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Intern Experience: Reviews

23 Jul ’10

“Having spent the last three months working with us – what would you like to say about your internship experience with LeahAndMark.com?”

Intern Amé:

Well from the opportunities this internship has provided for me, I have gotten lost in Atlanta for two hours and got into a five hundred dollar fender bender. And yet, I can still say it was worth it.

Honestly, I think I learned the most about getting the best out of your equipment. Though I still feel like I’ve learned loads about shooting. I’ve gained insight about working on location with other photographers. And seen ways to make something that’s truly boring, into art. I feel like more doors are open to me now as well as new angles and perspectives I met new people, saw some amazing set ups, made some friends, and got some great shots. What more can I ask for? And walking away from this, all I can hope is to move forward still and hopefully keep in touch with the friends I’ve made. And maybe even weasel my way into some really great shoots.

I will definitely say I learned a lot about flash lighting. Every shoot Mark sets up strobes. And for the new interns, they now have a studio that they’ll be using. they definitely advertise for us and gave plenty of networking opportunities. You get what you put into it, but I would *definitely* recommend it. I feel like I’ve benefited from the internship.

Plus, they’re both just really cool people. And it was great shooting with them. You’ll have shooting locations you wouldn’t have thought of before. Most of us didn’t have a strobe set up. So he brought enough for us to trade off during our shoots.

“Having spent the last three months working with us – what would you like to say about your internship experience with LeahAndMark.com?”

Intern Brook:

I learned a lot from Leah and Mark. Before I interned I was guilty of just taking pictures of cool stuff and the odds would catch up with me and eventually I would accidentally take a great picture. I knew I had “it” in me to be good, I just didn’t know how. At first I was a little hurt when I would show Mark what I thought was a good photo and he would start to pick it apart. I hadn’t really shown too many people my work until my internship. That was an obstacle I had to over come if I have any future in this business. Eventually, I would try to guess what Mark’s comments might be about my photos and I looked forward to his critique. He really did help me see things in a different way and think outside the box. I didn’t always agree with him and I probably never will but he made me think about what I was doing and how I was shooting.

I would have to say that out of all the elements of photography that Mark helped me improve upon the most, it was composition. He helped me understand what an “epic” photo was. He encouraged me to find a style of shooting that I could relate to.

The areas that I feel I got the least help and really need a lot of guidance would be lighting. I managed to purchase some really great speed lights but I am not 100% confident when using them. I am hoping that since the new studio space is walking distance from my house, we can remedy this problem.

After 3 months, I feel like I can actually make money doing this. Thanks Leah and Mark!

“Having spent the last three months working with us – what would you like to say about your internship experience with LeahAndMark.com?”

Intern Jenna:

Community / Relationships

  • It was really nice to get to know a lot of local photographers that were in a similar professional stage. It was nice to share experiences and work with each other – especially on group shoot when we worked with partners or observed how other interns directed.
  • I think a very small thing that made a big difference was the investment that Leah and Mark took in each of the intern’s lives – going out to eat before/after a shoot, checking in on what was going on in other aspects of their lives.
  • Another little thing that made a big difference is how visible and approachable they are. They are always prompt in answering emails, usually on gchat for immediate questions, available phone / text, visible on facebook. It was really nice to feel like I could find them if I needed to, and they were very good at answering questions.

Education

  • There was a good mix of discussion on composition and lighting and post-processing.
  • It may be helpful to intentionally critique each photo shoot. Everytime I put up more photos, I was wondering what Mark was thinking and it would have been nice if within 48 hours or so I got an email that just said “Pet Portrait Critique” with even short, simple bullet points of ideas to consider.
  • The marketing/business class was one of the most helpful experiences especially since it was on a very do-able, approachable level. It was also nice to see conversation between Mark and clients [client names withheld] and view contracts, paperwork etc.
Experiences: Group Shoots
  • The variety of experiences was a huge benefit – never thought I would shoot fashion shows, models, pets, head shots, etc.
  • I’m glad I had the opportunity to just observe how Mark directed models (an aspect I had completely overlooked but is pretty difficult to do well).
  • It was a great opportunity to use equipment that I hadn’t been exposed to and have time to play around with it with Mark nearby to help out if necessary.
  • Group shoots became very effective – liked working in partners with other interns, switching off models / locations, 25 minutes was a good amount of time.
Experiences: Editing Workshops
  • One of the most interesting experiences was seeing the full set of photos Mark took at a shoot and which ones he picked and why and how he edited them.
  • It was very helpful to me to see how each intern edits their photos and what they do to them in post-processing.
Technology
  • It was so nice to have a forum to share our work with the other interns and a space to share our work with the rest of the world.
  • The google calendar was a good way for me to stay organized with the schedule that got a little hectic at times.
  • It always felt so good when one of my posts was linked from Mark’s facebook profile. That is definitely a good way to show an intern that you are proud of the work they did.

