finding out your favorite photographer is completely booked up a year ahead and your date is taken .
Describe your dream day in New Orleans.
Depends on if Heather is with me or not ! She likes to sleep in and I am ready to get out and do something . Maybe wake to brunch at Surrey’s followed by a day of shopping on Magazine St. (doing hubby duties ) Then eat a late lunch at Legacy Kitchen before heading to Frenchman St for a night listening to some of New Orleans best musicians. Because after all New Orleans is all about great food and music .
What makes a New Orleans wedding different from a wedding in another part of the country?
We’ve photographed weddings on every coast of the United States. We’ve traveled to Paris and the Caribbean to document beautiful weddings, but we can honestly say nowhere compares to New Orleans. The venues are the most unique. The food can’t be matched. The bands in New Orleans blow away the competition. But beyond that, the traditions that New Orleans Weddings offer can’t be matched anywhere else, from second line parades to cake pulls- New Orleans weddings are absolutely the most unique weddings in the world. Hands down our favorite without a doubt.
Thanks again to Borrowed and Blue (especially Helen) for reaching out to us for the Q&A. We’re thrilled to have been considered for the interview.