Photos

Campground Shoot with the Interns

20 Jan ’11

Tomorrow (Friday) at 12pm noon is the deadline for Season 4 Intern Applications. We’ve received a lot of great applications – and I’m sure there will be the usual last minute rush of applicants that will just throw everything out of whack. Because as the week goes by – we start thinking about who we’d actually like to have on for Season 4.

Of course – then we remember that hey – there’s still the first round cuts and second application that needs to be completed.

We’ve been fortunate that with every group of Interns – the overall level of work and commitment has risen. This is both good and… a challenge. Good because it means that more experienced photographers feel as though they can learn something from us – and a challenge because… we actually have to deliver on that agreement.

Taking on such a responsibility for a single person is quite a commitment – nevermind committing to ten people. Of course results vary and managing everyone’s expectations and their Intern Experience is a full time job, separate from our own ‘photography business’ – and I’ve struggled with finding that balance.

There are a few obvious changes that need to be made – the most glaring one being that we take on fewer Interns – which only compounds the difficulty factor during the selection process. The obvious reaction is that that’s okay – and while I’ve had to accept this realization – there’s the part of me that just wants to keep working with more people. But Season 4 is going to be different – it has to be – simply because we have loftier goals than running a photography business.

There is a specific reason that we’ve never actually called ourselves ‘LeahAndMark Photography’ – because in the same way we don’t sell ourselves into any particular ‘niche’ of photography, LeahAndMark.com is more about us and our lives than just our photography business. Clearly photography is one of the main focuses right now – and probably will be for many years – but if you’ve been hanging out with us for a while, you’ve seen that our posts aren’t always about photography. [National Coming Out Day] [Adoption Reunion] [How to be Happy]

Among all of the simple requirements – one of the things we heavily consider with any applicant intern is whether or not we can actually teach them what they’re looking to learn from us. It would be easy to just take on a group of super talented and ‘ready’ photographers – but that would also be a waste of their time. And while we’re relatively new to the field – in the same way that the amount of time a couple spends together before they get married doesn’t always equate to forever, the amount of time you’ve been shooting doesn’t always equate to quality experience and skillful knowledge of photography.

And if I may wax poetic (some more) – at the core of both is Love. For each other in a marriage – and for photography. I live and breathe this stuff and in the same way we take supreme risks for the ones we love – I like to think that I take the same level of risks pursuing this craft.

It’s a great deal of risk to open yourself up in the way we do – to learn from other photographers in such a vulnerable setting – to give away your ‘trade secrets’ because you think it’ll force you to come up with new ones (ha – ‘secrets’). Mine and the interns failures are visible to each other. Over the course of the three months the Interns learn and experience my weaknesses – the facade that I/we are some kind of all knowing master photographer is quickly replaced by that of yet another photographer that’s figuring it out as he goes along.

At the same time – we take comfort in the fact that no one else is doing what we’re doing. There have been very few times in my life when I could say that and not feel foolish. I live and breathe photography and we’re just getting started.

These shots were from a photoshoot with the Interns – check out the posts by Niki & Laura.

Thanks.

Atlanta. Photography. Internship. Interns. Workshops. LeahAndMark.com

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4 Comments

  • Reply Leah 20 Jan ’11 at 8:48 am

    I love you. So much.

  • Reply Shannon Smith 20 Jan ’11 at 11:03 am

    its okay that you need to take on fewer interns, you’ve got your goals, its not like you are canceling the intern thing (I hope) in the future because if I do not get this round you bet I will try every time. That is until you do not run intern workshops any more…I mean your only human u cant spread yourself too thin. Im sure every one else understands that need :)

  • Reply Brett Falcon 20 Jan ’11 at 11:06 am

    Yep! These are awesome. Awesome light, awesome style, awesome composition, awesome depth of field, awesome YOU.

  • Reply Whitney Huynh 21 Jan ’11 at 11:13 am

    I think what we like most about you guys is that you are real…and if reality for you is that you need to take on less or make changes to pursue your dreams, then I say go for it! From the posts I’ve seen, you are giving your interns an amazing life experience, which at the end of the day, means something. And I love these pictures by the way…pretty with a little rough around the edges.

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