“Having spent the last three months working with us – what would you like to say about your internship experience with LeahAndMark.com?”

Intern Claire:

Mark initially said he was going to give us a some prompt questions for our review of the internship, but in the end we just got one: “what would you like to say about your experience?” Hmm, where to start? I could tell you that during this internship I learned a lot about off camera lighting, equipment, and light placement. Or that I learned new tools to keep in mind when composing my shots so that they’re better and more interesting. Or that I learned about model directing and posing and what to do if a shoot doesn’t seem to be going my way. I could also tell you that I learned about marketing, advertising, and business strategy. All of those things are technically true; I did learn about all that stuff. But the most important things I’m taking away from this internship are:

A) Increased confidence as a photographer. I used to just think I was a good photographer, and now I know I am. And it’s b/c of the things I’ve learned while working with Leah and Mark that I can say that. They allowed me the opportunity to shoot things that I wouldn’t have shot otherwise (dancers on trampolines for example!) and to shoot in ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise (w/ a lot off camera flashes for example).

B) I’m leaving with a great group of photographer friends, who I know I can call up to help me with a shoot if needed. When I found out there were going to be 10 interns, I was nervous that we were all going to be competing with each other and just generally not get along. One of the things that makes photography so great is that there’s no typical “photographer” mold. We are all very different people and different photographers, but that’s ok b/c we all share a passion for photography and a desire to be better. We all came to learn, and Mark and Leah came to teach. Not sure there’s a better recipe for a successful internship experience than that!

In the short amount of time I’ve been in professional photography, there has been one characteristic that I’ve noticed all the really top notch photographers seem to share: They all give back to the up and coming photographers. Whether it be traveling the country speaking and holding workshops, writing books or newsletters giving away all their secrets, or posting endless amounts of (free!) information on the internet, all the top photographers give back. And I think it’s a great method to follow, and I think it’s awesome that Leah and Mark took on 10 interns! I mean who does that, really?? And not only did they take on 10 interns but they kept us busy, real busy, and were constantly open to our questions and concerns.

It’s hard to quantify exactly what I’ve learned in the past three months, so I hope the above gave some insight into the experience; I know I am in a much better place as a photographer than I was in May, and I definitely owe that to Leah and Mark.

Part of the LeahAndMark.com philosophy is “Show Everyone”, and I think that’s some of the best advice out there; so seriously, if you do nothing else, then just do that, you’ll be a better photographer almost instantly by putting yourself out there!

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3 Comments

  • Reply LeahAndMark.com High. Museum. Salvador. Dali. Surreal. Soiree. Exhibit. Art. Photos. Booth. | LeahAndMark.com 10 Aug ’10 at 8:07 am

    […] And although we want our internship to always be a free training course – we don’t expect anyone to take on a job like this just because they’re our intern, or as a free favor. Since we know what it takes to shoot something like this, at that pace, for that long – Paralee was compensated the full amount for the job, directly from the High Museum. Have you noticed how our photography internship isn’t like any other internship out there? […]

  • Reply DragonCon. SteamPunk. Fashion. Show. Alternative. History. 2010. Photos. LeahAndMark.com Atlanta. | LeahAndMark.com 7 Sep ’10 at 10:38 am

    […] Intern Debra was inside taking the shots with the white backdrop. I think that if anything – our Interns will at the very least know how to shoot a subject against a white/black/grey backdrop and wash […]

  • Reply Atlanta. Photography. Internship. Intern. Program. LeahAndMark.com | LeahAndMark.com 15 Apr ’11 at 7:32 pm

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

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