When it comes to taking pictures, nothing is routine for Mandi and Tyler Atkins. From baby shoots to nuptial blowouts, the camera-toting couple is constantly experimenting—which is appropriate, because it was through experimentation, not formal training, that the pair got their start.
After college, the not-yet photographers took a transcontinental journey to Amsterdam, Germany, Iceland, and the Dominican Republic. While exploring the new regions, Tyler fell in love with photography through a point-and-shoot lens. Mandi's desire to preserve memories also took hold after the birth of her son, so the couple grabbed their new Nikon D5000s and began to teach themselves the ins and outs of photography.
Driving around their small town and the surrounding countryside for hours, they learned to find beauty in even the most common sights, such as old tobacco houses and babies sleeping in flowers. Their adventurous spirits continue to come through in each of their photo shoots, where they play with different lighting techniques and encourage subjects to let loose with poses and props. They’re also receptive to clients' new ideas—one of their most memorable bridal shoots was of a police officer who accessorized her ivory gown with her badge and gun.
To ensure that subjects look like themselves in finished photos, Mandi and Tyler like to keep a light hand during post processing, just removing a pimple here or a nest of beard birds there. The couple often works together, especially during on-location sessions, which enables them to capture two angles at once.